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For Immediate Release
August 23, 2006

Christopher Koch named interim superintendent of
Illinois State Board of Education
Koch will begin serving in December

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The State Board of Education has named Christopher Koch (pronounced “Cook”), interim state superintendent beginning in December 2006 and until the board names the next state school superintendent.

Koch, who has been with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) since 1994, will serve in an interim capacity after Superintendent Randy Dunn leaves the post to begin serving as president of Murray State University (MSU) in Murray, Kentucky. MSU announced in May that it had selected Dunn as its next president. Dunn agreed to stay on as Illinois state superintendent of education through December 1, 2006. Dunn was named superintendent in August 2005 after having served as interim superintendent since September 2004.

The Illinois State Board of Education has hired Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates of Glenview, Illinois to conduct the search for the next superindent. The State Board members are meeting with Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates during their retreat in Bloomington Aug. 23-25.

“We are pleased that Dr. Koch has agreed to take on the interim assignment. He knows the agency well and will make a good interim superintendent after Randy Dunn leaves for his new post and until the next superintendent is in place,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Jesse Ruiz.

Koch was first appointed as Director of Special Education at ISBE in April of 2001. He served as ISBE’s Chief Education Officer from 2002-2003. Koch has experience as a special educator having taught in four states in various settings including an Outward Bound program, a college preparatory school, a youth detention center, a psychiatric hospital and a church-sponsored day school. He served at the federal level, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education where he administered programs in correctional education and School-to-Work (“STW”) transition. In his initial years at ISBE and prior to his appointment as State Director of Special Education, he helped secure STW funding for Illinois and the City of Chicago and provided leadership in developing partnerships with the agency. His accomplishments as ISBE’s Assistant Superintendent for Special Education include ensuring the continuation of federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding to Illinois without conditions, correcting compliance issues at the state and local level, implementing a performance-based accountability system for special education, establishing public reporting of performance data for school districts, promoting parent and school district partnerships, and embracing a philosophy of continuous improvement. Dr. Koch is a member of the National Association of Directors of Special Education.

Dr. Koch is an Illinois native, and a product of Illinois public schools, having graduated from Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale,. He obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees in Educational Policy and Leadership from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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