Shared Leadership and Innovative Solutions

Ginger Lumpkin has been an urban educator for more than 20 years. As a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduate, teacher and administrator, and the parent of a CPS student, Ginger possesses a nuanced understanding of the conditions needed to ensure school success.

In 2013, after Ginger’s first year as Principal of John C. Haines Elementary, she learned of The Fund’s Summer Design Program (SDP). Under Ginger’s thoughtful leadership, the Haines team used the SDP to design a program to differentiate instruction for its students by employing technology. As a result, teachers delivered targeted instruction in small groups, while other students were able to learn new topics independently and engage in online materials.

After successfully implementing this pilot in 2013, Ginger saw an opportunity to deliver a truly personalized education for every student at Haines. She expanded the pilot created during the SDP and submitted a winning application to Breakthrough Schools: Chicago.

“I applied to Breakthrough Schools so that, through shared leadership, we might employ innovative ways to address student achievement while making learning more personal and individualized for our students,” Ginger said. “We will make this possible through the use of instructional practices such as the rotational model, small group work, whole-class instruction and interdisciplinary, project-based learning. Above all, I want students to find joy in learning for the sake of learning.”

For Ginger, a focus on excellence, humanity and advocacy for students has been, and remains, at the foundation of her life’s work.


Ginger is a Summer Design Program participant and Breakthrough Schools: Chicago winner. She also participated on a panel with four high-performing principals at The Fund’s Fall Meeting and School Site Visit on October 7, 2014. The panel addressed the question: “What supports do principals need to lead their team toward whole-school innovation?”

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