January 6, 2016

Mayor Emanuel Announces Appointment of Jaime Guzman to Board of Education

Guzman appointed to Board of Education following Jesse Ruiz’s transition to President of the Board of Commissioners to the Chicago Park District

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the appointment of Jaime Guzman to serve on the Chicago Board of Education, and is recommending he be elected Vice President by fellow members. Guzman, a former educator and education administrator, will replace Jesse Ruiz, who, after service to the board since 2011, has stepped down to serve as President to the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District.

Guzman is a native Chicagoan who has served for more than 15 years in a variety of roles in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, including senior leadership positions in both City Colleges and at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

“Jaime is a committed public servant who has worked tirelessly to improve our schools and opportunities for the next generation of Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Jaime’s leadership is ideal to build on the progress made by the Board, and his experience in both the classroom and as an educational administrator make him well-suited to continue driving improvements in our classrooms across the city.”

Guzman currently serves as Executive Director, Chicago for the Taproot Foundation, a national nonprofit that connects social change organizations with skilled volunteers through pro bono service. Guzman, a graduate of both Dartmouth College and Harvard University, has held leadership positions in Chicago education organizations, including: Chief Advisor to the Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago; and as Director of the Office of New Schools, where he managed authorization of new schools as part of the District’s quality schools initiatives. Additionally, Guzman taught for two years as bilingual teacher in the District, working closely with English Language Learners at Gerald Delgado Kanoon Magnet School in the Little Village community.

“I am honored that Mayor Emanuel has nominated me to serve the Board of Education, and I am excited to begin working on behalf of Chicago’s children to improve educational opportunities throughout our great city,” said Jaime Guzman. “I am confident that my experience in both the classroom and the boardroom will lend itself well as I work alongside CPS leadership and our Mayor to continue investing in our classrooms and our children’s futures.”

Guzman replaces Ruiz this month, following his nomination to the Chicago Park District board in November 2015. Ruiz served as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education from May of 2011 through December 2015, including a three-month stint as Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Since 2011 and with Ruiz’s continued support on the Board, CPS made investments in key programs that are proven to help prepare students for high school graduation and the rigors of 21st century college coursework.

Ruiz was appointed by the Mayor to serve as president to the Board of Commissioners for the Chicago Park District in anticipation of a major Parks initiative that will be announced early this year.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve on the board for the past four years, and though my departure is bittersweet, I am confident that our schools are in good hands with Jaime’s appointment,” said former Vice President to the Board of Education, Jesse Ruiz. “Jaime has an impressive track record of enacting change through his service to the public sector, which will make him a tremendous asset to the Board as it continues to ensure accountability in our schools and a first-rate education that will prepare our students for 21st century success.”

Assisting in the search to identify a board member replacement for Ruiz’s post was the Latino Advisory Committee, CPS’ Latino-focused task force designed to increase engagement with the Latino community and to enhance the educational success of Latino students. The 13-member committee seeks to accomplish its mission by uniting Chicago's Latino leaders in order to provide support to Latino students, teachers, administrators and families at CPS.

“We are enthusiastic about Jaime’s appointment, as he will not only play a critical role in representing the now majority Latino population of students and families across the District, but he will also be fully committed to improving education opportunities for all of Chicago’s students,” said Manuel Medina on behalf of the Latino Advisory Committee. “We believe it's a step in the right direction as we continue working with the district to increase diversity among educators and leadership in CPS to reflect the diversity of the student body.”

Guzman will preside over this month’s Board meeting, held on Wednesday, January 27th at CPS headquarters. During the same meeting, fellow members will vote to approve his recommendation to serve as Vice President.

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