Tony Bennett (superintendent)
|State Superintendent of Indiana|
January 12, 2009 – January 19, 2013
|Preceded by||Suellen Reed|
|Succeeded by||Glenda Ritz|
|Alma mater||Indiana University Southeast|
Dr. Tony Bennett is the current Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida and the former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. He was sworn in on January 12, 2009 and left office on January 19, 2013. Dr. Bennett, a Republican, was elected to his first term in 2008 defeating his Democratic opponent, Dr. Richard Wood. He lost re-election in an upset to Democrat Glenda Ritz and was appointed to his current position shortly after.
Early Career and Education
Bennett served as a teacher, coach and administrator. He received his Certification in Secondary Administration and Supervision, a Master of Science in Secondary Education, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Indiana University Southeast.
During his tenure as principal of Scottsburg Senior High School, he also served as head boys' basketball coach in the mid-1990s. He had previously served as basketball coach at Providence High School.
Bennett was narrowly elected State Superintendent in 2008, succeeding retiring four term incumbent Suellen Reed. He was defeated for re-election in an upset in his bid for a second term. He made education reform a key platform of his tenure.
During Dr. Bennett's term, student achievement improved on several key academic indicators. Scores on the state's ISTEP+ exam, Advanced Placement pass percentages and graduate rates reached new highs.
Some criticized Dr. Bennett and his wife in 2011 because of his wife's involvement with a charter school oversight program at Marian University. The state awarded a contract to Marian to establish a "Turnaround Leadership Academy" to train transformational school leaders. Officials noted the contract was awarded through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process.
Florida Education Commissioner
On December 12, 2012, the Florida Board of Education unanimously selected Bennett as the state's new education commissioner.
Bennett, who is previously divorced, is currently married to Tina and is the father of four and grandfather of three.
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