July 26, 2012
CHICAGO – The Chicago Board of Education yesterday approved Dr. Markay L. Winston as Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) new Chief Officer of the Office of Special Education and Supports (OSES). In her new role, Dr. Winston will lead the District's efforts to serve approximately 53,000 students with special needs. She will lead the department as it works with schools, students, parents and advocacy groups to ensure that all students with disabilities are successful and graduate prepared for college and career. The OSES includes: support for low-incidence and high-incidence disabilities, support for specialized schools, clinical services and parent advocacy.
"Dr. Winston has an expansive background in management and administration, as well as the hands-on experience necessary to ensure that our special education students are receiving a world-class education," said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. "We welcome the expertise she will bring to Chicago Public Schools in serving our students and collaborating with special needs communities."
Dr. Winston comes to CPS from the Cincinnati Public Schools where she has served as Director of Student Services since 2002. Prior to her role as Director, she was a school psychologist and a mental health consultant in Cincinnati.
"I am thrilled to be joining such a diverse and dynamic group of educators within the Chicago Public Schools, and am eager to make significant contributions grounded in the principles of collaboration and inclusive practices, that are directly in alignment with the vision that CEO Brizard has outlined for the District," said Dr. Winston.
Dr. Winston's responsibilities in her most recent role include fiscal and administrative oversight of special education and related service delivery to students with disabilities; serving as compliance officer for all matters related to special education and English Language Learners (ELL); administrative oversight of a district-wide crisis response team; and management of nursing services. She also brings deep knowledge and experience related to systemic intervention for struggling students and strategies that ensure access to standards-based curriculum for diverse learners.
Dr. Winston's work in Cincinnati focused on changing the district's culture to be more welcoming and inclusive of students with disabilities and ELL in the development, implementation, and monitoring of district-wide initiatives. Her efforts emphasized the use of effective instructional strategies that supported a growing number of students receiving grade-level core instruction, regardless of their ability.
"I look forward to bringing energy, enthusiasm, excitement and a commitment to ensuring that the policies and practices we put in place are developed, from the very beginning, with the needs of each and every student in mind," said Dr. Winston.
"For example, there is a growing research base that has identified building level practices that have demonstrated improved learning outcomes for students with disabilities. Some of these practices include regularly scheduled common planning time between general education and special education teachers, collaborative teaching, flexible and student-centered service delivery models, high expectations for the learning of diverse students, priority scheduling for students with disabilities, instructional coaching supports, and universal academic screening procedures to identify student needs and a multi-tiered intervention system that is responsive to student needs."
Dr. Winston earned her PhD in 1996 and her MA in Education in 1989 from the Department of School Psychology and Counseling at the University of Cincinnati, where she was a minority fellow and scholar. She earned her BA in 1987 from Central University of Iowa.
Dr. Winston has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton, the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University. She often serves as a presenter or speaker at professional workshops and conferences around the nation.
She is actively involved at the regional, state and national levels and serves on several advisory committees focused on equity issues involving students with disabilities, curriculum access through technology, leadership development, and assessment.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.