• Urban Educator logo

New Leadership at Council Begins

  • The Council of the Great City Schools will head into the 2021-2022 school year under new leadership.

    Barbara Jenkins, superintendent of Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Fla., advances from chair-elect to the chair of the Council’s Board of Directors for a one-year term, effective July 1. Jenkins succeeds Michael O’Neill, vice-chairman of the Boston School Committee for Boston Public Schools, as  chair of the policymaking body of the national coalition representing 75 of the nation’s largest big-city school districts. O’Neill will assume the position of immediate past chair. 

    The Council’s 150-member Board of Directors includes one superintendent and one school board member from each of the districts represented by the Council. 

    Jenkins has served as superintendent since 2012 and under her leadership, the district won the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2014 and  has repeatedly been recognized by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit. 

    Kelly Gonez, school board president for the Los Angeles Unified School District, becomes chair-elect, stepping up from the Council’s secretary-treasurer post.    

    Rounding out the Council’s 2021-22 leadership team will be William Hite Jr.,  superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, who has been elected to the secretary-treasurer post.