Chicago Agents of Change: Celebrating A Decade of Impact

Photo credit: Duo Tang

On June 14, EP Alums, supporters, and friends of EP Chicago gathered at the University Club of Chicago to celebrate 10 years of impact in Chicago and honor 10 EP Alums for their continued contributions to the Chicago education sector.

In 2009, EP launched in Chicago. The first cohort was 20 Fellows; 10 years later there are nearly 400 EP Alumni in Chicagoland, 75% of whom continue to work in education. We were honored and humbled to celebrate a decade of impact among those who have been instrumental to our story in the city of Chicago.

Catch all the highlights below, including an inspiring keynote by Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools and the premiere of our new EP Chicago video:

Thank you to Megan Estey and the Motorola Solutions team for the generous production of this video.

Keynote by Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools

A critical component of our work in the city are our partners in impact — hundreds of education organizations who have hosted nearly 500 EP Fellows since 2009. Chicago Public Schools, one of our first partners in 2009, remains today, one of our closest partners. 

We were thrilled to have Dr. Janice K. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools as our keynote. She has been immersed in Chicago Public Schools her entire life — first as a CPS student, then a teacher at Chicago’s South Shore High School, a principal, a Network Chief, the Chief Education Officer, and now, Chief Executive Officer. A portion of her remarks appear below:

Chicago Public Schools have hosted more than 150 EP Fellows who have provided CPS with key capacity and skills to drive critical projects forward. More than 50 EP Alumni continue working in Chicago Public Schools today, including 4 of the Alums honored as Agents of Change.

Dr. Janice Jackson with EP Alums who currently work at Chicago Public Schools. Photo Credit: Vashon Jordan Jr.


Thank you @edpioneers for continuing to celebrate the amazing leaders in education who are passionately working to better serve our students.

— Janice K. Jackson, EdD (@janicejackson) June 14, 2019

Celebrating 10 Agents of Change

This annual event is always a valued opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the immense work happening across the city to increase equity and excellence in education, particularly the work of 10 EP Alums who are nominated by their peers for the impact of their work. This year’s Agents of Change are: 

  • OLAMIDE BABATUNDE / Director, Alumni Career Office, Noble Network of Charter Schools / 2016 EP Alum

  • JENNIFER CIOK / Social Emotional Learning Manager, Umoja Student Development Corporation / 2018 EP Alum

  • KELLY FRAZIER-WAWIRE / Social Emotional Learning Specialist, Chicago Public Schools / 2012 EP Alum

  • MISSY FRAZIN / Assistant Director for Career Development & Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago / 2015 EP Alum

  • NICK FREEMAN / Co-Founder & President, Innovare – Social Innovation Partners  / 2017 EP Alum

  • TYNISHA JOINTER / Behavioral Health Specialist, Chicago Public Schools / 2018 EP Alum

  • TAMIKO NETTLES / Educator Engagement Manager, Chicago Public Schools / 2017 EP Alum

  • LESHONNE SEGURA / Manager, Program Investments, The Chicago Public Education Fund / 2016 EP Alum

  • SADIE STOCKDALE JEFFERSON / Deputy Chief of Staff, Chicago Public Schools / 2014 EP Alum

  • BARRY TYLER, JR. / Senior Director of Secondary Partnerships, OneGoal / 2017 EP Alum

At the event, we honored these 10 EPic Alumni for their contributions to Chicago’s education community and named one of them the 2019 EPic Chicago award winner. Congratulations to Sadie Stockdale Jefferson for being selected as this year’s winner. 

A Network of Alumni and Supporters

This annual event is always a valued opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the immense work happening across the city to increase equity and excellence in education. Below are a few highlights through the eyes of our Alums and supporters who were in the room:

Thank you to all the alumni who joined us today for our annual Agent of Change luncheon. It was wonderful to see you and hear about the impact you are making. A special shout out to our 10 Agents of Change and congratulations to our 2019 EPic Alumni, Sadie Stockdale Jefferson.

— EP Chicago Alumni (@EPChicagoAlumni) June 15, 2019

Honored to be nominated as one of the 2019 @edpioneers Agents of Change for my work @UmojaCorp, @SullivanTigers, @ablfk_ghana, & for all young people to have the equitable education they deserve. This award is not the end of a journey but a recognition of the fight we have ahead.

— Jen Ciok (@ACTforEducation) June 14, 2019

Live at the @edpioneers Chicago Agents of Change Luncheon. Awesome to see 400+

— Luis Fernando DeLeon (@LFDeLeon) June 14, 2019

Grateful to be apart of the education community in Chicago! Thank you @edpioneers for providing the time and space to honor those doing this work. Thank you @janicejackson for your trailblazing leadership and inspirational words.

— Morgan Marler (@Morgan_Marler) June 14, 2019

Glad I had a chance to catch up with my cohort of 2018 @edpioneers and hear from #CPS CEO @janicejackson. So inspiring!

— Shaini Kothari (@shainikothari) June 15, 2019

Amazing time today celebrating the best of our @edpioneers@EPChicagoAlumni network – still remember the day I invited my beautiful boss to an event to meet my friends, and today she spoke eloquently about how our work has impacted @ChiPubSchools since then! ❤️JJ @janicejackson

— AJ DeLeón (@MrAdrianDeLeon) June 15, 2019

Congratulations to the 10 Agents of Change honored at this year’s Chicago @edpioneers Luncheon, including Surge Alumna, LeShonne Segura, and current Surge Fellow, Nick Freeman!

— Surge Institute (@SurgeFellowship) June 18, 2019


We’d be remiss not to acknowledge the important contributions of our generous supporters, including event sponsors Deloitte, Fifth Third Bank, McDonalds, and Motorola — who also graciously produced our first ever EP Chicago video. 

It is with deep gratitude that we thank everyone for joining us. This network is a vibrant and transformative community because of all of you. 

Watch for another Agents of Change event in Chicago next year. We hope you can join us!


By Annie Davis-Korelc, June 25, 2019