UPDATED WITH NEW INFO: The Board of School Commissioners of the Indianapolis Public Schools has chosen three individuals as finalists to succeed Dr. Eugene White as Superintendent. The finalists are: Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, Millard L. House and Thomas E. Darden, Jr.
Afternoons with Amos got the lowdown on the three from an individual with a unique perspective. Diana Daniels is Executive Director of Indianapolis-based National Council on Educating Black Children. She shared information about each of the IPS Superintendent finalists she learned from educators and community people who lived and worked in their communities. Scroll Down and Click Arrow on Hear Amos’ Interview with Diana Daniels and get the 4-1-1 on IPS’ next school chief.
Meanwhile: The community will have an opportunity meet and hear from the three finalists this Thursday, June 27th from 6pm to 8pm at the IPS Education Center, 120 East Walnut Street, downtown. The IPS School Board will interview the three the remainder of the week and hopefully will choose a new Superintendent on Saturday. That individual will have the responsibility of running a school district of 29,803 students serving a community with a population of 297,326; what’s 40.1% Black; 10.2% Hispanic and 48.2% white, where 20.1% of adults over 25 are college graduates and where 50.1% of all children under 18 live below the poverty level. Some of the three candidates, who are all African-American, have many years of experience in education as teachers, principals and administrators and while others have extensive years of business and entrepreneurial experience. Two were raised outside Indiana; one is an Indianapolis native. AM1310 The Light has obtained biographical information on the finalists. Let’s meet the three IPS Superintendent finalists:
Dr. Lewis Ferebee has sixteen years of education experience. Currently, he’s Chief of Staff of the Durham Public Schools, a position he’s held for three years. The Durham district has 33,000 students and serves a community of 287,695 which is 33.8% Black, 13.5% Hispanic and 42.3% white. Some 42.1% of Durham adults are college graduates and 28.9% of children live below the poverty level. Before coming to Durham, Dr. Ferebee was Regional Superintendent of the Guilford County (North Carolina) Schools, a system of 72,000 students in a community of 495,279 that’s 34.2% Black, 7.3% Hispanic and 53.6% white, with 33.8% college graduates and 23.6% of kids living in poverty. Prior to becoming a Regional Superintendent, Dr. Ferebee worked nine years in the Guilford County Schools as an Instructional Improvement Officer and School Principal. Dr. Ferebee holds a PhD in Education from East Carolina University, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University.
Millard House, an eighteen year education veteran, is the Chief Operating Officer for the Charlotte/Mecklenburg County Schools, a district of 144,000 students serving the residents of North Carolina’s capitol city and county of Mecklenburg. The district’s overall population is 944,373; 32.1% Black, 12.4% Hispanic and 50.3% white, with 40.6% college graduates and 23.7% of children living in poverty. Prior to coming to Charlotte, House worked four years in the Tulsa School District as a Deputy, Associate and Area Superintendent. Before that he spent four years as Area Superintendent of the KIPP Schools in Tulsa, a position he assumed after being a principal and teacher in the Tulsa Public Schools for nine years. Tulsa’s a community of 287,695 that’s 20.1% Black; 16.0% Hispanic and 55.0% white; with 24.9% of adult college graduates and 34.2% of children living in poverty. A native of Tulsa, House earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo (Alabama) and a master’s ministration from Northeastern State University, and completed a Fisher Fellowship from the University of California in Berkeley. House is married with two children.
The only Superintendent finalist with an Indianapolis connection is Thomas Darden who is currently the Executive Director of New York Schools for ASPIRA, an organization that is developing charter schools in New York City. Darden has thirty-six years of employment experience, four years in public education and thirty-two years in the private sector in manufacturing and finance. Before going to ASPIRA, Darden served nearly three years as Deputy Chief of Strategic Programs for the School District of Philadelphia where he helped develop that district’s Renaissance School program that turned around seventeen low performing schools. Prior to that, Darden worked in the private sector in a variety of positions in corporate American and for top industries. A graduate of IPS Arsenal Technical High School, Darden worked seven years for Detroit Diesel Allison in Indianapolis as a Production Engineer. From there he worked for Borg Warner. He took his engineering expertise to Rhode Island where he worked for GTECH, Surgilase, Inc. and UltraCision. From there Darden entered the world of finance and venture capital firms. First, working with Advent International, then Wind Point Partners, finally founding his own firm, Reliant Equity Investors in 2000, where he remained for nine years until he decided he wanted to devote his career to public education administration. Darden received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the General Motors Institute and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College. Click the Arrow to get the real 4-1-1 on the Supt. Finalists from Diana Daniels, Exec Dir of Indy-based National Council on Educating Black Children. Runs 50 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.