Cheryl Camacho, ED.L.D.
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 has extensive education leadership experience both in Illinois and in other states. Her Illinois experience includes both Chicago and downstate experience, where she led as a principal and district leader in Champaign, Illinois. She served as the PTA president of her children’s school and in her roles as a school and district leader, she revitalized parent leadership and empowerment initiatives. In addition to her work in Champaign, she served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Education under Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley where she designed and launched a statewide strategy focused on diversifying the superintendent pipeline by bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders who championed the initiative.
Cheryl began her teaching career as an alternatively certified teacher through Teach for America and went on to become a National Board Certified Teacher. She then served as CEO of the South Bend Empowerment Zone in Indiana, which was a state intervention for five chronically challenged schools. During her tenure, she increased student enrollment (in a declining student enrollment context), student growth and achievement by embracing a whole child approach, and strengthened teacher working conditions and compensation.
In addition to her education leadership roles, Cheryl has extensive experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership and is passionate about the power of public education, particularly for those who have been historically marginalized. Her own experience as a rural public school student in Illinois from 4th-12th grades deeply informs her passion. Cheryl holds a Doctor of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was awarded the Illinois State Board of Education’s “Those Who Excel” Award of Excellence in 2014 for her work as a principal and an Award of Merit in 2013 for her work at the district level in Champaign Unit 4.