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Jean-Claude Brizard (born about 1964) is the CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Directly before coming to Chicago, he served as a superintendent of the Rochester City School District. He started his career as a teacher, then an administrator, in the New York School System. Brizard was born an hour north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Dictator François Duvalier had his grandfather imprisoned and his parents fled to the United States when it was learned his father might be imprisoned as well. After reuniting with his family, Brizard attended public schools in Brooklyn and earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Science Education from Queens College and a master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from the City College of New York.
He began his career as an instructor at Rikers Island, later moving to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, where he taught physics and became principal in 1999. In 2003 he rose to the instructional superintendency of Region 8, New York City Department of Education. He attended the Superintendent’s Academy of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems in 2007.
In 2008, he assumed the superintendency of the Rochester City School District. He became the Chicago Public Schools CEO in 2011 Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to Barack Obama.
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