New leader named for South Bend “Empowerment Zone Schools”

New leader named for South Bend “Empowerment Zone Schools”
Posted on 07/17/2019
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Dr. Cheryl N. Camacho has been named Chief of the South Bend Empowerment Zone. Camacho’s appointment was approved this morning at the South Bend Empowerment Zone (SBEZ) Board meeting.

Earlier this year, the Indiana State Board of Education approved the creation of a transformation zone within the South Bend Community School Corporation to address the needs of five struggling area schools -- Navarre Middle School and its four “feeder” elementary schools: Coquillard, Harrison, Warren and Wilson. The five-year plan was developed to include accelerated improvement, additional autonomy, support partners for redesign, and financial backing to help make necessary curricular and staffing changes.

“Dr. Camacho’s experience and credentials are a perfect fit for the needs of this position,” said Sam Centellas, SBEZ Board chairman. “She has proven results and vast experience in leading dramatic academic improvements in schools with populations very similar to those in South Bend’s EZ zone.”

As founding leader for the Zone, Camacho will report directly to the SBEZ Board, and will oversee the academic goals of the SBEZ, its budget, and its schools’ leadership.

Camacho earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Harvard University, a masters degree in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor of science degree in Sociology, also from the University of Illinois. She received her Urban Elementary Teacher Certification from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Most recently, Camacho served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner on Equity, for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Prior to that, she had two executive leadership roles with Teach for America: Senior Managing Director of Executive Leadership Development and Managing Director for Values-Based Leadership Collaborative, Teacher Preparation and Support.

In addition, Camacho has more than 16 years’ classroom experience at various grade levels and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Contact: Sam Centellas, Chair, SBEZ Board, (616) 610-0042 or Susan Guibert, Executive Director of Public Affairs, SBCSC, (574) 393-6178.