Passionate individuals who believe that education has the power to unlock a bright future for our kids, our city, and our region.



Our team combines strong data analytics, experience in public education and policy, and community engagement expertise to connect the “grass-tops” with the grassroots, ensuring parent and community voices are heard at the highest levels of decision-making about the direction of Chicago’s PK-12 schools. 


Daniel Anello
Chief Executive Officer
More Information 

Lily Elderkin
Development & External Affairs Associate
More Information

Zelianel Ferrer Costas
Community Engagement Coordinator
More Information

Garrette Horne
Community Engagement Manager
More Information

Vivian Lee
Chief of Policy
More Information

Gerald Liu
Director of Policy & Operations
More Information

Natalie Neris
Chief Education Officer
More Information

Cathy Paliga
Executive Assistant to the CEO
More Information


Jasmin Pizano
Community Engagement Coordinator
More Information

Kristin Pollock
Chief of Development
More Information

Sean Schindl
Director of Community Engagement
More Information

Gerlisa Shipman
Community Engagement Coordinator
More Information

Ciera Smith
Community Engagement Coordinator
More Information

Mohamed Sow
Policy & Engagement Associate
More Information

Alfonso Vaca-Loyola
Data Analyst
More Information




Our Parent Advisory Board was established in 2018 to ensure that our work is always driven by what parents want for their children and their school system.

Brenda Rivera
Inter-American Elementary Magnet School

Rena Robinson
Westinghouse HS

Alma Sigala
Chavez Elementary

Cata Truss
Austin community member

Yolanda Williams
Penn Elementary

Melinda Young
Skinner West Elementary

Maria Zavala
Seward Elementary

Katrina Adams
Gillespie Elementary

Samella Coleman
Mays Elementary

Tawana Harris
Von Steuben HS and Legal Prep HS

Lorena Lopez
Seward Elementary

Consuelo Martinez
Back of the Yards HS

Mary Ottinot
Skinner West and Beard Elementary

Maria Owens
Hirsch HS


Our Board of Directors includes a nonpartisan mix of education, business, and philanthropic leaders.

Daniel Anello
Chief Executive Officer, Kids First Chicago

Patrick J. Canning
Managing Partner, KPMG  

David Casper | Board Chair
U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group

Shayne Evans
Founder & Managing Partner, The Academy Group

Lula M. Ford
Retired Educator & Member, Illinois State Board of Education

Thomas J. Formolo
Partner, New Harbor Capital LLC

Sam Ganga
Partner, Digital Strategy & Transformation, KPMG

Philip L. Hildebrandt
Chief Executive Officer, Segall Bryant & Hamill

Donald G. Lubin | Director Emeritus  
Partner, Dentons US LLP

John W. Madigan
Retired Chairman & CEO, Tribune Company

Matt Moog
Chief Executive Officer, PowerReviews

Nichole Pinkard
Associate Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University

Jose Luis Prado
Chairman & CEO, Evans Food Group Ltd.

John W. Rowe
Chairman Emeritus, Exelon Corporation

Timothy R. Schwertfeger
Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Nuveen Investments, Inc.

Nancy S. Searle | Vice Chair

Benjamin Smith
Head of Strategy, Fifth Third Bank

David J. Vitale
Chairman, Urban Partnership Bank

Kelly R. Welsh
President, Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

Melinda Young
Chief of Staff, Nuveen Advisory Services