IMSA Names Illinois Native and Leader in Specialized STEM Schools as Fifth President - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
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IMSA Names Illinois Native and Leader in Specialized STEM Schools as Fifth President

AURORA, IL – The Board of Trustees of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy announces the appointment of Evan M. Glazer, Ph.D. as its fifth president.

An Illinois native, Dr. Glazer is widely known for leading high performing, specialized secondary STEM schools with rigorous academic programs, including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA and Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Roanoke, VA. He currently serves as the Head of School for Avenues: The World School in New York, a grades N-12 independent school with 1,700 students and five schools. Avenues has campuses on three continents and a mission to prepare students to be future world-wise leaders uniquely equipped to understand and solve global-scale problems.

“The Board enthusiastically agrees that Dr. Glazer is the best possible choice to lead IMSA at this key time in our history,” says Dr. Erin Roche, Chair of the IMSA Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

“This is certainly an exciting time, and we are confident that the foundation laid by this extensive process involving input and deliberation from a wide range of stakeholders allowed us to choose a superlative leader for IMSA and our future,” adds Roche.

“The Board eagerly supports the important work facing the next president to deepen collaboration across the IMSA community. The IMSA president, in concert with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and partners, will continue to fruition existing, vital initiatives in STEM innovation and diversity, equity, and inclusion,” concluded Roche.

Having spent most of his career in progressive schools with interdisciplinary and project-based curricula, Dr. Glazer holds a deep regard for instructional and student-led innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion and ethics, all underpinned by a strong culture. He received a B.S. and M.S in Mathematics from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia.

“I am honored to be selected as the next president of IMSA and to have the opportunity to work with an innovative team of trustees, leadership, faculty, and staff that will lead IMSA into the future,” says Glazer.

“Being raised in the midwest, a student of STEM, and leading a STEM school is part of my core experience and identity,” he adds.

“It is such a privilege to be invited to join this very special community and to imagine our work together as we write the next chapter of this remarkable institution,” Glazer says.

“I look forward to getting to know the people that make IMSA an incredible community for learning, growing and taking good care of one another,” he concludes.

Selected career highlights attributed to Dr. Glazer includes authoring two books, designing global classrooms and inquiry-based investigations, completing a successful seven-year state-of-the-art school renovation, cultivating student entrepreneurial, research and service projects as well as developing support systems for culturally, linguistically, economically diverse students. He’s also taught students as early as kindergarten, as far as graduate level studies and almost every grade between.

Dr. Glazer describes himself as a “STEM kid” at heart and enjoys forming meaningful, long-lasting connections with students, faculty, staff and parents. He loves to collaborate with teachers on the design of innovative learning environments, and it’s not unusual for him to be teaching, tutoring and sponsoring clubs. He will be the students biggest cheerleader in the classroom, on the field and through their initiatives. He will involve parents, alumni and other important stakeholders as valued contributors in forming partnerships and a sense of community.

Glazer’s appointment follows a national search that began in October and drew a very large, diverse and extremely competitive pool of candidates.

He will assume the role on July 1, 2021 succeeding Jose M. Torres, Ph.D. who retires on April 30, 2021.

The Board of Trustees has appointed Norman “Storm” Robinson III, Ph.D. to the position of Interim President effective May 1 – June 30, 2021. Dr. Robinson currently serves as the Chief Innovation and Education Officer. Under Dr. Robinson’s leadership and as a recognized STEM leader, there has been an exponential impact creating innovative and transformative STEM learning experiences. This includes increasing the number of educators trained from 3,000 in 2017 to over 9,000 teachers in 2020, demonstrating a gain of over 170%. He has also doubled the number of students benefiting from IMSA programs by expanding the reach of programs, from domestic to global impact.

Dr. Robinson spearheaded the adoption of an online learning platform that upskills educators and drives equity by broadening reach and access as well as the design and implementation of a virtual learning management system that facilitated IMSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In FY 21, he has been responsible for helping IMSA reach more than 1,759 non-IMSA students through STEM enrichment programs, 40% of which come from underrepresented backgrounds, and 4,500 Illinois educators through professional development. Recently, the Global Forum for Education and Learning named Dr. Robinson to their 2021 100 Top Visionaries in Education.

Prior to joining IMSA, Dr. Robinson served as Program Director of the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Education Specialist at NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace and a Mathematics teacher at several magnet and public schools in South Carolina and Georgia. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University, an M.S. in Natural and Applied Sciences from Oklahoma State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching and Learning/Mathematics Education from Georgia State University.

“I am honored to continue Dr. Torres’ work and bridge his legacy of equity and excellence, with strong values and steadfast determination,” says Dr. Robinson.

“The Board gives its full support to Dr. Robinson and has the utmost confidence in his ability to serve as Interim President,” says Roche.