Four newly elected and re-elected members were sworn onto the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners on Monday, Jan. 4, during the annual Organization Day meeting. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett lead newly elected commissioners Kenneth Allen and Will Pritchard, and re-elected commissioners Diane Arnold and Venita Moore in the oath of office before they signed paperwork making their positions official.
Diane Arnold was re-elected to District 4 for a fourth term.
Venita Moore was re-elected to District 2 for a second term.
Will Pritchard represents District 1. Pritchard has been involved in affordable housing and community development in Indianapolis for the last 20 years. He currently works for CREA, an Indianapolis-based, national tax credit syndicator investing in affordable housing for low-income families and individuals across the U.S. Pritchard is an active volunteer on the east side and is involved in a number of community-based organizations and initiatives, including helping create the city’s first Economic Improvement District to restore historic infrastructure in Woodruff Place. Pritchard and his wife have two children who are IPS students.
Kenneth Allen is an at-large commissioner. Allen is a certified child and youth care worker with Indiana Youth Services Association and oversees a statewide anti-human trafficking awareness initiative. Allen is also the chair of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM), is a board member for the Indianapolis chapter of the Indiana Black Expo Inc., and has received more than 200 awards for his community service work in youth entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
After the swearing-in, the Board elected new officers.
Evan Hawkins was elected to serve as president of the Board replacing Commissioner Michael O’Connor, who did not seek another term on the Board. President Hawkins is completing his second year of service on the Board. He was elected in November 2018 and serves District 3. Hawkins is an active IPS parent and currently serves as a facilities director at Marian University.
Venita Moore was elected to serve as vice president. She won the District 2 seat in November 2016 and was re-elected to the seat in November 2019. She is a graduate of Arlington High School and is a managing principal at Engaging Solutions, a business consulting firm. Moore is also an inductee to the IPS Alumni Hall of Fame and previously served as deputy secretary for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
Susan Collins was re-elected secretary. Secretary Collins is also finishing her second year on the Board. She won the November 2018 election for one of the district’s two at-large seats. Collins is a retired IPS teacher who now coordinates tutoring for Dockside Services, and is a contractor for the Indiana Department of Child Services and other agencies. Five of her nine children graduated from Indianapolis Public Schools.
Commissioner Taria Slack (District 5) rounds out the Board and will continue the work of the district alongside the newly elected and re-elected commissioners and elected officers.