Aurora C. I. Johnson Elementary School issued the following announcement on Aug. 7.
On August 1, District 131 administrators were treated to a special guest visit from Dr. Carmen Ayala, the Illinois State Board of Education’s state superintendent of education.
District 131 superintendent Dr. Jennifer Norrell had arranged for the surprise visit from Ayala, as part of a scheduled two-day workshop for all District 131 administrators in preparation for the coming school year.
“It was highly motivational to see a fellow educator who started in East Aurora like many of our leaders, and who has been able to ascend to her current role,” said Norrell.
“Dr. Ayala’s visit made a huge impression on our administrators both new and veteran,” added Norrell. “The discussion she led was very empowering and informative for our own alignment efforts, as our district leaders plan to implement our new strategic plan in all schools.”
Six months ago, Ayala became the first woman and first person of color to serve as superintendent. Ayala brings more than 30 years of education experience, including time as an assistant superintendent, director of bilingual services, and a teacher here in EASD 131.
Dr. Ayala spoke to the group of administrators about her strong belief in breaking down barriers to opportunity, and ensuring that students of all races, backgrounds, income levels, and zip codes receive a strong education in Illinois.
“Call me Carmen,” she told the room of administrators, who had the opportunity to ask questions following her inspiring address.
Brad Wieher, director of literacy and interventions for District 131, who attended the workshop, was excited to learn about the visit and to hear from Ayala.
“Her extensive knowledge and humble sense of humor energized our entire administrative staff for the upcoming school year,” said Wieher.
Dr. Rita Guzman, director for language acquisition at District 131, appreciated the state superintendent’s candor and passion for students.
“Every time I hear Dr. Ayala speak I’m impressed with how passionate and transparent she expresses the needs of all students,” said Guzman.
“She speaks on topics that many others shy away from, and personally I am extremely proud to see a Hispanic female in this role. I know that she will have a great impact on student growth.”
Guzman added that she admires Dr. Ayala’s advocacy and dedication for English language learners, and her beliefs on providing dual-language for all students.
Dr. Norrell believes Ayala will be most effective in her role, citing that Ayala sees the big picture and is keenly aware of the details.
“I know that she will be vigilant in leading educators around the state on practices that are best for the success of all students.”
Original source can be found here.
Source: Aurora C. I. Johnson Elementary School