Newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has replaced the city's entire school board with seven new appointees.
The Chicago Tribune reports that former city clerk and state Sen. Miguel del Valle is Lightfoot's choice to be board president of the school system, the nation's third largest. The board vice president will be Sendhil Revuluri, a Chicago native who was a founding teacher at a public secondary school in the South Bronx in New York.
“The strength of our schools lies in their diversity, which is why we’ve announced a new board with strong representation to reflect the diverse voices of the students, families, teachers and staff of who they serve,” Lightfoot said in a news release.
District CEO Janice Jackson, appointed to the top Chicago Public Schools post in December 2017 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will remain in that position.
“She’s impressed me every single time,” Lightfoot said of Jakcson.
Jackson says she is pleased to be able to “align” visions with the new administration and start working together. “Equity is at the heart of everything we do,” she says.
Shortly after taking office last month, Lightfoot announced that she would replace all seven members of the school board.
Lightfoot's other five school board appointees:
•Dwayne Truss is a state tax auditor, community activist and former aldermanic candidate who was an critic of the district's school closings in 2013.
•Elizabeth Todd-Breland is a University of Illinois at Chicago history professor who has written a book on black politics and education reform efforts in Chicago.
•Lucino Sotelo is a marketing head at a golf course management company;.
•Luisiana Meléndez is an associate clinical professor at Erikson Institute, a child development graduate school in Chicago.
•Amy Rome is a longtime teacher and administrator in the school district.
Lightfoot also has appointed Sybil Madison, a research associate and lecturer at Northwestern University, as her deputy mayor for education and human services.
The new mayor has expressed support for making the city's school board an elected body, but says she opposes a bill approved in the Illinois house last month that would create a 21-member elected school board. Lightfoot calls that proposal "unwieldy."
Video from The Chicago Sun-Times: