Chicago Public Schools Taps Top Talent to Fill Key Leadership Roles
29 September 2022
District Continues to add leaders to key District Positions
CHICAGO – As the District enters its sixth week of the school year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced recent promotions or new hires to top administrator roles. All six leaders come to their new positions with extensive educational leadership experience and demonstrate the skills needed to support the needs of CPS students, families, staff, and community members.
“We are fortunate to have these intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated professionals leading departments and networks across our system,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “These administrators are driven to help our students and their school communities succeed today and for generations to come.”
New District-level leaders appointed in August and at September (today’s) Board of Education meeting include:
- Richard Smith, Chief of Schools - Options Network
- Brigitte Swenson, Deputy Chief of Schools - Options Network
- Jeffery Mosley, Deputy Chief of Elementary Schools
- Leslie McKinily, Chief Early Childhood Education Officer
- Carolyn Eggert, Deputy Chief of Schools - Network 15
- Mira Weber, Chief of Schools - Network 10
The following leaders were approved at the August Board of Education meeting:
Richard Smith - Chief of Schools - Options Network
Richard C. Smith Jr., has served the CPS system for the last 28 years in a variety of roles. He began his career as a custodian, CPS truck driver, substitute teacher, and a special needs teacher before moving into administrative roles.
Mr. Smith served as the principal at Richard T. Crane Medical Prep and Christian Fenger Academy High School for more than a decade before transitioning to the Network Office to direct broader efforts. His unique employment history, along with his years as a principal has prepared him well for this new role. Mr. Smith ensures that all school-related work is grounded in effective school systems, processes, and academic strategies. He believes these structures are key levers in ensuring that students are supported and educated in environments that provide access to post-secondary opportunities.
As the new Chief of Options Schools, it will be essential to build and implement systems and structures in a cohesive manner that will provide transitional and consistent support to all students that enroll in option schools.
Mr. Smith earned his bachelor of arts in psychology and criminal justice at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and a master’s degree in special education from Chicago State University.
Brigitte Swenson - Deputy Chief of Schools - Options Network
Brigitte Swenson began her teaching career as an English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools, before joining the Chicago Public Schools as a founding teacher of Peace and Education Coalition High School in 1998. She proudly dedicated 24 school years at PECHS, including the last 14 as the principal.
Ms. Swenson is an equity-focused leader with extensive experience in improving academic outcomes for urban youth who are often furthest from opportunity. She has demonstrated success in engaging and leading teams to develop a more culturally-responsive and motivating curriculum, build asset-based mindsets and teaching practices, and improve school-wide conditions for learning through a social and emotional learning education model. Under her leadership, Peace and Education Coalition High School maintained a Level 1+ rating each year within the CPS School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP). At the core of her student-centered leadership is the belief that all students deserve safe, supportive, and cognitively demanding educational experiences.
Ms. Swenson earned her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Secondary Education from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and her Master's Degree from St. Xavier University in Chicago. She is currently a proud member of Cohort 19 of UIC's EdD in Urban Education Leadership program.
Jeffery Mosley - Deputy Chief of Elementary Schools for Office of Network Support
Jeffery Mosley has served in education for more than 20 years, beginning his career in Palm Beach County, Florida, before moving to Cobb County, Georgia. Mr. Mosley has dedicated his career to education and has worked to support students, parents, teachers, and administrators from Pre-k through 12 th grades.
Throughout Mr. Mosley’s career, he has developed a natural desire for leadership development, relationship building, and leveraging data to make decisions. He has led initiatives focusing on the whole child, equity, and diversity while establishing community partnerships leading school turn-around development, and increasing parental and student engagement. In his recent role as executive director of the Office of Academic Programs & Student Support at Marietta City Schools, Mr. Mosley led all-school programming and leadership development, impacting every school and every building leader. Within the scope of this work, he ensures that innovation and practicality are met daily within buildings to support the needs of principals, administrators, department directors and executives, staff, teachers, students, and stakeholders. He continually evaluated program performance and district initiatives to ensure that outcomes and goals were aligned while remaining focused on student success.
Mr. Mosley earned his bachelor’s degree at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University before completing his Master’s Degree program at Lynn University and his postgraduate degree in educational leadership at Berry College.
The following leaders were approved at the September Board of Education meeting:
Leslie McKiniliy - Chief Early Childhood Education Officer
Leslie McKiniliy has been an integral part of CPS' Office of Early Childhood for 20 years. Most recently, she served as Deputy Chief Officer, overseeing the district's preschool application and universal preschool expansion (UPK) strategies, resulting in the 7,000-seat expansion of universal free full-day preschool for four- year-old children.
Throughout her 20 years within CPS, Leslie has served as a preschool teacher, instructional coach, professional learning manager, and director of Head Start and Preschool Programs. In her role as deputy chief officer, she led the universal Pre-K expansion strategy and centralized preschool application process for the district. Through a cross-departmental and cross-agency approach, Leslie has launched the OECE vision and the Preschool to 2nd Grade strategy, including the creation of the P-2 Program Management Office. Ms. McKiniliy is also the parent of a CPS student who joyfully started her education in an early childhood preschool classroom.
Ms. McKiniliy earned her bachelor of arts in early childhood education at Delaware State University and her master’s of arts in administration and supervision at National Louis University.
Carolyn Eggert - Deputy Chief of Schools - Network 15
Carolyn Eggert has served CPS students since 2003, most recently as the Network Operations Manager for Network 15. She began her career as a math teacher and department chair at Hirsch High School. She completed her principal residency at John Hope College Prep and served as the assistant principal at Lake View High School. Her first principalship was at Sullivan High School followed by the DeVry University Advantage Academy, a dual-enrollment, dual-degree school that is a partnership between Chicago Public Schools and DeVry University. She was a member of the Principal Fellows and mentored several principal residents and new principals.
In all of these roles, Ms. Eggert has shown passion for ensuring all students have access to advanced classes and early college and career opportunities. She looks forward to continuing to support school leaders as they work to achieve success for all students.
Ms. Eggert earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in school leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s in teaching at National Louis University,
Mira Weber - Chief of Schools - Network 10
Ms. Mira Weber serves as the Chief of Network 10. She works closely with school leaders on school readiness and improvement to ensure welcoming, inclusive learning environments for staff, students and community. She is also the very proud parent of two CPS students.
Ms. Weber moved to Chicago in 1999 and began her teaching career in CPS as a middle school special education teacher before teaching primary age general education students at Agassiz Elementary School (now Tubman). After completing her principal residency and leadership development program, LAUNCH, she had the rare but special opportunity to return to the same school where she taught as their principal. She proudly served as principal for 14 years at Tubman, expanding opportunities for students from more than 40 Chicagoland zip codes to include a International Baccalaureate program, and also led the school community through a student-led renaming process during the 2020 school year.
Ms. Weber earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in child and family relationships, a post-baccalaureate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in urban education and a master’s degree from National Louis University in administrative leadership.