NORTH LAWNDALE — The mayor has appointed former Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th), one of her key City Council allies, to the Chicago Board of Education his father once ran.
Scott, who abruptly resigned as alderman in May to take a private sector job with Cinespace Film Studios, will follow in the footsteps of his late father, Michael Scott Sr., who was the powerful president of the Chicago Board of Education under Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Scott Jr.’s former aldermanic seat is staying in the family, too. Last month, Lightfoot appointed Scott Jr.’s sister, Monique Scott, to replace him. At the time, Lightfoot dismissed critics who said the appointment was based on nepotism, calling the criticism “frankly lazy.”
Lightfoot also appointed attorney Sulema Medrano Novak, who currently serves on the city’s human resources board, and Paige Ponder, former CEO of education nonprofit One Million Degrees, to the Chicago Board of Education Friday.
“Selecting a member for the Chicago Board of Education is a decision that will impact thousands of students and must be made carefully,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Their collective years of experience and dedication will be a great asset to our board and will benefit our students and teachers for years to come.”
Scott Jr. previously served as the chair for City Council’s Committee on Education and Child Development. Before resigning as alderman, Scott was considered a frontrunner to head the Park District, where he spent years working as a regional manager of West Side parks. But the top job ultimately went to Rosa Escareño, former commissioner of the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Scott Sr. also once served as the president of the Park District Board. Monique Scott also spent much of her career at the Chicago Park District, where she was the supervisor for Ellis Park.
Scott Jr. declined to comment about his appointment Friday. In an afternoon press release, he said serving on the board that oversees Chicago Public Schools 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,” he said.
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