Jose Torres is resigning as superintendent of Elgin School District U46 to become president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IMSA announced Friday morning.
And Torres said he was drawn to the new job because the post will provide him with a new outlet to pursue his personal passion of fighting to end poverty through education.
IMSA is a state-affiliated, college-prep school in Aurora for grades 10-12, with dormitory facilities for its students. It draws students from all over the state.
IMSA officials said he will start in the new job in September. He will be IMSA’s fourth president.
In a brief written statement also released Friday morning, U46 Board of Education President Donna Smith said that “the board would like to thank Dr. José Torres for his six years of service to the 40,000 U46 students, our staff and our 11 communities.
“In the coming weeks,” Smith said, “the board will determine how it will proceed with selecting a leader who can keep our district moving in the right direction, ensure consistency in our leadership, and provide stability across our district.”
In Aurora, IMSA Board Chairman Sheila Griffin said that “from a strong candidate pool, Dr. Torres emerged as our clear choice. Our board was impressed by his intellectual curiosity, commitment to excellence and equity, entrepreneurial mindset, and candor and authenticity. We look forward to collaborating with him to develop and help others develop world-class diverse talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to benefit Illinois and advance the human condition here in Illinois, nationally and globally.”
U46 Community Relations Director Patrick Mogge said Torres and the school board have not yet determined when he will end his duties with the district. Board members are likely to discuss that when they hold their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night.
Griffin said the IMSA board will officially vote to employ Torres at its meeting on Aug. 20, and he will join IMSA’s staff in September. He will succeed Catherine C. Veal, who served as IMSA’s interim president after Dr. Glenn W. “Max” McGee retired last summer.
In a written statement, Torres said he is especially drawn to IMSA’s mission statement and its congruence with his personal passion and commitment “to end poverty.”
“I believe this can only be accomplished if we have excellent, equitable education and learning systems for academically talented students and for all students, and I realized that I could accomplish my mission in life through partnership with those at IMSA who continue to be fully committed to igniting and nurturing creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition,” Torres said in the statement.
Torres recently was recognized for his achievements and leadership toward educational equity and excellence by receiving the 2014 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators. Torres is one of only three educators in the U.S. to receive this award.
Torres holds bachelor of General Studies, master of Education and doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration degrees from the University of Maryland. He currently lives with his wife in Elgin.