Who’s Who in Education

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Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere. Selections were made by those within the sector using a peer-review process. This list includes the youngest person named to any of our Who’s Who lists, Pat O’Donnell, and the first couple to be named to a single list, Anne and David Shane.



Greg Ballard, 56
Mayor,City of Indianapolis

Greg Ballard was elected as the 48th Mayor of Indianapolis on Nov. 6, 2007. Although education wasn’t the leading issue of his campaign, it has since gained prominence city- and statewide. Ballard’s administration has opened eight new charter schools, for a total of 23 in the city, created a new performance system for students in special education programs and expanded the Office of Charter Schools into the Office of Education Innovation, casting a wider net.

Before being elected mayor, Ballard was a self-employed leadership and management consultant and the author of “The Ballard Rules: Small Unit Leadership.” He conducted seminars and modular training based on the book and taught college-level economics, marketing and management courses at Indiana Business College. Previously, he worked for several years as North American Operations Manager for Bayer in Indianapolis.

Ballard spent 23 years in the United States Marine Corps, serving in the Persian Gulf War and retiring as a lieutenant colonel. As a Marine, Ballard rose steadily through the ranks and held a variety of leadership and staff positions in logistics, transportation, and acquisition, both at war and in peace. In recognition of his leadership and outstanding service, he received a number of awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Ballard is a Distinguished Graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and he holds a master’s degree in military science from Marine Corps University, where he also studied operations analysis. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Indiana University.

A native Hoosier, Ballard was raised on the east side of Indianapolis and graduated from Cathedral High School. He and his wife, Winnie, reside in Pike Township and have a son and a daughter, both graduates of Indiana University.


Charles Bantz, 61

In 2003, Charles Bantz became chancellor of IUPUI—Indiana’s urban public research university, serving 30,000 students.

A highlight of his academic leadership is elevating the public perception of IUPUI as a health and life sciences campus and strategically focusing campus efforts in areas of economic development important to the state. Another focus has been enhancing undergraduate education. He has been an advocate for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs that keep graduates in Indiana. And he has fostered diversity and encouraged better math, science, engineering and technology education.

In the community, Bantz serves on the executive committee of the United Way of Central Indiana, as well as on several other boards. He is the 2011/2012 president of the Economic Club of Indiana Board of Governors.

Nationally, Bantz has been a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors and the NCAA’s executive committee from 2007 to 2011. He is vice chairman of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and chairman of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Commission on Urban Initiatives. He is also a member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives.

Before coming to IUPUI, Bantz was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and a professor of communication at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Originally from Aberdeen, S.D., Bantz holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in speech communication from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in communications from Ohio State University. He and his wife, Dr. Sandra Petronio, have one daughter, Kathleen. Bantz enjoys travel and visiting museums.


Allison Barber, 47
Western Governors University Indiana

With more than 20 years of experience in education and public service, Allison Barber returned to Indiana in 2010 to launch the state’s newest university, WGU Indiana. WGU offers more than 50 accredited, online, competency-based degree programs in fields including business, information technology, teacher education and nursing. The university targets an older population, with the average student being 36 years old.

Prior to joining WGU, Barber was president of her own Washington, D.C.-based strategic communications firm, which served not-for-profit organizations. She was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching in the master’s program for public relations and corporate communications.

Barber spent more than seven years at the Department of Defense, where she was Deputy Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications and Public Liaison. In this position, she was responsible for the department’s communications to the men and women in the U.S. military worldwide and for community relations programs that link citizens of the Armed Forces at home and abroad. Armed Forces Radio and Television, the Pentagon Channel, Stars and Stripes newspaper and the Defense Department’s web operations and new media division were among her responsibilities. For her work at the DOD, she earned the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Prior to the Defense Department, Barber worked in a variety of public relations and advertising positions, including as president of the Washington, D.C., office of PlowShare, a Connecticut-based advertising agency, and as public relations director for the American Red Cross.

From 1986 through 1991, Barber was a grade school teacher in the Merrillville Public Schools in Indiana and served as vice president and legislative liaison for the Merrillville teachers association.

A native of Indiana, Barber holds a B.S. in elementary education from Tennessee Temple University and an M.S. in elementary education from Indiana University.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Robert Behning, 57
State Representative,
Chairman of the House Education Committee

Bob Behning has served in the Indiana State Legislature since 1992 and represents House District 91, which includes portions of Marion, Morgan and Hendricks counties. Throughout his legislative career, he has advocated for education reform in Indiana.

In 2011, as chairman of the House Education Committee, Behning led efforts to pass the most comprehensive education reform package in the United States.

Outside his legislative role, Behning owns Berkshire Florist and is involved in a number of community activities. He serves on the board of directors at Westview Hospital, where he was a key advocate for Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, where classes will begin in the fall of 2013.

Behning was the chairman of the school board of Calvary Lutheran High School from 1988 until 1992; board president of Lutheran High School from 2000 to 2004; and currently is executive director of Calvary Lutheran Church, lCMS, in Southport. From 1996 until 2004, he was state chair of Indiana for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Behning says he has been a “proud Hoosier” his entire life. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Indiana University.

Beyond his responsibilities as a legislator and business owner, Behning enjoys woodworking, water- and snow-skiing and spending time with his wife, three children and four grandchildren.


Tony Bennett, 50
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction

For more than 20 years, Tony Bennett has served as a teacher, coach and administrator. After nine years as a science teacher, Bennett began his career in administration. He quickly developed a reputation as a talented school manager skilled at strategic planning and budgeting. He was elected to his current position in 2008.

Bennett was influenced by his time in New Albany as principal at Prosser School of Technology, a career-technology center focused on preparing students for the 21st century economy.

Since being elected to superintendent of public instruction, Bennett has led the state in comprehensive education reform, championing charter schools, merit pay for teachers and school vouchers. In the spring of 2011, Bennett was appointed chairman of Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan, national group of state school chiefs committed to comprehensive education reform.

Bennett earned his Ed.D. and superintendent’s license from Spalding University in Louisville. He earned his certification in secondary administration and supervision, his master of science in secondary education and a bachelor of science in secondary education from Indiana University Southeast.

A native of Clark County, Bennett now lives in Noblesville with his wife, Tina, a former high school principal. He has four adult children and one grandchild. An avid runner, Bennett’s birthday present to himself last year was running a marathon in Washington, D.C.


Scott Bess, 50
Vice Presidentand COO,
Goodwill Education Initiatives Inc.

Scott Bess has been with Goodwill for about 10 years and held his current position for seven. Goodwill Education Initiatives operates Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and the Excel Centers.

In 2004, Goodwill opened the Indianapolis Metropolitan High School to help increase the graduation rate and the post-secondary attendance rate in Marion County. Given Goodwill’s long history of helping individuals with barriers, it was a natural fit to open a school created for the underserved. Over the years, Indy Met has accomplished its goal, particularly with respect to post-secondary education. Ninety percent of its graduates move on to post-secondary education or training, and two years after graduation, two-thirds of those students have either completed their course of study or are still in school.

The Excel Center, which opened in 2010, targets older youth and adults who have dropped out of school. More than 800 students are now enrolled back in high school.

Before joining Goodwill, Bess was a teacher and then a partner in an IT company. He also worked in IT for Duke Energy.

Bess lives in Danville with his wife, Robin, and four children. He has been on the school board of trustees in Danville for the past 13 years, serves on the board of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council and was recently elected to serve as a board member of College Mentors for Kids.

He is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a degree in mathematics and education. He is currently in Marian University’s school leadership program.


Dennis E. Bland, 46
Center for Leadership Development

Dennis Bland is president of the Center for Leadership Development, an Indianapolis not-for-profit dedicated to empowering African American youth for academic, college and career success. Founded in 1977, CLD offers 11 curriculum-based youth development experiences that nurture more than 1,200 youth and parents per year.

Bland is just the second president in the organization’s 34-year history, having succeeded S. Henry Bundles. As a concept of the Lilly Endowment, CLD was created through Indiana University School of Business. The organization moved into its new Lilly CLD Achievement Center in 2009.

Bland was appointed by Gov. Frank O’Bannon to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and, in 2008, was reappointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels. In 2007, Gov. Daniels appointed Bland to serve on the Indiana Education Roundtable. In 2008, Bland received Ball State University’s President’s Medal of Distinction in recognition of his dedication to empowering African-American youth for academic achievement.

He received the Distinguished Alumni Service award for Humanities from DePauw University, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Broad Ripple High School and the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Black Nurses Association of Indianapolis.

Bland serves on the boards of the Tobias Center on Leadership, Indiana InternNet, Indiana University Law-Indianapolis Alumni Association, and Indianapolis Arts Council.

Prior to joining CLD, Bland spent nine years practicing law, specializing in medical malpractice litigation and insurance law. He earned a bachelors degree in economics from DePauw University and was awarded a juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis. He enjoys reading, exercising, traveling and photography.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Amos C. Brown III, 60
Director of Strategic Research,
Radio One

Besides being a manager for WTLC and its sister stations, Amos Brown currently hosts “Afternoons with Amos” on WTLC-AM. Through the show, Brown regularly focuses on education issues and improving educational opportunities for African-Americans. He has originated his program from local schools and universities to dramatize those issues.

For 17 years, Brown has written a weekly column in the Indianapolis Recorder where education has been one of the major topics. For the past year, Brown has served as a member of Indiana Education Roundtable.

During his career with WTLC-AM/FM, WHHH and WDNI-TV, Brown has written, produced and voiced numerous public service campaigns uplifting education. In the late 1970s, he did campaigns encouraging parents to look out for their kids’ report cards and in 1981 he did a campaign to encourage a peaceful response as Indianapolis embarked on court ordered busing.

For the last decade, Brown has produced and aired a public service campaign at the start of every school year encouraging parents to take their childrens’ education seriously, giving tips for parents and even giving out class-start dates for each area school district.

A graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. in radio, TV and film, Brown holds an honorary doctor of laws from Martin University. Brown has been honored with numerous local, state and national awards for broadcasting excellence and community service. Brown moved from Chicago to Indianapolis in 1975.


Sara B. Cobb, 53
Vice President for Education,
Lilly Endowment Inc.

In 1997, Sara Cobb joined the staff of Lilly Endowment as program director for higher education. In that position, she worked on a variety of programs, including the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, the college student-retention initiative, the Marion County private school and public education initiative and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund grant. This grant making, whether benefiting the youngest learners or nationally known research scientists, has touched every Indiana county and all 38 colleges and universities in the state.

Cobb was appointed to her current position in 1999 and now supervises the endowment’s broad range of grant-making activities in elementary, secondary and higher education to help improve Indiana’s educational attainment levels. Recent education grants have focused on bolstering areas of the Indiana economy that have promise for the future, such as life sciences. The endowment also supports Teach for America and the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows Program

Cobb came to the endowment from her position as associate director of planned giving at the Indiana University Foundation. She also served three years as the gift-planning officer at the University of Denver; as associate dean for advancement at San Joaquin College of Law in Fresno, Calif.; and as a program coordinator for corporate contributions at The Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An Indiana native, Cobb graduated from Purdue University in 1980 and earned her doctor of jurisprudence degree from the Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis in 1990.

She and her husband, David, are the parents of three children. She is a member of the board of trustees of Arthur Jordan Foundation, the governing board of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and a member of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Ready to Learn/Ready to Earn committee.


France A. Córdova, 64
Purdue University

France Córdova became Purdue’s 11th president in 2007. A world-renowned scientist, educator and administrator, she also has served as chancellor at the University of California at Riverside and chief scientist at NASA. During her tenure, Purdue’s rankings, research funding and student retention have reached all-time highs. Two World Food Prize winners and a Nobel laureate have been named among Purdue faculty. She created a Global Policy Research Institute, as well as numerous facilities and programs for students.

Córdova earned her undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University and for a short time wrote for the Los Angeles Times news services. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979.

Her career in astrophysics spans three decades. She worked as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory before moving on to NASA. At NASA, in addition to being chief scientist, she received the organization’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. Currently one of her astrophysics experiments is taking place on the European Space Agency’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission. She has taught astronomy, physics and astrophysics at both Pennsylvania State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Córdova has served on the National Science Board, the Fundamental Science Committee of the National Science and Technology Council and President’s National Medal of Science Committee. She has also been involved in the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences and other nonprofit agencies devoted to the promotion of science. She has just been elected chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and will begin serving in January 2012 for three years. She steps down at Purdue next summer.

Córdova is recipient of honorary doctorates from Loyola-Marymount University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.


Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., 62
State of Indiana

Among the many issues Mitch Daniels has tackled in his two terms as governor, his education reforms are among those that have re-carved the education landscape. A supporter of school choice, Daniels has promoted charter schools, a voucher system and limiting collective bargaining with teachers, among other reforms.

Daniels was elected as the 49th governor of the State of Indiana in 2004, in his first bid for any elected office; he was re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate for public office in the state’s history. Prior to running for governor, he was president of Eli Lilly and Co.’s North American Operations and CEO of the Hudson Institute. His roles in government include chief of staff to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to President George W. Bush.

Upon taking office as governor, Daniels created Indiana’s first OMB to look for efficiencies and cost savings, leading Indiana to its first balanced budget in eight years without a tax increase. Daniels also created the public-private Indiana Economic Development Corp. to help attract jobs to the state. He leased the Indiana Toll Road, generating $4 billion for reinvestment in the state’s transportation and infrastructure program.

Daniels was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Indiana as a youngster. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and his law degree from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Cheri, have four daughters.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


James M. Danko, 58
Butler University

The newest leader to emerge in Indiana’s education pantheon is James Danko, who took the reins at Butler this past August. Prior to joining Butler, he served at other top institutions, including Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and most recently, Villanova University.

During his six years as the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business, Danko helped the school achieve higher levels of excellence and national recognition while maintaining its traditional priorities. During his deanship, financial giving to the school more than quadrupled.

Prior to his academic career, Danko established and ran his own medical equipment company in Cleveland, his home city.

Danko is regularly invited to speak at conferences and is featured in the media as an expert on higher-education strategy, advancement and fundraising, curricular innovation and executive development. He served on the international board of the Graduate Management Admissions Council from 2009 to 2011. He also served on the board of the MBA Roundtable from 2000 until 2009 and on the Pennsylvania Economy League from 2005 until 2008.

Danko earned his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and his MBA from the University of Michigan. His wife, Bethanie, is a professional writer who is passionate about literacy and has volunteered extensively as an English teacher in international and domestic settings. Danko and his wife enjoy spending their free time visiting their college-aged daughters and other family members throughout New England and Ohio. They also enjoy reading, going to movies and traveling to the North Carolina coast with their rescue dog, Zooey.

Christel DeHaan

Christel DeHaan, 69
Christel House

In 1998, Christel DeHaan founded Christel House, a public charity with a mission to help children break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Christel House provides K-12 education, character development, nutrition, health care, a nurturing environment and parent support and empowerment programs through its learning centers. In addition to a center in Indianapolis (Christel House Academy, which opened its doors to students in 2002), there are Christel House programs in Mexico, Venezuela, India, South Africa and Serbia.

DeHaan is the co-founder of Resort Condominiums International, the company that pioneered timeshare vacation exchange. She was president, CEO and owner of RCI from 1989 until 1996, when the company was sold to HFS, now Wyndham Worldwide. DeHaan has been recognized as one of America’s 50 leading business owners and in 2005 was named a Living Legend of Indiana. In 2003, she was named Education Leader of the Year by the Geo Foundation. She is recipient of a slew of additional awards and honors, including two Sagamores of the Wabash. President Clinton also tapped her in 1995 to sit on the White House Conference Task Force on Travel and Tourism.

DeHaan sits on the boards of the American Pianists Association, the American Resort Development Association, One America Financial Partners, Spoleto Festival USA, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the World Tourism Organization. She supports arts and culture in central Indiana through the DeHaan Family Foundation.

German by birth, DeHaan was raised in the hardscrabble climate of post-war Germany. Educated in Germany and England, she holds honorary doctorates from Marian University, the University of Indianapolis and the University of Nottingham, England.


David Dresslar, 64
Executive Director, Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL),
University of Indianapolis

Dr. David Dresslar assumed his current role in 2008. He had previously served as a senior fellow for CELL, with primary responsibility for high school innovation and modern school development, including leading the Indiana New Tech High School Network and the Indiana Early College High School Network.

Before joining CELL in 2004, Dresslar served as superintendent of schools in Jenison, Mich., for 17 years. Prior to that, he held a variety of teaching and administrative positions, including superintendent for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis.

Furthering CELL’s reputation as a big-tent organization, Dresslar has positioned CELL to work with school corporations and charter schools, management and labor, Republicans and Democrats. CELL has been part of the advancement of educational reform in Indiana and recently launched the Hoosier Ed blog at hoosiered.com to provide a forum for posting reasoned positions in the educational debate.

A frequent author and speaker on school transformation and future trends in education, Dresslar is particularly interested in successful school reform methods and the use of technology to enhance classroom practice. Under his leadership, CELL has received numerous grants and contracts, including continued grant funding from Lilly Endowment and additional awards form such sources at Lumina Foundation for Education and the Indiana Department of Education.

A native Hoosier, Dresslar earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University. He is married with three grown children and four grandchildren.

Dresslar is a member of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Education Coalition and Common Goal Task Force. He chairs the education division of the Inspire Awards for College Mentors for Kids. He is a founding member of the Indiana University School Administrators Association and serves on the policy board of the I-STEM Resource Network.


Daniel J. Elsener, 58
Marian University

Daniel Elsener became the eighth president of Marian University in August 2001 and implemented dramatic changes. His ultimate goal is for Marian to become a great Catholic university.

In 2009, the school announced that it would change its name from Marian College to Marian University; the school’s enrollment has more than doubled; and average SAT scores of incoming freshmen have climbed by 90 points. Additionally, Elsener has launched an adult education program, an entrepreneurial group within the School of Business, the Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership, an online accelerated nursing partnership with St. Vincent and the school’s first football program. In January 2010, Elsener announced plans for Marian to build a college of osteopathic medicine.

Before joining Marian, Elsener served as a teacher; high school principal; superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas; secretary/executive director for stewardship and development and secretary/executive director, Office of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and most recently as executive director of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Project E Indiana.

Elsener earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nebraska. He has completed a variety of additional graduate level studies.

In addition to serving on the Marian University board of trustees, Elsener serves on the boards or executive committees of the Indiana State Board of Education, Gov. Mitch Daniel’s Education Roundtable, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, the Indiana Academy, Council of Presidents for the Mid-Central College Conference and others. He is committed to raising funds for disadvantaged students and to programs that advance literacy and academic achievement through better teacher and principal preparedness.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Jo Ann M. Gora, 66
Ball State University

Upon becoming Ball State University’s 14th president in 2004, Jo Ann Gora led the development of the university’s Education Redefined strategic plan, the cornerstone of which is making immersive learning opportunities available to every student.

During the first four years of the plan, more than 10,000 students completed more than 600 learning projects in 69 Indiana counties. Additionally, Gora has increased Ball State’s commitment to emerging media, campus diversity and developing nationally ranked academic programs.

Gora was one of the 12 charter signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in December 2006. In May 2009, she and other officials broke ground on the largest geothermal district energy system in the United States. Phase One, which will allow Ball State to shut down two coal-fired boilers, will be complete this fall. Ball State is the only public institution and one of only two in the state (the other is Notre Dame) listed in the “Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.”

Since Gora’s arrival on campus, approximately $418 million has gone into construction and renovation. In fall 2010, five new buildings or centers opened. Ball State’s programs have earned recognition, including the undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which has ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 every year since 1999.

Gora serves on the American Council on Education’s board of directors and on the Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents. She was a charter member of the New York Times/Chronicle of Higher Education cabinet. She chairs the Mid-American Conference Presidents’ Council and co-chairs the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. She serves on the boards of First Merchants Bank, Ball Memorial Hospital and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Gora came to Ball State from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She also worked for Old Dominion University in Virginia. Gora earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University.

Gora is an accomplished ballroom dancer, golfer, downhill skier and tennis player. Her husband, Roy Budd, is CEO of Energize-ECI, a regional economic development collaborative serving 10 counties. 


David Harris, 41
Founder and CEO,
The Mind Trust

Founded in 2006, the Mind Trust has attracted and invested more than $17 million to champion education innovation and reform in Indianapolis. The organization has supported the launch of 11 entrepreneurial education ventures, supported critical research and policy work designed to improve the climate for education innovation and garnered widespread attention from local and national media.

Before founding the Mind Trust, Harris served as Charter Schools Director for former Mayor Bart Peterson. In 2006, under Harris’ leadership, the city’s charter schools’ initiative received Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award. In 2007, Harris was selected, along with 24 other education leaders, for the Aspen Institute and New Schools Venture Fund’s Inaugural Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Program.

Harris is a recipient of College Summit’s Let Talent Shine Award as well as a Best and Brightest Award from Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. He was named to IBJ’s Forty Under 40 and was the inaugural winner of the St. Richard’s Episcopal School’s Eugene S. Pulliam Founders Medal for alumni who “demonstrate creative leadership and service that has benefitted society.”

Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University and his law degree from Indiana University School of Law. Harris sits on the boards of the Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation and Teach Plus and holds a seat on the State of Indiana’s Charter Schools Review Panel. Harris also serves on the advisory boards of Western Governors University Indiana and the local advisory board for Teach for America.

Harris and his wife, Marion, a teacher, have three children. When not working, he says, “I love to be with my family, including coaching my kids in sports, playing sports with them and playing games with them.” A special family tradition is time spent at Marion’s grandfather’s summer house on Martha’s Vineyard. Harris recently ran his first two half marathons and hopes to run a full marathon next year.


Peggy Hinckley, 59
Metropolitan School District of Warren Township

Dr. Peggy Hinckley earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University and her master’s degree in elementary education from Purdue University Calumet. She holds a specialist degree in education administration from Indiana State University and a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Loyola University of Chicago.

In all, Hinckley has been in education for 37 years, 27 of which have been as a superintendent. She previously served as superintendent of LaPorte and River Forest school districts and as an administrator and teacher in River Forest.

Hinckley has led the MSD of Warren Township since 2001.She has led the district’s efforts to close the achievement gap and in implementing the “8-step process,” restructuring school time schedules to allow for increased time for remediation, maintenance and enrichment; and resolving budget issues. The district received the 2005 Magna Award Citation from the American School Board Journal for its accomplishments in closing the achievement gap. The school board was featured in the National School Boards Association publication, “The Key Work of School Boards.”

Hinckley has received a number of awards, including Sen. Richard Lugar’s Education Patriot Award, 2010; Voyager Founders Award, 2009; Outstanding Educator Award, 1998; and Superintendent of the Year, 1995, from the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.

From Indiana, Hinckley is married and has one daughter. She enjoys scrapbooking, traveling, walking, reading and visiting with family and friends.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Teresa Lubbers, 60
Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Teresa Lubbers was appointed commissioner in 2009. For 17 years before that, Lubbers served as the Indiana state senator for District 30 and was chairwoman of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee. She also served as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures.

As a legislator, Lubbers led in the areas of education and economic development. She was an author of Indiana’s charter-school law; spearheaded efforts to ensure high academic standards and accountability; worked to reduce dropout rates; and promoted full-day kindergarten. She championed issues related to teacher preparation and effectiveness and served on the advisory board for the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.

In higher education, Lubbers has been active in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact for more than a decade and served as its chairwoman in 2006. She has served as commissioner for the Education Commission of the States and as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She currently serves on the executive committee and chairs the productivity committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers

Lubbers serves on the boards of the Indiana School for the Blind and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. She is co-founder and co-chair of the Richard Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. She has been a high school English teacher and served as public information officer for Mayor Richard Lugar and as his deputy press secretary when he became senator. She has also worked for Inc. Magazine and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. She operated Capitol Communications, a public relations and advertising firm for more than 15 years.

Her undergraduate degree is from Indiana University, and she holds a masters in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She and her husband, Mark, are the parents of two married daughters.


Janet McNeal, 57
Head of School,
Herron High School

With more than 35 years of expertise in education, Janet McNeal became part of Herron High School’s founding leadership team in 2006. “The opportunity to build a school from the philosophical foundation up was an opportunity to get it right,” said McNeal. “During my 23-year career as a teacher in the classroom, I came to understand the magic that occurs between students and teachers. The fundamental key to student success rests on building trust and forming positive relationships with teachers and administrators.”

Long before Herron opened its doors, McNeal began building relationships throughout the community. McNeal was integral to the process of hiring teachers, recruiting students and winning over parents to the idea of the school. Prior to Herron, McNeal was academic dean and honors director at Cathedral High School, where she grew Cathedral’s Advanced Placement program from four to 23 course offerings. Her experience at Cathedral helped her in the development of a rigorous curriculum at Herron, while her expertise in ancient literature guided the new school’s classical focus.

According to staff, McNeal “leads by creating consensus.” She has worked to create a system of supports to guide teachers and help students achieve academic success. Her efforts have paid off. In only its sixth year, Herron High School has received national recognition and accolades. The Indiana Department of Education has recognized the school for top achievement in Advanced Placement exams and for the most notable rate of growth in AP participation statewide. In 2010, Newsweek named Herron No. 26 on its list of Best American High Schools. Locally, the school has won Nuvo’s Cultural Vision Award and the Monumental Affairs Award.

In her scant spare time, McNeal enjoys reading and knitting. She and her husband, Claude McNeal (founder and former artistic director of the American Cabaret Theatre) have three children and two grandchildren. McNeal serves on the board of her husband’s company, CM Productions, and is an active member of her church.


Michael A. McRobbie, 60
Indiana University

Michael McRobbie became Indiana University’s 18th president in 2007 and is responsible for IU’s eight-campus system, which has a total budget of around $2.7 billion and more than 5,000 faculty, 11,000 staff and 100,000 students.

McRobbie has set out a vision for I.U. that stresses and reaffirms the university’s fundamental mission of excellence in research and teaching and has introduced six core principles of academic excellence. McRobbie initially joined IU in 1997 as the vice president for information technology.

In addition to serving as the school’s top administrator, McRobbie is a professor of computer science and holds appointments in a variety of other areas and departments on both the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses. He has been an active researcher in computer science and logic over his career and has been principal investigator on numerous large grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation. McRobbie has published a number of books and has served on editorial boards and conference committees.

In 1996 McRobbie, a native of Australia, co-founded the Asian Pacific Advanced Network, a high-performance computer network for the research and educational communities in the Asia-Pacific region. More recently, he was appointed as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, one of that nation’s highest honors, and elected an honorary member of the Australian Academy of Humanities.

McRobbie, who was born in Melbourne, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland and his doctorate from the Australian National University. He and his wife, Laurie Burns McRobbie, are avid readers, especially of history. They collect art and enthusiastically attend as many concerts, operas and plays as they can. Both enjoy working out as well.


Jamie P. Merisotis, 47
President and CEO,
Lumina Foundation for Education

Long a champion of the idea that higher education enhances both society and individuals, Jamie Merisotis has worked for decades to increase education opportunity among low-income, minority and other historically under-represented populations. Merisotis joined Lumina in January 2008. Lumina, founded in 2000, is the nation’s largest private foundation committed solely to enrolling and graduating more students from college.

Under Merisotis’ leadership, Lumina has embraced the goal of ensuring that by 2025, 60 percent of Americans have a high-quality two-year or four-year degree, up from the current level of 40 percent.

Before joining Lumina, Merisotis was founding president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, founded in 1993 in Washington, D.C. Prior to founding IHEP, he was executive director of the National Commission on Responsibilities for Financing Postsecondary Education, a bipartisan commission appointed by the President and Congress. He authored the commission’s final report, “Making College Affordable Again,” and many of its recommendation became national policy during the 1990s.

Merisotis has served as trustee and director for numerous organizations around the globe. He is a member of the board of trustees of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and previously served as president of the college’s alumni association. He also serves on the board of Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In Indiana, he serves on the boards of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and the Children’s Museum. He is vice president and president-elect of the Economic Club of Indiana.

Merisotis’ writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the(London)Times Higher Education Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Huffington Post, among others.

Merisotis, who grew up in Manchester, Conn., keeps a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare and a copy of his father’s World War II war log on his office desk. An admirer of educator Benjamin Mays, the mentor of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Merisotis and his wife, Colleen O’Brien, named their son Ben. They have a daughter, Elizabeth.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Patrick O’Donnell, 30
Executive Director,
Teach for America—Indianapolis

Patrick O’Donnell is passionate about equal-opportunity education. He says, “In our country today, a student’s zip code determines their educational opportunities and ultimately their life prospects. This is an injustice and a civil rights issue and coming out of college, I wanted to do something to solve this problem.”

Since graduating from Boston College and joining Teach for America in 2003, O’Donnell has been on a fast track to brighten education prospects for kids in low-income communities. He started as a corps member in Los Angeles, teaching seventh- and eighth-grade English and English as a second language.

In 2005, the Massachusetts native returned to the East Coast and became the TFA recruitment director in Boston. In 2007, he helped train incoming corps members as a school director at the Los Angeles summer training institute. He became executive director of TFA-Indy in 2010.

Founded in 2008, TFA-Indy has 110 corps members and reaches nearly 7,000 students in Indianapolis public schools. In addition, there are about 200 TFA alumni working in education and other fields where they continue to advocate for students in low-income communities and their families.

O’Donnell and his team have recruited six TFA alumni to work as school leaders in Indianapolis; and helped many alumni to take on leadership roles in public schools and organizations such as the Indiana Department of Education, the Mind Trust and Stand for Children. Next year, O’Donnell hopes to double the number of incoming corps members from 50 to 100.

In addition to his degree from Boston College, O’Donnell has an M.A. in secondary education from Loyola Marymount University and an M.B.A. and Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

O’Donnell is an avid runner and is currently training to run a few half marathons this year. He also enjoys travel with family friends and, in the past few years, has been to India, Egypt and Botswana.


Beverley J. Pitts, 69
University of Indianapolis

As president of the University of Indianapolis, Beverley Pitts oversees an institution with 5,250 students in Indianapolis and 600 students in international programs, including a branch campus in Athens, Greece. The university supports doctoral programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and clinical psychology.

Since her arrival in 2005, the university has become one of the first in the nation to establish a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program, and UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning has moved to the forefront of Indiana education reform efforts. Pitts has cemented the university’s strong relationship with Indianapolis, most recently through the announcement of a campaign to create an Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives, building on the university’s collection of mayoral papers spanning four administrations.

Before joining UIndy, Pitts was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ball State University and acting president of that school for one year. She served as a professor of journalism, director of the journalism graduate program and associate provost. In addition, Pitts has been a staff writer, researcher and communications consultant for the National Football League Players Association.

Pitts is recipient of the Torchbearer Award in Education, Outstanding Alumni awards from both Ball State and Anderson universities, the NFL Players Association Award of Excellence, a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany, the Ottoway Fellowship and an American Press Institute Fellowship.

Pitts serves on the boards of the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning, Professional Athletes Foundation, United Way of Central Indiana, The Mind Trust, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and Indiana Humanities Council. She is former president of the National Association for General and Liberal Studies. She also served on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.

She earned her doctorate in higher education and a master’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and her bachelor’s degree in English from Anderson University.

Pitts has two grown sons and daughters-in-law and two granddaughters. She enjoys reading, travel and sports and has been an Indianapolis Colts season ticket holder since the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984.


M. Karega Rausch, 34
Indianapolis Director,
Stand for Children

As the Indianapolis director at Stand for Children, a not-for-profit educational advocacy organization with affiliates in nine states, Karega Rausch is responsible for strategic planning, meeting community organizing and advocacy goals, supervising staff and helping to raise the annual budget for Indianapolis.

Before joining Stand earlier this year, Rausch was the charter schools director for both Mayor Greg Ballard and Mayor Bart Peterson. He was responsible for executing each mayor’s education initiatives, particularly the development, oversight, expansion and enhancement of the charter schools initiative.

Rausch earned a master’s degree in education from Indiana University—Bloomington and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePauw University. He is working on his doctorate at IU-Bloomington. He has taught high school social studies.

Rausch serves on a number of boards and committees, including the governing board of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, as an appointed member of the Indiana Charter Schools Board and on the education committee for the United Way of Central Indiana.

His professional experiences and research projects have focused on how to create and reform schools. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 works for professional publications and has made presentations on educational equity and accountability for national organizations, such as the American Educational Research Association, the University Council for Educational Administrators and the Harvard Civil Rights Project.

Born and raised in Denver, Rausch has spent most of his adult life in Indiana. He is married to a native Hoosier and is the father of two young children. He is actively engaged in his church’s youth ministry and is a huge sports fan. A self-described “nerd,” Rausch loves to read books on education policy and statistics for pleasure.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Derek Redelman, 46
Vice President, Education and Workforce Development Policy,
Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Derek Redelman has been involved with Indiana education policy since 1988 and has served in leadership roles with the Indiana Department of Education, Project E, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Hudson Institute, Indiana Non-Public Education Association and Sagamore Institute, among others. Beyond his position with the chamber, which he joined in 2007, he operates Redelman Consulting, where he consults on policy research, advocacy and association management in education fields.

Redelman was a member of the Tony Bennett campaign cabinet and transition committee, helped develop Bennett’s 2011 legislative package and continues to serve as an advisor to the Indiana Department of Education.

Redelman was an architect of Indiana’s 2001 charter school law. He originated the proposal giving sponsoring authority to the Indianapolis mayor, led lobbying efforts to pass the original law and has helped more than a dozen charter schools to get started. Redelman is also cofounder and vice chairman of School Choice Indiana, which led efforts to pass Indiana’s 2011 voucher law and 2009 scholarship tax credit.

Redelman serves on the state’s oversight board for workforce training programs and is a contributor, advisor or board member to more than a dozen education initiatives.

A lifelong resident of Indianapolis and a graduate of Indianapolis Public Schools, Redelman holds a B.A. from Miami University in Ohio and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Shellie, have three children and are active members of Christ the King Catholic Church. His favorite pastimes are now coaching CYO football and Little League softball and playing golf. He serves on the board of the Broad Ripple-Haverford Little League and is athletic director at Christ the King Catholic School. He serves on the Indianapolis Archdiocese Education Commission.


Marcus Robinson, 39
Chancellor and CEO,

As leader of EdPower, Marcus Robinson is also the principal of Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School, the much-touted charter school, serving students in grades six through 12. Tindley is the city’s first early-college high school, where the words “College or Die” are emblazoned on the wall by the entrance.

Students take college courses exclusively starting in 11th grade and, by the time they graduate, will have completed one to two years of transferable college credit.

EdPower was recently selected by the Indiana Board of Education to turn around Arlington High School. The organization aspires to a network of accelerated schools in central Indiana.

Tindley School has been recognized nationally for its high performance, including being named a Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education and receiving a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the United States Department of Education.

Before starting EdPower, Robinson spent several years in college admissions at both DePauw University and Hope College, where he assisted then led campus wide diversity efforts. In working with prospective students, Robinson realized that many were ill prepared to get into selective colleges. As a product of both inner-city and suburban schools, Robinson developed a deep sense of the wide chasm of educational opportunity that separates students in at-risk communities from their wealthier peers. Robinson is dedicated to making strides to close that gap.

Robinson is a native of St. Louis and holds degrees from DePauw University and Butler University. He is a member of the Urban Education Leaders Program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, where he is working toward his doctoral degree.

When not working, Robinson enjoys reading, sports and music and is affiliated with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and 100 Black Men. He and his wife, Daphne, live in Fishers with their two children.


Earline Rogers, 76
State Senator

A retired public school teacher, Earline Rogers was elected to the State Senate in 1990 and serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.

Rogers has been at the forefront of major education reform, including the A-Plus education reform package, the implementation of ISTEP, the state’s tough school accountability law, as well as legislation to create charter schools. She authored Jojo’s Law, which requires vehicles for 10 or more passengers used by schools, preschools and licensed day-care centers to meet the same safety requirements as school buses. In 2010, Rogers authored Heather’s Law, which requires the Department of Education to develop models for Indiana schools to better educate students about the dangers of dating violence.

Before becoming a state senator, Rogers served eight years in the House of Representatives and two years on the Gary Common Council, where she was the first woman elected president. She was the first African-American to serve as vice chairwoman of the Indiana State Democratic Party.

Beyond her legislative responsibilities, Rogers serves as a member of the Northwest Indiana Transportation Study Commission, the Shoreline Development Commission and the Indiana Lakes Management Work Group. She is a member of the board of directors for the Sojourner Truth House and president of the board of trustees for the Gary YWCA. She has been a member of St. Timothy Community Church for more than 50 years.

A life-long resident of Gary, Rogers taught in Gary public schools for 38 years and today works as an education consultant. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University—Bloomington. Rogers and her husband, Louis, a retired firefighter, have two grown children.


Nate Schnellenberger, 60
Executive Director,
Indiana State Teachers Association

Nate Schnellenberger has devoted his entire professional life to children and public education. He was a classroom teacher at Forest Park Junior-Senior High School in Ferdinand, Ind., where he taught science, physical education and drivers’ education. Before teaching at Forest Park, he taught four years at Orleans Junior-Senior High School in Orleans, Ind.

Schnellenberger assumed his current position with ISTA in 2007 and his term ends in 2013. He has served on the association’s board of directors for five years and as treasurer for six years. ISTA has 45,000 members. He also served for two years on the National Education Association board of directors and, in that position, sat in on ISTA board meetings.

A native of Indiana, Schnellenberger earned his bachelor’s degree from Oakland City College in Oakland, Ind., and his master’s degree from Indiana University. He and his wife, Beth, a retired business education teacher at Forest Park, have been married for 36 years. They have two grown children and enjoy traveling to spend time with family. He is an avid sports fan.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Anne Shane, 61
Division Chairwoman,
2012 Super Bowl

In addition to her current responsibilities with the Super Bowl, Anne Shane serves on the steering committee for the Mayoral Archive Project at the University of Indianapolis as well as co-chairing the campaign to raise funds for the Indiana University School of Medicine’s program in Eldoret, Kenya. Shane is a state trustee and chairwoman of the board of trustees of Ivy Tech Community College.

Shane formerly served as the vice president at both The Mind Trust, an organization focused on K-12 education reform, and at BioCrossroads, where she helped to strengthen K-12 math and science instruction through the development of the I-STEM Resource Network at Purdue University. Through BioCrossroads, she also worked with the University of Notre Dame to provide a stronger statewide focus on math and science Advance Placement.

Before joining BioCrossroads, Shane served as Community Development and Education consultant to the Lilly Endowment Inc. She also previously served as chief of staff under Mayor Steve Goldsmith.

Shane is former board chairwoman of Develop Indy and was the first board chairwoman of Teach for America/Indiana and a state trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Indiana. She holds many additional leadership and advisory positions on the boards of other Indiana-based organizations. She is a recipient of the Trailblazer award from the Indiana Commission on Women. She is former president of the Junior League of Indianapolis and a 2010 Indiana Academy appointee. She and her husband, David (below) were awarded the Thomas W. Moses Good Scout Award in 2011 for their signification contributions to Indianapolis.

Shane earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and her M.S. in education from Indiana University. She and her husband have two children, a son in Minneapolis and a daughter in Chicago.


David N. Shane, 63
President and CEO,
Lacy Diversified Industries

David Shane joined LDI in 1997 as vice president and corporate counsel and today manages the daily operations of the holding company and works with the leaders of its operating companies. Prior to joining LDI, Shane spent 20 years with Baker and Daniels.

In addition to law, Shane’s passion has always been education. In 2005 and 2006, he served as Gov. Mitch Daniels’ senior policy advisor for education and employment, working in the areas of workforce development, higher education and K-12 education. He was appointed to his current position, as a member of the Indiana State Board of Education, in 2006. In 1996 and 1997, he was president of Community Leaders Allied for Superior Schools.

In addition to his membership on the Indiana State Board of Education, Shane serves as a trustee of Wabash College, on the board of advisors for the Center of Inquiry and Liberal Arts, the TechPoint Foundation and on education committees for both the Indiana and the Greater Indianapolis Chambers of Commerce. He also sits on the board of directors of The Mind Trust and on the board of trustees for Wabash College.

Shane sits on the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership board and executive committee; the Capital Improvement board of managers; and the board of governors of the Economic Club of Indiana.

In the past, he has served on the Indianapolis Mayor’s Charter School Board, the K-12 Subcommittee, Indiana Government Efficiency Commission, the Butler University Business Accelerator board of advisors and Park Tudor School’s board of trustees.

Shane is a 1970 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wabash College and a 1975 Order of the Coif graduate of Duke University School of Law. He and has wife Anne, who is profiled above, have two grown children. Shane is an avid reader.


Russ Simnick, 41
Indiana Public Charter Schools Association

Russ Simnick played a key advocacy role during the 2011 legislative session in the passage of House Bill 1002, a major reform of the state’s charter school law, which resulted in Indiana having one of the strongest charter school policy environments in the country.

Simnick has been president of the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association since 2008 and works with schools, legislators, community leaders and others to create more high quality education options for families and students.

Currently, Simnick is the vice chairman of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools State Leader’s Council and will begin a two-year term as national chairman in 2012. He also serves on the boards of School Choice Indiana, Rose-Hulman University—Indianapolis Board of Associates and Youth Enhancement Training Initiative, an organization that operates an orphanage in Nepal.

He was named to IBJ’s Forty Under 40, was a Junior Achievement Best and Brightest finalist and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Triton Central High School. In 2011, he was listed on the HoweyReport’s list of Statehouse Power Brokers.

Simnick published The Irvington, a community newspaper and co-authored “Irvington Haunts” and “More Irvington Haunts.”

Simnick earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, his master’s degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan University and is a candidate in the Teaching and Learning Education Leadership Academy at Marian University. He enjoys international travel, motorcycles, samurai movies, camping, the Chicago Cubs and, most of all, spending time with his daughters, Clare and Chloe.

In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere.


Thomas J. Snyder, 67
Ivy Tech Community College

Appointed in 2007, Tom Snyder leads the strategic, academic and operational processes of Indiana’s largest college, serving more than 200,000 students annually at 23 campuses and 100 learning centers. During his tenure, he has led the college through a 10-year accreditation process and introduced a comprehensive “accelerating greatness” strategic plan that combines the expertise of statewide staff and student leadership teams to develop, track and achieve performance and service goals, optimize resources and ensure students achieve educational benchmarks. Ivy Tech’s enrollment has doubled under his leadership and the school’s bond rating has been upgraded by both Standard and Poor’s and Fitch.

Before joining Ivy Tech, Snyder was chairman of Flagship Energy Systems in Anderson and before that, president and CEO of Delco Remy International Inc. He began his career at General Motors Corp., advancing through executive positions in engineering, marketing and sales for automotive batteries, magnetics and electrical vehicle components.

Snyder graduated from Kettering University, formerly General Motors Institute, in 1967 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University. He served six years in the United States Air Force.

Snyder has been recognized for his efforts at Ivy Tech in a variety of ways, including a feature in The Chronicle of Higher Education listing him as one of seven community college presidents making a difference and with a 2009 Freedom Award, presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Indiana Holiday Commission.

Snyder and his wife, Bobbette, have four children and 10 grandchildren. Snyder serves on the boards of the Paramount Theatre in Anderson and the Boy Scouts of America.


Bill Stanczykiewicz, 46
President and CEO,
Indiana Youth Institute

Bill Stanczykiewicz has served as president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute for 13 years. Founded in 1988, IYI is a fount of research information, training and other programs that support organizations in Indiana that serve youth.

Prior to joining IYI, Stanczykiewicz served under Mayor Steve Goldsmith as the policy director for community renewal.

Stanczykiewicz, who is from Chicago, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1985 and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University, where he was named “Most Outstanding Student” in his graduating class.

From 1994 until 1997, Stanczykiewicz worked for U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, first as his deputy press secretary and then as legislative aid on the Subcommittee on Children and Families. His work in public administration also includes serving on Indiana’s Education Roundtable and being elected to serve on his local school board in Boone County.

Following graduation from Northwestern, Stanczykiewicz moved to Anderson to become a radio sportscaster, launching what would be a nearly 10-year media career. During that time, he was named Indiana Sportscaster of the Year.

Gov. Frank O’Bannon named Stanczykiewicz a Distinguished Hoosier, and the Indiana State Teachers Association named him a Friend of Education. For his work in education, the Rockefeller Foundation cited him as a Next Generation Leader. On behalf of IYI, he makes regular radio and television appearances around the state and country, through appearance on programs including ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Stanczykiewicz and his wife, Carmen, have four children. He enjoys fishing and playing little league and softball with his children.


Matthew Tully, 42
Indianapolis Star
Matthew Tully has been a columnist for the Indianapolis Star for six years, writing a column three days a week that is as likely to be told from the inside of a city school or crime scene, as from the Statehouse or City-County Building.

His columns in recent years have focused intently on the issue of education and the impact of failing schools on the city’s children and the city itself. Most notably, Tully in 2009 and 2010 wrote a yearlong, 34-part series on Manual High School, a struggling school on the south side. The series has been credited with helping to heighten the attention being paid to education issues by policy makers and residents.

Tully grew up in northwest Indiana and graduated from Indiana University’s Bloomington campus in 1992 with a degree in journalism. After graduating, he spent five years as a reporter for the (Gary) Post-Tribune, covering everything from a serial killer to four sessions of the Indiana General Assembly. Next, Tully worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly. He covered events such as President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial and the actions in Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. Tully returned to Indiana in 2002 to cover politics for the Star and was named the paper’s political columnist in 2005.

He has won numerous awards during his time at the Star. He was named Indiana Journalist of the Year in 2008 and has been awarded the Indiana Journalism Award by Ball State University. In 2010, he won the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Tully’s commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Education Week, and he has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, CNN and numerous other national media outlets.

In early 2012, IU Press will publish Tully’s book on the year he spent at Manual High School, “Searching for Hope: Life at a Failing School in the Heart of America.”

Tully is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and Elvis Presley. He enjoys running, traveling, hiking and history.


Eugene G. White, 63
Indianapolis Public Schools

Eugene White has been an educational pioneer in Indiana and has racked up a number of firsts for African-Americans. He was the first African-American high school principal in Fort Wayne Community Schools and in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township’s North Central High School. He was the first African-American superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township.

He was also the first African-American president of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. He is the only person to win the Indiana Superintendent of the Year honor two times (2002 and 2009) for two different school districts, one suburban and one urban.

White is past president of the American Association of School Administrators; past president of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges; past president of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents; past president of Ball State University’s Teachers College Alumni Association; member of the board and executive committee of the United Way of Central Indiana; member of the executive committee of the Council of Great City Schools; member of the advisory board of St. Vincent’s Hospital; and an officer and member of other community organizations, including the planning committee for the 2012 Super Bowl.

White is the recipient of numerous honors, among them: Distinguished Hoosier, awarded by Gov. Mitch Daniels; Distinguished Alumnus of Ball State University in 2005; Alabama A&M University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001; 2006 Distinguished Service Award by the Modern Red Schoolhouse Institute.

White earned his bachelor of science from Alabama A&M; his masters degree from the University of Tennessee, and his Ed.S and his Ed.D from Ball State University. White grew up in Phenix City, Ala., and came to Indiana for employment, starting in Fort Wayne. He and his wife, Jetties, have a son and a daughter.•

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