Mitchell Chester, state’s education commissioner, dies

05/27/2016  MALDEN, MA  Mitchell Chester (cq), Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, poses for a photo at his office in Malden.   (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Mitchell Chester. –Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester has died.

Jacqueline Reis, a spokeswoman for the state education department, confirmed via email Tuesday that Chester died Monday night. He was 65.

Chester had been battling cancer. He wrote in his June 16 weekly update on the department’s website that he had temporarily cut back his schedule this spring to undergo medical treatment.

Gov. Charlie Baker, in a statement, called Chester a dedicated educator and public servant whose leadership improved the lives of public school students in Massachusetts.

Chester became commissioner in 2008 after serving in the Ohio Department of Education. He began his career as a teacher in Connecticut and also worked in the Philadelphia school system.

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