A 33-year veteran educator with no political experience is challenging Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett for the top spot.
Glenda Ritz is a library media specialist and teacher at Crooked Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis. Ritz, who won the Teacher of the Year Award at two different Washington Township Schools in Indianapolis and was a Golden Apple Winner, said she is running for office to ensure students have more time in the classroom learning and spend less time on testing.
Ritz guided her school to develop a strong literacy program that led to the school's becoming a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School and an Indiana Four-Star School. She said she has never run for office before.
"I want to develop a fair school accountability system to replace the A-F model," she said. "I also want to give more local control to school districts and make sure tax dollars go to public schools."
Bennett, who is running for a second term in office, served as a teacher, coach and administrator before defeating Democratic opponent Richard Wood with more than 51 percent of the vote in 2008.
Bennett is known throughout the country for his dramatic push to reform education in Indiana. He said he believes the state must continue to elevate the academic achievement and career preparation of all Indiana students.
"Through the hard work of Hoosier students and educators, we have made impressive gains," he said. "By every measure, our students are achieving more today than they were four years ago. I am running for re-election so we can continue this success and further improve the opportunities available to all Indiana's students."