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Secretary of Education – confirmation needed

Miguel Cardona

by Deedra Abboud in Political
January 3, 2021 0 comments

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Miguel Cardona to serve as United States Secretary of Education in his cabinet.

The position: Advises on education policy. Oversees financial aid for students.

Miguel Angel Cardona was born in 1975, in Meriden, Connecticut, to Puerto Rican parents.

Cardona grew up speaking Spanish as his first language and struggled to learn English when starting kindergarten.

He was raised in a housing project in Meriden and graduated from the H.C. Wilcox Technical High School, where he was a part of the automotive studies program.

Cardona earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Central Connecticut State University in 1997.

He obtained a Master of Science in bilingual and bicultural education at University of Connecticut (UConn) in 2001.

Cardona began his career as a fourth-grade teacher of Israel Putnam Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut.

In 2002, Cardona married Marissa PĂ©rez, a family-school liaison and former Miss Connecticut (2001). They have two children.

In 2003, at the age of 27, he was named principal of Hanover School, also in Meriden, making him the youngest principal in the state, where he remained for 10 years.

In 2004, he completed a professional sixth-year certification at UConn where he earned a Doctor of Education in 2011.

Cardona’s dissertation entitled, Sharpening the Focus of Political Will to Address Achievement Disparities, studied the gaps between English-language learners and their classmates.

From 2015 to 2019, Cardona served as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in his home town.

Cardona was also an adjunct professor of education in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Educational Leadership.

During his career, he has focused on closing gaps between English-language learners and their peers.

In August 2019, Governor Ned Lamont appointed Cardona as Commissioner of Education. Cardona is the first Latino to be appointed to the position.

If confirmed, Cardona will follow the footsteps of Lauro Fred Cavazos Jr. who served as the United States Secretary of Education from 1988 to 1990, and was the first Hispanic to serve in the United States Cabinet.

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