PLTW Announces CEO Transition

Clifton Park, NY (January 12, 2011) - PLTW today announced that CEO John Lock will step down in January 2011 and that he will work with the Board of Directors to identify and support his successor.  PLTW's Board of Directors has already begun a national search for a CEO.  Lock, a PLTW Board member who took the CEO position with a goal of preparing PLTW for the next stage of its evolution, believes the organization is ready for dramatic growth. 

"Today, I am proud to say that the combination of a comprehensive, grassroots strategic plan; an experienced, diverse staff; and, the multitude of financial commitments from corporations and foundations around the country, all add up to a bright future for PLTW and for STEM education in America,” said Lock.  “Thanks to the hard work of PLTW's team and its vast, dedicated network, the stage is set for PLTW to flourish in the years ahead."

During the transition period, PLTW’s current Director of Post Secondary Relations and Training, Thor Misko, will serve as acting CEO and current Chief Operations Officer, Shannon Kete will serve as acting President. Misko, who joined PLTW in 2008 from the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he was PLTW’s Affiliate Director, has overseen the higher education and learning environment functions of PLTW, including higher education relations, professional development and the Virtual Academy.  Kete, who has served as COO since August 2009, led the overall implementation and coordination of PLTW’s recently announced “Power Up” program enhancements.  Since joining PLTW in 2009, Kete spearheaded the organization’s effort to lower the cost of each PLTW program by over 10%, and improve customer service by establishing a cross-trained central resource team.

Project Lead the Way, Inc. is a national, non-profit organization that is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education curricular programs used in K-12 schools. Its hands-on, project-based program, currently implemented in nearly 4,000 schools, reaches approximately 400,000 students in all 50 states. It seeks to expand its reach so that more students will have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century global economy.  

"PLTW is engaging students in STEM education and providing them with a proven path to college and career success in these important fields more successfully than any program in the world," said Hermann Viets, Chairman of the PLTW Board of Directors. "We are committed to PLTW's mission and believe that it is critical for students as well as the economic prosperity of our communities. 

“As a result of John’s leadership over the last two years, we have developed a strategic plan based upon input from our national network for dramatically improving quality and for scaling up PLTW and we’ve put in place an experienced team, including acting CEO, Thor Misko, and acting President, Shannon Kete, that is ready to implement the plan.  Along the way, we’ve significantly increased the number of schools implementing the program by nearly 40%, and considerably lowered the cost of the program. John has put us in an excellent position to increase access to PLTW for more students.  We are grateful for his passion and commitment to PLTW and STEM education. We are working closely with John to identify the right person to step in and take PLTW to the next level and look forward to a seamless transition."

The PLTW comprehensive curriculum, collaboratively developed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators, emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving.