Skip to main content

Highlighting Two Outstanding School Leaders

We spoke with the two incredible school leaders who are this year’s Zell Family Excellence in School Leadership Award winners.

By Whitney Stoepel-Brewer

July 12, 2021

Zell Award Winners: Lauren Albani & Tracie Sanlin

No great public school exists without great leadership. In fact, variation in principal quality accounts for about 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student learning. We believe teachers, school leaders, and non-profit leaders have a unique role to play in sustaining results for students in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Thanks to the investment of the district and other partner organizations, the number of high-performing principals in Chicago has doubled since 2013

Two of these incredible leaders are this year’s Zell Family Excellence in School Leadership Award winners, Lauren Albani ('07) and Tracie Sanlin ('07). Established in 2017, The Zell Family Excellence in School Leadership Award is an annual award given to an outstanding school leader in the Chicago-Northwest Indiana region who is an alumnus of Teach For America. This award recognizes leaders who have built and maintained excellent schools that ensure all students can become citizens who are prepared to shape their own pathways in life. In the video above, Lauren and Tracie discuss their reflections and learnings gleaned from the pandemic, including what they hope to take forward into the next school year.