The Fund, CPS and Mayor Lightfoot Announce 2019 Principal Leadership Program Participants

CHICAGO - Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) announced the acceptance of 36 principals into two of the city’s most prestigious school leadership programs: the Cahn Fellows Program and the Chicago Principals Fellowship. Together, these programs aim to deepen the impact of our top principals through structured professional development and opportunities to take on greater leadership roles to support their peers. Fellows’ performance continues to drive outstanding student achievement at schools. The Cahn Fellows Program and Chicago Principals Fellowship represent the power of strong university, district and private-sector partnerships. This year, the incoming fellowship cohort is being funded by a grant from Both fellowships are intensive executive leadership development programs that have been specifically designed for and with Chicago’s most talented principals. “The success of our Chicago Public Schools can be attributed to the strong and ambitious leadership at the helm of the schools,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “My administration is committed to ensuring every principal has access to the resources they need and the support they deserve to help students thrive, regardless of the zip code or background.” “Chicago’s principals positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Chicago youth every day, which is why it is critical to provide meaningful development opportunities to empower and grow our school leaders,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Opportunities like the Cahn Fellows Program and the Chicago Principals Fellowship create a space for school leaders to grow and learn from top experts so they continue to drive change in their communities throughout Chicago, and we are proud to partner with The Fund and other partners as we grow these critical programs.” “CPS, Mayor Lightfoot and The Fund are deeply committed to cultivating our city’s principals as top-tier leaders,” Fund Chief Executive Officer Heather Y. Anichini said. “Over the last six years, more than 130 Chicago principals have participated in the Cahn Fellows Program and the Chicago Principals Fellowship. We hope to see that number continue to grow as more school leaders seek out opportunities to develop their school teams and expand their own leadership capacity.” The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals at Columbia University’s Teachers College is a national fellowship for principals. Since 2003, the Cahn Fellows Program has admitted an annual cohort of principals from Chicago, New York, Newark, Denver and Charlotte, among other cities. Each Cahn Fellow chooses an “ally” – an assistant principal or teacher leader – to participate in a two-week summer leadership institute and ongoing faculty study groups. The experience is intended to effectively link leadership and instructional theories from across organizations and at the school level to Fellows’ principal practice. This culminates in the exploration of a school-based project, which Fellows and allies collaboratively develop over the course of their Cahn Fellows experience. The following eight principals will participate in the new cohort of Cahn Fellows:
  • Antonio Acevedo - John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School
  • Wayne Bevis - Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School
  • Georgia Davos-Vetas - Newton Bateman Elementary School
  • Carolyn Jones - Perkins Bass Elementary School
  • Fernando Kim - Frank W. Gunsaulus ElementaryScholastic Academy
  • Terrycita Perry - Arthur Dixon Elementary School
  • Marilou Rebolledo - Andrew Jackson Elementary Language Academy
  • Kelly Thigpen - Burnside Elementary Scholastic Academy
The Chicago Principals Fellowship is an executive leadership development program designed through a partnership between Northwestern University, CPS and The Fund. The 2019-20 cohort consists of 28 principals from district and charter schools. Fellows participate in rigorous academic sessions provided by the Center for Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. They also receive a leadership evaluation, participate in facilitated learning sessions and meet monthly with Dr. Jackson to learn about and develop district policy. The following 28 principals will participate in the new cohort of Principal Fellows:
  • Zaneta Abdul-Ahad - Lionel Hampton Fine & Performing Arts Elementary School
  • Chad Adams-Thomas - Roger C. Sullivan High School
  • Jon M. Bennett – LEARN 7 Elementary School
  • Alice Buzanis - Jesse Sherwood Elementary School
  • Sherly Chavarria - William P. Nixon Elementary School
  • Fatima Cooke - Charles Sumner Math & Science Community Academy
  • Holly Dacres - Wilma Rudolph Elementary Learning Center
  • Tanya L. Fields - Joshua D. Kershaw Elementary School
  • Chris Gamble - Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School
  • Sabrina Gates - Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School
  • Marin Gonzalez - Gerald Delgado Kanoon Elementary Magnet School
  • Althea M. Hammond - Ambrose Plamondon Elementary School
  • Allison Hansen - Acero Charter Schools - Officer Donald J. Marquez
  • Leonard Harris - Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative High School
  • Michael Herring - Friedrich L. Jahn Elementary of the Fine Arts
  • William Hook - Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
  • Victor Iturralde - Eric Solorio Academy High School
  • Matthew Katz - Acero Charter Schools - Rufino Tamayo
  • Valencia Koker – Dewey School of Excellence
  • Seth Lavin - Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy Elementary School
  • Ruth Martini-Walsh - Jane Addams Elementary School
  • Emily Mason - Noble - Muchin College Prep
  • Cory Overstreet - Kate S. Kellogg Elementary School
  • Terea Peoples - Emmett Louis Till Math and Science Academy
  • Diana Racasi - Pulaski International School of Chicago
  • Charles Smith - Infinity Math Science and Technology High School
  • Maureen Wood – Portage Park Elementary School
  • Nicole White - Henry O. Tanner Elementary School
Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district. About The Chicago Public Education Fund The Fund is a nonprofit organization that improves public schools in Chicago by investing in the talented educators who lead them. We are a catalyst for accelerating student learning and a long-standing leader in identifying and scaling what works for not only teachers and principals, but also their students. To learn more about the principals we serve and the work we do, please visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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