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The state inspector of education announces his retirement Main stories

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala is announcing her retirement at the end of January 2023.

Dr. Ayala has served as state superintendent since early 2019, and her current contract runs through January 31, 2023.

Ayala was the first woman and the first person of color to serve as a permanent superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

“Dr. Ayala represents the highest level of dedication to public service and has positively impacted thousands of Illinois students throughout her long career.” – said the governor J. B. Pritzker. “Dr. Ayala’s steadfast leadership has not only guided our schools through an unprecedented pandemic, but she has also ushered in an academic recovery for students. Under her leadership, we have seen significant increases in high school graduation rates and other key educational metrics, which is a true testament to her hard work and dedication to the students of Illinois. I am grateful for her service and wish her and her family all the best in their well-deserved retirement.”

Prior to her appointment as state superintendent, Ayala served as superintendent of the North Berwyn School District, assistant superintendent in the Plainfield and Aurora East districts, and a teacher in Aurora and Chicago Public Schools.

Under Ayala, the state recorded its highest high school graduation rate since reporting began in 2011, according to ISBE, driven by an increase in the number of black and Hispanic students graduating.

ISBE also reports that teacher retention and diversity have increased during her tenure.

Ayala also led the development and implementation of ISBE’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan and the creation of the Equity Journey Continuum, which helps school districts identify gaps in student access to opportunities, resources and supports.

Dr. Ayala has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Illinois Bilingual Education Advisory Council, the Illinois Educational Leadership Council, the Illinois Resource Center, and the Illinois Professional Evaluation Commission on Evidence-Based Funding.


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