Incoming Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has named Allen County residents Jeff Abbott and Don Willis to his transition group for Indiana's education department.
Dr. Abbott is the former superintendent of East Allen County Schools and is a Distinguished Scholar for the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. Don Willis is the founder of Keystone School in Fort Wayne and is the CEO and founder of Fourth Wave LLC.
The full release may be read on the continuation page.
State Superintendent-elect Dr. Tony Bennett released Friday a list of his transition team subcommittee leaders who will aide in gathering information on the Department of Education's structure, programs and budget.
"We have a tremendous group of individuals helping us in this effort, and I can confidently say that every member of our team has a strong desire to put the educational interests of kids first," said Bennett.
Each committee of Bennett's transition team will explore one of the current divisions of the Department of Education, conducting interviews with staff, gathering official documents and preparing a report for the Superintendent-elect that he will review in early December. Joining Bennett's transition team are:
Subcommittee for the Office of the Superintendent: Joe Loftus, director of the transition team for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; and Anne Shane, vice president of Bio-Crossroads
Subcommittee for the Center for Accreditation, Assessment and Licensing: Dr. Jeff Abbott, former superintendent of East Allen County Schools; and Don Willis, founder of Keystone School in Ft. Wayne
Subcommittee for the Center for Curriculum and Instructional Leadership: Dr. Carol D'Amico, president of Conexus, former vice president of Ivy Tech Community College, and former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education
Subcommittee for Center for Exceptional Learners: Dr. Scott Robison, superintendent of Zionsville Community Schools
Subcommittee for the Center for Informational Systems: Jim White, director of technology for Clark-Pleasant Schools; and Frank Fults, Chief Information Officer at the M.A. Rooney Foundation
Subcommittee for the Center for School and Student Academic Support: Dr. Phyllis Amick, former superintendent of Richmond Community Schools and past president of the Indiana Association of Public Schools Superintendents; and Derek Redelman, vice president of education and workforce development with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Additionally, Bennett named Dr. Richard Hogue, assistant superintendent at Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as the leader of the Subcommittee for Personnel and Therese Rooney, former CEO of Golden Rule Insurance, as the transition director to handle the process on a day-to-day basis. Last week, he named Dr. Dennis Brooks and Sen. Teresa Lubbers as the co-chairs of the transition team.
"We're very excited about the caliber of people stepping up to help us out," said Bennett. "We said many times during the campaign that we want to set up a customer service oriented department, and many of these folks have experience as our customers. Their input will be invaluable as we move forward."
After the subcommittees reports their findings, Bennett said that an executive committee which he will name next week would help him begin the process of restructuring the Department of Education. He also noted that current State Superintendent Dr. Suellen Reed has been very helpful so far in the process, and her willingness to assist through the transition period should help things run smoothly.