Nonprofit, The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) Elects New Co-Chair and Strengthens its Board with New Members

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Publish date: February 2, 2021
Categories: News and Updates
Post author: Stephen Nielsen

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CHICAGO, February 2, 2021 — The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), an education equity-focused nonprofit, which trains and places teachers in Chicago’s underserved teaching environments, is pleased to announce Cardelle B. Spangler and Mike Zafirovski as Co-Chairs, and new board members Cheri Carter and Steve Pemberton.

  • Ms. Spangler, a Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, will serve as AUSL’s Co-Chair.
  • Mike Zafirovski, AUSL board member since 2010, will remain as Co-Chair with Ms. Spangler.
  • Cheri Carter, Vice President of Boeing Global Engagement (BGE), will serve as a board member.
  • Steve Pemberton, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Workhuman, will serve as a board member.

Ms. Spangler is a Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, a premier international law firm founded more than 160 years ago in Chicago, Illinois. During her nearly 25 years at Winston, Ms. Spangler has specialized in complex, high-profile employment litigation, investigations and counseling; consistently has been recognized by legal publications and her peers as a leading lawyer; and has held many leadership positions within the firm.  Cardelle has been a member of the AUSL board since 2012, among other civic and community engagements.   Cardelle received a B.A. from Washington University and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law.

Ms. Spangler stated, “I am truly honored to have been chosen as Co-Chair of AUSL.  This is an exciting time in our organization’s history.  I look forward to working closely with my fellow Board members, AUSL management, the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to continue AUSL’s unwavering mission of enhancing the educational outcomes of students on Chicago’s South and West Side.

Mike Zafirovski, AUSL board member since 2010, will remain as Co-Chair with Ms. Spangler. Mr. Zafirovski said “I am thrilled Cardelle accepted the invitation to be a co-chair of AUSL. She has been a tireless, articulate and highly impactful colleague on the board and I am looking forward to an even closer collaboration in our mission of delivering education and racial equity for our students. Cardelle and I are also energized with the additions of Cheri and Steve to the board. Their unique experiences, broad perspectives, and passionate human rights championing fit well with what we do at AUSL.

Mr. Zafirovski is the founder and president of The Zaf Group LLC, a management consulting and investment firm. He is also an executive advisor to The Blackstone Group and is on the Stericycle board of directors. Previously, in a 34-year corporate career he was the CEO or President at Nortel, Motorola, and five GE businesses in the high tech, industrial, consumer, and financial services industries. Mr. Zafirovski is a former board member of The Boeing Company and is a visiting lecturer at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. Mike received a B.A. from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.

Cheri Carter, joining AUSL as a board member, is the Vice President of Boeing Global Engagement (BGE), a position she assumed in October 2019. Cheri is responsible for developing and executing The Boeing Company’s charitable giving and employee community engagement strategies. Before her current role, Carter had a lengthy career as a top-level public and private sector executive and political advisor. Ms. Carter worked in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Business Outreach and served as Chief of Staff in the Office of Public Liaison. Ms. Carter also served as Director of External Affairs for the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Cheri received her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia.

Ms. Carter stated, “In my role leading Boeing’s Global Engagement team, I understand the importance of a quality education. Now, as we grapple with the ongoing impacts of a global pandemic, it is clear to me that equal access to education is more important than ever. This is particularly true in technical areas such as STEM. AUSL has done tremendous work to ensure that students, regardless of their zip code, receive a high-quality, equitable education. I am thrilled to be part of this board and am excited to help continue the great work of this organization.”

Steve Pemberton, also joining the AUSL board, is the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), of Workhuman, a position he has held since December of 2017. Before joining Workhuman, Steve served in senior executive roles for Walgreens Boots Alliance and A frequent presenter on Capitol Hill, in 2015, Mr. Pemberton was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities. Steve is an author and nationally known motivational speaker.

Stated Mr. Pemberton, “I am truly excited to join the AUSL board. Their mission-to create neighborhood schools of excellence and to develop highly effective teachers-resonates with me personally and professionally. I’ve always been invested in matters of education and equality and how the two come together to create opportunity for all. Teachers are lighthouses for many underserved communities. Children need these individuals to be guides and mentors as they seek greater opportunities for themselves.”

Don Feinstein, Ph.D., AUSL’s Executive Director, stated: “Cardelle is a strong advocate for all students to receive a high-quality education and brings courageous leadership experience to the board. Cardelle and Mike’s leadership, combined with Cheri’s and Steve’s experience, will help AUSL continue the fight to close the opportunity gap that many of our students face.”

About AUSL

The Academy for Urban School Leadership is a nonprofit school management organization that manages three service lines: School management, the Chicago Teacher Residency, and Advisory Services. AUSL’s school management team partners with Chicago Public Schools to manage 31 neighborhood Schools of Excellence. The Chicago Teacher Residency was developed in partnership with CPS in 2001, with its first class of residents graduating in 2002/2003. With over 1,100 graduates, the Chicago Teacher Residency is one of the country’s early residency programs. AUSL offers advisory services to school districts across the country.

Media Contact: Christopher Childers, [email protected]

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