BREAKING NEWS: IRSD’s Bunting to be nominated for Secretary of Education

Date Published: 
Dec. 30, 2016

Gov.-elect John Carney is building his cabinet to lead Delaware for the next four years. On Dec. 30, he announced his intent to nominate Selbyville’s Susan Bunting as Secretary of the Department of Education.

Bunting has served as Indian River School District superintendent since 2006, currently responsible for more than 10,000 students and more than 1,300 employees — one of the state’s biggest and fastest-growing school districts.

“Susan is among the most knowledgeable educators in Delaware, and has committed her career to improving public education in our state, and doing what is best for Delaware students,” Carney stated. “She will help us refocus the Department of Education as a support agency to help districts keep high-quality teachers in the classroom and better address the needs of their students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I’m confident Susan is the right person for the job.

As secretary of education, Bunting would oversee Delaware’s public school system and serve as Carney’s education policy advisor.

Her tenure at IRSD has included numerous school, student and staff awards, including her own honor as a top-four finalist for 2012 National Superintendent of the Year.

Her goal is not just to produce lifelong learners, she said in a 2012 interview, “but healthy lifelong learners, ready to be able to give back to their communities, as their community supported them growing up, helping them prepare for the future. It’s a global kind of thing.”

But in the Indian River School District, students aren’t the only learners. Bunting had previously said the district has risen to the forefront of academic leadership because of professional development programs, which strengthen education through teachers, classrooms and administrators. As top administrator for the district, Bunting would often oversee or lead such programs.

“I see the superintendency as an instructional leadership position, and that is something that is near and dear to my heart,” she previously said. “That’s my background.”

She came to the IRSD in 1977, after six years as a teacher and curriculum writer in Maryland. As a teacher, she won IRSD Teacher of the Year for 1984-1985. She became the IRSD supervisor of elementary instruction in 1991, then IRSD director of instruction in 1996.

Bunting earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from American University, a master’s degree in education from Salisbury University and a doctorate in education leadership from the University of Delaware.

“Deep in our souls, we are dedicated to students, and anything we do is for the good of the students,” Bunting had previously said. “Sometimes I have to tell my staff members that, too. I’m not here to serve staff members. I’m here to serve students.”

Cabinet nominations must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate. If confirmed, she would take over the position currently held by Steven Godowsky.

Other recent nomination announcements include:
• Shawn M. Garvin — Secretary, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC)
• Richard J. “Rick” Geisenberger — Secretary, Department of Finance
• James Collins — (continuing) Chief Information Officer, Delaware Department of Technology and Information,
• Mike Jackson — Director, Office of Management and Budget
• Perry Phelps — Commissioner, Department of Correction
• Jennifer Cohan — (continuing) Secretary, Department of Transportation
• Jeffrey Bullock — (continuing) Secretary, Department of State

The 2016 Delaware Gubernatorial Transition Team is based in Dover and Wilmington, available at (302) 577-5229. Résumés are being accepted to fill government staff positions. Visit or email for more information.