Chief of Staff
An urban educator for 35 years, Sherry Ulery brings a wealth of experience and perspective to her role with the Chicago Public Schools. As Chief of Staff, she oversees a variety of special projects, working with the academic team to help coordinate their efforts and keeping CEO Byrd-Bennett informed on those District issues that most need her attention.
Prior to joining CPS, Sherry held various leadership positions in the Detroit, D.C. and Cleveland public schools, including Chief of Curriculum Content and Professional Development for the Cleveland Municipal School District. In this role, she developed and implemented new content standards and established a comprehensive professional development framework for teachers and administrators.
Over the course of her career, Sherry has supervised schools, provided support and training to principals, managed multi-million dollar budgets, and designed countless professional development opportunities for public school educators. She was a Reading and Language Arts teacher for 17 years and holds Masters Degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.
Q. How have your 35 years as an urban educator help prepare you for your role with CPS?
A. My experience allows me to look at a situation through a variety of lenses. It helps me know how best to approach a particular situation, because I’ve seen what has worked and what hasn’t for various stakeholders in a number of different communities. This knowledge helps inform many of my decisions at CPS.
Q. What are you known for professionally?
A. I’m a problem solver. People come to me with an issue, and I’m able to help them think it through, examine it from all sides, and come up with the solution that makes the most sense.
Q. Who has been the biggest influence on your decision to work as an educator?
A. My high school English teacher, Ms. Cordero. She had a big impact on me and helped turn me toward becoming an educator. She praised me for my patience, and for my ability to break down complex problems and help my fellow students understand things better. Those words were always in the back of my mind as I was deciding what I wanted my career to be.
Q. What are you passionate about personally?
A. My two sons, who are 31 and 29. One lives in Denver and one in Cleveland, and both are getting married in 2014.
Q. How would you want to be remembered for your work at CPS?
A. I hope to be remembered as someone who helped put programs in place that truly benefited children and helped them achieve. Because my background is academics, I’m always focused on developing and implementing the tools teachers need to help their students thrive.
- Hometown: Beaver Creek, Ohio
- Favorite Leisure Time Activity: Bike riding along Lake Michigan
- Most Prized Possession: My portable hard drive
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