Acting CEO Jackson Announces Key Additions to CPS Leadership Team

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

CPS Acting CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson Wednesday announced several key appointments to her leadership team, including a new Chief Operating Officer, Chief Education Officer, Chief of Staff and Budget Director. All of the individuals being recommended for these appointments have extensive experience working in Chicago Public Schools, and three of the four previously worked as classroom teachers.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Arnie Rivera

With more than a decade of experience in Chicago’s public school system, Arnie Rivera is being recommended to serve as the district’s new Chief Operating Officer, which oversees all operational functions within CPS. Rivera has served the district as a First Grade Teacher, Budget Director, Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief of Public Policy, and Member of the Chicago Board of Education. In addition, Rivera served on the teams that successfully negotiated the past two contracts with the Chicago Teachers Union.

Chief Education Officer – LaTanya McDade
LaTanya McDade, currently the CPS Chief of Teaching and Learning, is being appointed to serve as the district’s Chief Education Officer, which oversees all in-school and out-of-school educational programming for Chicago Public Schools.  As Chief of Teaching and Learning, McDade managed all core academic departments in the district and oversaw the design, implementation and evaluation of instructional programs and services for teachers and administrators.

Chief of Staff – Pedro Soto
With nearly two decades of operational, educational, and budgetary experience in Chicago Public Schools, Pedro Soto has been selected to serve as Dr. Jackson’s Chief of Staff. Soto most recently served the district as its Chief of School Operations, in which he oversaw the coordination and implementation of all educational departments and network offices to ensure alignment with district priorities. Soto’s experience includes nine years of experience leading budgetary and operational strategy at the district, making him an ideal candidate to ensure the uniform implementation of district policies across all levels.

Budget Director – Heather Wendell
Heather Wendell has been selected to serve as the district’s Budget Director in the Office of Finance. Wendell has more than 20 years of experience in education, most recently serving as Executive Director of the CPS Grants Office, where she successfully oversaw and coordinated more than $900 million in federal and state funds; she will continue to oversee the Grants Office as she takes leadership of the Budget Office, as well. Wendell’s experience includes the successful implementation of large scale projects in various roles at Chicago Public Schools, including Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Special Projects, and Business Services Manager. All appointments announced Wednesday will be brought to the Board of Education for approval.

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