JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After leading the state’s education department for eight years, Commissioner Margie Vandeven is stepping down.

From a pandemic to a teacher shortage crisis, Vandeven is no stranger to finding solutions to problem’s within the state’s education system. Later this month, she will hand over the reigns after nearly 20 years within the education department.

She is asking for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to keep focusing on teacher recruitment and retention and what’s best for students.

As for what’s next, Vandeven says she is not yet sure but hopes to do something with education. For now, she will be a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in the fall.