November 18, 2012

Mayor Emanuel Names Former Teacher and Principal Carlos Azcoitia to Serve as a Member of the Chicago Board of Education

Mayor Emanuel Also Names Rodrigo Sierra to the Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named Dr. Carlos Azcoitia to serve as a member of the Chicago Board of Education. A former teacher, principal and administrator, Azcoitia brings over 30 years of experience in schools to the role.

“For over 30 years, Carlos has dedicated his career to helping students succeed, as a teacher, principal and administrator and the breadth of his experience makes him uniquely qualified for this role on the Board of Education,” said Mayor Emanuel. “His years working directly with students, teachers and principals bring an invaluable perspective to the Board and I know he will use his expertise and his unwavering commitment to the students of Chicago to be a strong advocate for their success.”

“With his extensive experience as an educator, Carlos will be an excellent addition to the Board and we welcome this appointment,” said David Vitale, President of the Chicago Board of Education. “Carlos’ dedication to the students of Chicago has been proven over his many years working in our city as a principal and an administrator and he will be a great voice for them and for Chicago’s communities on the Board.”

Additionally, Mayor Emanuel today nominated Rodrigo Sierra to be a member of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Board of Commissioners to replace long-time member Carlos Ponce. Ponce3 is stepping down after serving for over 10 years as a member of the CHA Board of Commissioners and interim CHA CEO. Sierra will leave his role on the Board of Education, where he has served for over a year, with this appointment to the CHA Board of Commissioners.

“I commend Carlos Ponce for his long and distinguished service to this city. He has helped guide the Chicago Housing Authority through times of incredible reform and we are grateful for his work, which has touched the lives of thousands of Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I also welcome Rodrigo into this position and am confident that his experience developing innovative solutions for large organizations, leading companies through times of change and his commitment to Chicago will serve him well in this role.”

“It has been an honor to serve on the CHA Board of Commissioners alongside Carlos, whose depth and breadth of experience has been an incredible asset and whose commitment to the people of Chicago has been tireless,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Chairman of the CHA Board of Commissioners. “We welcome Rodrigo’s appointment and look forward to incorporating his skills as an organizational leader and his years of experience supporting Chicago’s communities onto the board.”

About Dr. Carlos Azcoitia

Dr. Azcoitia currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership at National Louis University. From 2011-2012, he oversaw and supported thirty-six schools in his role as Interim Chief of Midway Network in Chicago Public Schools. Previously, from 2003-2007, Azcoitia served as the founding principal of John Spry Elementary Community School in the Little Village community, which is the first school in Chicago to include a pre-kindergarten through high school program in one building and sets high goals for student success; in 2011, 65% of Spry graduates enrolled in college. Before he founded John Spry Elementary Community School, Dr. Azcoitia served as the Deputy Chief of Education at Chicago Public Schools (1996-2003), where he was responsible for managing wide-ranging departments, programs and services.  He began his career as a teacher at Kosciuszko School, teaching 7th and 8th grades (1974-1982). He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Northeastern Illinois University, as a Steering Committee Member of the Coalition of Community Schools, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago High School for the Arts and Ignatian Spirituality Center in Miami, FL. Dr. Azcoitia received his Doctorate of Education from Northern Illinois University, his Masters of Education from National-Lewis University and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico.

About Rodrigo Sierra

 Currently, Sierra is the senior vice president and chief communications and marketing officer of the American Medical Association (AMA), where he is helping to lead the transformation of the 165 year old organization to reclaim a leadership position in shaping the evolving national healthcare system. Prior to his position at AMA, Sierra served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Johnson Publishing Company. Before then, Sierra spent 10 years at Integrys Energy Group and its predecessor, Peoples Energy, where he served in a variety of roles including Manager of Public Relations, Vice President of Corporate Communications, and Vice President of Public Affairs. Sierra was a founder and steering committee member of Nuestro Futuro, a partnership with the Chicago Community Trust that encourages giving from Latinos and increased grants to organizations that serve Latinos. He serves on the board of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance and on the executive committee of the board of the Goodman Theater. He is a member of the Arthur Page Society, the Institute for Politics at Roosevelt University, the Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives' Club of Chicago, the Publicity Club of Chicago and the City Club of Chicago. Sierra earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Northwestern University.


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