Lela Majstorovic has been a dedicated educator in the Chicago Public Schools for over 12 years, serving schools and communities throughout the city. As the Chief of Network 1, she serves 44 schools and over 34,000 students on the Northwest side of Chicago.
Lela started her career in the Englewood community as a high school English teacher and later became an instructional coach and assistant principal. In 2012, she was promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief of Schools and led continuous improvement efforts in 24 high schools across the North/Northwest Side High School Network. Prior to becoming Chief of Schools, she served as the Deputy Chief of Schools in Network 2, pioneering the district's work around social-emotional learning and the use of restorative practices in every school.
Lela believes that our schools are the cornerstone of our communities and is committed to ensuring that there are high quality schools with strong leaders in every community she serves. Lela has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. She is also a wife and a CPS parent.
Eduardo Cesario serves 26,000 students in 25 elementary schools and 5 high schools in Network 2. His tenure with Chicago Public Schools began in 1998 while serving as a middle school teacher at Daniel Boone Elementary School in the West Ridge neighborhood.
Eduardo served as a resident principal after being accepted into the LAUNCH (Leadership and Urban Network for Chicago) Program in 2005. He has since served as the assistant principal of James G. Blaine Elementary and more recently as the principal of DeWitt Clinton Elementary School, where he was selected as a Chicago Principal Fellow and earned the ISP (Independent School Principal) status.
Eduardo is a proud CPS father who believes that all children can learn and be successful regardless of culture or socioeconomic status. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science and Education from Illinois State University and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Benedictine University.
Randel Josserand has had a distinguished career as an educator, school administrator, and consultant. Randel’s career has centered on turning underperforming schools around as a building and district administrator. He has received state and national recognition for his efforts and has presented widely at national conferences on topics ranging from guided reading to performance management systems.s. As the Chief of Network 3 since 2014, Randel has facilitated resurgence in student achievement among his schools with seventeen of his assigned twenty-eight schools moving up one or more levels on the CPS School Quality Rating Policy. Randel joined Chicago Public Schools in 2008
Randel holds advanced degrees in educational psychology, educational administration, and counseling psychology. He serves on the Boards of two non-profit organizations that support increasing educational opportunities for students.
William Klee is Chief of Schools for Network 4. As a recognized leader and lifelong learner, he provides a culture of learning for students and adults, develops and motivates highly effective teams, facilitates instructional leadership, and fosters collaboration.
William began his career as a high school history and special education instructor serving at-risk
teens at Howard Alternative High School and Amundsen High School. After six years in the
classroom, he held administrative roles in the north and west sides of Chicago. Most recently, William was principal of Jonathan Burr Elementary School, a level 1+ school and a Balanced Literacy CPS Model School.
William holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from Northeastern Illinois University, Master of Arts in Education Leadership from Concordia University Chicago, and a Master of Arts in Learning Behavior Specialist from Northeastern Illinois University. He resides in Chicago with his wife and three children, who are CPS students.
Shontae Higginbottom is the Chief of Schools for Network 5. Committed to the students and communities of Chicago Public Schools since 1995, she has risen through the ranks as a special education/diverse learner teacher, assistant principal, and principal. In each position she has established a proven track record of success such as improving school wide attendance, building community networks, and using school performance data to drive substantive standards-based decision-making.
Shontae has been a principal mentor in Network 12 and has served on the Chicago Principal Selection Committee and the CEO of the Principal Advisory Committee. Shontae prides herself on being an instructional leader that understands the needs of all students, especially those with academic and social challenges. She remains grounded in the fundamentals of providing a high quality educational experience for all students.
Shontae holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, a Master of Arts in Special Education, and a Master of Arts in General Administration.
Brian began his career teaching at Simeon Career Academy. By working with veteran teachers, he developed a strong belief in collaboration and deep pedagogical skills. Desiring to make a larger impact, he attended and graduated from Governors State University with his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. This allowed him to hold positions in Central Office, as well as an assistant principal and principal. He is grounded in creating equity and access for all students.
As a lifelong learner, Brian is in his second year at National Louis University’s Doctoral program.
Minerva Garcia Sanchez
Minerva Garcia-Sanchez has worked for Chicago Public Schools for 23 years in various positions. She began her career as a bilingual teacher at Eli Whitney Elementary School located in the Little Village community. Since then, she has served a variety of management roles across the district supporting the integration of technology district wide, leading schools, developing professional development programs for teachers of bilingual and world language programs, and designing and implementing instructional programs for English Learners.
Minerva was the founding principal of Irene C. Hernandez Middle School.and also served as deputy chief for two other networks before becoming Chief of Schools for Network 7.
Minerva has been married twenty-three years and has three sons. She serves in the Pilsen/Little Village, the community where she was raised and works every day to develop a pipeline for college and career achievement for her community.
Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez was born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago. She is a first generation Mexican-American and a first-generation college graduate. Liz holds a bachelor’s in Education two master's degrees and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Illinois-Chicago. Liz chose a career in education because she is an advocate for children and is fascinated by storytelling as a medium for teaching and learning.
After a 13-year teaching career, Liz served as assistant principal for two years at John C. Dore Elementary and later served as principal for six years and led the school to level 1+ status. Liz is active with the Network of Hispanic Administrators in Education for Chicago Public Schools and is a member of the Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.
Liz serves as Network 8 Chief of Schools in CPS supporting 24 schools in achieving growth and attainment as they prepare for college and career. She is a proud mother of two Chicago Public School graduates.
Felicia Hooker Sanders is Chief of Schools for Network 9, serving more than 12,000 students in Bronzeville, Hyde Park and Woodlawn Communities. Felicia Hooker Sanders, a Chicago native and proud graduate of Chicago Public Schools, holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Educational Administration..
For the past 26 years, she has worked for CPS as a teacher, Central Office staff, assistant principal, principal, and deputy chief of schools. As a deputy chief of schools, Felicia provided individual coaching to principals, particularly in the areas of data analysis and instructional monitoring; led professional development; and assisted principals in developing effective systems and structures for academic growth.
Felicia supports schools' instructional programs by offering research-based professional learning opportunities to teachers and is committed to providing differentiated support to principals to enhance their leadership capacity and leveraging their expertise to achieve academic success for her network.
Bogdana Chkoumbova has dedicated over 16 years to the education of Chicago students. Bogdana was the founding principal of Disney II, which is one of only a handful of schools in Chicago that enrolls children from pre-kindergarten through high school. During her tenure, the school consistently performed in the top 10% of public schools in Illinois, achieved the School of Excellence designation by the State Board of Education, and was the recipient of the Breakthrough Schools Grant for its personalized learning school redesign.
Bogdana currently serves as a Chief of Schools in Network 10, which comprises the Beverly, Midway, Chicago Lawn, and Ashburn communities. In this role, she provides support to 35 principals to strengthen students' academic foundation. Bogdana is also a board member of Pilot Light, an organization that focuses on nutrition education. Bogdana holds degrees in Special Education and Speech Pathology, Educational Administration, and is currently completing a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership. Bogdana resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters, who attended CPS elementary and high schools.
Megan Hougard currently serves as Chief of Schools in Network 11, which is comprised of 42 K-12 schools in Englewood – Auburn Gresham. Prior to becoming Chief, Megan served for four years as Deputy Chief of Network 11 (formally Southwest Side High School Network), where she led the development and opening of two new high schools.
Megan began teaching through a student-centered writing program in New Orleans. In Chicago, Megan taught at South Shore High School and served as Resident Principal at Kenwood High School and Assistant Principal at Harper High School. She and her two children live in South Shore.
Jeff Dase has been committed to the students and communities of Chicago Public Schools since 1998. He currently serves as Chief of Schools for Network 12 and is charged with supporting 35 school principals, 30 elementary schools and five high schools on the south side.
Jeff previously served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. In each position he has a proven track record of success. He turned Percy L. Julian High School around and increased Edward Coles Academy’s Meet/Exceed scores from 48.1 to 76.5 in five years, removing it from the district’s probation list with a Level 1+ school status.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in General Administration. He’s also completed an intensive Summer Leadership Academy for aspiring principals at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Cheryl D. Watkins, PhD
Deputy Network 13
Dr. Cheryl Watkins is the Chief of Schools for Network 13, providing leadership and instructional support to school leaders to improve student achievement. She is also responsible for the instructional achievement of more than 17,000 students across several communities on the south and southeast sides of the city.
Dr. Cheryl D. Watkins has strong roots in Chicago. She grew up on the south side and started her teaching career serving diverse learners. She later became a teacher facilitator and administrator within CPS’ Office of Specialized Services and later became a assistant principal and principal. Cheryl was the founding principal of Pershing West Middle School, which she served for 8 years. Cheryl joined the Network 11 staff as an instructional support leader and was promoted to the Deputy Chief of Schools role in 2015.
Cheryl has served as a board member to several organizations that impact teaching and learning in Illinois, including Advance Illinois, Cornerstone Academy and the Golden Apple Foundation.