Gov. Paul LePage nominated Jim Rier for education commissioner on Wednesday.

Rier now faces confirmation by the Maine Senate after the nomination is reviewed by the Legislature’s Education Committee.

“I am confident you will make a valuable contribution to the State in that position,” LePage wrote in a letter to Rier.

Rier has been the acting head of the Education Department since October, after former Commissioner Stephen Bowen left to take a position at a national organization that formulates education policy.

Rier served two terms on the state Board of Education, and was chairman from 1997 to 2000. He joined the Department of Education in 2003 as director of finance and operations, and was named deputy commissioner in 2011.

Staff Writer Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

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