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Foundation Leader Appointed Interim Chief of Chicago Schools

By guest blogger Christina A. Samuels

Terry Mazany, the president and the chief executive officer of the Chicago Community Trust, has been appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley to be interim head of the 409,000-student Chicago district. He will be filling the position held by Ron Huberman, who announced earlier this month that he was leaving by Nov. 29. Huberman has been in the position for about two years.

Mazany will continue receiving his salary from the foundation while he serves as CEO of the school district. The city plans to pay him a nominal salary of $1 a year.

In contrast to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of publishing head Cathie Black as chancellor of New York Schools, Mazany comes to this position with some background in education. According to a press release from the community trust, Mazany was associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Oakland Unified School District in California before joining the trust in 2001. He also worked for three years in the California School Leadership Academy, a state agency that trains state administrators and public school personnel.

At the community foundation, Mazany headed the organization's $50 million initiative to improve the quality of teaching and principal leadership in Chicago public schools.

Mazany said during a press conference announcing his selection that his tenure will also be brief: He said he has no interest in permanently leading the district, and the city will have a new mayor by May.

In a statement, Daley said that one of Mazany's primary reponsibilities will be to find a "chief education officer" who is responsible for developing and implementing education policy. He must also focus on maintaining safety and educational quality of the schools.

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