Jose Torres named interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Board of Education President Miguel del Valle announced Monday that Dr. José M. Torres has been selected to serve as interim Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Public Schools.

Torres will begin serving as CEO on an interim basis starting July 1 until a new, permanent CEO has been selected.

"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. "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."

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Longtime educator Torres began his career as a teacher and most recently served as President of Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA).

Torres received his Bachelor of General Studies, Master of Education, and PhD in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Lightfoot says Torres has a proven track record of improving the lives of public school students and staff.

"His decades of experience, as well as his past leadership roles, make him a great candidate for the role of interim CPS CEO and I am confident that he will lead us well through this critically important transition," Lightfoot said in a statement.

Torres has held a variety of prominent leadership positions including Superintendent of Elgin School District (U-46); Regional Superintendent at Chicago Public Schools for Englewood, West Englewood, Chatham, Grand Crossing and Auburn Gresham; and a variety of other educational leadership positions during his decades of public service.  

"Dr. Torres is a proven leader with a deep commitment to CPS students, and we are pleased to welcome him back during this crucial time for our schools," del Valle said. 

"Leaving CPS was never going to be easy, but it’s much easier knowing that an experienced, thoughtful leader like Dr. Torres will be serving as Interim CEO in the months ahead," Jackson said in a statement. 

In addition to announcing the interim CEO appointment, CPS also announced that Dr. Maurice Swinney will serve as the Interim Chief Education Officer and Lindy McGuire will serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer.

Swinney will transition into his new role following the departure of Dr. LaTanya D. McDade at the end of this week, and Ms.McGuire is currently serving in her new role, following the departure of Arnie Rivera.

Lightfoot and the Chicago Board of Education began their search for a permanent CEO in May. Their search included focus groups, a city-wide survey, and bi-weekly public updates. 

Pending approval from the Chicago Board of Education at its meeting on June 23, Torres will be installed upon Jackson’s departure at the end of June.

For more information on the CEO search process, visit the district’s CEO Search webpage.