Carmen Schools of Science and Technology
Press Release

Carmen Schools of Science and Technology Announces New CEO

Jennifer López chosen to lead Carmen network of public college preparatory schools

By - Jul 12th, 2019 09:30 am
Jennifer López. Photo courtesy of Carmen Schools of Science and Technology.

Jennifer López. Photo courtesy of Carmen Schools of Science and Technology.

MILWAUKEE – The Board of Directors of Carmen Schools of Science and Technology (Carmen) announced today that, after an extensive nationwide search, Jennifer López has been unanimously selected as Carmen’s CEO. Lopez will continue and build upon the work of Carmen founder and former CEO, Dr. Patricia Hoben.

“Jennifer’s qualifications, experience and values were exactly what we were looking for,” said Ivan Gamboa, Chair of Carmen’s Board of Directors. “We are excited for the future of Carmen under Jennifer’s leadership.”

López brings with her more than a decade of experience, including an array of leadership roles across the country in both public district and charter schools. Most recently, López has served as Chief Academic Officer of St. Anthony School in Milwaukee, where she made great strides to build a strong foundation for academic growth and close the achievement gap. Prior to her role at St. Anthony School, Lopez served as a School Leadership Coach for Schools That Can Milwaukee.

A native Spanish speaker raised by immigrant Salvadoran parents in a low-income community, López attended under-resourced urban schools that did not adequately prepare her for the rigor of a college prep high school. As one of four students of color, López initially struggled academically and socially. This experience served as a catalyst for her life-long commitment to education. López’s passion for education is rooted in her belief that all students deserve access to excellent schools.

López attributes her success to hard work, perseverance and support from her personal education “champions” who always believed in her ability to achieve. And achieve she did, attending Occidental College on a full-tuition paid scholarship.

After graduation, López joined Teach For America and launched her career in education. López went on to hold numerous leadership roles in schools and education-focused organizations before coming to Milwaukee. From the very start, and throughout the course of her career to-date, López’s impact has been palpable and measurable as her students have – against all odds – continually exceeded expectations.

López earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish Literary and Cultural Studies from Occidental College and her Master of Arts degree in School Administration and Policy from Loyola Marymount University.

“I am an example of how any student can achieve success when adults provide them with high expectations, care and love,” said López. “I believe schools are most effective when parents and the community are full partners, teachers are part of a collaborative professional community and all staff see their work as crucial to student success. I believe these factors for effectiveness and success are alive and well at Carmen and I’m thrilled to take the organization into the future.”

About Carmen Schools of Science and Technology

Carmen Schools of Science and Technology is a small but growing network of four public middle and high schools and one elementary school (Stellar Elementary) with an unparalleled track record of success in educating and graduating Milwaukee students prepared for success in college, work and as leaders in their communities. Ninety percent of the more than 2,000 students served come from families with low-incomes and live in some of Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods. These are students who enter Carmen’s middle and high schools with reading and math achievement levels well below state and national averages, yet graduate with some of the highest ACT scores among all public schools in the city. By the time students graduate from Carmen, 100% of them are accepted to college. In 2019, Carmen was named to U.S. News and World Report’s national list of Best High Schools, ranking 2nd overall in the State of Wisconsin and 56th among all U.S. public charter high schools.

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