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Sicat to oversee Hybrid High

by Barbara Goen
USC alumnus Oliver Sicat will assume his new post on May 6. (Photo/Courtesy of USC Rossier)
USC alumnus Oliver Sicat will assume his new post on May 6. (Photo/Courtesy of USC Rossier)

Oliver Sicat ’01 has been named CEO and president of Ednovate, the charter management organization that oversees USC Hybrid High School, a public charter school designed and built by the USC Rossier School of Education.

Sicat, the former chief portfolio officer for Chicago Public Schools and the founder of the successful University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College Prep, a campus of the Noble Street Charter Schools, will assume the position on May 6.

USC Hybrid High, which opened in September and now serves 130 ninth-graders, provides a unique learning environment that uses personalized instruction, expanded and flexible school hours, digital curriculum and real-world applications to prepare students for success. The academically rigorous program has the goal of graduating 100 percent of the student body, fully prepared for college and careers. The majority of Hybrid High students come from neighborhoods that are near University Park Campus.

“Oliver Sicat is an education leader with a reputation for driving change and fostering student success,” said USC President C.L. Max Nikias. “He is the perfect person to head this remarkable school and contribute to the growth of this model beyond our USC neighborhood.”

According to USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, Sicat will oversee Hybrid High’s downtown Los Angeles campus, and he will lead the effort to refine this new model and create up to five schools over time to serve additional students and families. All school principals in Ednovate will report to Sicat.

“We are thrilled to have Oliver join our team and to lead Ednovate,” said Gallagher, who chairs the Ednovate board. “His extensive and strong experience in classroom teaching, in charter school leadership and innovative problem-solving for districts, coupled with his ties to the Trojan Family, make him an ideal leader for this extraordinary effort.”

Before working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, Sicat was the founding principal of UIC College Prep-Noble Street Charter School. UIC College Prep has been the highest-performing nonselective school in Chicago for the last two years.

Sicat was a math teacher in Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago who was named Boston Teacher of the Year in 2006. He holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.

Hybrid High School was developed and designed at USC Rossier by David Dwyer, holder of the Katzman/Ernst Chair in Educational Entrepreneurism, Technology and Innovation. Its percentage of students mirrors the population of the USC neighborhood, with 64 percent Latino/a, 28 percent African-American, 4 percent white and 4 percent Asian.

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