Illinois Pathways

Presenters: Jason Tyszko, Jeff Mays, Steve Parrott
Illinois Pathways, funded through Race to the Top, was recently launched by Governor Quinn to support P-20 education and workforce training systems that enable learners to explore their academic and career interests in STEM fields. In addition, Illinois Pathways is set to launch the first STEM Learning Exchanges later this year, a new and innovative network of statewide public-private partnerships organized by career cluster that work to coordinate planning and investment to support local STEM programs. A panel of State of Illinois agency representatives and the Illinois Business Roundtable will present this new and important initiative and how it will be implemented throughout Illinois.

About the Presenters:
Jason Tyszko, Deputy Chief of Staff, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Jason A. Tyszko currently serves as deputy chief of staff of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, where he is responsible for coordinating interagency education and workforce development initiatives. Previously, Jason served as a policy advisor to Governor Quinn as a member of the executive committee that directed over ten billion dollars in investments through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). While in the Office of the Governor, Tyszko was chair of the interagency ARRA Job Training Working Group and was also tasked with developing the Illinois Pathways Initiative, the signature STEM education strategy included in the state’s Race to the Top proposal. Tyszko has a BA in Political Science and History from DePaul University and an MA in Social Science from the University of Chicago. Jason also has earned a secondary education teaching certification through courses taken at National-Louis University.

Jeff Mays, President, Illinois Business Roundtable
Jeff Mays is president of the Illinois Business Roundtable, serving in this capacity since joining the organization in 1998. The Illinois Business Roundtable (IBRT) is a voluntary association of sixty-three chief executive officers of Illinois’ leading businesses, formed in 1989 to study, make recommendations, and take action on critical public policy issues facing Illinois. Prior to coming to the Illinois Business Roundtable, Mays served as executive vice president of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. He also served as special assistant to the Chicago Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1990 to 1992. And prior to HUD, Mays was elected to five terms in the Illinois General Assembly, representing a large portion of West Central Illinois. As state representative, Mays was the minority spokesman of the House Appropriations Committee, and served on the House Labor and Commerce Committee, the Executive Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Steve Parrott, Technology and Engineering Education Consultant, Career and Technical Education, Illinois State Board of Education
Steve Parrott is currently the technology and engineering principal consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). His current responsibilities include the review of technology and engineering programs. Parrott is also the grant manager of Perkins and State funding for Chicago Public Schools, as well as Lake and Cook Counties. Parrott has worked on the Illinois Industrial and Technology and Engineering Education Curriculum Revitalization Project, which led Illinois to join the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s (ITEEA) STEM Center for Teaching and Learning Consortium. Parrott currently serves as advisor to the board of the Technology Education Association of Illinois; serves as the IL corporate member for both SkillsUSA and Technology Student Association (TSA); is the State Leader for Engineering byDesign(TM) and Project Lead the Way; and serves as the National Technology Student Association’s Secretary/Treasurer with a Membership of 185,000 students. Parrott is the past president of the State Supervisors for Technology and Engineering Education (SSTEE) and ITEEA’s Council for Supervision and Leadership (CSL). Parrott began his professional career as an industrial engineer for Maytag Refrigeration. At Maytag, he discovered that he wanted to pursue his second dream, teaching, and began his ten-year teaching career in industrial and technology education at Lincolnland Technical Education Center (LTEC) and Lincoln Community High School (LCHS). In his last year at LTEC/LCHS, he received the Who’s Who Among American Teachers award (2005), TEAI’s “Big Thinker” award (2008), ITEEA’s Outstanding State Supervisor of the Year (2009), and TEAI’s Administrator of the Year award (2011). Parrott attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and received an industrial technology degree. He then received a MS degree from Illinois State University in technical training.