Member Directory

Chris Graves is the principal of LaSalle Language Academy in Chicago and a doctoral candidate at Illinois State University.

Doug Low is the executive director at Kidz Express, a non-profit that empowers children and youth in under-served and economically distressed neighborhoods specifically in Chicago’s Austin community. He has been a part of Kidz Express for the past 20 years.

Heather Debby comes from a CPS family: she teaches middle school English, her husband is an elementary PE teacher, and her daughters are preschoolers. In addition to teaching, she loves running, reading, bottle hunting, and being involved in her local and broader Chicago community.

Aarti Dhupelia is Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate College at National Louis University, where she oversees NLU’s efforts to drive equity in bachelor’s degree attainment and employment. Prior to joining NLU, Aarti served as Chief Officer for College and Career Success at Chicago Public Schools.

Rob Samuelson is a digital media manager at brightbeam, based in his hometown of Chicago.

Jennifer Husbands, Ph.D., is a Chicago Public Schools parent. Professionally, she is deeply involved in education, having served as the founding executive director of Schools That Can Chicago, a network of high-performing, nonselective schools of all kinds--traditional public, charter, faith-based and independent--serving high-poverty students.

Ryan Booker is a wife and mother of six, ranging in age from 3-16. She is also a corporate accountant, business owner and lifestyle blogger at She currently resides in Hyde Park, but proudly hails from West Englewood, and spends as much of her time as possible giving back to the community that gave so much to me.

Paul G. Vallas has been a candidate for Chicago mayor and Illinois lieutenant governor. He served as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 until 2001, and has also served as school superintendent in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Most recently, he worked as chief administrative officer for Chicago State University.

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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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