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Board Members

Member Representing/Most Recent Term
William Durham Governor's Appointee, 7/2/19 to 6/30/21
Dr. Byron Ernest Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma Appointee, 7/1/19 to 6/30/23
Dr. David Freitas Governor's Appointee, 6/30/18 to 6/30/22
Gregory F. Gastineau Governor's Appointee, 12/31/18 to 6/30/21
Pat Mapes Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray Appointee, 7/1/19 to 6/30/23
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sworn in on 1/9/17
Pete Miller Governor's Appointee, 7/2/19 to 6/30/23
Kathleen Mote Vice Chair, Governor's Appointee, 7/1/17 to 6/30/20
Kristin Rentschler Governor's Appointee, 7/2/19 to 6/30/23
Tony Walker  Secretary, Governor's Appointee, 7/1/17 to 6/30/20
B.J. Watts Chair, Governor's Appointee, 6/30/18 to 6/30/22


William Durham

William E. Durham, Jr. is the director of The Excel Center – Meadows. Durham’s passion for student success is the driving force behind his career in education. He has worked in charter and traditional public school settings as an internship coordinator, exceptional learners instructor, math teacher, and lead teacher. He previously worked as program director at the Center for Leadership Development (CLD), where he continues to volunteer when time permits. His community involvement is significant, volunteering time with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., where he works to further the fraternity’s efforts to impact youth with the Guide Right Program and Kappa League. He is active with 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, as well.


A native of Indianapolis, Durham is a graduate of Pike High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his MPA from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. Durham completed a fellowship in the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Educational Leadership Program at Indiana State University where he earned his MBA in Educational Leadership.


Contact: wdurham@excelcenter.org 


Dr. Byron Ernest

Dr. Ernest serves as Director of Educator Development and Partnerships for Noble Education Initiative (NEI). Byron has extensive teaching and school leadership experience and was the 2010 Indiana Teacher of the Year and 2011 Christopher Columbus Foundation National Outstanding Agriscience Teacher. Previously, Byron served as Head of Schools for Hoosier Academies. While at Hoosier Academies Byron developed a successful teacher leader program, the Focused Leader Academy, for developing an intent-based and distributed leadership school community model. Byron also served as principal at Emmerich Manual High School in Indianapolis after it was taken over by the State for receiving seven consecutive failing annual performance grades. As principal, Byron worked with a new staff to develop a culture of excellence focusing on high student achievement and performance. The State removed Manual off the “F” list under Byron’s leadership. Emmerich Manual High School received a “C” this past year and continues to improve. Prior to going to Manual, Byron worked as the Department Head for Agriculture Science and FFA at Lebanon Community School Corporation where he started the program from scratch. The program is now one of the largest in the state and is well respected nationally for its focus on teaching science in the context of agriculture.

Byron holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Education and a Master’s in Education from Purdue University. He received his Doctorate from Walden University in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Ernest just completed the Certificate for Advanced Educational Leadership program at Harvard University where he is continuing his Post-Doctoral Studies. Byron serves as Secretary to the Indiana State Board of Education (INSBOE). He was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Education by House Speaker Brian Bosma. Byron also serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Board of Directors.

Follow Dr. Ernest on Twitter: @ByronErnest 
Contact:  byronernest10@gmail.com

Dr. David Freitas

Dr. David Freitas was appointed to the SBOE by Governor Mike Pence, and reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on June 30, 2018 to June 30, 2022. 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.

Contact:  drdavidfreitas@gmail.com

Greg Gastineau

Greg Gastineau, an experienced and well-respected educator, is a lifelong Hoosier. Gastineau has experience in both middle and high school classrooms, having taught for a combination of 26 years in Pike Township and Hamilton Southeastern School Corporations. He has built relationships through the years with students, parents and the community in his roles as a coach of football, wrestling and rugby.  He presently coaches high school and youth lacrosse.

A graduate of Cathedral High School (Indianapolis), Gastineau earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and his Master of Science degree in secondary education, both from Ball State University.

Currently, Gastineau teaches ACP Government, a dual credit course through Indiana University, at Hamilton Southeastern High School alongside his wife, Erin, who teaches science. He and his wife have two children who also attend Hamilton Southeastern schools.

Gastineau was appointed by Gov. Holcomb at the end of 2018.

Contact: ggastineau@hse.k12.in.us


Pat Mapes

With 32 years of experience in public education, Pat Mapes has provided leadership and advocacy at the local and state level. He has served as superintendent of the nationally recognized Perry Township Schools district since October 2016.

Prior to joining Perry Township Schools, Superintendent Mapes provided leadership to the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB) as chairman. Before that, he served as State Director of Teacher Licensing and Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Indiana Department of Education, where he developed the REPA Educator Standards and the LVIS Educator Licensing and Verification system, as well as state guidelines for school efficiency. Because of his vast knowledge in all areas of leading a school corporation, including operations, curriculum, and finance, Mr. Mapes was selected to join the United States Department of Education as the Regional Advisory Chairperson on Education Issues.

Superintendent Mapes earned a Master of Arts in Education and a Specialist in Education degree from Ball State University before he began his career as a teacher and basketball coach. Mr. Mapes also served as a high school principal and superintendent of schools at Delaware Community Schools in Muncie.

Contact: pmapes@perryschools.org


Dr. Jennifer McCormick

Dr. Jennifer McCormick is a nationally recognized innovator and leader in education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Indiana. Over the course of nearly two decades, Dr. McCormick has served at every level of the traditional public education system. Starting in the classroom as a special education teacher and later as a Middle School Language Arts teacher (1996-2004), McCormick became the Principal of Yorktown Elementary School (2004-2007). She went on to become the Assistant Superintendent of Yorktown Community Schools from 2007-2010 before she was elevated to Superintendent in 2010.

Dr. McCormick served as Secretary of the Board for Ivy Tech East Central Region and was appointed as an eLearning Leadership Cadre Member by the Indiana Department of Education. She was on the board for the Indiana Association of School Business Officials and was a Delaware County Youth Salutes board member.

McCormick's work as an education innovator was recognized nationally in 2014 when she was invited to the White House to participate in "The National Connected Superintendents Summit." She is the recipient of the Outstanding Contributor to Education Award from the Muncie Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and was named Person of the Year by the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

Contact:  jmccormick@doe.in.gov



Pete Miller

Pete Miller works for Indiana University Health as director of business intelligence for Revenue Cycle Services.  He specializes in using analytics to identify trends and insights from large amounts of data.  As the son of a retired teacher and father of a future one, education policy has long been his area of passion.


Miller has public sector experience in both the executive and legislative branches.  He served in the administration of Gov. Mitch Daniels as director of the government efficiency and financial planning division within the Office of Management of Budget.  In that capacity, he was the liaison to all state education agencies.  From 2012 to 2016, he served as State Senator representing Hendricks and Putnam counties.  As a member of the Education and Career Development committee, Sen. Miller authored or sponsored numerous education laws, including establishing the school safety grant, bullying prevention, pre-K pilot program, innovation network schools, and education deregulation.  He was also a leader on property tax issues, notably updating tax incrementing financing laws to restore revenue to local school districts.


Miller graduated from Purdue University with distinction majoring in Industrial Management and minoring in Computer Science.  He has five children and lives with his wife Jenny in Hendricks County.


Contact: Pmiller1@sboe.in.gov


Kathleen Mote

Katie Mote navigates her career with a passion to serve and a focus on education.  She currently serves Project Lead The Way, Inc. as Vice President of Partnerships, Colleges and Universities.  Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides transformative learning experiences for millions of PreK-12 students in more than 11,500 schools nationwide through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.  In this role, Mote leads national partnership strategy to engage college and university partners and higher education leaders to expand post-secondary access and currency for PLTW students.  

Mote has a decade of experience in the intersection of education and career.  Prior to her role with PLTW, she held a variety of roles with Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, including faculty and administrative positions.  Mote served as President of the Madison Campus, Interim Chancellor of the former Columbus/Southeast Region, and as Vice President of Operations for Southern Indiana.  Mote served as VP of Operations during a transformative time for Ivy Tech as it reinvented with a focus on career-ready education for Hoosiers.  Mote supported a portfolio of seven Ivy Tech campuses that in 2017-2018 served an unduplicated total headcount of approximately 50,000 students and in fiscal year 2019 represented a combined recurring operating budget of approximately $110 million.  In this role, Mote also co-led the College’s installation of strategic enrollment management practices and statewide scaling of key initiatives, such as the educational partnership with the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the creation of seamless K-14 pathways for high school students.

 Both prior to and during her tenure at Ivy Tech, Mote practiced criminal law as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Marion, Jackson, and Jefferson counties.   She was honored for this work by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 2014 as the year’s Outstanding Prosecutor.

In July 2017, Mote was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Education by Governor Eric Holcomb.  Mote currently serves the Board and State of Indiana as Vice Chair.  Prior to her appointment, Mote served a three-year term as a member of the School Commission for Prince of Peace Catholic Schools (Madison, Indiana) where she served a one-year term as Vice Chair.

Mote holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University Bloomington (Maurer School of Law).  She is married with two children and resides with her family in Madison, Indiana.

Contact: kmote@pltw.org 


Kristin Rentschler

Kristin Rentschler is a social studies teacher at Columbia City High School (CCHS). In 2018, Rentschler was selected as a participant for the Albert H. Small: Normandy Sacrifice for Freedom Student and Teacher Institute where she completed an intensive study of the D-Day invasion while researching the life of a fallen Hoosier soldier with a student. She was recognized as the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year in Indiana in 2015 and received the Dekko Teach to Reach Award for Whitley County in 2003. Rentschler is passionate about incorporating best practices and historical thinking in the classroom. Inside and outside of the classroom, she prioritizes planning and executing goals for students groups that include student leadership, service learning, and academic competition. She implemented the National History Day program at CCHS in 2012 and has coached the CCHS Fine Arts and History academic teams to area champions and a state finalist appearance. She also coordinated Eagles in Flight, a school-wide service learning program.


Rentschler’s undergraduate work was completed at Huntington University and she earned her Master’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University. During 2010 and 2015, she served as an adjunct professor at Huntington University. She lives in Columbia City with her husband and three children.


Contact: rentschlerke@wccs.k12.in.us 


Tony Walker

Tony Walker has been a practicing attorney since 1995. He is the Chairman of The Walker Law Group, P.C. with offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Gary, Indiana. Attorney Walker’s practice includes representing churches, schools, and government agencies with focuses on real estate and litigation.

He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Thought and Political Economy. Attorney Walker continued his post-baccalaureate education studying political science at Clark Atlanta University and then law at DePaul University where he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

After completing law school, Attorney 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. Attorney Walker served as Legislative Counsel to the late Congresswoman Julia Carson on Capitol Hill.

He has previously been 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. Attorney Walker executive produced more than ten radio shows on WLTH Radio in Northwest Indiana where he also hosted a weekly public affairs talk show for seven years.

In 2011, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed him to represent the First Congressional District on the State Board of Education. He served on the SBOE until 2015. He was appointed by to the SBOE by Governor Eric Holcomb in 2017. Attorney Walker has also 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.

Attorney Walker is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the highest courts in New York, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and in federal courts throughout the country.

Contact: tony@walkerlawgroup.biz

B.J. Watts

B. J. Watts, who serves as the Board’s Chair, has 17 years of experience as a teacher and coach with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC).  He currently serves as Executive Director of Opportunities through Partnerships that Transform and Inspire (OptIN), which is part of the EVSC. Watts has taught 6th Grade Social Studies and Science, as well as Physical Education for grades K-6 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 Varsity 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 serving for 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 Governor Mike Pence and reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on June 30, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

Contact:  bj.watts@evsck12.com