John R. Gantz, PhD
Hall of Fame Class of 2006
John R. Gantz, PhD, is a distinguished adult educator in the Department of Defense’s Voluntary Education Program. As an innovative practitioner and educational leader, he has been a strong advocate for extending a wide range of educational opportunities to servicemembers in the United States Armed Forces located throughout the world. During his forty-year career, he has held increasingly significant and responsible positions, capping his career as the national Chief of Troops to Teachers Program, funded through U.S. Department of Education and administered as part of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). Gantz earned a master’s degree in adult education from George Washington University and a doctorate in adult and higher education from the University of Southern California.
Gantz has served as a key leader in the Army’s Continuing Education System, as the DANTES European Education Advisor, and later as the DANTES deputy director. He now serves as chief of Troops to Teachers (TTT) program, a federally funded program that has provided teaching positions for more than 8000 service men and women after their retirement from military service. As TTT chief, he built a program that gained a national reputation for excellence. Retired service personnel have entered the teaching profession in over 35 states and in more than 2,500 school districts. TTT offices are now located in 33 states that serve as state centers, assisting in recruitment and placement of TTT participants, providing information and guidance on local job opportunities, certification options and requirements, and working with individual school districts to assist in identifying quality candidates for vacancies. Gantz has developed a cohesive and dynamic organization of the state TTT representatives who work together to champion opportunities for teaching as a second career.
These teachers are proving successful in the classroom and winning many Teacher of the Year awards at the local, state and national levels. Gantz enlisted key national figures, U.S. President Clinton and Laura Bush, America’s First Lady, to support TTT development, continuations and funding.
He has been instrumental in policy development, program analysis and program implementation that has maximized the use of nontraditional alternatives to assist military personnel complete quality degree programs and certification examinations with minimum time and expense. This includes development of articulation guides and specialized training programs for education counselors and college personnel serving military students.
His efforts have resulted in many thousands of service members and their family members achieving access to quality opportunities to improve their lives through education. The impact of his efforts extends well beyond the military.