2019 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows


Michael AbelloMichael Abello
Chief of Early Childhood Education
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Michael Abello is the chief of early childhood education for Chicago Public Schools. Through his work, he helps provide every child with a quality early childhood education to close the achievement gap and ensure that children are socially and academically prepared beyond their early childhood experience.

He started his career with Teach For America and taught preschool at Joyner Child Parent Center. As a teacher, Abello received national recognition for having a substantial impact on his students’ academic and personal growth. In addition to teaching in Chicago Public Schools, he also worked as an early childhood instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal at the Piccolo School of Excellence.

Abello holds a bachelor’s in finance, master of science degree in early childhood education, and doctorate in urban educational leadership.


Kimberlie BooneKimberlie Boone
Assistant Public Guardian
Cook County Office of the Public Guardian

Kimberlie Boone serves as the assistant public guardian for the Cook County Office of the Pubic Guardian, a position she has held for 22 years. For the past fifteen years, she has been an attorney supervisor in the Child Protection court, leading a team of five attorneys who oversee approximately 600 children and youth. She is also the primary attorney and guardian ad litem for the Early Childhood Court Team. Prior to this position, she was an attorney with the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic. She has served as an attorney for a total of 24 years.

During her tenure with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian, Boone has headed and been a member of several committees focusing on the disproportionate representation of children of color in the child welfare system. She is a member of the “It Takes a Village” action team, and a co-chair of the DCFS Transformation Team. She also lends her expertise on issues of cultural competency by co-chairing the Wider Circle Committee where members write and distribute an internal newsletter that addresses issues of cultural difference.

Boone received her undergraduate degree in mass media communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She pursued a career in television production and was director of newscasts for the ABC affiliate in New Orleans. Upon her return to Chicago, she obtained a juris doctorate degree from the Chicago Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.


Susan BuchananDr. Susan Buchanan
Attending Physician and Clinical Associate Professor
UIC Health and Hospital System and School of Public Health

Dr. Susan Buchanan is a physician and researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. She is a family physician with board certification in preventive medicine/occupational and environmental medicine, and is director of the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health at UIC, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

An expert in health problems related to toxic substances and other environmental hazards in the workplace or community, her research interests include the health of workers, specifically people of color, immigrants and individuals earning low wages. Additionally, she is interested in children’s health and reproductive environmental health, and has published several studies including one on lead exposure among Chicago’s children.

In April 2019, she was elected to the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees. Prior to her position at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Buchanan was a family physician at Erie Family Health Center. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Denison University as well as a M.D. from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.


Margaret ClausonSuperintendent Margaret Clauson
Skokie-Morton Grove School District 69

Superintendent Margaret Clauson has been serving the Skokie-Morton Grove School District 69 for the past four year and has over 25 years of experience in public education. The school district serves 1,800 preK-8th grade students and prides itself on the economic, linguistic, racial, cultural, and religious diversity of the community.

Through Clauson’s visionary leadership, District 69 has partnered with Infant Welfare Society of Evanston to establish the Ready for Success (RFS) network, serving children and families from prenatal to entry into Kindergarten. RFS serves 60 district families prenatally through aged 3 via a home visiting model, and 220 preK students through the district Teaching Our Preschoolers program. She is a founding member of the township-wide Early Childhood Alliance (ECA), an initiative designed to support the development of holistic, community-based supports to all families with young children. Additionally, Clauson was instrumental in bringing the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a population measure designed to help communities strategically build upon early learning strengths and identify opportunities for improvement, to the Skokie-Morton Grove area.

Prior to joining District 69, she served as an assistant superintendent, a middle school principal, and middle school math-science teacher. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois-Urbana, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northwestern University, and an EdD in education and organizational leadership from the University of Illinois-Urbana.


Gina CrumbleGina Crumble
Child Protection Division, Cook County State’s Attorney Office

Gina Crumble is a supervisor with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Child Protection Division of the Juvenile Justice Bureau.

Prior to joining the State’s Attorney’s Office in 1999, she was an assistant public guardian with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian where she represented abused, neglected and dependent children. From there she joined the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as Regional Counsel and represented the interests of the Child Protection Department cases, Juvenile Justice cases and in Probate cases involving the appointment of an adult guardian for wards of the court with special needs who would age out of the system soon.

She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a bachelor of science in 1991. She continued her studies at Northwestern University School of Law, completing her juris doctorate in 1994.


Cicely FlemingAlderwoman Cicely Fleming
City of Evanston 9th Ward

Alderwoman Cicely L. Fleming has been serving the City of Evanston’s 9th Ward since 2017.  She is a founding member of OPAL, The Organization for Positive Action and Leadership, a group committed to promoting equity in government, and has served the community as a PTA President, a member of Evanston’s Mental Health Board, and as a volunteer at Connections for the Homeless.

An experienced and resourceful community leader, Fleming has a record of championing resident-led change and conflict resolution. She builds cohesion among community members, working to find creative and productive solutions, particularly for those whom have been historically undervalued by institutions. Always leading with race, her time on the council has resulted in removing barriers to city employment opportunities; expanding access to city-funded assistance programs, and removing punitive and fee-based penalties for juvenile offenders.

Fleming received her master’s degree in public administration from DePaul University with academic and personal interests in policy analysis, asset-based community development, voter engagement and mobilization, and racial-equity. She is also a member of The Government Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE), The National League of Cities REAL Council, and National Black Public Administrators.


Jamie FreedlundJamie Freedlund
School Board Member
Bourbonnais Elementary District 53

Jamie Freedlund currently serves as a school board member for Bourbonnais Elementary District 53. She also is the CFO at Turn-Key Environmental and co-founder of Mattea’s Joy, a nonprofit that strives to bring comfort and support to families with children who are hospitalized.

She is a lover of life, family and serving others. She and her husband are passionate about their non-profit, Mattea’s Joy, which was created in 2010 in memory of their daughter Mattea. She has three children from ages three to 12 and resides in Bourbonnais. She holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Gina HarrisGina Harris
National Education Association

Gina Harris is a member of the board of directors for the National Education Association (NEA), which has given her the opportunity to advocate, on a broader level, for equitable educational opportunities for all students.

As previous chair of the NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Committee, she implemented statewide measures to promote engagement of diverse educators in leadership. She co-created and leads the training for the board on institutionalized racism, the school to prison pipeline and implicit bias. She is the co-lead of two annual Minority Leadership Trainings and has facilitated trainings for educators of all levels as well as education support professionals at multiple, statewide and nationwide professional development conferences.

Prior to entering the field of education, she spent 15 years in corporate management. She holds a master’s in business administration with a concentration in international business and a master of art in teaching with certifications in K-8, middles school and bilingual/ESL education. She is an internationally certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and a certified restorative justice practices facilitator and trainer. She is the founder of the Unity Dialogues, a circle process where students and adults learn from each other and grow from authentic, open dialogue about race and unity development.


Chris HarrisPastor Chris Harris
Founder and CEO
Bright Star Community Outreach

Pastor Chris Harris leads Bright Star Church in Chicago’s Bronzeville community and founded the Bright Star Community Outreach (BSCO), an initiative to develop innovative performance-based practices and programs that advance violence prevention, community engagement, economic development, education, and healthy children/youth and families.

Within BSCO, he developed The Urban Resilience Network Center (TURN Center), which is based on an Israeli organizational model that focuses on five core competencies: counseling, parenting, mentorship, work-force development, and advocacy. This model utilizes faith and community leaders as trauma counselors and uses community surveys as the basis for services in order to respond to needs of residents. This project has received more than $8 million in support thus far, and has several partners that include Northwestern Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Jewish United Fund, Sinai Community Institute, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CIGNA.

Harris has served as a national council member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and is the chairman of the Bronzeville Community Action Council. He is also a member of the University of Chicago Medicine Community Advisory Council and has served as president of the 4th Ward and Cook County Clergy Coalitions.


Christina HerzogChristina Herzog
Program Director
Crown Family Philanthropies

Christina Herzog is the director of education programs at Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP). She leads CFP’s education funding strategy and investments, which aim to ensure all young people in Chicago have equitable access to a high-quality education that prepares them for post-secondary and career success. CFP currently prioritizes its education investments in effective teachers and leaders; evidence-based supports on a student’s pathway from preschool to postsecondary success; and well-rounded learning experiences incorporating the arts.

Prior to joining CFP, Herzog led the Office of Management and Budget at Chicago Public Schools where she was responsible for the district’s budget and guiding its alignment with district priorities and policies. She began her career as a consultant with both KPMG and Deloitte.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.


Claudia KastenClaudia Kasten
Chief of the Juvenile Trial Division
Lake County State’s Attorney Office

Claudia Kasten is currently chief of the juvenile trial division of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and has served in that capacity since 2006. Prior to her current position, she was chief of the Special Investigations Division, which included supervision of cases investigated through the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center and, before that, she supervised the Traffic, Misdemeanor and Domestic Violence Divisions.

Kasten currently serves as the vice-chair of the Lake County’s Juvenile Justice Council and Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force, and co-chair of its Law and Policy committee. She is an active member of the Illinois and Lake County Juvenile Officers Association and Lake County School Resource Officers, Board of the Lake County Yes Coalition, and was reelected chair of the Stand Strong Coalition in 2018.  She was also appointed to the Board of Director’s for the Illinois Association of Juvenile Justice Councils in 2015.

She received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Illinois Juvenile Officers Association in 2018, the 2016 Robert H. Jackson Access to Justice Award, and the 2014 Lake County Juvenile Officers Association Juvenile Justice Award in recognition of her work.

Kasten has lectured on various legal topics and has presented legal updates on juvenile justice and child welfare. She is currently a teaching faculty member of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois and serves as an instructor with the ChildFirst training program. She has served as an instructor with the ChildLaw Trial Advocacy Program at Loyola University School of Law.


Dan KotowskiDan Kotowski, President and CEO, ChildServ

Dan Kotowski has served as president and CEO of ChildServ, a non-profit dedicated to building better lives for children and families so they can reach their full potential, since October of 2015.

Spending much of his early career working in the social impact sector, Kotowski served as vice president of development and public affairs for UCAN, and as the executive director of the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence. He ran for the Illinois State Senate in 2006, serving nine years as state senator where he championed numerous laws to improve the health and safety of children, to increase economic opportunities for families, and to reform the way government spends taxpayer dollars. He helped lead two Senate Appropriations Committees that oversaw, evaluated and allocated $34 billion in state budget spending.

Through ChildServ, Kotowski has led the effort to turn a struggling organization with a $2.1 million deficit into a fiscally sound, social impact enterprise with a surplus, by expanding and diversifying its governing and auxiliary boards; growing its programs; doubling fundraising revenue; and generating increased volunteer commitment and in-kind support from corporations, faith communities and policymakers.

He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois and DePaul University. North Park University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management honored Kotowski at their “Arc of Innovation Conference” for his leadership and community contributions. He is also an active board member of the DannyDid Foundation, Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding, Inc. and the Gun Violence Prevention Education Center.


Evan KraussEvan Krauss
Director, East Side Aligned
United Way of Greater St. Louis

Evan M. Krauss currently serves with United Way of Greater St. Louis as the Director of East Side Aligned, a community-driven movement to improve the readiness and well-being of children and youth within the East St. Louis area. In this role, he has provided systems leadership to over a dozen multi-sector partnerships, generated $4 million in new resources, facilitated statewide policy change, and cultivated youth leadership and power.

Krauss has also worked professionally within city government, public education, faith communities and various anti-oppression organizations. His volunteer leadership included serving as president of the Urban League Young Professionals of Metropolitan St. Louis and as a board member for Community Conflict Services of Metropolitan St. Louis and Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association.

He received a Master’s of Social Work from Washington University and undergraduate degrees in Social Work, Urban Affairs, and Business Administration from Saint Louis University.


Aaron OritzRepresentative Aaron Ortiz
Illinois State House of Representatives, 1st District

Representative Aaron M. Ortiz serves the 1st District in the Illinois State House of Representatives. At the time of his inauguration in 2018, he was the youngest member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Ortiz’s committee assignments include: Appropriations-Higher Education, Appropriations-Public Safety, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and IT, and Veterans’ Affairs.

Ortiz is a former educator and college counselor at Back of the Yards College Prep. During that time, he was a member of the Chicago Teachers Union and a member of Local School Council. In his free time, he is a volunteer soccer coach. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning. He is a lifelong resident of the Gage Park neighborhood in Chicago.


John PriceSuperintendent John Price
North Chicago District 187

John Price is currently in his second year serving the North Chicago School District 187 as its superintendent. During these two years he has overseen the creation of a new district mission and strategic plan aimed at dramatically improving outcomes for all students.

Price has 22 years of experience in education. He taught 3rd-8th grade students in all subject areas at three different schools in Illinois and California. After leaving the classroom, he served as a literacy coordinator and assistant principal and then became the principal at Audubon Elementary School in 2006 in Chicago Public Schools. Before leaving Audubon in 2011, the school earned the distinguished Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education in recognition for outstanding improvement of student learning. After leaving Audubon, Price moved into district leadership for Chicago Public Schools to serve as a regional superintendent, supervising elementary and high schools for three years. He then became the assistant superintendent in Evanston in 2014.

In his district leadership positions, Price has consistently focused on implementing targeted instructional strategies, providing high-quality professional development and coaching, and building strong community partnerships to support student learning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Rita RaichoudhuriDr. Rita Raichoudhuri
Executive Director of Early College and Career
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri is the executive director of Early College and Career Education at Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As an educational leader, she strives to provide a well-rounded education to students with attention to rigorous academics, social-emotional learning as well as robust opportunities for post-secondary success. Prior to serving at the district level, Raichoudhuri was the principal at Wells high school where she carried out efforts that led to tremendous growth on all fronts during her tenure.

She started her career in education as a middle school teacher in Northern California and implemented a hands-on approach to pedagogy and expectations of her students that propelled their achievements and led to some of the highest gains in the district, and garnered her several awards and recognition. She subsequently moved to the district office to lead special initiatives around building the leadership capacity of teachers.

She moved to Chicago to join the newly formed CPS’ Office of Performance to help principals systematically build the capacity of their teacher leaders. Raichoudhuri also led several key district initiatives around adult learning during her time in the Office of Professional Learning. She believes that education is the primary equalizer of various social justice issues that communities face today, and wants to provide the next generation with quality education and life options to break the cycle of poverty.


Delia RamirezRepresentative Delia Ramirez
Illinois State House of Representatives, 4th District

Representative Delia Ramirez is currently in her first term serving the 4th District in the Illinois State House of Representatives. Ramirez is a dedicated public servant who utilizes her experience as a social service administrator, community organizer, and policy advocate to bring the voice of working people to Springfield.

She has extensive experience working on issues of housing, education, criminal justice, and voting rights in the Chicago area, and are priorities for her work in Springfield. She is the former founding executive director of the Center for Changing Lives and former board chair for both Latin United Community Housing Association and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. She was deputy director at Community Renewal Society and campaign manager at Common Cause Illinois.

She has been a leader in Chicago—engaged in citywide coalitions for balanced neighborhood development, an elected school board, the Fight for 15, and Automatic Voter Registration. She was an emerging fellow of The Chicago Community Trust in 2013, and a recipient of the 35 under 35 leadership award in 2007, and La Raza Community Leader award in 2013, among many other honors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from Northeastern Illinois University.


Cheri RichardsonCheri Richardson
Executive Director
Gorter Family Foundation

Cheri Richardson is the executive director of the Gorter Family Foundation (GFF). The primary mission of GFF is to make investments in support of educational opportunities for children and families with limited access to economic resources in Lake County. In addition to managing annual grant requests for more than 50 non-profit organizations, she brings together funders through the foundation’s “Look North” initiative—an effort that encourages local residents to direct a portion of their charitable giving into their home county.

Richardson’s networking and relationship building has resulted in numerous GFF collaborations with other Lake County funders, non-profit organizations and agencies on early childhood programs and start-up initiatives. Prior to joining the Gorter Family Foundation, she served the children of Lake County as executive director of the Mothers Trust Foundation, and supported more than 60 social service agencies as executive director of the United Way of the North Shore.

She is a member of the Forefront Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of Forefront’s Family Philanthropy Member Group. She has also served on the Alliance for Human Services of Lake County board, including a term as the board chair.


José RicoJosé Rico
Senior Vice President of Community Impact
United Way of Metro Chicago

José Rico is the senior vice president of community investment for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, which invests in initiatives to advance human services and improve the lives of individuals and entire neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

A Chicago community leader and educator, he began his career as a science teacher at Chicago’s Latino Youth Alternative High School, and later went on to become the founding principal of the Multicultural Arts School at the Little Village/Lawndale High School campus. Appointed by President Obama, he is the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, launching efforts to reduce the high school dropout rates and increase the college graduation rates of Latino students and serving as the Administration’s spokesperson on Latino educational issues. He drafted an executive order signed by President Obama in October 2010, which resulted in new public and private partnerships in early learning, K12, and higher education.

Rico also served as director or community organizing for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights, working on the “Removing Barriers to Education” campaign to ensure children were not denied access to education. He also served as the program director for Public Allies. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University.


Jim RoweState’s Attorney Jim Rowe
Kankakee County

State’s Attorney Jim Rowe has served Kankakee County since 2016, placing special emphasis on reforming juvenile justice and addressing truancy, which includes establishing a mentoring program for court-involved youth. Prior to being elected State’s Attorney, he served as general counsel to various municipalities, police departments and fire departments throughout Kankakee County.

Rowe serves as a board member of Harbor House Domestic Violence Shelter and is a certified sexual assault crisis interventionist through KC-CASA. In 2017, former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs honored him as an Edgar Fellow, a program that emphasizes bipartisan and cross-regional cooperation as participants––diverse in race, gender, political persuasion and geography––assume more influential roles.


Sara SpivyAssistant State’s Attorney Sara Spivy
Cook County State’s Attorney Office

Assistant State’s Attorney Sara Spivy currently works for the Cook County, defending county agencies and employees in complex litigation matters in federal court. Prior to her current position, she was an assistant public defender and, later, an attorney supervisor in the Civil Division, which provides parent representation in child protection cases.

Spivy is also serving a second term on the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education. During her tenure on the board, she approved initiatives such as: restorative justice training for staff, administration, and board members; creation of the Culture, Climate and Behavior Committee to improve racial equity within the district; creation of the Tri-Board Equity Committee to coordinate equity initiatives between the high school and its feeder districts (Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and River Forest Elementary School District 90); and hired the first executive director of “Equity and Student Success” to ensure the district prioritizes equity, excellence, monitoring, and accountability. These are just some of the efforts she has championed and is committed to addressing racial disparities at the high school.


Gina Strafford AhmedGina Strafford-Ahmed
Administrator Intake and Referral
DuPage County Dept. of Community Services

Gina Strafford-Ahmend is the Administrator of Intake and Referral for DuPage County’s Department of Community Services. She manages a unit of 24 staff and interns responsible for centralized intake for county programs, the information and referral call center, the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship program, Community Resource Database (DuPage CRIS), and the Homeless Management Information System.

She has worked for DuPage County for 27 years, starting as an intern and now as part of the leadership team. She serves on several local and statewide boards and committees, including Illinois AIRS, Illinois Ventures in Community Action and the DuPage Early Childhood Steering Committee.

Strafford-Ahmend is a Certified R.O.M.A. trainer, Certified Public Manager, Certified Community Action Professional and a Certified Resource Specialist. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in public administration from Augustana College.


Shelley TaylorShelley Taylor
Senior Director, Programs and Services
Consortium for Educational Change (CED)

Shelley Taylor is the senior director for programs and services for the Consortium for Educational Change (CEC). She manages all programs, partnerships, and content for teacher evaluation, teacher mentoring and leadership, all access learning design and inclusion practices. Additionally, she oversees day-to-day operations of CEC’s contracted services and has managed federal and state-funded grants.

A former teacher, instructional coach, union leader, and district-level administrator, Taylor serves PK-12 settings with strong collaborative practices focused on continuous improvement.  She has a strong background in facilitating and leading professional learning communities as described in the book she co-authored, Game Plan: A Playbook for Developing Winning PLCs at Work.

She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from National-Louis University and a master of arts in teaching from the University of St. Mary. She also holds an educational leadership endorsement from DePaul University and is a National Board Certified Teacher/ Exceptional Needs Specialist for ages birth to young adult.


Katrina ThompsonMayor Katrina Thompson
Village of Broadview

Mayor Katrina Thompson was elected the sixth mayor in the Village of Broadview in 2017. She is the first African American woman to hold the office and is dedicated to promoting a vibrant local economy, strong neighborhoods, a high quality of life, a thriving business community, and a greener Broadview. She believes Broadview’s strength comes from being a balanced community and from the diversity of its people.

Prior to becoming mayor, she was executive director of the West Humboldt Park Development Council, where she was responsible for strategic planning, communication, fundraising, and organizational management. Before that, Thompson served as executive director at the Broadview Park District. She worked with the board of directors to establish a management and organizational structure with a clear governance protocol, steward important fundraising relationships, build strong corporate and community partnerships, create a much-needed healthy food initiative, strengthen programs, and balance community need with strategic growth and resources.

Thompson mentors youths between the ages of 14-21, empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional men and women. She holds a master’s degree from Roosevelt University and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University. In 2017, she received the Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award.





McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows Alumni

2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows

Samuel Aguirre, Division Supervisor-Division of English Learners,Illinois State Board of Education
Rep. Avery Bourne, Illinois State House of Representatives, 95th District
Judge Andrea M. Buford, Child Protection Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
John Burkey, Executive Director,Large Unit District Association (LUDA)
Rebecca Cacayuran, Program Officer,Evanston Community Foundation
Judge J. Imani Drew, Associate Judge,Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court of Kankakee County
James Duggan, Director of Instruction,Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53
Superintendent Paul Goren, Evanston/Skokie School District 65
Judge Maxwell Griffin Jr., Associate Judge,Child Protection Division, Cook County Juvenile Court
Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, Illinois State House of Representatives, 24th District
Felice Hybert, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum,Kankakee School District 111
Dr. Shawn Jackson, Interim President,Harry S. Truman College
Sunith Kartha, School Board President, Evanston/Skokie Elementary School District 65
Ernesto Matias, Chief of Office of Language and Cultural Education, Chicago Public Schools
LaTanya McDade, Chief Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools
State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney Office 
Judge John O’Gara, Associate Judge, 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County
Cara Pavlicek, Village Manager, Village of Oak Park Illinois
Ald. Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward, City of Chicago
Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Rodemeyer, Cook County State’s Attorney Office
Superintendent James Stelter, Bensenville School District 2


2017 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows

Senator Omar Aquino, Illinois State Senate, 2nd District
Judge Robert Balanoff, 
Circuit Judge, Child Protection Division, Cook County
Candance Chow, School Board Member, Evanston/Skokie SD 65
Superintendent Arthur Culver
, East St. Louis SD 189
Representative Jesús “Chuy” García, 
Illinois 4th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Diego Giraldo, 
Chief Early Childhood Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools
Judge Andrew Gleeson, Chief Judge, 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County
Superintendent Scott Goselin, 
Bradley SD 61
Christina Hachikian
, Executive Director, Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation University of Chicago
Deputy Superintendent Jason Helfer, Teaching & Learning, Illinois State Board of Education
Carol L. Kelley, Oak Park SD 97
Judge Michael D. Kramer, Chief Judge, 21st Judicial Circuit, Kankakee County
Senator Kimberly Lightford, Illinois State Senate, 4th District
Jennifer Maddox, 
Chicago Police Department, CNN Community Hero
Judge Patricia Martin, 
Presiding Judge, Child Protection Division, Cook County
Ralph Martire, Executive Director, Ctr. for Tax and Budget Accountability and School Board President, River Forest SD 90
Alderman Ricardo Muñoz, 22nd Ward, Chicago
Hilary Bishop Scott, Regional Board & Executive Committee Member, UNICEF
Bob Spatz, 
School Board Member, Oak Park SD 97
Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, 
Illinois Governor’s Office
Treasurer Kurt Summers, Jr., City Treasurer, City of Chicago
Genevra Walters, Kankakee SD 111