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Chicago Public Schools Fills Key Leadership Roles

26 July 2023

Leaders Bring Commitment to Equity to Budget and Language and Culture Roles

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO – During today’s July Board of Education meeting, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the appointment of two dedicated and experienced public servants to the District’s central office team. With decades of combined experience in public education and public service, the new Chief Language and Cultural Education Officer and new Chief Budget Officer will provide District-level leadership and strategic supports for school leaders and staff.

The Board approved the appointment of Karime Asaf as the Chief Language and Cultural Education Officer to head the Office of Language and Culture Education (OCLE) in part due to her considerable experience in CPS as a bilingual educator, as a dual language principal, and her executive experience as a Network Chief. The Board also approved the appointment of Michael Sitkowski as the Chief Budget Officer to head the Office of Budget and Grants Management in part because of his extensive expertise with the CPS Budget and his demonstrated track record of leadership in the CPS Office of Finance. Sitkowski has played a critical role in the development and management of the CPS budget during the last six budget cycles.

“Karime and Michael are dedicated public servants who are committed to promoting equity and inclusivity in our schools,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “I am honored to welcome Karime and Michael to their new roles and look forward to their continued leadership and support of our students, staff and families.”

The biographies for these leaders are as follows:

KARIME ASAF, Chief Language and Cultural Education Officer

A Colombian-Jordanian who migrated to Chicago in 1980, language and culture have always been central in Asaf’s life as a bilingual student, educator, school leader, and parent. Asaf has extensive experience as a bilingual and special education teacher. As a school administrator, she served at CPS elementary and high schools, with a particular focus on programmatic innovation, biliteracy, and diverse learner support in inclusive settings. Under her leadership, these schools showed strong and consistent academic growth due to her focus on meaningful student engagement, social-emotional supports, professional learning, and distributive leadership.

Most recently as Chief of Network 4, Asaf was responsible for 35 elementary schools on the city’s North Side. As a Network Chief, she collaborated with school leaders to ensure that educators and students felt safe and supported while having the resources necessary to discover their academic genius. Previously, Asaf served as the Deputy Chief for Network 7, where she assisted school leaders serving Pilsen, Little Village, and other West Side neighborhoods.

Asaf holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a Master’s degree in reading and special education from DePaul University. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Northeastern Illinois University in bilingual/multicultural education with a minor in Spanish literature.

MICHAEL SITKOWSKI, Chief Budget Officer

Sitkowski brings a wealth of public sector finance experience in school funding, budget development and management, strategic resource allocation, and long-term fiscal planning to his new role as chief budget officer, with more than 10 years of service in CPS’ Office of Finance.

Most recently, Sitkowski served as the Deputy Chief of Budget and Grants Management where he helped lead the development and management of the District’s $9.4 billion budget. Prior to joining CPS, Sitkowski earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harris School at the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

Sitkowski is dedicated to strengthening public services, advancing resource equity, and closing opportunity gaps for Chicago’s residents. A long-time resident of Chicago’s West Town community, Sitkowski and his family live in Humboldt Park.