July 5, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces New Appointments to Chicago Board of Education

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson today has announced six new appointees to the Chicago Board of Education. The appointments are new Board President Jianan Shi, and Board members Mariela Estrada, Mary Fahey Hughes, Rudy Lozano, Michelle Morales, and Tanya Woods. Today’s appointees join current Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland, who will now serve as vice president.  

The names announced today for a term beginning July 18 mark the last mayoral appointees before the transition to an elected representative school board begins in 2024.  

“It’s my honor to bring together such a diverse group of people from community, business, philanthropy, and elsewhere to collaborate around a vision for our schools that ensures every student has access to a fully resourced, supportive, and nurturing learning environment,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “These are CPS parents, just as I am, and education champions dedicated to creating learning environments that support our children in the classroom and beyond. I am excited to get to work with them in building the school communities that our students and families deserve.”  

Under this Board, the administration anticipates the creation of a Special Education Advisory Committee to help ensure the district has input from local leaders and experts as they look for new leadership and strengthen services and supports for students with disabilities.  

Jianan Shi, President  

Jianan Shi has served as Executive Director of Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education since 2019. He was a high school science educator at Eric Solorio Academy, a Chicago Public high school on the Southwest Side. Prior to his time in Chicago, Shi was taught for three years at Codman Academy, an expeditionary learning school in Boston. As an educator, he sought ways to amplify the voices of his students and was a faculty supervisor for the DREAM Team, a group of undocumented students who advocate for issues around immigration in the community. He holds a Master of Education in Secondary Education and Biology from Boston University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston College.  

Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Vice President  

Elizabeth Todd-Breland is being reappointed to the Board of Education and will serve as Vice President. She is an Associate Professor in the History Department and affiliated faculty in the Black Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy. Her work focuses on U.S. urban history, African American history, education history, inequality, and policy.  In addition to having her writing published in outlets such as the Journal of African American History, NPR, ESPN, and other forms of media, she has also had her book, A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago Since the 1960s, published by the University of North Carolina Press. She has taught as an Assistant Professor at Governors State University and as an ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. She is a CPS parent. 

Mariela Estrada, Board Member  

Mariela Estrada is the Director of Community Engagement at the United Way of Metro Chicago. She has served in previous roles as Community Engagement Coordinator for the City of Chicago’s Inspector General’s Office and as Director of Organizing on the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. A proponent for community and city reform, Estrada has worked with a base of thousands of Chicagoans, including residents and city employees, to bring greater transparency and reduce corruption in city government. Estrada has also worked with Southwest Side schools in running leadership development workshops for parents, as well as working on school gardens and fundraisers. With a B.A. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, accompanied by a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies, she was selected in 2014 to be part of the Latino Policy Forum’s Leadership Academy, as she is a trained interpreter through the DuPage Language Access Center. She is an immigrant, CPS graduate, and CPS parent.  

Mary Fahey Hughes, Board Member  

Mary Fahey Hughes is a manager, actor, and advocate for special education. She has served in various roles including as a Special Education Parent Liaison at Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education, Parent Advocate for the Parent Educator Partnership Program at Chicago Public Schools, and company member at The Spew Production Company, The Noble Fool Theatre Company, and The Free Associates. Fahey Hughes also has a background in volunteer work as a Local School Council Member at Cassell Elementary School, a Parent Representative at the Chicago High school for Agriculture Sciences, and a Founder and Director of the 19th Ward Parents for Special Education, among other experiences. She is a CPS Parent.  

Rudy Lozano, Board Member 

Rudy Lozano is an Executive Director with Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is the Head of The Fellowship Initiative. Lozano is a leader in the youth development and community education and has held positions in nationally recognized organizations — The Association House of Chicago, Instituto Del Progreso Latino, and Enlace Chicago. His diverse experiences include mentoring youth, teaching in alternative high schools, coordinating community school programs, and directing statewide citizenship programs. He is an alum of Public Allies, Leadership Greater Chicago, and the Surge Fellowship. Lozano earned his Bachelor's degree in youth and community organizing from Northeastern Illinois University and his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a proud husband, father, and life-long resident of the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago. He is a CPS graduate, a CPS parent, and son of late activist Rudy Lozano, Sr.  

Michelle Morales, Board Member  

Michelle Morales is the President of the Woods Fund Chicago.  She is a first-generation U.S. born Puerto Rican. Prior to Woods Fund, she led the Illinois chapter of the Mikva Challenge, an organization that develops middle and high school aged youth to become civically engaged and creates space for their civic participation and leadership. Her background has been in the field of alternative education, focusing on and advocating for educational justice, first as a teacher at an alternative high school in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community and then as Associate Director at the Alternative Schools Network. In addition, Morales was a community organizer for 16 years in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, organizing against police brutality and gentrification, and for community-informed economic development and educational justice. She received a B.A. in Latin American/Latino Studies from DePaul University, a Master's in Special Education from UIC and a Master's in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Morales currently serves as a Trustee on the Northeastern Illinois University Board of Trustees. She is a former CPS parent.  

Tanya D. Woods, Board Member 

Tanya D. Woods is the Executive Director of the Westside Justice Center, a non-profit holistic legal aid clinic in East Garfield Park. She is also the principal of her law practice and a certified Mediator and Trainer at the Center for Conflict Resolution. Woods also is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University School of Law, her alma mater. During her accomplished legal career, Woods has pursued opportunities to make connections with change agents and visionaries and advance fairness and equity under the law. She holds a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University. She is a former CPS parent.