May 26, 2011
Jean-Claude Brizard, the new chief executive officer at the Chicago Public Schools, spent his first morning on the job visiting schools as part of a citywide listening tour which aims to engage Chicagoans in a dialog about educational issues. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Latasha Thomas joined Brizard to visit with students at Simon Guggenheim Elementary School, 7141 S. Morgan, as they began their school day (see photo gallery below).
Brizard talked with students at Guggenheim Elementary as they began their science lessons on laptops and with Guggenheim principal Vikki Stokes. Brizard began his career as a junior high science teacher.
Brizard also visited Benito Juarez Community Academy High School in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. He spoke with eighth grade students visiting Juarez for the first time as part of the CPS High School Investigation Day and he sat in on a chemistry class where he talked with students about their aspirations.
Brizard will visit a school nearly everyday until the end of the school year engaging directly with principals, teachers and students. It affords him the opportunity to learn first-hand the challenges that schools face and to identify best practices. During the listening tour, Brizard will spend time in communities across the city, speaking with groups of students, principals, teachers, faith leaders and community organizations as he begins to formulate a plan of action.
Brizard spent the afternoon with staff at an introductory meet and greet held at CPS headquarters. Students from the CPS Culinary Programs at Manley, Dunbar and Tilden high schools were on hand to provide refreshments and welcomed the new CEO with Haitian cake, among other dishes.
To see photos from CEO Brizard's first day at CPS, click on the photo below.
Chicago Public Schools serves 409,279 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.