Robert Sommers Biography
On April 1, 2013, Robert Sommers became the seventh state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. In July 2013, Gov. Mary Fallin also named Sommers the secretary of education and workforce development.
Sommers previously served as CEO and managing member of Carpe Diem Learning Systems, an organization created to replicate the high-performing, cost-effective Carpe Diem personalized blended learning model.
For nine years, Sommers served as CEO and superintendent of an Ohio career-technical district, Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, in Hamilton, Ohio. Under his leadership, the district doubled in size, became the highest performing career-technical district in Ohio and became known for creative educational programs, including blended learning schools. The district served more than 26,000 high school through adult students and provided customized training to companies.
For 15 years, Sommers served in several capacities with the Ohio Department of Education. He served as an agricultural supervisor, state adviser for the FFA, assistant director of program evaluation services and associate director for career-technical education.
Sommers’ teaching experience includes agricultural education in London, Ohio.
Sommers served as Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s education policy adviser covering elementary through university education policy. During his tenure, Ohio implemented reforms for increased school performance transparency, teacher evaluation, school choice, digital education options and failing school transformation.
While in Detroit, he served as CEO of Cornerstone Charter Schools, where he designed the Cornerstone Health High School, a blended learning school that opened in fall 2012.
Sommers earned a doctorate in educational administration and leadership from The Ohio State University, Columbus, where he also completed his master’s degree in agricultural education. He earned a bachelor of science degree in education at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and has received several education and business awards in Ohio. He has also served in leadership positions in numerous state and national organizations, including chairman of the Performance Taskforce for the National Association of Career and Technical Education.