School Specialty, Inc.: Sets sights on expansion in the early childhood education market

Company Hires Industry Veteran, Soren Sofhauser, as Its New
Director of Early Childhood Sales

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

[email protected]

Tel: 212-786-6011