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.”