As Vice President of The Fund leading the Partnership team, Cheryl is the primary liaison for The Fund’s partnership strategy, which includes developing innovative and responsive strategies to support CPS in continuing to strengthen and diversify the principal pipeline in partnership with critical stakeholders.
Cheryl began her career in Atlanta, Georgia where she worked as a 1st-grade teacher in Atlanta Public Schools through her placement with Teach for America. She went on to teach for six more years, becoming a national board-certified early childhood generalist, specializing in literacy development. She has served in a variety of positions, including Assistant Principal, Principal, and District Director of Magnet Programs. She was awarded the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) “Those Who Excel” Award of Excellence for her time as principal, where she led on an equity agenda that increased growth and proficiency for all subgroups and prioritized partnerships with families. She was also awarded an Award of Merit from ISBE for her time as Director of Magnet Programs where she increased enrollment, student growth and achievement, staff diversity, and parental choice. While pursuing her doctoral degree, she designed and launched a state-wide strategy for diversifying the superintendency in Massachusetts as Special Assistant to the Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Most recently, Cheryl worked for three years as CEO of the South Bend Empowerment Zone where she led transformation for five historically underserved schools in South Bend, Indiana. During her time there, she increased enrollment, student growth and achievement, teacher/staff compensation and working conditions, and strengthened tiered academic and social/emotional student supports.
Cheryl graduated from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) with a B.S. in Sociology and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration. She holds her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her three children. She also enjoys reading books for fun, spoken word poetry, and exploring the amazing city of Chicago.