School Specialty Sets Sights on Expansion in the Early Childhood Education Market

GREENVILLE, Wis., April 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) ("School Specialty" or "the Company"), a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace, today announced that as part of its efforts to continue its growth in the Early Childhood market, it has hired industry veteran, Soren Sofhauser as its new Director of Early Childhood Sales.

"Soren has served the education market for 35 years and spent more than half of that time working in Early Childhood. As a former teacher and administrator, he understands the importance of early childhood development and the types of products and solutions that are best suited for infants/toddlers, Pre-K and Kindergarten, and elementary school students," stated Ed Carr, Executive Vice President of Sales for School Specialty. "He is a proven commodity within our industry and our team knows him well as he was a key sales leader of our Childcraft division for fifteen years. He has served many of our largest markets, including Texas, California and New York, and he brings to our Company, invaluable relationships with educators, industry and associations that will help us grow, especially as we place greater emphasis on expansion in the Early Childhood market."

Mr. Sofhauser most recently served as Vice President of Sales with ETA hand2mind where he was responsible for math, notably STEM and manipulative sales for the Pre-K to Elementary Education market. Previously, he served as Western Regional Manager with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, responsible for literacy, math and science supplemental education sales in the Western Region for the Pre-K to Elementary Education market. Prior to that role, he was the Vice President of Sales with CIM Technology Solutions, a technology company servicing the Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education markets, as well as B2B. He also spent 15 years working in a number of sales leadership positions with Childcraft Education Corporation, which was subsequently acquired by School Specialty. As Vice President of Sales, he oversaw Early Childhood sales in the domestic, international and Department of Defense markets. He was responsible for sales in the Infant/Toddler to Grade 3 categories for both Childcraft Education and ABC School Supply. As a 35-year industry veteran and a former teacher and administrator, Mr. Sofhauser has also been involved in several organizations in the Early Childhood market, and has been honored by the National Head Start Association, was a sponsor of the Leadership Laboratory in Vail, CO for Head Start leaders through the National Centers for Learning Excellence, Inc., and has been a guest speaker at the Ohio Head Start Association. Mr. Sofhauser holds an MA in Education Administration from West Virginia University and serves on the Board of Trustees at Alderson Broaddus University.

The Early Childhood market represents an important area of growth for School Specialty as it spans across many of the Company's core offerings, including Supplies, Furniture, Technology, and Curriculum. In recent years, there has been a big push by Federal and State governments to enhance the level of education for children in their early years of learning. Similarly, increasing budget dollars are being allocated to support Early Childhood development. To take advantage of these positive trends, the Company has recently focused on enhancing and expanding its offering for the pre-K through elementary grades; has built out its sales force, including both inside and outside sales associates; and initiated statewide and district campaigns to home in on territories that have received increased funding and grant dollars. In his new role as Director of Early Childhood Sales, Mr. Sofhauser will be responsible for working with School Specialty's sales, marketing and merchandising teams, both within the Distribution and Curriculum segments to offer solutions to customers in need of high quality, best value offerings.

"I'm excited to once again be working with the School Specialty team and with our loyal customers across the U.S.," stated Sofen Sofhauser. "Through proprietary brands such as Childcraft, Classroom Select, Classroom Direct, Sax and more, and our assortment of 3rd-party brands, School Specialty offers the market the fullest set of products and solutions available today, many of which are geared to Early Childhood development. I look forward to taking on this role and contributing to the Company's success for years to come."

About School Specialty, Inc.

School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. For more information about School Specialty, visit

CONTACT: Investor Relations and Media Relations Contact Glenn Wiener GW Communications for School Specialty Tel: 212-786-6011

Source:School Specialty, Inc.