Present at the announcement

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So who – besides reporters – got to attend the big event at Dodge Renaissance Academy, where President-elect Barack Obama formally tapped Arne Duncan for the next U.S. Secretary of Education?

Arne’s family, of course, including his wife, Karen, and their two children, Claire and Ryan, who sat on her lap during the short proceedings. Also, his mother, Sue; brother, Owen; and sister, Sarah, and her husband, Tom McDougal. Currently, all live within a few blocks of each other in Hyde Park. Owen said the extended family was just starting to get used to the idea that one contingent would be moving to Washington, D.C.

So who – besides reporters – got to attend the big event at Dodge Renaissance Academy, where President-elect Barack Obama formally tapped Arne Duncan for the next U.S. Secretary of Education?

Arne’s family, of course, including his wife, Karen, and their two children, Claire and Ryan, who sat on her lap during the short proceedings. Also, his mother, Sue; brother, Owen; and sister, Sarah, and her husband, Tom McDougal. Currently, all live within a few blocks of each other in Hyde Park. Owen said the extended family was just starting to get used to the idea that one contingent would be moving to Washington, D.C.

The Academy for Urban School Leadership also was well represented – Dodge is one of seven CPS schools it manages. There was founder Martin Koldyke, who promoted Duncan for CEO back in 2001, when Duncan was a barely known CPS bureaucrat. Also, board chairman David Vitale, who worked pro bono with Duncan as chief operating officer; Executive Director Don Feinstein; Brian Sims, who oversees high school turnaround efforts; and Madeleine Miraldi, a former star principal who is the director of new schools.

Also attending were State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a basketball buddy of the President-elect; John Rogers, head of Ariel Capital, whom Duncan acknowledged as his mentor; Paula Wolffe, a senior executive at Chicago Metropolis 2020; Greg Richmond, president of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA); and John Ayers, a former NACSA official now doing consulting; Maggie Blinn, executive director in Chicago of New Leaders for New Schools; and Vivian Loseth, executive director of Youth Guidance.

Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason Watkins was the only ranking CPS employee there. CPS media consultant Peter Cunningham acted as the press intermediary for Duncan and Giannoulias.