Chicago Public Schools Names Two Key District Leadership Posts 

CEO Brizard Taps Experienced Educators as Interim Chief Education Officer and Early Childhood Officer


April 30, 2012


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced two new appointments to key education posts. CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard named Barbara Byrd Bennett as Chief Education Advisor and Elizabeth (Beth) Mascitti-Miller as Early Childhood Officer.

Following the May 31st resignation of the District’s current Chief Education Officer, Bennett will assume the role of Interim Officer overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Chief Education Office (CEdO) and provide support to the CEdO leadership team during this transition. Bennett is an experienced educator who has served in multiple leadership roles at national, state and district levels across the country from district superintendent and CEO, to executive coach for school superintendents, and as a teacher for 12 years.


“Barbara Byrd Bennett is a seasoned and respected leader with depth and expertise across a broad spectrum of education issues,” Brizard said. “She has the experience to step in on day one and provide the leadership required to support critical reform initiatives designed to drive student achievement across the District.”


Bennett served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Cleveland Municipal School District and as Supervising Superintendent for the Chancellor’s District in New York City in the late 1990s. She also has served as Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor for Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Financial Manager and was an Executive Officer for New Leaders for New Schools. She is a national education consultant and has served as an executive coach for the Broad Superintendents’ Academy, a highly competitive professional academy that offers administrative training and managerial preparation for prospective superintendents of large urban school districts.


Bennett received her bachelor’s degree from Long Island University, her master’s from New York University, and a second master’s from Pace University. She has received honorary doctorates from Cleveland State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, John Carroll University and Notre Dame.


The new Early Childhood Officer, Beth Mascitti-Miller, is currently deputy superintendent of teaching and learning in Rochester, N.Y. Brizard said she brings a wealth of experience to CPS drawn from her work as teacher, principal and administrator.

“Beth will provide outstanding leadership to the Office of Early Childhood Education,” Brizard said. “With Early Childhood as one of our top District priorities, we will look to Beth for guidance in developing programs and initiatives that will allow our youngest students to grow and thrive at this critical stage of development.”


Mascitti-Miller began her teaching career at a school for students with severe disabilities in Rochester, and later became the school’s preschool education director. Over the years Mascitti-Miller has held a variety of administrative positions at the elementary and middle school level. Two years ago, she assumed the role of Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the Rochester City School District and is responsible for the city’s zone school chiefs and instructional directors.


Under her direction, teaching and learning reform initiatives have included continued development of an on-line district-wide curriculum framework, including the Common Core State Standards.


Mascitti-Miller received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and her master’s degree from Nazareth College. She earned an administrative degree from State University of New York at Brockport and is currently a doctoral candidate at St. John Fisher College.


Last Friday, the District’s Chief Education Officer, Dr. Noemi Donoso, announced her resignation, effective May 31st, to pursue national projects that will support the next generation of leaders in urban education. Barbara Bowman, Chief Early Childhood Officer, also announced that she is leaving the District after more than eight years under contract in that role to return to the Erickson Institute, which she co-founded.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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