Jostens Learning executive tapped for President’s council

Sue Collins, senior vice president for software maker Jostens Learning Corp., was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the newly formed web-based Education Commission. Collins was one of only three presidential nominees named to the 14-person commission.

During the next six months, the commission will conduct research and hold public hearings in order to recommend an appropriate federal role in evaluating the quality of educational software products to the president and Congress.

With more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, district and state administrator, and hardware and software company executive, Collins is widely acknowledged as a long-time leader in educational technology.

“I am pleased that the government has asked us to gather opinions and suggestions from knowledgeable people in education and business,” Collins said. “Any decisions made that can help students reach their full potential should always be made with input from the people closest to the children, including parents. We plan to do just that on a very aggressive timetable.”

In addition to the Commission appointment, Collins serves on the Board of Directors of the national Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the SIIA’s Government Affairs Council, and chairs the SIIA’s Education and Workforce Development Committee. She also is a staff advisor to the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, which issues annual reports assessing the nation’s progress toward integrating technology into America’s classrooms.

As senior VP at Jostens Learning, Collins oversees the Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Professional Development Division. Previously, she served as director of the North American Education Division for Compaq Computer

Corp. and before that was manager of strategic initiatives for the Education Division of Apple Computer.

Jostens Learning Corp. is one of the world-wide leaders in the educational software and services industry. It is recognized for its complete standards-based K-12 curriculum and industry-leading flexible and open assessment systems, which enable teachers to effectively manage program integration and track student progress.

The San Diego-based company is owned by Ripplewood Holdings LLC in New York, a private equity investment firm that builds partnerships in various industries and, with its partners, controls companies with annual revenues in excess of $6 billion.

Education software pioneer Fortune out as chief of CCC

Educational software maker Computer Curriculum Corp. (CCC) announced Nov. 5 that Ronald Fortune has resigned as president and chief executive officer of the company.

Fortune, one of the few black CEOs of a school technology company, played a major role in developing CCC into a leading supplier of software and technical and professional development services to the K-12 market during his 20-year tenure. He will remain as a consultant to CCC until the end of the year, according to a company press release.

Under Fortune’s leadership, CCC’s software has been installed in more than 16,000 schools and has been used by more than 10 million students worldwide, according to the company.

Peter Jovanovich, chief executive officer of Pearson Education, will act as CCC’s president and CEO until Fortune’s successor is appointed.

“I want to express [my] strongest commitment to CCC’s future,” Jovanovich stated, “and to that end, I will be spending a great deal of time with CCC working with the management team to identify solutions and strategies that expand the deployment and extend the value of CCC’s products and services throughout the educational marketplace.”

Pearson Education is a division of international media company Pearson PLC, which bought CCC from Viacom about a year ago. In addition to CCC, Pearson Education’s imprints include Prentice Hall, Addison-Wesley, Scott Foresman, Allyn & Bacon, Macmillan, and Longman.

It’s far too early for analysts to speculate how Fortune’s departure will affect the company, but Peter Grunwald, president of market research firm Grunwald Associates, told eSchool News that whatever happens is sure to have an impact on schools.

“CCC has clearly been one of the pioneers in terms of computer mediated instruction in schools,” Grunwald noted, “and as a result, whatever happens to CCC is likely to affect the education market.”

A spokeswoman from CCC said no time frame has been set for when Jovanovich would be turning the reins over to a regular president and CEO.