FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 10, 2018) – Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis today announced the hiring of Deanna Durrett as General Counsel for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). She will begin her role with the department on August 16.
Durrett, a native of Louisville, previously served as the chief of staff for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York, where she has worked in various roles since 2012. Prior to her work at Success Academy, Durrett served as a law clerk to Judge Susan Braden at the United States Court of Federal Claims, and then entered the United States Department of Justice as a trial attorney through the Honors Program. As a trial attorney, Durrett represented federal agencies in federal district court litigation against constitutional challenges to federal statutes and suits to overturn government policies and programs.
“I am delighted that Deanna has accepted my invitation to join the Kentucky Department of Education as General Counsel. She brings to KDE an impressive resume with experience in law and in public schools,” said Lewis. “What excites me most about Deanna is her commitment to significant improvement in learning outcomes for our most vulnerable children. Her current employer, Success Academy, has been at the forefront of showing what is possible in public schooling in New York City, especially for low-income children of color. Her experience in key legal and leadership roles at Success Academy will be a tremendous asset to KDE’s senior leadership team, our legal office, and the broader work of the agency.”
Durrett has been active in the Louisville community since the 1990s as an advocate against youth tobacco use. She was recognized for her advocacy efforts in 1995 when she was named the National Volunteer of the Year for the American Lung Association. She currently resides in Louisville with her husband and son.
“I am honored to join Commissioner Lewis’ leadership team at KDE,” Durrett said. “At Success Academy, I have seen excellent schooling and what is possible in public education, and I am excited to bring my experiences to bear in working for the children of Kentucky.”