Today, Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced that Holly Trifiro will step down from her role as Chief of Education effective Aug. 25, 2023.
Stepping into the role is Michele Pomerantz, a veteran Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) educator and advocate with decades of experience in regional collaboration, policy development and education management. Pomerantz’s first official day as Chief of Education will be Aug. 28.
“I am proud of the work we have done in the education space during the first 18 months of my administration,” Mayor Bibb said. “From Cleveland Reads and ARPA investments, to strong selections for the Board of Education and an inclusive search for CMSD’s next CEO, we have accomplished a lot and I am deeply grateful to Chief Trifiro for leading these efforts. As we begin a new school year with new leadership, it is an optimal time to bring in the next Chief of Education and I wish Chief Trifiro all the best as she embarks on this next chapter of her career.”
Although she is leaving the administration, Chief Trifiro will remain very much involved in working directly with students, educators, families and partners across Cleveland to continue this progress from a new vantage point.
“My experience in the Mayor’s Office has deepened my understanding of the value of community organizations and creative educators working directly with students to reimagine learning in a post-pandemic context,” Chief Trifiro said. “With this insight, I will be working on strategies to grow high-quality engaging learning experiences in our city. The mayor’s commitment to a youth agenda paired with Dr. Morgan’s experience leading meaningful academic progress signal a phase of incredible opportunity for Cleveland’s young people, and I am excited to continue to play a role in that work.”
Chief Trifiro and Pomerantz will work together on the transition and onboarding process to ensure there is no disruption to the work of the office.
“We are excited to welcome Michele to City Hall and to continue building on our progress,” Mayor Bibb said. “Given her experience in education, local government, advocacy and policy, she is well prepared to take on this critical role.”
Michele Pomerantz began her career in education as a first-grade teacher for CMSD in the early 1990s. During her 21-year tenure as an educator, Pomerantz was focused on improving the system for teachers and for students. From 2008 to 2012, she served as director of political action for the Cleveland Teachers Union, where she led advocacy efforts for the 2011 Ohio Collective Bargaining Limit Repeal and played a major role in the formation and establishment of The Cleveland Plan.
Pomerantz then spent a year at D.C.-based American Federation of Teachers (AFT), serving as the deputy director of the office of the president, before returning to Cleveland as a senior advisor to then CMSD CEO Eric Gordon.
In 2018 Pomerantz was selected by former Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish to serve as Director of Regional Collaboration, a role she held for four years before joining the MetroHealth system’s government relations team.
“I am both humbled and excited to be named Cleveland’s next Chief of Education,” Pomerantz said. “This role draws on every facet of my 30 plus year career in education and government, and I am ready to hit the ground running. It is an honor to be selected to serve our young scholars, families, educators, administrators and citywide stakeholders. Together, I believe we will achieve great things for and with the young people in this city.”