Chicago Catholic Schools hires charter executive Greg Richmond as superintendent

Richmond, who’s set to start the job Aug. 16., replaces Jim Rigg, who resigned in June, less than six years after he took the role.

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Greg Richmond

Greg Richmond

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The Archdiocese of Chicago has appointed charter executive and former Chicago Public Schools official Greg Richmond as its new superintendent of Catholic schools.

“We are blessed to have attracted Greg Richmond, an education thought leader and Catholic school parent to the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said in a statement.

“We are committed to building on our legacy of preparing our students for life through an education that is holistic and marked by a strong Catholic identity. ... Greg’s experience here and around the world will give us a creative, best practice-based approach to achieving that goal.”

Richmond, who’s set to start the job Aug. 16, replaces Jim Rigg, who resigned from the position at the end of June less than six years after he took the role.

The new superintendent takes over Chicago’s Catholic schools at a challenging time as teachers and students look to continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. After most area Catholic schools were open for in-person learning last year, the Archdiocese last week said vaccinated students and staff won’t be required to wear masks this fall.

Richmond most recently started his own consulting firm and is a fellow at a Georgetown University think tank.

He spent 11 years at CPS leading the district’s efforts to create new schools, and in 1997 he opened the school system’s charter schools office.

In 2005, Richmond left CPS to become the CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, working with cities nationwide to implement policies to create charter schools. He was inducted into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame in 2017.

Richmond also was the founding chairman from 2011 to 2015 of the Illinois State Charter School Commission, a government agency which evaluated proposals for new charter schools and monitored the progress of existing ones.

Shortly after Richmond’s time there, the Sun-Times found that one of the commission’s founding funders, the Walton Foundation, had also contributed to two charter operators whose schools the agency blocked CPS from closing over poor performance. Richmond said the contributions were not connected.

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