INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced on Thursday, Nov. 19, that Dr. Katie Jenner will serve as Indiana’s first secretary of education.
Jenner will officially take office Jan. 11 after Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick leaves office.
Her arrival in a new role marks a new era for Indiana.
Under new state law, the state schools chief was taken off of the ballot in November and is now appointed by the governor.
“This is an incredibly important time for education in Indiana,” said Holcomb. “Dr. Katie Jenner has focused her entire career on investing in students, teachers and staff, and she will continue to build the relationships needed to move our state forward in constructive ways. As Indiana’s Secretary of Education, Dr. Jenner’s certification, work at nearly every level of education and her remarkable depth of experience will lead our state into this exciting next chapter.”
Jenner currently serves as Holcomb’s senior education advisor. Her first position in K-12 public education was a career and technical education teacher in Kentucky beginning in 2005. From 2009 to 2018, she worked for Madison Consolidated Schools in Indiana as a school administrator and district administrator. In 2018, she joined Ivy Tech Community College as vice-president of K-12 Initiatives and Statewide Partnerships, where she built statewide college strategies among K-12 schools, career centers and Ivy Tech.
Jenner earned her undergraduate degree from Transylvania University, her master’s degree in education from the University of Kentucky, an MBA from Indiana State University and her doctorate of education from the University of Kentucky.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to further serve the people of Indiana,” said Dr. Jenner. “My priorities are to ensure high-quality education for all students and families and to provide solution-focused support for our teachers and educational leaders. We have a great opportunity ahead in Indiana, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and work hand in hand with students, educators and stakeholder partners across the state.”
Initially, in her new role as secretary of education, Jenner will focus on the following:
Support Schools Through and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
Provide successful education experiences so student learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic and improves throughout the recovery.
Prove All Students Personalized Pathways to Prepare Them for Lifelong Success
Lead a top-notch team that supports schools as they provide opportunities for students as they prepare for their next step in education, training, military service or direct employment. Close collaboration will be built with local communities, families and stakeholders across Indiana’s full education continuum — early learning (pre-K), K-12, postsecondary and the workforce.
Champion the Educator Profession
Attract talented Hoosiers to the teaching profession by working closely with Indiana’s schools of education, K-12 school leaders, local communities and Indiana employers to make teaching a more diverse, competitive and fulfilling profession. Great teachers help ensure the long-term health, success and economic security of the state.
Cultivate a Future-Ready Education System
Maximize the Department of Education’s support and service to schools by creating a dynamic, flexible and data-driven network that supports learning-focused innovation, informs teachers’ professional development and equips students with the skills needed to succeed in the future.