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Greg Harris named Ohio state director for StudentsFirst

COLUMBUS – StudentsFirst and its more than 65,000 members in Ohio announced today that Greg Harris has joined the national education reform group as the new Ohio State Director.

Harris comes to StudentsFirst with broad experience in the fields of education, politics and community development, including service to two Ohio governors and statewide grassroots work with an extensive array of reform-focused organizations and projects.

A former English teacher and father of two, Harris most recently served as principal at the New Governance Group, where he worked as lead consultant to the "Ohio Smart Schools" initiative launched by Ohio Education Matters that identified $1.4 billion in savings for the state's K-12 system.

Prior to that Harris worked as education policy advisor for the KnowledgeWorks Foundation. During his tenure he led education and workforce development initiatives, which included outreach to key legislators and state policymakers.

Harris, himself a former member of the Cincinnati City Council, also managed former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft's state Workforce Education and Training Advisory Council, a group of education stakeholders, business leaders and elected officials that successfully developed recommendations for improved alignment of the state's workforce education system with employer needs.

"Ohio has made steady progress in reforming our schools, lifting up our kids and empowering our communities to bring about change, but much work remains," Harris said. "That's why I'm pleased to join StudentsFirst and continue my work for common sense education reforms in conjunction with the 65,000 StudentsFirst members in Ohio and a growing coalition of school reformers across the Buckeye State."

Additionally, Harris served as executive director of the nonpartisan Citizens for Civic Renewal, a Cincinnati nonprofit dedicated to promoting civic engagement, and as program manager for Public Allies/AmeriCorps, for which he recruited dozens of community-service organizations to provide apprenticeships and learning opportunities to inner-city young adults.

Harris earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a B.S. from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

About StudentsFirst:

StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 1 million members nationwide, working to focus our education system on what's best for students. Today, too many of America's children are not getting the quality education they need and deserve. StudentsFirst is helping to change that with common sense reforms that help make sure all students have great schools and great teachers. We are working to ensure educators are valued for the critical role they play in kids' lives, families have high-quality school choices and a real say in their child's education, and our tax dollars are spent wisely on what works for kids. Launched by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in December 2010, StudentsFirst has successfully helped pass more than 70 student-centered policies in 17 states, and our movement continues to grow.

Contact: mediarequests@studentsfirst.org