September 16, 2021

The Chicago Public Education Fund Welcomes New Members To Its Leadership Council

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 – Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) announced the addition of six new members to its Leadership Council. The new members include: 

Simendea Clark | Dr. Clark is the president of the Chicago campus of Chamberlain University. In her role, Dr. Clark is responsible for the campus’ nursing program and operations. She is a long-time educator, previously serving as an instructor at several local nursing education programs. 

Jennifer Husbands | Dr. Husbands is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she manages the Community of Practice for the Networks for School Improvement. She has a long history of working closely with and in Chicago Public Schools and brings with her unique insight into how to support adult learning. 

Rachel Resnick | Resnick worked for Chicago Public Schools for 33 years, starting as a kindergarten teacher and rounding out her tenure as Chief Labor Relations Officer under CPS CEO Arne Duncan. Since retiring, Resnick has continued to mentor district educators and serve as a representative on the CPS-CTU Mediation/Arbitration Panel. 

Heather Townsend | Townsend is the president of Heather Townsend Communications, LLC., where provides communications coaching to a wide variety of clients, including financial institutions, law firms, foundations, management teams, and individuals. 

Laura Van Peenan | Van Peenan is a managing director for William Blair based in the firm’s Chicago office. In addition, she serves on the boards of several local organizations, including Chicago Public Media, MAPSCorps, and the University of Chicago Charter School. 

Lisa Wiersma | Wiersma is the Executive Director of the IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation, where she identifies grantees and connects IMC employees with opportunities for community engagement. 

“We are thrilled to welcome so many new faces to The Fund’s Leadership Council,” said Fund Vice President Chaula Gupta. “Each one of these leaders brings their own unique perspective and experience. We’ve come to rely on them recently to give us thoughtful feedback and strategic advice as we seek new and innovative ways to support Chicago public school leaders through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work will be stronger because of their voices.”

 The Fund’s Leadership Council provides strategic support and guidance to the organization and is composed of senior-level executives and civic leaders committed to transforming public education in the city of Chicago.

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, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Greiwe, The Chicago Public Education Fund

egreiwe@thefundchicago.org | (630) 336-7303