“Dr. Cardona has a proven track record as an innovative leader who will fight for all students, and for a better, fairer, more successful education system,” Biden said in a pre-Christmas announcement. “He will also strive to eliminate long-standing inequities and close racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps — and expand access to community colleges, training, and public four-year colleges and universities to improve student success and grow a stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive middle class.”
Cardona’s background is primarily in elementary and secondary education. In 2003, Cardona, then 28, was the youngest principal in the state when he became head of Hanover Elementary School in Meriden, Conn. After becoming an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Meriden Public Schools in 2013, he rose quickly in the state system, becoming head of the state’s K-12 schools just last summer.
As a student, he attended Meriden Public Schools and graduated from Wilcox Technical High School. Cardenas attended Central Connecticut State University for his bachelor’s degree and the University of Connecticut, where he completed his master’s degree in bilingual/bicultural education and his doctorate in education.