Crain’s Chicago Business released their highly anticipated annual class of 40 under 40 including Constance Jones, the chief executive officer of the Noble Network of Charter Schools.
“I’m honored by this recognition not for my own sake but because it shines a light on the incredible work our students, their families and our staff do each day at Noble,” said Jones, “We lead with love and high expectations and it is a privilege to do this work.”
Jones is the first African American and the first female CEO of the largest and most successful charter school network in Illinois. She oversees the strategy and operations of an organization of 12,000 students and 1,300 staff across 18 campuses, with a total budget in excess of $180 million.
Noble is nationally renowned for preparing its students to be accepted to and graduate from college. Under Jones’ leadership, Noble has continued to set the high-water mark for college preparation across Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The recently released 2019 CPS school ratings placed Noble public charter high schools in 10 of the top 12 ranking slots, including four of the top five spots. In the overall rankings, Noble schools outperformed schools that are selective through test-in admissions criteria or which require residency within a certain attendance boundary. Additionally, Noble serves diverse learners at higher rates than the district average.
These results come on the heels of a recently published study from highly respected economic researchers at MIT demonstrating that Noble students grow more than similar peers who attend elite, selective-enrollment CPS schools. That study will be discussed on November 21 in a panel conversation with the MIT researchers and education experts. To attend the event, please reserve your spot.
This year Chicago Magazine named Noble schools as 13 of the top 40 high schools in the city and the Niche research group named all 17 Noble high schools to their list of the top 30 charter schools in Illinois.
Jones is a lifelong advocate for educational opportunity and was first introduced to Noble in 2010 when she became a volunteer advisor to young women in UIC College Prep’s founding class while serving as a leader at the national nonprofit KIPP Foundation. Her commitment to Noble’s mission and Chicago ultimately led Jones to assume the role of Noble’s chief external affairs officer in 2015.
Prior to her educational leadership roles at KIPP and Noble, Jones held management roles at Hyatt Hotels and Johnson & Johnson. She earned a MBA from Harvard Business School after earning her undergraduate degree in business administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the proud daughter of an accomplished public school teacher and statistician, each the first in their families to graduate from college.
Jones recently completed a fellowship as a prestigious Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow through the Aspen Institute and additional fellowships that include Leadership Greater Chicago and the IMPACT Leadership Development Program through the Chicago Urban League and The University of Chicago. She was named a 40 Under 40 Game Changer by WVON, Ariel Investments, the Urban Business Roundtable, and BMO Harris, in addition, Jones was included as one of Chicago’s Top Black Women by Make It Better, and has been profiled by the Chicago Defender.
Additionally, Jones is the founder of the Shelton Maurice Jones First Generation Scholarship Fund at North Carolina Central University, a historically black university in her hometown. Named in honor of her late father, the fund is an endowed scholarship for first-generation mathematics majors.
Noble schools are open to all students in Chicago, they have no testing required for admission, and as with all CPS schools, there is no tuition.
To apply to a Noble school visit https://nobleschools.org/