On Jan. 11, Katie Jenner took office as Indiana’s first Secretary of Education. Jenner, a former senior education advisor to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), assumed the role after the former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jennifer McCormick (R), left office the previous week.
Jenner was appointed to the position by Gov. Holcomb in November 2020, the first time that the chief of the state’s schools was appointed rather than elected. Under a new law passed by the Indiana legislature, the position of the elected state superintendent of public instruction was abolished and replaced by the secretary of education, which is appointed by the governor. The law was initially scheduled to go into effect in 2025, but the change was moved to 2021 after former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction McCormick announced that she would not seek another term.
Jenner began her career working in K-12 public education as a career and technical education teacher. She most recently served as the Senior Education Advisor to Gov. Holcomb.
The secretary of education is the chief executive officer of the Indiana Department of Education and serves on the Indiana State Board of Education. Jenner was elected chair of the board on Jan. 13.