Inspired by IMSA’s mission statement and its congruence with his personal passion and commitment to end poverty, Dr. Torres believes that, “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” (2014).
Dr. José M. Torres was named President of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in 2014. He is a recipient of the Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award (2014) from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), an award honoring leadership in educational equity and excellence to those demonstrating an extraordinary “commitment to the advancement and mentorship of women and minorities in positions of leadership and/or demonstrate a commitment to address social justice issues among children, youth and adults in schools.”
At the invitation of the Governor of Illinois, Dr. Torres serves on the advisory committee for the Governor’s Technology Advisory Group; and the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth. He also serves on the Cost of Segregation Education Advisory Group; and on the board of directors of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, the Governor’s P-20 Council and Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Illinois.
He is the former School Superintendent of Elgin School District U-46 where he implemented a five-year accountability plan that established new benchmarks supporting the District’s 40,000 students’ efforts to achieve academic success. He served on the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Equity and Excellence Commission (2011-2013) and provided recommendations for closing the achievement gap of English language learners. He is a past regional superintendent for the Chicago Public Schools and has worked in school districts in San Jose, CA; Anne Arundel, Baltimore; Rockville, MD; Washington, D.C.; and the U.S. Department of Defense Schools.