Christopher Ruszkowski served as secretary of education in New Mexico under Gov. Susana Martinez. Prior to being named secretary, he was deputy secretary, policy and program. His portfolio of work included state standards and assessments and initiatives related to school accountability; school turnaround; educator quality; college and career readiness; early childhood education and early literacy; and charter schools. In 2017, he co-led the development of the New Mexico state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which has been nationally recognized as one of the best state plans in the country.
Previously, Ruszkowski served for six years at the Delaware Department of Education under Gov. Jack Markell, building the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit as chief talent officer/associate secretary and co-leading the implementation of the state’s Race to the Top plan. He collaborated with districts and charter schools across the state to develop their local activities; launched multiple innovative programs with nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education; and worked with the Professional Standards Board and State Board of Education to construct policy frameworks. During his tenure in Delaware, Ruszkowski’s team focused on improving policies and practices across the educator effectiveness continuum: educator preparation; licensure/certification; recruitment; placement; evaluation; professional learning; and teacher-leader career pathways.
Ruszkowski began his education career as a middle school social studies teacher and basketball coach at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Miami, Fla. He later worked in a variety of district, nonprofit, and charter school contexts. His roles included supporting and training novice teachers through Teach For America; working with TNTP in Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Louisiana Recovery School District; and serving as an Education Pioneers fellow in the San Francisco Unified School District. Ruszkowski has a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in educational policy, organizational, and leadership studies from Stanford University. He was a member of the first cohort of the Future Chiefs leadership development program.