Chicago International Charter School (CICS) announces the addition of two exceptional leaders to lead its innovation strategy. Eric Lavin will serve as the network’s first Chief Innovation Officer and Stephen McClain as the network’s Chief of Staff.
“Eric and Stephen bring a wealth of experience and insight that will be pivotal to our success. CICS is committed to excellence on behalf of our students and families and a part of that commitment is to leverage smart educators, emerging technologies and innovative new practices in order to deliver an outstanding 21st century education to the children of Chicago,” commented Elizabeth Shaw, CEO of CICS.
Lavin will be responsible for the design and execution of new initiatives that spark and spread worthwhile innovations in teaching and learning across CICS. He will pilot, test, and scale the best new ideas including microinnovations and incubating and launching new school and school turnaround models. As Lavin described the role, he noted; "there are so many exciting innovations in teaching and learning; the type of education needed to prepare kids to successfully navigate the 21st century is already here. Our challenge is to search far and wide across our city, country, and planet for the best proof points and import those highly effective strategies to our community."
Lavin was selected by Forbes Magazine as a 2016 Top 30 Under 30 in Education. He previously served as the founding manager of Aspen Ventures at the Aspen Institute, connecting social entrepreneurs to Aspen Institute resources. Prior to Aspen, he was the CEO of Whetstone Education, an education technology company that he cofounded. Lavin graduated from Tulane University with a degree in International Political Economy with coursework at the London School of Economics and Oxford.
McClain spent the past decade serving as a school leader in some of Chicago’s most underserved communities. As Chief of Staff, he will oversee the implementation of CICS’ new strategic plan and serve as a liaison to its internal and external stakeholders. McClain’s most recent role was as a Principal of the Curtis School of Excellence, a campus of the Academy of Urban School Leadership network. McClain earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State, his Master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education and his Doctorate in Urban School Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.