Fellow and Alumni Recognition
2017 Fellow Dawn Hicks has accepted the position of School Leadership Coach at UChicago Impact, a not-for-profit organization that provides tools designed to improve teaching, learning, and leadership nationwide. The 5Essentials team supports school leadership to help educators drive school improvement. In her new role, Dawn will provide coaching to school leaders and leadership teams using the 5Essentials as a framework to support school improvement.
2016 Fellow Ceddrick Hunter has been named the Science Department Chair at KIPP Chicago, a charter school network that aims to empower students with the character and academic skills necessary to succeed in top-quality high schools and universities, to be happy in the competitive world, and to have a positive impact on their communities.
2017 Fellow Jonathan Chaparro has named the Founding Chicago Site Director for Braven, an nonprofit organization that empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation, meaningful careers, and lives of impact.
Jonathan will launch Braven’s Leadership and Career Accelerator in the Chicago Region where he will also be launching a new partnership with National Louis University’s innovative Harrison Professional Pathways Program in the 2017-2018 school year. Reporting directly to Braven Founder & CEO Aimée Eubanks Davis, Jonathan will work extensively with student participants, program alumni, volunteers, and university faculty/staff while building partnerships with local organizations to ensure program site growth.
2017 Fellow Alejandro Espinoza has accepted the position of Director of School Partnerships at OneGoal, a college access and success organization that is working to dramatically increase the percentage of students from low-income communities who complete college.
The vision for OneGoal Chicago in the 2017-18 school year is to partner with more than 80 non-selective high schools. The Director of School Partnerships executes this vision by developing a recruitment strategy for interviewing a group of strong teachers and ultimately, from that group, selecting exceptional teachers to become OneGoal Program Directors.
2015 Fellow Grisel Maldonado has founded and launched Avanza Strategies, a consultancy that specializes in supporting organizations to build high-impact education program models from the ground up, as well as strategic college and career access models that ensure students have the support necessary to achieve their potential.
As founder and CEO, Grisel leverages her unique background in college and career access to drive strategic development for educational entities seeking to build successful college and career access models and programs.
2017 Fellow Cesar Dominguez has accepted the position of Data Strategy Manager at Youth Guidance, an organization that creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and in life. In his new role, Cesar will be developing, implementing and managing the data systems and structures that Youth Guidance will use to inform their work.
2017 Fellow Natalie Neris has accepted the position of Executive Director/Head of School at Namaste Charter School, a school that offers high quality, holistic education to students within the Chicago Public School system. Read more about Natalie’s background and new role here.
2017 Fellow Ashley Richardson has accepted the position of Executive Director at Spark Chicago, an organization that inspires seventh, eighth and ninth graders in under-served communities to succeed in high school and beyond by engaging them with mentors and future careers. As Executive Director, Ashley will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Spark Chicago’s regional staff, program, expansion, development and mission execution. In addition, Ashley will participate as an active member of the national leadership team shaping key opportunities and strategies for Spark organization wide.
2017 Fellow William J. Collins has accepted a promotion to Managing Director of Partnerships at OneGoal, an organization working to ensure every young person in America will have a real opportunity to earn a college degree–and the life that comes with it. William’s responsibilities include setting vision, direction and strategy for the Chicago Partnerships team.
2016 Fellow Elisa Botello has become an Advisory Board Member for Schools That Can Chicago, an organization striving to unite leaders to expand quality urban education and close the opportunity and skills gap. As a board member Elisa acts as an advisor on projects and initiatives.
2017 Surge Fellow Ashlie Tyler became a panelist for ColorComm, an essential organization for women of color in all areas of communications including public relations, corporate communications, advertising print media, broadcast, digital and more. ColorComm’s mission is to personally connect women with other like-minded individuals, to build a strong network of leaders by creating mentors/mentees, business relationships and friendships.
2017 Fellow Bryan W. Jackson has accepted the position of Lower School Head for Browne Academy, a diverse independent day school in Alexandria, VA committed to developing the whole child through extraordinary teaching, exceptional academic programs, and a nurturing community. Excellence, Diversity, Character, and Community are the four core values that Browne uses to help shape and guide its students’ education and character. Browne characterizes itself as a strong, nurturing community where students are encouraged to be individuals and express the essence of who they are.
2016 Fellow Michelle Bess and 2017 Fellow Ashlie Tyler were both recognized by Chicago Scholars as “35 Under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact.” The 35 under 35 awards recognizes diverse, talented young professionals in Chicago who are making an impact on youth. These young professionals are in the civic, corporate, nonprofit, and tech/start-up sectors.
2015 Fellow Stacey D. Mitchell became the Director of Diversity & Inclusiveness at Educators 4 Excellence, an organization that works to ensure that the voices of classroom teachers are included in the decisions that affect our profession and our students.
2015 Fellow Adria Husband has accepted the position of practice community manager at CASEL, an organization that strives to make evidence-based social and emotional learning an integral part of education. Adria will help CASEL enhance and grow its community-building efforts, including managing national assemblies, growing professional learning communities and managing initial engagement with new districts.
2016 Fellow Christopher Goins recently began serving on the Advisory Committee for the Chicago Principal Partnership. Members of the committee champion principal quality in public schools and set the partnership’s priorities while also driving improvement in their own organizations and organizations across Chicago.
2016 Fellow Michael Johns now serves on the board of directors of EPIC Academy, a public open-enrollment charter school in the South Chicago community that believes every child is entitled to a great education. In a neighborhood where 84 percent of adults do not have a college degree, 90 percent of EPIC Academy’s first graduated class was accepted to a four-year college.
2015 Fellow Melissa Connelly was promoted to Vice President of Program at OneGoal where she serves as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team and ensures alignment on all programmatic communication and messaging. Connelly manages a growing National Program Team and acts as a torchbearer and leader for all regional program team members across the organization.
2016 Fellow Erica Hines recently became a program manager at the National Center for Teacher Residencies, which works to transform teacher preparation and improve outcomes for high-need students. As a program manager, Erica designs and delivers effectiveness-driven consulting for residencies and helps develop and facilitate network program offerings.
2016 Fellow Michelle Bess joined the Sprout Social team as a Talent Specialist. She is in charge of recruitment for the marketing and operations team and is beginning the important work of diversity and inclusion.
2016 Fellow Ceddrick Hunter has accepted a STEM Instructor position at KIPP Chicago. KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.
2015 Fellow LeShonne Segura holds the position as Director of Family and Community at Northwestern University Settlement Associations, where she supports and empowers parents to link within the community to support scholars’ learning. Segura now sits on as an Associate Board Member for the Chicago Scholars.
2016 Fellow Nicole Beechum was promoted to Senior Research Analyst at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, in which she will research designing and manage research projects.
2016 Fellow TaMikka Sykes was promoted to Principal of Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in the District of Colombia Public Schools.