CPS Leadership Team

Dr. Michael Abello

Dr. Michael Abello

Chief of Early Childhood Education

As a proud graduate of CPS schools, Michael has dedicated his entire career to Chicago’s children and their families. An expert in early childhood education, he feels that providing children with a high-quality early learning experience is critical to closing the achievement gap and putting children on the path to long-term academic success.

A former teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Chicago Public Schools, Michael has received national recognition for his substantial impact on students’ academic, social, and emotional growth. His most recent position was as the principal of Chicago’s Piccolo School of Excellence, where he grew enrollment, boosted attendance and academic growth, and led the school to a Level 1+ school quality rating.

Michael is committed to developing instructional leadership and school improvement teams that use data and cycles of inquiry to improve the experience of Chicago’s youngest learners.

Francis 'Frank' Bilecki

Francis "Frank" Bilecki

Chief of Public Policy

As the District’s Chief of Public Policy, Frank maintains collaborative partnerships with elected leaders while overseeing the planning, development and execution of state legislation and municipal ordinances that affect Chicago’s public schools.

With 18 years of experience in the public sector, Frank has managed governmental relations between numerous agencies and federal, state, municipal, and other elected officials. Prior to joining CPS, Frank held several prominent positions at the Cook County Sheriff's Office, including Director of Policy, where he helped reform the criminal justice system regarding human trafficking and mental illness. He also served as Director of Communications, acting as the spokesperson for the agency, and finally as the Director of Government Affairs for the Sheriff’s Office.

From 1999-2011, Frank led the Policy, Taxpayer Information and Labor departments for the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office. He was the liaison between the Comptroller and the General Assembly, as well as 85 state agencies, boards and commissions, and was responsible for monitoring the annual financial activity of nearly 6,000 units of local government in the state of Illinois.

Clarence Carson

Clarence Carson

Chief of Facilities

A resourceful, well-rounded construction and real estate development professional, Clarence is charged with providing all CPS students with clean, safe learning environments.

Clarence has a wealth of experience in pre-construction, budgeting, contracting, and project management and has achieved success in commercial, government, and education sectors. He has also formed productive, collaborative relationships with stakeholders and has built strong, motivated teams.

Clarence holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Construction Management, with an emphasis in Urban & Regional Planning and Facilities Management, from Michigan State University. He is also a Certified Construction Professional (CCP) and Certified Construction Auditor (CCA).

Clarence Carson

Bogdana Chkoumbova

Chief Schools Officer

An 18-year veteran of CPS, Bogdana is responsible for managing Chicago's 17 school networks and the Independent Schools Principals network, ensuring principal quality and strong school performance across the district.

Prior to this role, Bogdana served as the chief of network 10, where she led 28 principals and schools to reduce the achievement gaps in growth and attainment in reading and mathematics for Latino and Black students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. She began her CPS career as a special education teacher at Chopin Elementary and was then awarded a principal internship at Disney Magnet School. In 2008, Bogdana was selected to open the K-8 Disney II elementary school and then oversaw its expansion to high school in 2012. Under her leadership, Disney II consistently performed in the top 10 percent of all Illinois public elementary schools and achieved the School of Excellence designation from the Illinois State Board of Education. Disney II also received the Breakthrough Schools Grant for its innovative strategy to support personalized learning.

Bogdana is a dynamic educational leader who is committed to achieving the goals set forth in the CPS Five-Year Vision. She holds a master's degree in educational administration from Governor's State University and is currently completing her doctorate in educational leadership from Western Illinois University.

Jadine Chou

Jadine Chou

Chief of Safety and Security

As the District’s Chief of Safety and Security, Jadine has made it her team’s mission to support schools in maximizing student achievement through the lens of promoting safe and calm environments and building relationships with students. Jadine oversees the safety operations for more than 380,000 students in more than 640 schools, and is responsible for supporting school administrators in their efforts to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students and staff.

Under Jadine’s leadership, her team has supported CPS in planning and implementing proactive practices to drive calmer school climates and positive student behaviors. These efforts have resulted in significantly fewer misconducts, out of school suspensions, expulsions and police notifications.

Prior to joining Chicago Public Schools, Jadine worked for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations, including safety and security, for over 18,000 traditional public housing units across the city.

Jadine holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Ronald DeNard

Ronald DeNard

Senior Vice President of Finance

Ron has served as the District’s Senior Vice President of Finance since 2015. In this role, he is focused on developing financial strategies that streamline business and operations in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and promote financial growth.

A seasoned financial executive with both the public and private sectors, Ron brings a wealth of experience to the CPS Finance Department, which includes accounting, budgeting, grants, treasury, risk management, and payroll. He helped eliminate a $1.1 billion operating deficit within his first two years in the District, and has secured upgrades from all four rating agencies on CPS’ latest bond deal. Ron has also secured short-term financing for the District when needed, and has improved CPS’ overall financial management systems.

Ron’s goals in his current role include improving the District’s budgetary process, reducing the cost and amount of short-term financing, and providing cost-efficient financing for long-term capital projects and routine maintenance.

Dr. Michael Deuser

Dr. Michael Deuser

Chief of College and Career Success

Michael is a seasoned public education leader, having previously served as the Director of Research and Performance Management at the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL) and the Director of Student Assessment for CPS. Through this work, Michael partnered with district leaders, principals, teachers, and counselors to develop and continuously improve evidence-based products and practices that drive student success.

In addition to his work in Chicago, Michael has advised state agencies and K-12 districts from across the United States on a range of topics, including community school development, student behavior and discipline, youth mentoring programs, and early college.

Michael believes deeply in the power of learning and collaboration to deliver transformative results for individuals, institutions, and communities.

Phillip DiBartolo

Phillip DiBartolo

Chief Information Officer

Phillip has served as the district’s Chief Information Officer since 2016 and is responsible for the delivery of all IT services. These duties include maintaining 420,000 computing devices, provisioning core systems for 30,000 staff, securing accessible and secure communications and internet services, and resolving approximately 140,000 annual requests for support.

Phillip strives to provide equitably distributed, innovative technology solutions that improve the quality of education for our students, reduce administrative burden on our educators, facilitate parent engagement, and eliminate operational inefficiencies. In just the past few years, he helped to spearhead the implementation of the GoCPS student application platform, updated student and staff acceptable use policies, and implemented a standard project portfolio management and reporting strategy to ensure that technology implementations are aligned with the district’s Five-Year Vision.

Phillip has 28 years of experience with information and technology, spanning public, private, and consulting organizations in the fields of education, finance, and technology.

Kenneth L. Fox, MD

Kenneth L. Fox, MD

Chief Health Officer

As the District’s chief medical professional, Dr. Fox oversees the District’s Office of Student Health and Wellness. He is the principal spokesperson on student health issues, overseeing a portfolio that includes Health Promotion, Direct Medical Services, Health Information Management, and the Children & Family Benefits Unit (CFBU), which enrolls students and families in public health insurance Medicaid/CHIP) and the food stamps program (SNAP).

Appointed in 2016, Dr. Fox is a pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience. He attended the University of Chicago and trained at Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania. He has written and lectured widely on cultural and social justice in healthcare, and has collaborated with Partners in Health and Physicians for Human Rights.

Fully alive to the social determinants of health, Dr. Fox works to eliminate health-related barriers to learning and drive better health and educational outcomes for Chicago’s students. He has been a champion of Medicaid enrollment among CPS students, bringing new intensity and resources to our focus on connecting children to medical insurance and, in turn, to a “medical home”—a high quality source of comprehensive health care that is accessible, coordinated, compassionate, culturally effective, and where there is continuity of care.

Herald Johnson

Herald "Chip" Johnson

Chief of Community and Family Engagement

As the Chief of Family and Community Engagement in Education (formerly Leadership and Learning), Chip works to empower and support parents and community partners so that they can help students strive for and reach their full potential. His goal is to make sure families have the support they need to play an active role in their children’s education, and to provide community partners with increased opportunities to support CPS schools.

A native of Chicago’s Chatham community, Chip attended Burnside Elementary and Lindblom High School. He taught at Chicago’s Crane Tech and John Hope high schools, then transitioned to administration, being named Chief of Network 6 in 2013. In this role, he managed 36 schools in the central area of the city.

Chip holds two Master’s Degrees and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Curriculum and Administration, and is currently completing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration.

Dr. Stephanie Jones

Dr. Stephanie Jones

Chief of Office of Diverse Learner

Dr. Stephanie Jones is a proud CPS alumna and has built her career around organizing and offering targeted support for vulnerable populations and students with diverse learning needs. As chief of ODLSS, Dr. Jones will be responsible for providing strategic direction to both Central Office and school-based leaders and staff to ensure high-quality, grade-level instruction and equitable supports and services for our diverse learners.

She began her career in education with CPS as a special education teacher and a case manager at Air Force Academy High School and George Washington Carver Military Academy High School. Since 2014, Dr. Jones has served as director of special services in the South Holland School District #151, where she liaised between educators and community partners and was recognized as a skilled communicator with a remarkable ability to envision and encourage meaningful student growth.

Dr. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in special education from Lewis University, as well as a doctorate in leadership in educational administration from Capella University.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Chief Talent Officer

Matt has served as the District’s Chief Talent Officer since 2015, overseeing recruitment, selection, onboarding, performance growth, compensation and benefits, and retention for more than 35,000 CPS employees. Under his leadership, the Talent Office is working to improve teacher diversity and create new pipelines for high-needs areas such as bilingual and special education teachers.

Prior to his current role, Matt served as Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Public Education Fund—a nonprofit that works hand in hand with CPS to make Chicago’s public school system the strongest in the country.

Matt holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown University, and is an alumnus of the Broad Center Residency Program in Educational Leadership. Having been inspired by great teachers of his own, he is committed to the growth and recognition of Chicago educators who work every day to make students’ futures bright.

Jorge Macias

Jorge Macias

Chief of Language and Cultural Education

An outstanding bilingual educator, Jorge is committed to providing all language learners in CPS with an equitable, high-quality education. His team strives to provide language support to English learners, refugee students, world language learners, and immigrant students, and is working to increase the instructional capacity of bilingual teachers, all while empowering the parents of English learners and improving language supports for all CPS schools.

This is Jorge's second stint as Chief of OLCE at CPS. He previously directed this office in 2016, leading the CPS mission to improve English proficiency among English learners while prioritizing the celebration of multiple languages and cultures in all schools. Additionally, he helped CPS expand dual language programming and raised the number of schools meeting state standards for English learners by 25 percent. With his return to OLCE, Jorge hopes to build on this momentum by expanding world language opportunities citywide and continuing to grow the district's Seal of Biliteracy program.

Prior to rejoining OLCE, Jorge served as CPS' Chief Administrative Officer, where he led key efforts involving transportation, safety and security, diversity, and the district's School Support Center. He also served as principal of Galileo Scholastic Academy, where he led his staff and students to a consistent place on the Illinois Honor Roll.

Jonathan Maples

Jonathan Maples

Chief Procurement Officer

Jon has served as the District’s Chief Procurement Officer since 2017. He oversees all vendor management services to schools and Central Office locations in keeping with the CPS mission. Under his leadership, the CPS Procurement Team launched the “Kids Keep Improving District Services Initiative” – a partnership between CPS schools, departments and vendors to drive continuous improvement in vendor performance through innovative services, elimination of waste, and better philanthropic support, among other categories of service.

Jon came to CPS with nearly 40 years of experience in procurement and supply leadership. His responsibilities have included spend management of up to $35 billion, supplier relations for more than 15,000 suppliers, and direct purchasing staffs of more than 600 buyers.

Jon moved from the private sector to education because he believes that it is the foremost duty of a society to educate its citizens. His goal at CPS is to create outstanding vendor performance that will support the vision of Chicago Public Schools.

LaTanya McDade

LaTanya McDade

Chief Education Officer

As the District’s Chief Education Officer, LaTanya oversees all academic offices within the CPS Central Office and supports our principals and Network Chiefs in their leadership roles. This was a natural transition from her previous role as Chief of Teaching and Learning, where she managed all core academic departments and oversaw the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional programs and services for CPS teachers and administrators.

A proud product of CPS schools, LaTanya was a student in Chicago from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and went on to dedicate her entire career to the children of Chicago. In all of her various roles, which include teacher, assistant principal, principal and Network Chief, she has prioritized instructional equity and excellence for every child, and has challenged the efficacy of traditional education models, advocating for the modernization of instructional practices throughout the District.

With nearly 20 years of experience in Chicago Public Schools, LaTanya understands our school communities and knows how to support their academic growth. A passionate believer in lifelong learning, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Leadership and Administration, and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree.

Joe Moriarty

Joe Moriarty

General Counsel

Joe has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including serving as Deputy General Counsel and Labor Relations Officer for CPS. In these roles he helped to improve our District’s employment policies and create a collaborative environment where teachers and administrators work together to help all students achieve their full potential.

Joe has also held senior legal positions with the Chicago Housing Authority and the City Colleges of Chicago, as well as in the private sector with the firm of Erbacci, Cerone & Moriarty, Ltd. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts from The American University and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School. In addition to a wealth of legal experience, Joe brings a gift for diplomacy and relationship-building to the CPS mission of providing every child from every community in Chicago with a quality education.

Joe Moriarty

Lenny Moore


Lenny Moore joined CPS after serving as the controller for Montgomery County, Maryland for ten years. As the CPS controller, Lenny has a wide range of responsibilities relating to the district’s financial health, including increasing the efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of CPS’ accounting and reporting duties.

Lenny has served as audit manager for the United States Government Accountability Office and the chief financial officer for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Additionally, Lenny has experience serving on the Government Finance Officers Association’s Committee on Accounting and Financial Reporting in Maryland.

Lenny holds a master’s of business administration from the University of Illinois and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Michael Passman

Michael Passman

Chief Communications Officer

Michael was most recently the district's Director of Media Communications and Strategy, in which he oversaw engagement with local and national media, and worked with central office and school leaders to plan announcements highlighting priority initiatives and student success. Michael also served as the district's Press Secretary, in which he managed rapid response communications and daily interactions with local media.

Prior to joining CPS, Michael worked as a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., supporting the department's Criminal Division and Civil Rights Division as an appointee in the Obama Administration. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan.

Camie Pratt

Camie Pratt

Title IX Officer

A licensed attorney and mediator, Camie leads the CPS Office of Student Protections and Title IX, which was established by the district in 2018 to protect all of Chicago’s students from gender discrimination, sexual harassment, violence, and abuse.

Prior to joining CPS, Camie spent 10 years as vice president and Title IX coordinator at the University of Phoenix, where she worked to eliminate gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence from all school programs and activities. Camie has also worked as a legal consultant and founded her own mediation firm to work with families in resolving disputes.

A native of Pennsylvania, Camie was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and was the first in her family to attend college. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is working to help CPS create supportive learning environments where all students feel safe and where equitable access to a high-quality education is absolute.

Arnie Rivera

Francie Richards

Head of External Affairs
Executive Director of Children First Fund

Francie returned to CPS as Head of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Children First Fund. In this role, she will establish and nurture partnerships and secure monetary and in-kind donations to support initiatives that advance the CPS vision.

Francie's first role with CPS was through Teach for America, where she taught 2nd grade at McCutcheon Elementary and 9th grade English at Muchin College Prep. She then served as a Program Director at the Chicago Public Education Fund and was a part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's education team, where she worked to support the implementation of the full school day; the introduction of new Early College STEM schools; the expansion of computer science, IB and AP programs; and the City Colleges of Chicago's "College to Careers" initiative.

Most recently, Francie served as the founding Central U.S. Region Director of WE Charity, an international organization that empowers youth to change the world through service. Her work with WE impacted Chicago's students directly. More than half of CPS schools are supported by this organization and more than twenty thousand CPS youth and educators have experienced WE Day, the arena-sized youth leadership event that she helped establish in Chicago.

Francie holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University, a Master's in Social and Economic Development from Washington University in St. Louis, and an Executive Scholar Certificate from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Arnie Rivera

Arnie Rivera

Chief Operating Officer

Arnie has served the students, staff and families of Chicago Public Schools in various roles, including Budget Director, Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief of Public Policy, Chicago Board of Education member, and most importantly, a first grade teacher. Arnie was also on the teams that successfully negotiated the past two contracts with the Chicago Teachers Union.

As the District’s Chief Operating Officer, Arnie oversees all operational functions within CPS. This is a natural extension of his previous responsibilities, which included developing and maintaining the District’s operating budget, planning and executing the Full School Day Outreach Program, and expanding the International Baccalaureate Programs in CPS high schools.

Arnie’s previous roles also include Senior Strategic Advisor for After School Matters and Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Public Education Fund. He also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Education under Mayor Emanuel, where he coordinated the administration’s education policy from early childhood through community college.

Arnie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Science in Education and Social Policy, both from Northwestern University.

Pedro Soto

Pedro Soto

Chief of Staff

As Chief of Staff to Dr. Janice Jackson, Pedro is responsible for ensuring the uniform implementation of District policies across CPS. This is a natural extension of his previous role as Chief of School Operations, where he oversaw the coordination and implementation of all educational departments and network offices to ensure alignment with district priorities. He has also led budgetary and operational strategy throughout the District, and has more than two decades of operational, educational, and budgetary experience with Chicago Public Schools.

Pedro’s career in education has been guided by three fundamental practices; ensuring educational equity, cultivating access to opportunities and resources, and promoting positive interventions with all stakeholders. His roles at CPS have allowed Pedro to interact with many departments and collaborate with educators, business leaders and community partners who are working together in support of CPS schools.

Pedro is passionate about bringing all stakeholders together in support of our students. He is a firm believer in parent, teacher and student advisory councils, as well as educational task forces that provide CPS with valuable analysis and keep the lines of communication open between communities and District leadership.

Pedro Soto

Maurice Swinney

Chief Equity Officer

As the district’s first Chief Equity Officer, Maurice is responsible for moving us closer to achieving educational equity, which is a moral imperative for CPS. Prior to this role, Maurice served as the principal of Chicago’s Tilden Community Career Academy, where his focus on college readiness and social-emotional learning was recognized by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research.

Prior to joining CPS, Maurice was a teacher and school leader in Louisiana. In his new role with the district, he will be responsible for examining our policies and programs for inequities and implementing strategies that minimize gaps in resources, staffing, and high-quality academic programming.

Heather Wendell

Heather Wendell

Budget Director

As the district's Budget Director, Heather is responsible for providing fiscal support for the District and its $5.7B operating budget. Chief among these responsibilities is assisting school and department leaders to maximize and align funds to their programmatic priorities supporting staff, students, and school communities. Additional areas of focus include working to ensure that all stakeholders, both internal and external, have access to budget information that is transparent, easy to understand, and useful.

Heather joined CPS in 2002. Prior to becoming Budget Director, Heather served as the Executive Director of the CPS Grants Office, work she continues to oversee in her role as Budget Director. In addition to her work with grants, Heather has successfully led several complex, cross-functional strategic projects for the district, and her previous CPS roles include serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Special Projects, and Business Services Manager.

Heather has 20 years of experience in education, having started her career as a high school teacher.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, September 05, 2019