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Indiana State Board of Education

SBOE > About the Board > Board Members Board Members

Member Representing
 Superintendent Dr. McCormick Chair, Superintendent
of Public Instruction, Sworn in on 1/9/17
 Dr. David Freitas Governor's Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/18
 Cari Whicker Vice Chair, Governor's Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/19
 Dr. Vince Bertram Governor's Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/17
 Gordon Hendry Governor's Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/17
 B.J. Watts Governor's Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/18
 Dr. Maryanne McMahon Governor's Appointee, 9/14/16 to 6/30/19
 Dr. Steve Yager Senate President Pro Tem
David Long Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/19
 Dr. Byron Ernest Secretary, Indiana House Speaker
Brian Bosma Appointee, 5/27/15 to 6/30/19


Dr. Vince Bertram

Dr. Vince Bertram brings a national reputation of preparing students in STEM education to the Indiana State Board of Education. Dr. Bertram currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a non-profit organization headquartered in Indianapolis that provides science, technology, engineering and math programs nationwide. He has also served as superintendent of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Indiana’s third-largest urban school district, and was appointed in 2014 by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the STEM education expert for the United States Speaker and Specialist Program. Dr. Bertram became a New York Times bestselling author in November 2014 with the release of his book, One Nation Under-Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis. He received his undergraduate, master’s, specialist, and doctorate degrees from Ball State University, a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard University, and an executive certificate in strategy and innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Dr. Bertram was appointed by Governor Mike Pence.

Follow Dr. Bertram on Twitter: @vincebertram 

Dr. Byron Ernest

Dr. Byron Ernest is a former (2010) Indiana “Teacher of the Year” and currently serves as Head of Schools for Hoosier Academies in Indiana. Previously, Dr. Ernest 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, Dr. Ernest developed a new staff and culture of excellence focusing on high student achievement and performance. The State removed Manual off the “F” list under Dr. Ernest’s leadership and still holds the distinction of being the only takeover school in Indiana to be removed from the failing category. Prior to going to Manual, Dr. Ernest worked as the Department Head for Agriculture and FFA at Lebanon Community School Corporation. Dr. Ernest holds Bachelor of Science 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. Currently, Dr. Ernest is completing Post-Doctoral Professional Programs in Leadership at Harvard University. Dr. Ernest serves as Secretary to the SBOE. He was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Education by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis).

Follow Dr. Ernest on Twitter: @ByronErnest 

Dr. David Freitas

Dr. David Freitas was appointed to the SBOE by Governor Mike Pence. 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

Gordon Hendry is the Midwest regional leader of CBRE's Public Institutions and Education Solutions Group, a national team of commercial real estate professionals working extensively with public agencies and educational institutions. Prior to joining CBRE, Hendry led the Indy Partnership, a 10-county regional economic development organization based in Indianapolis. 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 senior 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, he serves on the board of directors of the Indiana University Hutton Honors College Alumni Association. His prior appointments include serving on the board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Indiana and 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. He is a member of the Indiana Bar and holds Real Estate Broker’s licenses in Indiana and Illinois.

Hendry and his wife live in downtown Indianapolis with their two young children.

Follow Mr. Hendry on Twitter: @GordonHendry 

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.



Dr. Maryanne McMahon

For 17 years, Dr. Maryanne McMahon has worked for the Avon Community School Corporation in Hendricks County in various administrative posts. Currently, she serves as Assistant Superintendent – a role in which she secured math and science partnership grants with Purdue University worth more than $500,000, helped lead an efficiency task force that saved the district $350,000 and spearheaded efforts to give greater voice to parents through the Avon Parent Partnership Committee. Previously, Dr. McMahon worked for Decatur Township Schools in Marion County as a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal and consultant for staff development in the areas of curriculum and instruction. McMahon earned undergraduate, education specialist and doctoral degrees from Indiana State University. She also holds a master’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and an administrative certification from Butler University.  Dr. McMahon was appointed by Governor Mike Pence to fill the remainder of the term of former board member, Sarah O’Brien.


B.J. Watts

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.


Cari Whicker

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 and reappointed by Governor Pence.

Follow Mrs. Whicker on Twitter: @CariWhicker

Dr. Steve Yager

Dr. Steve Yager offers to the State Board decades of education experience, including service as a superintendent at both Northwest Allen County Schools (1990-2009) and Southwest Allen County Schools (2009-2014). In addition to his experience as a superintendent, Dr. Yager recently co-chaired the Accountability System Review Panel - a special committee charged by the Indiana General Assembly to redesign the formula for the A-F grades given to schools. Prior to his service as superintendent, Dr. Yager served as a principal, school counselor and teacher. He holds five advanced degrees in education-related fields, including a doctorate in secondary school administration from Indiana State University. In 2014, Governor Mike Pence bestowed Dr. Yager with a Sagamore of the Wabash in recognition of his decades of service in Indiana’s public schools. He was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Education by Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne).