DESE Commissioner Kent King dies

Jefferson City, MO – Dr. Kent King, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), has died.

He passed away today at his home in Rolla following a lengthy fight with brain cancer.

King's tenure was not without controversy, as he had recommended the state takeover of the St. Louis School District nearly two years ago.

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) says despite that, King was a fair-minded man.

"I do truly believe that he will be missed, because he was a man of integrity, and he was a man that really cared about the school districts throughout the state of Missouri," Nasheed said.

King had served as DESE Commissioner since September of 2000, and had been involved with public education in Missouri for more than 40 years.

Kent King was 65 years old. Survivors include his wife Sandy, three children and five grandchildren.