IPS names Lewis Ferebee as new superintendent

Ferebee comes from district similar to IPS

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners named Lewis Ferebee as the district's new superintendent Monday.

Ferebee, 39, the youngest of three candidates, said the school system he comes from in Durham, N.C. is very similar to IPS.

He made $70 million in cuts there and successfully turned around the under-performing schools.

Officials said Ferebee understands the challenges of an urban district with low-income students and diminishing resources.

Parents understand the challenges, but they said they deserve a good education nonetheless.

"We don't have as much money as some of the other schools. We need to pay attention to areas like this because all kids, no matter what their background is, what their parents' background is, we wish all kids get a better education," said parent Joseph Collins.

Officials from the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce agreed.

"We need to certainly make drastic improvements in IPS. When I look at Indy, it is really the engine for the region and the state. They got to get it right," said chairman John Thompson.

Ferebee issued a statement saying he was honored to be selected by the board. 

"Together I believe we can remarkably enhance the educational opportunities to which our children avail themselves," Ferebee said.

Mayor Ballard issued a statement to congratulate Ferebee on his appointment.

"Improving the educational outcome of Indianapolis children is one of the top issues facing our city. My team and I are eager to collaborate with Dr. Ferebee and IPS as we work together toward this outcome together," Ballard said.

Thomas Darden and Millard House were the other two candidates.

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Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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