CHICAGO - February 8, 2013. Following an announcement made in his recent State of the State address, Governor Pat Quinn today appointed lifelong public advocate Miguel del Valle to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The governor also announced the appointment of Janice Smith-Warshaw as superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) and Serena Preston as superintendent of the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI). Today’s appointments continue the governor’s commitment to making state government more accountable, transparent and effective.
“Miguel del Valle has devoted his life to serving others across Illinois, and he will be a strong voice for consumers on the Illinois Commerce Commission,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “The extensive experience Janice Smith-Warshaw and Serena Preston will bring to two of our most important schools will help ensure students at ISD and ISVI achieve their full potential.”
Miguel del Valle previously served one term as City Clerk of Chicago and was the first Hispanic elected to the Illinois State Senate, where he represented his constituents for 20 years and held chairmanships of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and the Senate Executive committee. He is the co-founder of the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees and the Illinois Latino Advisory Council on Higher Education. Because of his work to improve education for all Illinois students, he was appointed by Governor Quinn to chair the Illinois P-20 Council in 2009. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and Guidance from Northeastern University.
Janice Smith-Warshaw will become the first deaf woman superintendent of ISD since the school opened in 1839. She has served at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside since 2000, where she has risen from elementary teacher to principal and now as curriculum supervisor for the school, which serves students ages three to 21. She has also taught at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington D.C. and the Delaware School for the Deaf. She holds a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel College and is a doctoral candidate in Leadership for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands.
Serena Preston, of Jacksonville, Illinois, has served as Acting Superintendent of ISVI since February, 2012, where she has overseen all school operations and been a strong voice for improving education for students with special needs. During the past 16 years, she has worked as ISVI as a vocational principal, behavior specialist and high school math teacher. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Illinois State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Learning Disability’s and Social Emotional Disorders from MacMurray College in Jacksonville. She is an extensively licensed Illinois educator and is an active member of the community, serving as superintendent of the 4-H county fair show for 22 years, as well as vice chair of the Jacksonville Area Transition Planning Council.
For more information about Illinois’ boards and commissions or to apply for a position, visit appointments.illinois.gov.