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Press Release

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

State Board of Education Names John Winn as Interim Education Commissioner

~ Former educator and longtime education advocate to lead the Department of Education during transition period ~

TALLAHASSEE – The State Board of Education today unanimously approved John Winn to serve as Interim Education Commissioner as the Board conducts its search for Florida’s next Commissioner of Education. Winn previously served as Florida’s Commissioner of Education from 2004 through 2007, and has extensive experience as an educator. He will begin the interim post effective June 11, 2011.

“Florida is currently engaged in a multitude of critical education reform efforts, such as Race to the Top and the transition to Common Core standards and assessments, that must continue to be implemented effectively as we work to identify our next Commissioner of Education,” said State Board of Education Chair Kathleen Shanahan. “John Winn brings the experience, intelligence and passion needed to successfully guide us through this transition period, and I am pleased that he has agreed to serve in this important role.”

John Winn has a distinguished career in education policy and a lifelong commitment to quality education for all students. An educator for 35 years, he began his career as an elementary and middle school teacher. He joined the Florida Department of Education in 1984 and served in several responsible positions including Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff before being appointed to Commissioner of Education in August 2004. In February 2007 he retired from the Commissioner of Education position and joined the National Mathematics and Science Initiative in March 2007 as the Chief Program Officer for Advance Placement (AP) and pre-AP courses.

“I have known John for a long time and consider his expertise in Florida’s education system, and our efforts to improve it, to be profound,” said State Board of Education member Mark Kaplan. “I think he is the perfect choice to provide the leadership that Florida needs during this important transition period.”

The Board also discussed the transition team that would assist Interim Commissioner Winn in his duties. That team is as follows:

  • Dr. Mike Grego, Interim Chancellor for PreK-12
  • John Newman, Senior Advisor on Legislative Policy and Budget
  • Loretta Costin, Chancellor, Career and Adult Education
  • Dr. Will Holcombe, Chancellor of the Florida College System
  • Kris Ellington, Deputy Commissioner for Accountability, Research, and Measurement
  • Linda Champion, Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Operations
  • Mike Kooi, Executive Director for Independent Education and Parental Choice
  • Tom Butler, Director of the Office of Communications and External Affairs