Jamie Robert Vollmer
Jamie Vollmer is an award-winning champion of public education. He is president of Vollmer, Inc., and Director of the Community Engagement Project. In both roles, he works to halt the erosion of public trust and build support for America’s public schools. Not an educator by profession, Vollmer entered the PreK-12 arena after careers in law and manufacturing. He worked in the Washington D.C. law firm of United States Congressman William Cramer until 1985 when he left to join the management team of The Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company, in Fairfield Iowa.
Proclaimed by both People and Playboy magazines to make the “Best Ice Cream in America!” the company grew from a single store in Iowa City, Iowa to a chain of shops across the Midwest. Its super-premium products were sold in supermarkets and restaurants from coast to coast. From his initial position as Director of Franchise Development, Jamie rose to become the company’s president.
In 1988, he was asked to become a member of the nationally recognized Iowa Business and Education Roundtable. In 1990, he changed careers to become the Roundtable’s Executive Director, a post he held for three years. Although he entered this position as a harsh critic, with the help of teachers, administrators, Board members, and support staff across the country, Jamie has become an articulate friend and defender of America's public schools.
Over the last thirty years, he has worked with hundreds of school districts, Chambers of Commerce, education associations, and foundations to help build school-community partnerships that increase student success. His speeches and workshops have been praised as both practical and energizing. He combines statistics, logic, and humor to encourage people work together to create schools that unfold the full potential of every child.
Jamie is the creator and producer of the ground-breaking video series, The Great Conversation™, now recognized as a “must see” by everyone who cares about the future of our schools. He is the author of Schools Cannot Do It Alone, proclaimed by the American School Board Journal to be one of the “top ten books of the year.” Jamie has also written and produced the videos, The Ever Increasing Burden on America’s Public Schools, Why Our Schools Need to Change, and Teachers are Heroes.
He has been named a Friend of Public Education in both Texas and Ohio. He received the Learning and Liberty award from the National School Public Relations Association for his efforts to strengthen school/community partnerships.
Public education is a miracle: one of humankind’s most important social inventions, and one of America’s most precious resources.
Public education made our democracy possible and powered our ascent to global preeminence.
No expenditure of tax dollars yields as high a return as our investment in public schools.
Public schools are essential community institutions that strengthen local culture - they are the sole institutions able to both enrich individual lives and make good on America’s promise to create the one from the many.
Public schools do not belong to the government nor were they intended to be accountable to the government. They belong to and must be accountable to the people in the communities they serve.
Public education is under siege. It’s defenders are engaged in a great struggle for the future of public education, which is tantamount to fighting for the future of America as conceived by our Founders.
Jamie holds a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He received his B.A. in political science from Penn State University. A native of Philadelphia, he is married to his college sweetheart, the former baton twirling majorette, Jeanne Hecker. They have three grown children, all gainfully employed.