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Suburban superintendent named interim Chicago schools CEO

June 14, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A longtime educator and former suburban schools superintendent was named interim leader of Chicago Public Schools on Monday.

Jose Torres most recently was president of the Illinois Math and Science Academy, a suburban magnet school, and formerly superintendent of Elgin School District. He’s also held leadership positions in CPS, the nation’s third-largest district.

He’ll temporarily replace CEO Janice Jackson, who announced last month that she is leaving the post. Her tenure included an 11-day teachers strike in 2019 and bitter fights with the Chicago Teachers Union over reopening plans following coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The battles nearly resulted in a strike this year as students returned to classrooms since going fully remote in March 2020.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Torres has a proven track record.

District officials are searching for a new schools chief and plan to select one by the end of July.

“Serving the incredible students, staff, and families of Chicago Public Schools at this critical time is an immense privilege, and I am grateful to be returning to the CPS family,” Torres said in a statement. “I’m honored that Mayor Lightfoot and the Board of Education have put their faith in me, and I’m eager to begin helping our schools recover from this incredibly challenging year.”