Alaska education commissioner to step down March 1; interim commissioner named

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker announced Thursday that his education commissioner, Mike Hanley, would step down March 1, confirming a news report Wednesday about his imminent departure.

Susan McCauley, the director of the education department's largest division, will take over as interim commissioner, the governor said.

In a prepared statement, Walker said he and the Board of Education decided "to steer the state's education system in a new direction," but he offered no other explanation for Hanley's departure.

Education officials who earlier said that Hanley would be leaving his post had offered no details.

McCauley, who leads the Department of Education and Early Development's teaching and learning support division, will replace Hanley while the board looks for a permanent replacement.

Before she worked for the education department, McCauley was a teacher, principal and administrator in urban and rural Alaska, Walker's statement said.

She has a doctorate in education policy and leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Nathaniel Herz

Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He’s been a reporter in Alaska for nearly a decade, with stints at ADN and Alaska Public Media. He’s reported around the state and loves cross-country skiing.