The below post was written by Jennifer Wilson – chairman of the board at Noble Network of Charter Schools.
Yesterday we held our first quarterly meeting of the school year in which board members heard about the incredible work happening at our campuses. Several years ago, Noble focused on diversifying the board, in particular to include more voices from the communities we serve. With that goal in mind, in April 2018, Harriette Coleman and Miquel Lewis joined the Noble board as parent representatives. Their input has added a valuable viewpoint to board discussions. I am excited to share more additions and changes today:
Miquel Lewis was named Vice Chair of the Noble board. Miquel currently serves as the Deputy Chief Probation Officer for the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department Office of Career Services. In this role, he heads departmental training, employee development, and strategic planning, among many other responsibilities. Prior to the role of Deputy Chief, he was a probation officer, project manager, and division chief within the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department. Miquel is Founder and Chairman of Diamond Life Foundation, Miquel and his friends began the Diamond Life Foundation to provide mentorship and financial assistance to African American male students during their undergraduate studies. Students are matched with a professional in the field that they are pursuing. Miquel has been a board member of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership since 2014. Miquel is also an Associate Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where he teaches courses on Ethics and Evaluation/Treatment of Sex Offenders. Miquel’s daughter attended Pritzker College Prep and now attends Spelman College.
Aarti Dhupelia was added as a board member. Aarti is Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate College at National Louis University. There she oversees NLU’s efforts to drive equity in bachelor’s degree attainment and employment by offering students affordability, a personalized and professionally-focused curriculum, and holistic support. Prior to joining NLU, Aarti served in several senior leadership roles at Chicago Public Schools, most recently as CPS’ chief officer for the office of college and career success, where she drove strategies around attendance and truancy, drop-out re-engagement, out-of-school time, social and emotional learning, college and career planning and partnerships, and early college and career coursework. Before joining CPS, Aarti worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies at Marakon Associates. Currently, Aarti serves on the boards of Distinctive Schools and iMentor Chicago as well as on the leadership council of Thrive Chicago. Previously, she participated in the US Department of Education’s employability skills expert working group, and as a judge in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Career App Challenge. Aarti holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University, and she is an alumna of the Broad Residency in Urban Education and Leadership Greater Chicago as well as a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. In 2017, the Center for Digital Education named Aarti to its Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers nationwide.
Lisette Hernandez was added as a board member. Lisette is in her fifth year as a 10th grade English teacher at ITW David Speer Academy. Lisette is a graduate of Noble Street College Prep’s class of 2011 and studied English and secondary education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of work, she is the founder of and a current sponsor for GIRLS (a women empowerment club at ITW) and is the current President of the Noble Alumni Association. She recently completed a Masters in curriculum studies with an endorsement in teacher leadership and a concentration in bilingual education at DePaul University.
As a nonprofit our board plays a vital role in helping to support our organization. Our board members are volunteers, sharing their time, talents, resources, advice, and providing feedback on Noble’s high level direction and strategy. They help us raise funds to support our work and provide oversight for our work. We are proud to incorporate the perspectives of Miquel, Aarti and Lisette in the conversation in this new way.