Education commissioner promotes Pfeffer to post

Ivy Pfeffer is Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key's choice to be deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education.

Pfeffer, who has served since 2014 as the assistant commissioner for educator effectiveness and licensure, will replace Mark Gotcher in the deputy job, effective July 1. Gotcher has accepted the job of superintendent in the Russellville School District.

Pfeffer earns $114,835 in her current job. Gotcher is paid $154,998 as deputy.

Before joining the department, Pfeffer worked at the Pocahontas School District for almost 18 years. She taught Spanish and English at Pocahontas Junior High School from August 1995 to June 2004 before being named an assistant principal at the high school. She served in that role a year before being selected as principal, a position she held until June 2013. Pfeffer also served as an adjunct English and Spanish instructor for Black River Technical College from August 1995 to May 1997.

Pfeffer earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro and a master's degree in integrated technology in the classroom from Walden University in Minneapolis. She recently completed a doctorate in school leadership from Arkansas Tech University at Russellville.

Act 525 of 2015 requires that either the commissioner or the deputy commissioner hold a master's degree and have 10 years of teaching experience, including five years of administrative experience. Key has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and has not been a classroom teacher.

In announcing Pfeffer's appointment, Key noted her work to build relationships with higher-education representatives and establish multiple ways to increase the number of people going into teaching or returning to teaching.

Metro on 04/08/2017