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Indiana State Board of Education

SBOE > Board Members Board Members

Member Representing
 Superintendent Glenda Ritz  Chair
 Tony Walker  1st District
 Dr. David Freitas  2nd District
 Cari Whicker  3rd District
 Sarah O'Brien  4th District
 Andrea Neal  5th District
 Dr. Brad Oliver  6th District
 Daniel Elsener  7th District, Secretary
 B.J. Watts  8th District
 Troy Albert  9th District
 Gordon Hendry  At-Large

Troy Albert

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Troy Albert serves as principal for the Henryville Jr. Sr. High School. He received his BS from Manchester College (Major Secondary Education / Physical Education and Mathematics 5 -12 Endorsement), and earned his MS in Secondary Administration from IPFW. He taught math and physical education for 13 years before entering into administration, and served a principal at Fremont High School and Westview High School prior to arriving at Henryville. Following the devastating impact of the March 2012 tornado, Albert reorganized a new school, schedule and norm for his 550 students to finish the school year in nearby Scottsburg. For his efforts, he was named District 12 High School Principal of the Year and a Health Care Hero by the Indiana Emergency Medical Services for Children. He is a member of the IASP Principal Leadership Committee and Selection Committee IASP for Principal of Year (2013), and was appointed to the SBOE by Governor Mike Pence in June 2013 to represent Congressional District 9.

Daniel Elsener

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Dan Elsener serves as president of Marian University, a 2500-student liberal arts campus in Indianapolis. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nebraska, and other graduate level work from Kansas State University, Washburn University, Wichita State University, Kansas Newman University, St. Meinrad, and various other programs continuing education programs. Prior to his role at Marian University, Elsener served as a teacher; high school principal; superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas; Secretary /Executive Director for Stewardship and Development and Secretary/ Executive Director, Office of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and most recently as Executive Director of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Project E Indiana. In addition to serving on the Marian University Board of Trustees, Elsener serves as a member of the Indiana State Board of Education, Governor’s Education Roundtable, Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Chair of Indiana Chamber K-12 Education Policy Committee, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, Vice Chairman of St. Vincent Health Board of Directors, Indianapolis Power & Light Company Advisory Board, The Indiana Academy, Council of Presidents for the Crossroads League, Independent Colleges of Indiana Board and Executive and Investment Committees, and School Choice Indiana.

Dr. David Freitas

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Dr. David Freitas was appointed to the SBOE in June 2013 by Governor Mike Pence to represent the Second Congressional District. Freitas earned an Ed.D. and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Boston University; B.M.Ed. from Boston Conservatory of Music and has also completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University Law School. Dr. Freitas has served higher education for more than 30 years including roles as University Vice Provost, Dean of Education at four universities, and Dean of the Schools of Business, Fine Arts, and Technology. In his 25 years as a Tenured Full Professor of Educational Leadership, he has prepared and mentored more than 1000 school principals, superintendents, and other educational leaders. Dr. Freitas has held professional licensure for K-12 teaching, elementary principal, secondary principal and superintendent, and served as a member of the State of Illinois Teacher Certification Board; as an elected city school board member in Massachusetts; consultant to the U.S. Department of Education; President of Illinois Association of Teacher Education; and President of Commonwealth of Massachusetts Teacher Education Consortium. He has been an invited speaker on a variety of education topics in virtually every large city in the U.S. as well as ten countries throughout the world.

Gordon Hendry

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Gordon Hendry is the Midwest regional leader of CBRE's Public Institutions and Education Solutions Group, where he provides real estate advisory services to state and local governments and educational institutions. Prior to joining CBRE, Hendry led the Indy Partnership, a 10-county regional economic development organization based in Indianapolis, where his efforts culminated in Medco Health Solution’s announcement in December 2007 to invest over $190 million and create over 1,300 new jobs in the region. The Indy Partnership was named as one of the top 10 economic development groups in the country by Site Selection magazine during his tenure. Prior to his appointment to the Indy Partnership, Hendry served as a top adviser to Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson where he spent almost three years as the City’s Director of Economic Development. Before joining the Mayor’s Office, he was a corporate attorney for Ice Miller, one of Indiana’s largest law firms.

Hendry received a JD from The George Washington University Law School and a BA, with Distinction, in Economics and Political Science from Indiana University, Bloomington (Phi Beta Kappa). He also attended the London School of Economics. In addition to the Indiana State Board of Education as an at-large appointee, he serves on the board of directors of La Plaza, a Central Indiana organization with the mission of preparing Latino students for educational success and connecting Latino families to health and social services, and the Indiana University Hutton Honors College Alumni Association. His prior appointments include serving on the board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Indiana. He is a member of the Indiana Bar and holds an Indiana Real Estate Broker’s license.

Hendry and his wife live in downtown Indianapolis with their two young children, the oldest of whom attends the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Andrea Neal

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Andrea Neal is a history and English teacher at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis and adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. She writes a column, Indiana at 200, that examines the top 100 events, figures and ideas in Indiana history, leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Until 2003, Neal was a journalist, most recently at The Indianapolis Star where she served as reporter, assistant city editor, editorial writer and editorial page editor. In 1998, she was awarded First Prize in the National Awards for Education Reporting. Before she joined The Star in 1989, she worked eight years for United Press International, covering the Indiana Statehouse and the U.S. Supreme Court. Neal graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1980. She serves on the boards of directors of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Young Voices of Indianapolis and the Society of Indiana Pioneers. She was appointed to represent the Fifth Congressional District by Governor Mike Pence in June 2013.

Sarah O'Brien

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Sarah O’Brien is a first and second grade teacher at River Birch Elementary School in Avon. She received both her BS in Elementary Education and her MS in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education from Indiana University, Bloomington. She was appointed to the SBOE by Gov. Daniels to represent the fourth congressional district in 2009. She has served as co-chair of the River Birch Reading Leadership Team and represented River Birch as a TELL (The Educator Learning Link) Ambassador. Previously, while teaching first and second grade at White Oak Elementary School, Avon, O’Brien created a First Grade ‘Reading Café’ program to celebrate family literacy, through an Avon Education Foundation Grant. She has also served on the Professional Development Committee (co-chair), Data and Assessment Committee, Science/Health and Math Textbook Adoption Committee, White Oak Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Team, Student Assessment Subcommittee, and organized the pilot year of a parent involvement program utilizing members of her school community to mentor and provide one-on-one support for struggling students. O’Brien was named Teacher of the Year at River Birch Elementary in 2010 – 2011 and Teacher of the Year at White Oak Elementary in 2004 – 2005. She was appointed by Governor Daniels to the SBOE to represent the Fourth Congressional District.

Dr. Brad Oliver

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Dr. Brad Oliver serves as Dean of the School of Educational Leadership and Education Unit Head at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). He received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Marshall University, and earned an M.A.E., Education Administration, Ed.S, Educational Leadership and Ed.D. Educational Leadership (Dual Cognates: Educational Administration, Curriculum & Instruction) from Ball State University. Dr. Oliver has served as an educational leader in Indiana for more than twenty years. He is a former elementary teacher, elementary principal and central office administrator. In 2010, Oliver was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to the Indiana Professional Standards Advisory Board where he was involved in setting current standards for teacher preparation in Indiana. More recently, he was appointed by Governor Mike Pence in June 2013 to the Indiana State Board of Education, where he currently represents Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz

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Glenda Ritz has been an educator since 1978, and until her election in 2012 as the Superintendent of Public Instruction, she served as a Library Media Specialist at Crooked Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Superintendent Ritz is a National Board Certified Teacher. She holds two masters degrees with licenses to teach elementary, middle and high school in the areas of special education, general education, and library science.

Tony Walker

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Tony Walker serves as the Managing Attorney of The Walker Law Group, P.C. with offices in Chicago, Indianapolis, Gary, and Michigan City. His practice includes representing churches, schools, and government agencies. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst , he received a B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy, studied political science at Clark Atlanta University, and received a J.D. from DePaul University. Walker clerked for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert D. Rucker, then of the Indiana Court of Appeals, and later entered private practice with the firm Meyer, Lyles & Godshalk. He also served as Legislative Counsel to the late Congresswoman Julia Carson; Chief of Staff of Radio One, Inc., a national broadcasting company targeting urban listeners, and Chief Operating Officer and Vice- President of Business and Legal Affairs for its gospel recording label, Music One. He produced more than ten radio programs on WLTH Radio in Northwest Indiana where he also hosted a weekly public affairs talk show for seven years.

In 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court appointed him to the Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Commission, and in 2011 Governor Daniels appointed him to represent the First Congressional District on the SBOE. Walker recently served as president of the board of trustees of the Gary Public Library and is a past chairman of the board for the Urban League of Northwest Indiana. He belongs to various professional organizations including the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, LaPorte County Bar Association and is a former board member of the Lake County (Indiana) Bar Association.

B.J. Watts

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B. J. Watts is a 6th Grade Social Studies and Science Teacher at Vogel Elementary in Evansville. Originally from Scottsburg, he is a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana where he was a member of the basketball team, and received his M.Ed. from Indiana Wesleyan University. Watts is a member of the Evansville Teachers Association (ETA), Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), and a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Governmental Affairs Committee. He currently serves as the Assistant Girls Track Coach at Evansville F. J. Reitz High School, and is a former member of both the Mayor’s Education Round Table (2004-2010) and the Evansville City Council from 2001-2012, including five and a half years as council president. Watts is also an Evansville business owner, and a Licensed Insurance Broker with Freeman, Will & Niemeier, Inc. He was appointed to the SBOE by Gov. Mike Pence in June 2013 to represent Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District.

Cari Whicker

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Cari Whicker is a 6th grade teacher of language arts and social studies at Riverview Middle School in Huntington. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Elementary Education and received her M.Ed. from Western Governors University in 2013 in Learning and Technology. Whicker is currently a member of Indiana State Reading Association (ISRA), International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Indiana State Teachers Association and is a Gurian Certified (Single-Gender) Trainer/Pilot Teacher. She previously served six years as a board member for the Teacher Retirement Fund Board of Trustees/PERF/INPRS, and has been active in a number of local and state-level efforts including ISTEP Sensitivity and Bias Review Committee, State Textbook Adoption Review Committee, and HCCSC Acuity Assessment /LA Quarterly Assessment Committees. Whicker was named Riverview Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2013 and 2006, and is the recipient of more than $15,000 in school grant awards including IMAX Lilly Grant/Scholarship, CF Industries Grant, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant, and Ecolab Grants. Whicker was appointed by Governor Daniels in April 2012 to represent the Third Congressional District.