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Children in a Chicago Public School classroom.

Since 2000, Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with partners throughout our city to create opportunities for children in our most underserved communities.

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana recruits, trains, and supports a growing movement of leaders dedicated to expanding educational opportunity within the region. Alongside the communities they serve, Chicago-Northwest Indiana alumni and corps members have played an integral role in supporting the academic gains made by Chicago Public Schools students over the past 20 years.

An Introduction to Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana

Learn about the work of our incredible Teach For America corps members and alumni in Chicago-Northwest Indiana.

Making Progress in Chicago

Chicago is making remarkable strides toward closing the opportunity gap that denies an equitable education to students of color and children from low-income communities. In just 10 years, the Chicago Public School system’s high school graduation rate surged by over 20%, going from 54 percent in 2008 to 78 percent in 2018. The future looks even brighter, with the Chicago Public Schools’ class of 2021 on track to graduate at a record rate of 89 percent. More and more Chicago Public Schools students are being given access to Advanced Placement curriculum, empowering Chicago students to earn college credits before even graduating high school.

While there’s still much progress to be made, this achievement proves what’s possible for students in Chicago when they’re given access to equitable education. Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana’s 3,000 corps members and alumni are among the countless educators, families, and community leaders who have pushed to raise the bar for educational excellence in our city since 2000. And we remain committed to this work.

1000

Teachers

290

School Leaders

Addressing Chicago Student Needs

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana is placing teachers with diverse talents in vital but difficult-to-staff areas--especially in light of the Chicago Public Schools teacher shortage. 66 percent of corps members in Chicago-Northwest Indiana teach high-need subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), diverse learning, and early childhood education.

  • Chicago Public Schools is working to ensure that diverse learners receive a high quality public education that prepares students for success, but the system currently faces a massive shortage of diverse learner teachers. 38 percent of Chicago-Northwest Indiana corps members are serving as diverse-learner educators.
     
  • 20 percent of Chicago-Northwest Indiana corps members are teaching a STEM subject, a vital field of innovation and one where individuals from low-income communities are vastly underrepresented.
     
  • As Chicago Public School prepares to roll out universal Pre-K, early childhood educators are in higher demand than ever before. Teach For America is helping to staff for these positions, and 8 percent of the Chicago-Northwest Indiana corps are early childhood educators.

1.4

Chicago Public School students are making 1.4 years of progress in classroom led by our corps members every school year.

37%

of our principals in Chicago lead Level 1+ schools.

Fostering Educational Excellence in Chicago Schools

As of 2017, Chicago Public Schools have made the fastest academic progress out of the 100 largest school districts in the country. Chicago’s progress in education wouldn’t have been possible without public schools that challenge the status quo. Nine percent of Chicago's schools are led by alumni, and many other school leaders partner with Teach For America to place our corps members in their schools.

  • Herzl School of Excellence

    Herzl School of Excellence’s mission is to develop scholars, leaders, problem-solvers, and compassionate productive members of our society through a constant focus on academic excellence and character. Herzl serves nearly 600 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. For four consecutive years, Herzl has improved its attendance. In the 2018 “My Voice, My School” survey, which is given to students and teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, Herzl was recognized as “well-organized” for improvement, which is the highest possible rating. Nine Teach For America corps members and alumni currently serve at Herzl School of Excellence. 

    School Leader: Tamara Davis

  • Muchin College Prep

    Muchin College Prep exists to empower Chicago youth to overcome systemic inequity through life-altering education, and Muchin scholars engage in a rigorous curriculum that prepares them for success in college and beyond. It is rated a 1+ school, the highest rating in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Quality Rating Policy scale, and has consistently ranked among the top 10 highest performing non-selective high schools in Chicago. Over 20 Teach For America corps member and alumni currently serve at the school, and the school was selected as one of Teach For America's 2019-2020 Schools to Learn From list for providing an excellent education to their students. 

    School leader: Emily Mason (St. Louis ‘07) 

Award-Winning Educators in Chicago 

A number of Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana alumni are award-winning educators and have been recognized for their outstanding work in education:

A female teacher stands in her classroom.

Sharon Ponder

Chicago-Northwest Indiana '14

High School Teacher/Instructional Leadership Team

Chicago Public Schools

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana alum Sharon Pondner is a veteran teacher who joined TFA in her native Chicago after teaching for 13 years.

Anthony Zarate

Anthony Zarate

Chicago-Northwest Indiana '13

Instructional Coach

Acero Brighton Park Elementary School

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana alum Anthony Zarate was named a finalist for the 2016 Illinois State Board of Education's annual Teach of the Year Award.

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Meet Our 2019-2020 Corps Members

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana is dedicated to finding and training teachers who reflect the identities of the students they serve. Our 2019-2020 school year corps are:

66%

teach high-need subjects like ECE, diverse learning, and STEM

57%

of our corps identified with the background of our students

A portrait of a female Teach For America alum.

Aimee Eubanks Davis

Greater New Orleans '95

Founder & CEO

Braven

Aimee Eubanks Davis spent the majority of her career at Teach For America, where she served as the Vice President of New Site Development, Executive Vice President of People, and eventually led TFA’s Public Affairs and Communications teams, before departing to found Braven in 2013.

Francie Schnipke Richards

Francie Schnipke Richards

Chicago-Northwest Indiana '09

Head of Partnerships and Development

Chicago Public Schools

Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana alum Francie Schnipke Richards serves as Head of Partnerships and Development at CPS and Executive Director of the Children First Fund.

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Chicago Annual Report

Read our annual report to learn more about Teach For America Chicago-Northwest Indiana’s impact in 2019.