Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed a marketing executive to take over a vacant Chicago Board of Education seat Friday amid the latest overhaul to the district’s leadership team.
Alejandra Garza fills a seat vacated this week by Arnaldo Rivera, who is set to take over as the district’s chief operating officer. To clear the way for Rivera’s appointment, Chicago Public Schools is seeking a waiver from the Illinois State Board of Education to get around a state law that bars board members from taking district posts within a year of leaving the board.
Garza is the founder of AGG Consulting, a strategic marketing firm. She will step down from her role on the board of the Instituto del Progreso Latino, a Southwest Side advocacy organization that receives CPS funding to operate schools within the district, the mayor’s office said.
Garza will also step down from her post at the Illinois Medical District Commission, a panel whose members are nominated by Emanuel, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
“Alex is a visionary leader, and she will work tirelessly to improve our schools and support educational opportunities for the next generation of Chicagoans,” Emanuel said in a statement. “There is no doubt that her proven track record as a successful small business owner makes her uniquely qualified to serve the city of Chicago in this role.”
According to the mayor’s office, Garza received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
“I am honored that Mayor Emanuel nominated me to serve on the Chicago Board of Education, where I hope to build on the work that our educators and administrators across the city are doing to improve our children’s futures,” Garza said in a statement Friday.
Emanuel has yet to announce his choice to replace the Rev. Michael Garanzini, who left the school board last year.
Acting district CEO Janice Jackson, who is expected to be named permanently to the post by the school board later this month, started filling out her administration earlier this week, naming Rivera COO, Heather Wendell as budget director and LaTanya McDade as chief education officer.
RELATED: Appointment of Chicago school board member to top CPS post conflicts with law »