CHICAGO, March 25, 2021 – Ryan Banks Academy (RBA), a unique education option on the South Side of Chicago offering rigorous academic programming together with a focus on social and emotional learning, announced today that Dr. Richard Glass Jr. has been named chief executive and education officer.

Dr. Glass, with 25 years of education experience, most recently served as founder and chief learning officer of Boys Lab, an innovative laboratory classroom for young learners in grades 4 through 6 associated with the Chicago International Charter School. He started his career as a classroom teacher in the North Lawndale and Englewood communities, served as teaching assistant principal at Mays Academy, assistant principal for Urban Prep Academies, and principal of Gale Community Academy, Legacy Charter School, Thea Bowman Leaderships Academy, and Urban Prep’s Bronzeville Campus.

“Through his career and life experience, Dr. Glass has developed an education philosophy that truly reflects everything RBA stands for,” said Ann Zeiler, chair, board of directors at RBA. “He has a demonstrated track-record in educating and empowering students to help them become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and world-changers. We can’t wait to see his impact on students’ lives and on RBA’s future.”

A lifelong learner, Dr. Glass is a 1998 graduate of Chicago State University, has a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University, and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from the Spertus Institute. In June 2016, he received a Master of Science in Education in Elementary Teaching from Northwestern University. In February 2017, he successfully defended for a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University, where his dissertation focused on “How Relationships and Relevance Influence the Scholastic Attitudes of Black Males.” Most recently, Dr. Glass earned a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2019.

“While RBA was born out of tragedy, we now stand as a beacon of hope for scholars who have been traditionally marginalized and oftentimes underserved,” said Dr. Glass, chief executive and education officer at RBA. “We will continue to focus on the academic and social-emotional needs of our scholars and provide the support needed for them to reach their life goals. Having access to high-quality educational experiences is not a luxury, it is a human right, and I am excited to continue this important work at RBA.”

Dr. Glass replaces RBA founder, Valerie Groth, who served as CEO since September 2018. Groth remains involved with the school as an executive advisor.