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McQueen appointed Tennessee education commissioner by Gov. Haslam

Kim Chaudoin | 615.966.6494  | 


Candice McQueen, senior vice president and dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education since July 2008, has been named commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, Gov. Bill Haslam announced today. McQueen begins her post Jan. 20, 2015.

In her role as senior vice president, McQueen was part of the university’s executive leadership team--overseeing the College of Education and Lipscomb’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation--as well as Lipscomb Academy, a preK-12th grade institution affiliated with the university.

Candice McQueen“At Lipscomb, Dr. McQueen has created one of the top teacher training and support programs in the country, and she has become a recognized leader in this field both in Tennessee and across the nation,” said Lowry. “The fact that the state has turned to Lipscomb for its next commissioner of education is not only a testament to Dr. McQueen’s influence, innovation and vision but also to the College of Education’s strong faculty and administrative team and to Lipscomb University as well. We look forward to the way she will continue to serve the state in the education arena in a significant way.”

Under McQueen’s leadership, the College of Education has been recognized at the state and national levels for excellence in teacher preparation and teaching outcomes. The college’s undergraduate secondary program is ranked No. 2 in the nation and its elementary program is ranked 14th in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality’s 2014 Teacher Prep Review. Last year, NCTQ ranked Lipscomb’s teacher preparation program was named one of the top four in the nation.

For the fourth consecutive year in a report released in November, the College of Education was recognized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as one of the most effective teacher preparation programs in the state. In an analysis of scores on THEC’s Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs over three years, Lipscomb was found to be among the top five programs that have consistently produced teachers who outperform other teachers in the state, from 2012 to 2014. In addition, Lipscomb was recognized as one of the two largest teacher preparation programs among all private universities in the state.

McQueen also led the College of Education to a 54 percent enrollment growth with 72 percent growth at the graduate level while adding 15 new graduate programs, including a doctorate, and creating innovative partnerships that focus on collaborative design and delivery for coursework and programming.  

“I am honored Governor Haslam has asked me to help lead the Department of Education at this very exciting time in our state,” said McQueen. “I have spent most of my career at Lipscomb focused on developing and supporting educators to help our students succeed. I look forward to taking this experience, as well as my perspective as a former classroom teacher and a parent, and working to ensure that every high school graduate in Tennessee is college and career-ready so they can succeed in the future. I am also eager to work with Gov. Haslam and his team to make sure our K-12 system works even more closely with our higher education institutions to help Tennessee succeed in increasing the number of citizens who have obtained postsecondary education.” 

For the past year, McQueen has also shared her vision and leadership as senior administrator for Lipscomb Academy. Among her many contributions to Lipscomb Academy was establishing a new academy leadership team, including the hiring of Head of School Greg Glenn; leading the academy leadership team through a strategic planning process for 2020; leading a series of parent and teacher focus groups to assist in the strategic planning process; launching a comprehensive standards review process with the academic leadership team this year with a focus on complete alignment from K-12 with ACT benchmarks; instituting the first Lipscomb Academy Research Fellowship between academy faculty and the College of Education; and building a partnership between the academy and university to create a unique and comprehensive Year of College option for all students among other initiatives.

"Lipscomb’s College of Education produces some of our state’s best teachers, and Candice gets a lot of credit for that,” Haslam said. “She has taught in a classroom, so she brings both the experience of being a teacher and of preparing teachers to teach. I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this role, and I know she’ll do a great job as we continue our efforts to provide a quality education for all Tennessee students.”

McQueen is known nationally as an expert in education. She was an invited participant in the prestigious Aspen Institute’s Education & Society Program in Washington, D.C., to inform senior congressional staff members on education issues. She was also invited to participate in the America Diploma Project Leadership Meeting in Alexandria, Va., to discuss the work of Lipscomb and the university’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation in creating training resources for all teacher preparation programs in Tennessee. McQueen has also been quoted in Education Week and U.S. News and World Report about the positive results Lipscomb’s College of Education has had on the Tennessee Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training programs.

McQueen was recently elected to the national board of directors for the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and to the executive council for the American Association of Independent and Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education.

McQueen serves on a variety of other boards, including the PENCIL Foundation’s executive board, SCORE’s steering committee, STARS, the Mayor's Youth Master Plan Leadership Council, and the First to the Top Advisory Council. She has also served on the executive committee of the Tennessee Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. 

McQueen, who began her faculty appointment at Lipscomb in 2001, is also the founding director of Lipscomb’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation that launched in 2012. Prior to her appointment as dean, McQueen served as the undergraduate department chair in education. Before coming to Lipscomb, McQueen taught in both private and public elementary and middle schools in Texas and Nashville, was on faculty at Vanderbilt University and was an assistant instructor and supervisor of student teachers at the University of Texas at Austin. She has won multiple awards for her teaching at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. Her primary research interests are teacher professional development, leadership, and reading and writing methods.

The Clarksville, Tenn., native has a Bachelor of Science degree from Lipscomb University, a Master of Education in school administration from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in curriculum studies from the University of Texas. 

Lowry said a nationwide search for a new dean for the college will begin immediately.