Two More Speakers Added to This Saturday’s Panel Addressing Status of Education in Indiana

Panelists will include L-R: Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, Jennifer McCormick and Joel D. Hand. Photos providedPanelists will include L-R: Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, Jennifer McCormick and Joel D. Hand. Photos provided

By Sheryl Swingley—

MUNCIE, IN—The legal counsel and lobbyist for the Indiana Coalition for Public Education and a former Indiana superintendent of public instruction will join the president of ICPE as guest speakers for a joint meeting of the Muncie branches of the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters of Delaware County.

The meeting is open to the public and free.

The meeting will start at 10 a.m. and wrap up no later than noon on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Motivate Our Minds, 2023 E. Highland Avenue in Muncie.  

The topic of the discussion is “The State of Public Education in the 2023 Indiana Legislative Session.” Two proposals the Indiana General Assembly might consider are reviving the book-banning legislation (Senate Bill 12 authored by Sen. James Tomes of Wadesville, Indiana) and increasing funding for education, teacher salaries and preschool programs.

The three guests on the panel are Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, president of ICPE; Joel D. Hand, attorney and lobbyist for ICPE; and Jennifer McCormick, the last elected Indiana state superintendent of public instruction, which is now a governor-appointed position, and a member of the ICPE board of directors.

Fuentes-Rohwer is an advocate at the local and state levels for adequate public education funding from the state, for keeping public money in public schools and for increasing monies for teacher salaries and preschool programs. She also is a member of the Monroe Community School Corp. School Board. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in social foundations of education from Eastern Michigan University. She is the parent of four children, who have attended public schools in Monroe County.

In Hand’s private practice, he has lobbied on behalf of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education at the Indiana State House since 2011. Hand also handles K-12 special education due process matters, student discipline hearings and appeals as well as hearings and appeals for suspension or revocation of teacher licenses. He previously held an Indiana teacher’s license and worked for Dr. Suellen Reed, a former Indiana Department of Education superintendent of public instruction, as legal counsel and later as Reed’s director of legislative and governmental relations.

Before McCormick was elected Indiana’s top leader in public education in 2016, she was superintendent of the Yorktown public schools. She began her career as a special education teacher and then taught middle school language arts before moving into public school administration. She holds degrees from three Indiana universities: Purdue, Ball State and Indiana. Her name also has been floated as a possible Democrat candidate for Indiana governor.

Questions about the meeting may be directed to Sheryl Swingley,


Related article below.

Rep for ICPE to Address Status of Education in Indiana at AAUW and League of Women Voters Joint Meeting