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August 17, 2004

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

State Board of Education Appoints New Commissioner
Chief of Staff John Winn, a lifelong educator, tapped to head K-20 Department of Education

TALLAHASSEE — The State Board of Education today appointed Chief of Staff John Winn to head Florida's K-20 Department of Education. Commissioner Jim Horne, who announced his resignation last week, will step down August 31, 2004. Winn will assume the role of Commissioner effective September 1, 2004.

"John Winn has built a solid reputation and earned the respect of the education community, policy makers, and department staff," said Board Chairman Phil Handy. "He brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to student learning that will serve the people of Florida well."

The Commissioner reports directly to the State Board of Education. Responsibilities include serving as the chief executive of Florida's K-20 education system and providing guidance and direction for more than 2,000 employees of the Department of Education.

Winn has served as Chief of Staff at the Department since 2003, after serving as Deputy Commissioner for Accountability, Research and Measurement. Having served in various policy capacities at the Department of Education, he also has significant experience in the field and served as Governor Bush's Education Policy Coordinator.

"Under John Winn's tenure at the Department of Education, Florida's data collection and accountability efforts have become a national model," said Governor Bush. "His devotion to improving the quality of education for all students has been the guiding principle of his career, and I have full confidence in his ability to lead."

Winn, who began his career teaching in an all African-American elementary school prior to desegregation, has taught at the middle school, as well as the community college levels. He began his career at the Department of Education in 1984 as a Program Specialist.

"John understands the challenges Florida's teachers face in the classroom and the importance of increasing access to education," said Commissioner Horne. "By keeping the focus on each individual student and adhering to the belief that all children can learn, John will continue to move the Department of Education and Florida in the right direction."

Winn expressed his appreciation for Commissioner Horne's leadership and the opportunities afforded him under Horne's tenure. Winn thanked the Board for their confidence in him, vowed to spare no effort in helping devastated school districts and colleges rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Charley, and reiterated his commitment to providing a quality education to all Florida's students.

"I look forward to serving educators, students, and parents with thoughtfulness and conviction," said Winn. "This is an awesome responsibility and a unique opportunity to advance the single most important issue facing Florida."

A detailed bio for John Winn is attached.

View John Winn's Resume

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