Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal Announces Leads for Education Transition Advisory Council

BATON ROUGE - Friday, Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal announced that outgoing State Senator Gerald J. Theunissen will serve as chair of his Education Transition Advisory Council and Superintendent of the Recovery School District Paul Vallas will serve as vice chair.

The Education Transition Advisory Council will conduct public hearings to collect testimony and make recommendations to Governor-Elect Jindal regarding education policy. The council will use Jindal's Education Reform policy announced during his campaign to advise and form their policy recommendations.

Senator Gerald J. Theunissen of Jennings is a current term-limited state senator representing Louisiana District 25. Theunissen was first elected in 1996 and before that he served as a Louisiana state representative from 1992 to 1996. He is also commissioner of the Education Commission of the States, a member of the Southern Regional Education Board Advisory Council, and previously served as chairman of the Education Committee. Theunissen is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force where he served from 1953 to 1974. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska.

Paul Vallas of New Orleans was appointed superintendent of the Recovery School District in May 2007. Vallas formerly served as chief executive officer for the School District of Philadelphia from 2002-2007 and as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001. Vallas has also served as budget director for the City of Chicago and as revenue director for the City of Chicago. He has a bachelor's of science in political science and history and a master's in political science from Western Illinois University.