|For Immediate Release
September 20, 2004
Editors Interim Superintendent Randy Dunn will
be available to media today, Monday, September 20 at 1:00
p.m. in the ISBE Board Room, 4th Floor, 100 N. First Street,
Springfield. The call-in number will be 1-866-297-6315.
B-Roll and video details will be sent shortly.
Downstate Educator Appointed Interim Superintendent
SPRINGFIELD The Illinois State Board of Education
today appointed Dr. Randy J. Dunn of Chester, Illinois
to the position of Interim State Superintendent of Education.
Dunn, a former K-12 educator and faculty member at Southern
Illinois University at Carbondale, was appointed at the
Boards first meeting since Gov. Blagojevich appointed
seven new members last week. Dunn was the Governors
proposed candidate for the position.
Today is a new day at the Illinois State Board
of Education, said Jesse Ruiz, Chairman of the Illinois
State Board of Education. We are excited about our
new roles as board members and we are pleased that Dr.
Dunn has accepted the opportunity to join us as we move
Illinois education in a new direction. As an educator
with experience on many levels, Dr. Dunn is the right
person to step in immediately to manage the agency.
Dunn began his education career as a fourth grade teacher
in Gibson City, Illinois. He later moved into administration,
serving as principal for two schools in central Illinois
and later as Superintendent of the Argenta-Oreana Community
and Chester Community School Districts. Dunns education
background includes a Bachelors Degree in Elementary
Education with an emphasis on Reading and a Masters
in Education. He began his studies in broadcasting and
later switched to elementary education. He has made teaching
children to read a focus of his career ever since. Dunn
is on leave from SIUC as Chair of the department of Education
Administration and Higher Education.
Education is my passion, said Dunn. I
cant think of a better way or a better time to serve
Illinois school children in yet another capacity. This
is a historic time for education in Illinois. I look forward
to working with the Governor Blagojevich, the new board
and agency staff.
This was the first Illinois State Board of Education
(ISBE) meeting for Ruiz, Dr. Andrea Brown of Goreville,
Dr. David Fields of Danville, Ed Geppert of Belleville,
Dr. Vinni Hall of Chicago, Brenda Holmes of Springfield
and Dr. Chris Ward of Lockport. The seven new members
were joined by the two continuing members on the state
board, Dean Clark of Glen Ellyn and Joyce Karon of Barrington.
The new members appointments require confirmation
by the Illinois Senate, but statute allows them to begin
After accepting the position, Dr. Dunn made several key
staffing appointments. Dunn appointed Mark Kolaz to the
position of Assistant Superintendent for Operations. Kolaz
has over 20 years of state government experience. More
recently he served as Senior Advisor to Governor Blagojevich
for Legislative Affairs and as Deputy Director of Agriculture.
In the capacity of Deputy Director of Agriculture, Kolaz
managed the Illinois State Fair.
Dunn appointed Jonathan Furr to the position of General
Counsel. Furr has served as the General Counsel for the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources since April 2003.
Prior to that, Furr worked in the Governmental Practice
Group at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw in Chicago.
The changes at ISBE follow the Governors signing
of Senate Bill 3000 last week. The new law allowed the
Governor to appoint seven new members to the State Board
and also instills new accountability at the agency. At
the Governors direction the new board and interim
superintendent will focus its attention on four areas.
The board will immediately:
- develop ways to reduce the backlog in teacher certification
and streamline the certification process;
- improve collaboration with local districts, taking
steps to reduce the number of rules and regulations
imposed on local districts;
- work with schools to help them save money; and,
- develop innovative strategies to improve Illinois