Mayor Lori Lightfoot is appointing former Ald. Michael Scott Jr. to serve on the Board of Schooling, filling the seat of present board member Dwayne Truss, who was shocked to study he’s being pushed off the board.
The transfer comes after Truss indicated final month that he didn’t help the constructing of a brand new $120 million highschool within the South Loop, supported by Lightfoot. On the final minute, the mission was pulled from the capital price range after it seemed prefer it might not be authorized. Chicago Public Colleges CEO Pedro Martinez has mentioned he desires the board to revisit the proposal.
In response to a query about whether or not Truss’ opinion on the highschool contributed to the choice to not renew his time period, a spokesperson for Lightfoot mentioned, “Dwayne Truss’ time period expired. Truss is trying ahead to new alternatives and we want him effectively.”
Scott is the son of former Board of Schooling President Michael Scott Sr. and one in every of three new appointees to the board Lightfoot introduced in a information launch Friday.
A staunch ally of Lightfoot’s, Scott Jr. beforehand led the Metropolis Council’s Committee on Schooling and Baby Growth earlier than abruptly resigning his seat in Could to take a job on the movie and tv manufacturing firm Cinespace. Lightfoot nominated his sister, Monique Scott, to interchange him. He additionally beforehand labored for the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Board of Schooling.
Scott’s father served on the Board of Schooling from 2001 till his loss of life in 2009. A political operative below former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Scott was concerned in land offers that fell by when Chicago’s Olympics bid failed. His loss of life was dominated a suicide.
Truss, who Lightfoot appointed and who Scott is changing, had anticipated to proceed on the board, telling WBEZ that it was a shock to him that his time period was not being prolonged.
Lightfoot and Martinez need to construct the brand new highschool Truss opposes. They are saying the realm wants a faculty for college kids in Chinatown, the South Loop and Bronzeville who presently are touring far outdoors their communities.
However the proposal is particularly controversial in a faculty district with many underutilized excessive colleges close by struggling to draw college students. Additionally, the town desires to place the brand new college on CHA land on which backed housing was purported to be constructed.
Truss was particularly sad concerning the CHA land getting used for the varsity. He mentioned the varsity district didn’t do sufficient group engagement to take the land.
Truss is a West Facet activist who spent a few years preventing in opposition to closing colleges and the opening of constitution colleges.
The change of Truss for Scott comes amid massive modifications for the Board of Schooling because it gears as much as transition to an elected board starting in 2025. Simply final month, Lightfoot crammed a seat that had been vacant for 9 months with Far South Facet activist Joyce Chapman.
One other board member who opposed the brand new highschool, Luisiana Meléndez, additionally introduced final month that she was stepping away from the board.
Together with Meléndez, businessman Lucino Sotelo introduced he was leaving the board.
WBEZ has confirmed Lightfoot will appoint non-public lawyer Sulema Medrano Novak and former CPS worker Paige Ponder to fill different vacancies anticipated after these two members introduced they didn’t need to proceed serving on the board.
Ponder labored in Chicago Public Colleges from 2008 by 2011 below Daley. She led the workplace of scholar help and engagement and an workplace known as Commencement Pathways. She has spent the final decade main nonprofit organizations, together with most not too long ago One Million Levels, which helps group school college students.
Medrano Novak serves as a board member for the town’s Human Sources Board, in response to the town’s web site. The mayor’s workplace says she plans to resign from that place. She is a non-public trial lawyer on industrial dispute and insurance coverage claims circumstances and a first-generation school graduate. She beforehand labored as an Illinois state prosecutor and is “recognized for defending company purchasers in advanced contract and client disputes.”
Sarah Karp covers training and Mariah Woelfel covers Chicago metropolis authorities for WBEZ.