Home News Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal’s Office – Education Week

Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal’s Office – Education Week

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Miguel Cardona remembers how overwhelmed he felt when he walked into school for the first time as a student.

The son of parents who moved to Meriden, Conn., from Puerto Rico as children, he lived in public housing and didn’t speak English as a young child.

“I remember my first day of kindergarten at John Barry School,” the nominee for U.S. secretary of education said at a virtual farewell celebration with Meriden leaders earlier this month, referring to an elementary school in his home city. “That day, I ended up in the nurse’s office crying, and I had to go home early. I never wanted to go back. Here I am, 40 years later, and I’m having mixed emotions about leaving the place I love.”

Last month, President-elect Joe Biden announced Cardona, now Connecticut’s education commissioner, as his pick to be the nation’s top education official. Less than two years ago, Cardona was an assistant superintendent in his hometown’s 8,000-student district. If confirmed by the Senate, he could be a cabinet member within weeks.

It’s a rapid ascent for a man who is known more by his long-time colleagues for solving problems than for standing on soapboxes.

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