Battle Creek’s Terris Todd is headed to Washington to take a post with the U.S. Department of Education.   Todd made the announcement Thursday on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.

He’ll be working as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.  Todd was sworn in via the telephone on Tuesday, May 5th at 10 am.

“I’m pretty excited to be able to head up outreach efforts to African Americans and pointing them to recourses that the Federal Government has,” said Todd. “Recently, the President and the administration just signed a $1.4 billion package for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and those services that are being strategically targeted for minority services.”

Todd has most recently worked as Director of Outreach for Community Action in Battle Creek, and previously was the Director of Education and Children’s Services there where he was in charge of their Head Start and Early Head Start programs.   Todd also served five terms on the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners.  During his tenure there, he switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Todd also worked for Dr. John Bizon when he was in the State House, and that’s where he met his new boss, Daniella Garcia.  Garcia, a former Michigan State Rep from Holland.   Garcia is the Deputy Assistant Director in the US Department of Education.

Todd says he’s a big advocate of making sure that parents have educational choices for their families.  He points out that public schools have been able to secure funding for laptops and internet access for students to use at home, but points out that students in Charter Schools do not have that opportunity.  “What we’ve done here in Michigan, in a bi-partisan effort, is to privately raise funds to help State Rep. Karen Whitsett over in Detroit to level the playing field and help inner-city kids in Charter School get what they need to succeed.”

Todd’s wife Karen currently works for State Senator Dr. John Bizon.  They have three daughters, one in college and two in high school.  He says they’ll continue to live in Battle Creek, while he commutes from Washington, D.C.

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