Imagine Schools Announces New Interim Leadership for St. Louis

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ARLINGTON, VA (November 8, 2011) —Imagine Schools’ CEO Dennis Bakke announced today the appointment of Alan Olkes as Acting Executive Vice President for St. Louis.  Mr. Olkes replaces Sam Howard, who was placed on administrative leave.

“Alan Olkes is a seasoned educator with more than 50 years of experience, including serving as Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the nation.  He has served as an Imagine Schools Executive Vice President since 2004.  From the classroom to school leadership, Alan brings a wealth of knowledge that will help our six Imagine campuses in St. Louis build on our strong programs and work with our staff to improve those areas that need attention,” Dennis Bakke stated.  “He will be supported by a team that includes Eileen Bakke, VP of Education; CFO Barry Sharp, and Jason Bryant, Imagine Schools Executive VP for Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.  All will be working with Alan and our teams in St. Louis to further strengthen Imagine’s educational and operational practices.”

“Every day, parents and guardians of 3,800 students make the choice to send their children to the six Imagine campuses in St. Louis. During my visits last week to all six of our schools, the parents I talked to indicated their strong support for the academic growth and character development they see in their children.  We take very seriously our mission to help parents educate their children, and we are committed to providing an ethical and challenging academic environment to the St. Louis children and families that Imagine serves,” Bakke said.

“My team and I will be spending the next several weeks meeting with staff, parents, our Boards and our sponsor to discuss and outline specific ways in which we can and need to improve,” Olkes said.

“Our entire team’s drive for excellence and improvement on these campuses is strong, and with the guidance of our sponsor, we have a detailed plan to become better.  We take our obligation to St. Louis students and families very seriously.  We are redoubling our commitment to provide St. Louis students the high quality education they need and deserve to put them on the path to success in life.” Bakke added.


Imagine Schools is a national operator of 75 public charter schools in 12 states and the District of Columbia.  Educating over 42,000 students, Imagine Schools partners with parents and guardians in the education of their children by providing high quality schools that prepare students for lives of leadership, accomplishment, and exemplary character.

Contact:  Lori Waters

[email protected]

(703) 740-2887, cell (571) 432-8884