Dr. Lazaro Lopez
Associate Superintendent, Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights, Illinois
Dr. Lazaro Lopez is Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The nationally recognized district is the state's second-largest high school district, serving more than 12,000 students from eight suburban Chicago communities. In his previous role as Principal of Wheeling High School, Dr. Lopez led the effort to integrate STEM and 21st century skills and career pathways within a comprehensive Title I high school, forging innovative community partnerships and optimizing grant funding to create an onsite medical lab and advanced manufacturing facility for students.
The effort, which included the fall 2013 launch of the nation's first-of-its-kind nanotechnology lab in a public high school, earned him the title of 2013 Illinois Principal of the Year. Wheeling High School has received state and national recognition as a model STEM school. Moreover, Dr. Lopez's vision to create a relevant education that inspires all students to reach their potential resulted in an 80 percent growth in Advanced Placement participation at Wheeling even as the number of students identifying as low-income grew to more than 40 percent.
He now is helping lead innovation District-wide. Dr. Lopez has spoken nationally on STEM education, advocating for a high school education that delivers a "diploma-plus": the opportunity to earn college credits and career certifications while engaged in internship experiences in a wide range of career fields.
He is a member of the Illinois Educator Leader Cadre, the Midwest Principal's Association Governing Board, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation Board and past chair of the Illinois ACT State Organization and 10th Congressional District Education Advisory Board. He holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Aurora University and a master's degree in educational administration from Roosevelt University.