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Ken Jolly (AM)

Chairman

Originally an English and History teacher, Ken Jolly joined the then H J Ashton Company in 1970 as a teacher-consultant, believing that he could have a greater impact on children through books.

Ken Jolly steered the company from a small family-sized concern, through the fluctuating economies of the 1980s and 1990s, into its current position as Australia's leading children's publisher.

Along the way Ken's exceptional leadership abilities saw him rapidly rise through the ranks, working in the roles of Marketing Manager, National Sales Manager, Teacher's Bookshelf Editor and General Manager before being appointed Managing Director in 1979 — a position he held with distinction until December 2007 when he resigned as Managing Director and was made Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Ken has modeled the company on the philosophy that books for Australian children should be enjoyable and affordable so that as many children as possible can participate in the pleasure of reading.

His continued passion for and commitment to providing the best in books and educational materials for children has meant that Scholastic has consistently been an innovator in the children's book industry.

Ken's distinguished career has seen his involvement in many areas of education. He has served terms on the Central Coast Campus Board, the Central Coast Steering Committee investigating Higher Education on the Central Coast , the Hunter Institute of Technology Council, and as a Community Representative to the Interim Board for the Central Coast Campus.

Through Scholastic Ken has also ensured that the history of Australian children's literature is preserved through the ownership of Dromkeen, an accredited museum which houses original artwork, preliminary material and manuscripts from children's literature. As well, Ken has strongly supported the Children's Book Council Awards, Scholastic being the major benefactor of the Awards.

Ken has also been a champion of disadvantaged and sick children, avidly supporting the establishment of the Scholastic Book Bunker — a library for children and their families at the Children's Hospital at Westmead — and company fundraising through which Scholastic staff have realised a 16-year dream of raising of $1million for Variety, the Children's Charity!

In January 2005 Ken was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for ‘service to the promotion of children's literature and to the community through philanthropic support for organisations benefiting sick and underprivileged children'.

This prestigious recognition is especially significant in Ken Jolly's 35th anniversary year of working at Scholastic.