“Throughout my professional career, I have been led by my core values of education, equity, and family and community engagement. These values have shaped how I work with others and provide direction in my decision making.
The education process should be intended not only to impart knowledge, but to provide the tools necessary for students to become responsible leaders. Our schools should be student-centered and seek to integrate classroom material into the fabric of their lives.
Equity should be a primary commitment of our public school system and we have both a moral and legal obligation to educate all children equitably.
Engaging parents/families and communities in decision making and school accountability has to be a top priority. Parents and communities that are fully engaged in the processes of education, its success at the local level and its sustained efforts to prepare our children for their futures is imperative to our success.”
Ericka has been working in education for nearly 30 years, specifically on the problem of how to ensure all children receive an outstanding education. But this isn’t just her professional passion. She is personally connected and personally responsible to ensuring the best for every child. As a parent, teacher, and advocate, she deeply believes that every child in every neighborhood deserves to attend an outstanding neighborhood school.
An advocate for the community’s most vulnerable populations, Ericka is the Executive Director of Wesley Community Services – an organization that fosters and supports seniors seeking to remain in their home for as long as possible through the provision of essential home based services.
She has championed many successful youth-development initiatives serving students Pre-K – 12th grade, senior health and nutrition, temporary housing for homeless families and children, employment readiness/skill training for adults, community health, and parental involvement programs.
Ericka is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She and her husband, Darrick, are the proud parents of Jeremiyah, a college Sophomore. They live in the Roselawn community and, as a family, are actively involved in many public service projects throughout the city.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS | COMMUNITY IMPACT
CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
My Tomorrow is a new vision of education that envisions, within six years, 100 percent of all seventh graders will graduate prepared to actively pursue their career path Vision 2020 is designed to bring greater equity, access, and opportunity for all students to attend great schools.
Increased EnrollmentWe have completed amazing work – though we have a lot more to do – to figure out how to have a place for our ever-increasing enrollment. Many families and students are returning to CPS and we are glad for it!
Increased Talent RecruitmentThe District held its annual career fair open to the public that saw its best turn out ever. We are going after the best talent we can find – including recruiting minority teachers and school leaders – and we have made ourselves more competitive and desirable for teachers to join our District. She has the pleasure to speak with new teachers before their first day of school with the District and I am sure their eager desire to be the best for our students remains strong half way through the school year.
Increased TechnologyThe plans for ensuring up to date technology continue to grow; eliminating the digital divide for our student population is critical and we are doing just that! Vision 2020 and My Tomorrow have been noted as Best Practices. I have been in our schools, engaged with our students and teachers, and see the work in progress. Our students are much more engaged, much more invigorated to learn, and much better equipped to compete with their peers!
Focus on Neighborhood Schools
ISSUE 44!We worked hard and gave all we had to pass a historic levy to be able to support growing initiatives and our growing enrollment – and to expand Pre-School to our community. I campaigned, knocked on doors, met with partners, providers, and businesses to gain the necessary support for ISSUE 44 – Now it’s time to enact it!
A Personal Tribute
I watched my 2016 Graduate ‘Soar Like an Eagle’ as a CPS Graduate and return home as a college freshman with a 4.0 GPA and an amazing Leadership Accolades from his Sports Team and newly joined Fraternity – all with enough credits to matriculate to sophomore status after just one semester of college. He was prepared and is a testament to the great work of the District!
Working Platform – Aligned with CPS’ Board Strategic Goals Established Under My Leadership:
Being inclusive of our network of parents, community and other stakeholders I will work to build safe, vibrant schools at the center of safe, vibrant communities.
Great Learning Environments
I will support the creation of highly engaging learning environments where every child in every school engages in rigorous learning while being supported by caring adults.
I will ensure the equitable distribution of all operations and resources that are focused on high academic achievement for all students.
Great Learning Choices
Educating and supporting the whole child and demonstrating appreciation for every student as a unique individual will be a focus of my continued work.
I will enable the recruitment, growth, and advancement of distinguished professionals committed to serving diverse students with a high regard for equity, and in a manner characterized by rigor, innovation, and accountability.