Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in May 2017 (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An office manager was invited. So were politicians, ministers and school administrators. But it’s more interesting who wasn’t invited to the education roundtable that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attended in Tallahassee on Wednesday with the Baptist minister who convened the event.

The event was convened by the Rev. R.B. Holmes, leader of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in the Florida capital and a prominent advocate of school choice in the state. DeVos is a longtime proponent of school choice too, saying once that traditional public education in the United States was a “dead end.”

The Education Department said that DeVos met with “a broad spectrum of education leaders in Florida”  in two 45-minutes sessions, the first titled “Saving, Sustaining and Strengthening Public Education and Schools of Choice” and the second titled “Saving, Sustaining and Strengthening HBCUs and Higher Education.”

The crew discussed policies and procedures, challenges and concerns and recommendations and solutions, the department reported, and it quoted DeVos as saying:

“As we confront the many challenges facing our education system today, it is paramount that we hear from those on the front lines: local leaders who confront these issues head on each and every day. Today’s discussions were great examples of how local leaders — whether they are administrators, educators, elected officials or religious leaders — can come together to share best practices and work together to find innovative solutions that help our students and communities succeed.”

According to the Education Department, this is the list of people who were invited to the event.

• Timothy Moore, Director of Research, Florida A&M University
• Rodner Wright, Provost, Florida A&M University
• Castelle Bryant, past president, Florida A&M University
• Henry Lewis III, past interim president, Florida A&M University
• JoLinda L. Herring, Florida Memorial University, board of trustees
• Freddie Grooms-McLendon, Edward Waters University, chairman, board of trustees
• Florida state Sen. Bill Montford
• U.S. Rep. Al Lawson
• Hershel Lyons, Florida State Department of Education (K-12 chancellor)
• Pam Stewart, commissioner of education
• Rod Duckworth, career and adult education chancellor
• Alex “Lex” Carswell Jr.,  Columbia County superintendent
• Patricia Willis, Duval County superintendent
• Traci Moses, Franklin County superintendent
• Marianne Arbulu, Jefferson County superintendent
• Beverly Owens, Leon County Schools Office of Federal Programs & Charter School
• Diane Townsend, principal, Tallavana Christian School
• Roslyn Wilson, principal, Bethel Christian Academy
• The Rev. Julius McAllister, trustee, Edward Waters University; pastor, Bethel AME Church
• The Rev. Joseph Wright, Florida Baptist General State Convention; pastor, Jerusalem Baptist Church
• Bishop A.J. Richardson, Bethune-Cookman University, board of trustees, 14th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
• The Rev. Lee Johnson, pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church
• The Rev. Richard Mashburn, associate minister, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• Isaac Manning, moderator, 1st Bethlehem Baptist Association
• Ronald Holmes, Holmes Education Post
• Marvin Henderson, retired deputy superintendent, Leon County Schools
• Georgia “Joy” Bowen, president, Leon County School Board
• Carolyn D. Cummings, attorney
• James Coleman, vice chair, board of trustees, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• Elaine Bryant, chair, board of trustees, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• James Mathews, chairman of finance, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• Barbara Barnes, retired provost, Florida A&M University
• Malcom Barnes, retired professor, Florida A&M University
•  Malinda J. James, educational consultant
• The Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr., pastor, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• Gloria Holmes, administrator, Bethel Christian Academy
• Shawnta Friday-Stroud, dean of the School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University
• Rocky Hanna, superintendent Leon County schools
• Patricia Green-Powell, interim dean and professor, College of Education, Florida A&M University
• Charles Weatherford, Title III programs, interim executive director
• Christopher Petley, project manager, Office of District Communications
• Linda T. Fortenberry, director of Christian education, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
• Taralisha Sanders, office manager, the Capital Outlook

So who isn’t on the list?

There are no students or teachers on the list.

Why include them in a roundtable about important education issues?