MCAN Executive Director Named to 21st Century Education Commission

Governor Snyder names Brandy Johnson to commission preparing students for global economy 

May 31 - LANSING, Mich.− Governor Snyder recently named Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director, to the 21st Century Education Commission. The main focus of the commission is improving Michigan’s education system to better prepare students for a global economy and positioning Michigan as a national leader developing talent.

“As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I’m extremely honored to be named to the 21st Century Education Commission. The significance of joining this prestigious group is personal,” Johnson said. “Our top priority at MCAN is helping students prepare for the jobs of the future by furthering their postsecondary education, because we know a skilled and educated workforce will help Michigan reach its fullest potential. Together, I’m confident we can work toward meaningful change for Michigan.”

The 25-member commission will include individuals representing education, business, government and nonprofit communities who have a particular interest or expertise in education. Members will focus on how Michigan’s system of public education is organized, governed, funded and held accountable for successful education outcomes.

Membership consists of 16 gubernatorial appointees, four legislative appointees, the State Board of Education president or his designee and four state department directors or their representatives, including:

  • Alloyd Blackmon, Whirlpool executive
  • Dave Campbell, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency and a former superintendent of the Livingston ESA and Olivet Community Schools
  • JoAnn Chavez, vice president DTE Energy
  • Roger Curtis, president of the Michigan International Speedway and former vice president of sales and marketing at California Speedway
  • Randy Davis, Superintendent of Marshall Public Schools
  • Dr. Thomas Haas, president of Grand Valley State University
  • Conway Jeffress, president of Schoolcraft College
  • Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director
  • Ann Kalass, president and CEO of Starfish Family Services
  • Doug Luciani, chief executive officer at TraverseCONNECT
  • Matt Oney, physics and chemistry teacher at Escanaba Area High School
  • Doug Ross, President of the American Promise Schools and a former state senator, Michigan Commerce director, and U.S. assistant secretary of labor
  • Cindy Schumacher, executive director of the Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University
  • Kevin Stotts, president of Talent 2025
  • Teresa Weatherall-Neal, superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Eileen Weiser, board member of the State Board of Education
  • Stephen Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association
  • Nate Walker, K12 analyst for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan
  • Scott Hughes, majority council for the Michigan Senate
  • Peter Ruddell, partner at RWC Advocacy
  • Brian J. Whiston, State Superintendent
  • Nick A. Khouri, State Treasurer
  • David Behen, Director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget
  • Stephanie Comai, Director of the Talent Investment Agency
  • John C. Austin, President of the State Board of Education

The commission will serve as an advisory committee within the Executive Office and will complete its assessment and issue a report by Nov. 30, 2016.

The full text of Executive Order 2016-6 is available here.


About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. For the sixth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit  

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