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News Release - Hammond Appointed Interim Commissioner

Nov. 3, 2010

News Release

Robert Hammond Appointed Interim Commissioner; Voters Return One Sitting Board Member, Select Two New Members

The Colorado State Board of Education today unanimously appointed Robert Hammond as interim commissioner and announced that Commissioner Dwight D. Jones’ final day will be Monday, Dec. 13.

Commissioner Jones forwarded Hammond’s name as his sole recommendation. “His loyalty to the state and to the children of this state is second to none,” said Commissioner Jones of Hammond.

Colorado State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer said the board was accepting the resignation letter from Commissioner Jones with reluctance.

“This resignation letter is in front of us for the first time and seeing it with your signature right there is pretty sobering,” Schaffer said to Commissioner Jones. “Thanks for your service to Colorado. Your imprint on Colorado is permanent and one that is significant.”

Commissioner Jones provided the state board with a transition calendar and assured board members of a seamless hand-off. “We will stay focused on activities that really matter,” he said.

Commissioner Jones also thanked the state board for its support and for supporting department leadership.

Hammond said he appreciated the board’s confidence and strongly believes in continuing the initiatives that the state board and Commissioner Jones have initiated.

“Now is not the time for us to go backwards,” said Hammond, who added that he regrets Commissioner Jones’ departure. “Commissioner Jones has been an inspiring leader,” added Hammond, “and it has been a privilege to serve during his tenure. He will be missed when he leaves.”

Election Results

Based on election returns from Nov. 2, Deborah Scheffel will replace term-limited Randy DeHoff in the seat representing the 6th Congressional District. Scheffel, who recently was director of literacy grants and initiatives at CDE, brings an extensive background in academic assessment, communication disorders and special education.

In the 5th Congressional District, Paul Lundeen will replace Peggy Littleton, who opted not to seek re-election and instead run for a seat, which she won, on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners. Lundeen has experience in journalism, politics and business and has been an investment and financial advisor for the past 10 years.

In the 2nd Congressional District election, Angelika Schroeder was re-elected for a full term.

The new board is scheduled to be seated on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Robert Hammond - Biography

With more than 34 years of private and public sector experience in banking, city management and K-12 education, Robert Hammond brings a strong customer focus and a belief that organizations must serve their stakeholders.

Hammond draws on a 23-year career in K-12 education leadership. He has served as chief operations officer, associate superintendent and division director of operations in two school districts. He also has experience in financial and management accountability, educational reform, continuous quality improvement, human resources and negotiations, information technology systems and infrastructure, comprehensive facility and technology planning and the legislative process.

Under Hammond, the department’s compliance with the United States Department of Education accountability requirements has become an example of accountability and transparency. As part of this effort, Hammond initiated a variety of internal system improvements. These include budget and human resource management accountability, information management system improvements and the establishment of project management and reporting.

Further, numerous projects have commenced under Hammond’s leadership including improvements to the Colorado Growth Model, improvements to the educational licensure cycle time and improvements to the federal NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) processes. Hammond also has overseen implementation of a $4.2 million federal Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grant that led to a recently awarded $17.4 million SLDS grant to create a new statewide system to track student and educator data and implementation of Phase I of the Educator Identifier System.

Prior to joining the department, Hammond served as the chief operations officer for the Boulder Valley School District from January 2001 to July 2008. Hammond served as the district’s chief financial officer, oversaw all legislation, human resource and negotiation responsibilities, operations and information technology. Significant accomplishments included: reorganizing all areas of responsibility into a customer-focused organization to support the instructional needs of the district; overseeing all district-wide voter initiatives that included two successful mill-levy overrides and one large capital bond measure; implementing a $298.6 million capital bond program; developing a successful inclusive legislative program; making improvements to the financial health of the district, and collaborating in the implementation of educational initiatives for student performance and closing the achievement gap.

Previously, Hammond served nearly 14 years with the Wichita Public Schools in Wichita, Kansas, initially overseeing operations and later serving as one of two associate superintendents working with the superintendent in the overall operations and improvement of this large urban school district. During Hammond’s tenure, key accomplishments included playing a key role in the planning and design of educational reform efforts, implementing a successful continuous quality improvement program and redesigning several areas for improved delivery of services and support to district schools.

Prior to entering K-12 education, Hammond held positions as senior vice president of operations for Farm Credit Services in Wichita, Kansas, as well as eight years in city management serving as the assistant city manager of Norman, Oklahoma; city manager of Oskaloosa, Iowa; and assistant city manager of Parsons, Kansas.

Mr. Hammond received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Baker University (Baldwin City, Kansas) and holds a master’s degree in public administration, urban management from the University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas).

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