No teachers named on Holcomb's commission to study teacher pay

Posted: 12:16 PM, Feb 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-13 12:16:15-05
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INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb put together a list of seven people to make up his commission to study the state’s teacher pay problem and come up with solutions, but none of those seven people are teachers.

The members of the Next Level Teacher Commission include a chairman and CEO of a bank, the COO of a family services organization, and a vice president of K-12 initiatives at Ivy Tech.

One teacher is on the advisory council, which will support the main members of the commission. She is Emily Holt, a math teacher at Westfield High School.

Teresa Meredith, the president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said in a statement she was disappointed no teachers were named on the commission, but appreciated the inclusion on the advisory council.

“As we call on lawmakers to take immediate action on increasing teacher pay this legislative session, we are hopeful that the commission and its advisory council will find the long-term solutions needed to make Indiana a regional leader in teacher compensation once again,” she said.

Rachel Hoffmeyer, Holcomb’s press secretary, said the members of the commission were chosen for their “leadership, love of state and open-minded attitude about K-12 education.”

Hoffmeyer also said the advisory council will work with the commission and be a source of input. They will participate in the meetings, she said.

The commission is supposed to determine what constitutes competitive teacher pay in Indiana and provide recommendations on how to get there. It will give its recommendations to the governor and the Indiana General Assembly before the 2021 legislative session, which will be the next budget session.

The full list of commission members and advisory members is below:

Commission Members

  • Commission Chairman Michael L. Smith (Indianapolis), former chairman, president and CEO of Mayflower Group and former executive vice president and CFO of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Jená Bellezza (Gary), COO of Indiana Parenting Institute
  • Tom Easterday (Zionsville), former senior executive vice president, secretary & chief legal officer for Subaru of Indiana Automotive
  • Marianne Glick (Indianapolis), chair of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Family Foundation and board member of the Gene B. Glick Company
  • Bob Jones (Evansville), chairman and CEO of Old National Bancorp
  • Katie Jenner (Madison), vice president of K-12 initiatives and statewide partnerships at Ivy Tech
  • Nancy Jordan (Fort Wayne), senior vice president of Lincoln Financial Group

Advisory Council Members

  • Melissa Ambre (Noblesville), director of the Office of School Finance for the Indiana Department of Education
  • Lee Ann Kwiatkowski (Greenwood), senior education advisor to Gov. Holcomb
  • Emily Holt (Arcadia), math teacher at Westfield High School
  • Dan Holub (Indianapolis), executive director of the Indiana State Teachers Association
  • Denise Seger (Granger), chief human resource officer for Concord Community Schools in Elkhart
  • David Smith (Evansville), superintendent of Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation