State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala Announces Retirement

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala has announced plans to retire at the end of her current contract, which concludes January 31st, 2023. Dr. Ayala has served as State Superintendent since early 2019, shepherding Illinois schools through COVID-19 and kick starting their academic recovery – leading most recently to a decade-high in the state’s graduation rate.  As the capstone of her nearly four-decade career in education, Ayala was the first woman and the first person of color to serve as permanent superintendent for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Prior to her appointment as State Superintendent, Ayala served as superintendent of Berwyn North School District, assistant superintendent in Plainfield and Aurora East Districts, and as a classroom teacher in Aurora and in Chicago Public Schools. Ayala provided steadfast leadership for Illinois schools during COVID-19, overseeing an unprecedented shift to virtual and socially distanced learning. During Ayala’s time at ISBE, the state recorded its highest high school graduation rate since reporting began in 2011, driven by increased graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students under Ayala’s equity-focused leadership.

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