Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Sandra G. Chavarria will be retiring from the preeminent organization for reducing risks that can stifle students’ abilities to stay in school, graduate and begin a pattern of success in their lives after high school.
From her start with CISDR in 1989 as the organization’s executive director, Chavarria moved rapidly to build an organization to deliver on the premise created by CIS national founder Bill Milliken and to achieve real change for tens of thousands of Dallas area at-risk students. According to CISDR Board Chair Karl Schmalz, Chavarria and the team she guided during the past 26 years has consistently delivered strong results, greatly benefitting these students, their families and the larger community.
“This past year, Sandy’s CISDR team case managed more than 11,000 students in 66 elementary, middle, junior- and senior-high schools in 13 school districts across five north Texas counties,” said Schmalz, who recently retired as an assistant general tax counsel at Irving-based ExxonMobil. “These students and others from an entire generation of North Texans have had their lives changed for the better as the result of Sandy’s leadership and the work of her team.”
Schmalz noted that last year’s statistics, where 94 percent of eligible seniors graduated from high school and 90 percent of all K-12 students stayed in school, reflect outcomes the organization has consistently achieved during Chavarria’s tenure..
Effective July 1, Chavarria will step down as CEO and CISDR's current president, Judith Allen-Bazemore, Psy.D., will become president and CEO. To complete the smooth transition of responsibilities, Chavarria will continue to serve as senior advisor to the organization for the balance of calendar 2015.
“When I joined the Communities In Schools organization in Dallas 26 years ago, none of us could envision the challenges that would face educators, families and many of the students in our schools, nor the scale, scope and success we would have as a team on impacting the lives of so many students,” said Chavarria. “From the individualized, case-managed approach at the core of our programming to special initiatives surrounding the core model, such as Ketchup Saturdays and the Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science program, it’s been nothing short of amazing to see the community benefits that have accrued as a result of the focus and dedication of volunteers and staff alike.”
As senior advisor, Chavarria will continue to represent the interests of at-risk students before Texas’ business community, serving as a member of the Texas Association of Business board of directors. She also will support the future of Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region by serving on the Board of Directors of the CISDR Foundation.
About Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region
Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region is part of the national Communities In Schools network, which operates in more than 2,200 schools across the country, serving 1.3 million young people and their families each year. In Texas, the Texas Education Agency highly recommends the Communities In Schools program, with 27 locations within the state connecting students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, while tailoring services to each student’s specific needs. Learn more about Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region at www.cisdallas.org.