July 16, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Announces Leadership Changes at Chicago Public Schools; Names Forrest Claypool as Next Chief Executive Officer

Janice Jackson named new Chief Education Officer, Frank Clark named new President of Chicago Board of Education

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Announcing a new leadership team at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Forrest Claypool as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CPS. Additionally, Janice K. Jackson has been named the new Chief Education Officer, Frank M. Clark has been named the new President of the Chicago Board of Education, and Denise Little has been selected to serve as Claypool's senior advisor.

“From historic gains in graduation rates to record high ACT scores and a record amount of students bound for college, our students, teachers and principals have made great progress, and for the sake of our children and our city, that progress must continue,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This new leadership team will build on our gains, address our challenges, and make sure that we continue putting our children and their education first.”

Claypool replaces Jesse Ruiz, who had been serving as Interim CEO and will now return to his previous role as Vice President of the Board of Education. Before serving as Mayor Emanuel’s Chief of Staff, Claypool was President of the Chicago Transit Authority, notably overseeing the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, which was completed on time and on budget. He also served as superintendent of the Chicago Park District during the 1990s where he notably reduced costs and spending, while expanding programs for families. Claypool will assume his new role on July 27. His appointment will be voted on at next Wednesday's school board meeting.

Claypool's replacement as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff will be named in the coming weeks.

Mayor Emanuel also named Clark, a CPS graduate, the new Chicago Board of Education President to replace President David J. Vitale. Vitale is stepping down after serving in this role since May of 2011.

Clark is currently the chairman of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust. He worked at ComEd for more than forty years, retiring in 2012 as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ComEd. He is the co-founder of the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy, a high school located on the west side of the city, and is the Co-Chair of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Board. He also served on the Commission on School Utilization in 2012.

The Mayor also announced that Dr. Jackson, a CPS graduate, will serve as Chief Education Officer. Dr. Jackson has more than 15 years of experience in Chicago Public Schools, most recently as Chief of Schools for Network 9. Under Dr. Jackson’s leadership as principal at Al Raby High School and Westinghouse College Prep, both high schools were recognized for excellence. Prior to those roles, she taught history and economics at South Shore High School.

Finally, Denise Little will serve as Senior Advisor to Claypool at CPS. Currently, Little is CPS’ Chief Officer of Networks, a position responsible for managing the Chiefs of Schools and ensuring that all Network Chiefs have the available tools and programs they need to deliver high performing schools that ensure that students reach their full potential. Previously, Little served as the Chief of Elementary Schools for the Garfield-Humboldt Network, and before that, she served as principal of Helen M. Hefferan Elementary School for 13 years.

The appointments will be officially announced at the July 22 Chicago Board of Education meeting.