Mayor Lori Lightfoot appoints former Ald. Michael Scott, two others to Chicago Board of Education

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday appointed former Ald. Michael Scott Jr. to the Chicago Board of Education, little more than a month after he left the Chicago City Council for a job in the private sector.

Scott, who chaired the City Council Education Committee before he resigned in June, is one of three new Chicago Board of Education members Lightfoot appointed on Friday.

The former alderman stepped down from the City Council to take a job as director of industry and community relations for Chicago film studio Cinespace. Lightfoot appointed his sister, Monique, to replace him as alderwoman of the 24th Ward on the West Side.

Michael Scott Jr.’s position as a school board member is unpaid, although board members are reimbursed for expenses related to their duties.

“I’m honored and humbled to take on this new role with the Board of Education and serve students, families and staff of Chicago Public Schools,” Scott Jr. said in a statement. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to build on my father’s legacy with CPS and the continued drive to improve and expand student opportunities, experiences and outcomes. I’m eager to get started with the Board of Education”

Scott’s late father, Michael Sr., was president of the school board under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Scott Jr. reportedly will be taking the place of school board member Dwayne Truss, whose term is expiring, and who opposed plans to build a new $120 million high school in the South Loop, on property owned by the Chicago Housing Authority, despite Lightfoot’s support for the project.

Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to questions about whether Truss’ opposition to that project were a factor in not renewing his appointment to the school board.

The mayor also appointed attorney Sulema Medrano Novak and former CPS officer of student support and engagement Paige Ponder to the school board.

Medrano Novak is a partner at the Chicago law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, and a current member of the city’s Human Resource Board. She will resign from that board to take on her new role at the school board.

Ponder is CEO of One Million Degrees, an organization that provides support for low-income people who are the first in their families to attend college. She previously worked for the Chicago Board of Education as officer of student support and engagement under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Source: ChicagoCBS