Femi Skanes

Al Raby High School for Community & Environment

About Femi Skanes

Femi Skanes has been principal of Al Raby High School for Community & Environment (Raby High School) since 2012. Prior to this role, she served as a Literacy Director, Reading Coach, and classroom teacher. As an educator who has taught at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary level, she firmly believes in fostering educational excellence for urban students in underserved communities. In addition to her passion for educating young people, she truly enjoys working with new teachers and new leaders to prepare them to become educators in urban schools.

Femi systematically worked with her staff to institute a strong Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework. As a result, Al Raby School for Community & Environment improved schoolwide attendance, decreased discipline infractions, reduced the dropout rate and continuously increased the Freshman-on-Track rate. Femi is a driven leader who always seeks to expand her knowledge in order to provide opportunities for her students, staff and parents.

Her desire for continued professional growth propelled her to apply for the Cahn Fellows Program. In addition to her commitment to her professional learning, Femi believes deeply in a model that supports collaboration and teacher leadership development. The Cahn Fellows Program will continue to equip her with the leadership skills to foster sustainable academic improvements at Raby High School. Furthermore, this opportunity will provide an opportunity for shared leadership growth with her assistant principal, Michelle Harrell, who will serve as her Cahn Ally.


Femi is a visionary leader who loves her students and believes in providing the necessary supports to prepare them for success at all levels. She holds several degrees including a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University. Femi is a proud graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and the parent of two Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school students.