Leadership

In addition to participating in citywide coalitions such as CODE (Communities Organized for Democratic Education), More Than a Score, and CPQE (Chicago Parents for Quality Education), Raise Your Hand has an Advisory Board made up of 40 parents from many Chicago Public Schools across the city. Recently, we have been working with parents and concerned citizens across the state of IL on many education issues.

Members of RYH help inform schools of our initiatives, and help guide, and even train, parents on how to have a stronger voice at the school, local and state levels. If you are interested in real education reform and becoming a parent representative, contact us! 

RYH Board of Directors

Wendy Katten is a parent of a sixth grader in CPS. She has worked in social services for eleven years and has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has published short-stories, volunteered at many organizations around Chicago from Cabrini Green Tutoring to Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, and served on the board of the Friends of group at her son’s school for four years. Wendy is the Director of Raise Your Hand.

Dwayne Truss has been involved in education advocacy in the Austin area for over fifteen years. He serves as a community representative on the LSC at Ella Flagg Young Elementary and raised five children who attended CPS schools. Dwayne is the Assistant Director of Raise Your Hand.

Christopher Ball is the father of an elementary CPS student in the Sheffield neighborhood. He supports the Montessori pedagogy and similar methods that draw on the scientific study of children's natural intellectual and social development. He taught political science at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Iowa, and Iowa State University before moving to Chicago, and has adjuncted at Loyola and DePaul universities in Chicago. Chris is Raise Your Hand's Treasurer.

Jennie Biggs is the mother of 3 CPS children who attend an elementary school in Bridgeport. She is a former south suburban high school science teacher and has a BS and a MS in Education. She is actively involved at her children's school as a science lab aide, the Garden Team Chairperson, and as a LSC member. Jennie is the Raise Your Hand Board's Secretary as well as Raise Your Hand's Volunteer Coordinator.

June Coutre' serves on numerous boards in Chinatown, including the Ping Tom Park Advisory Council and the Chinatown Public Library Advisory Council. She is a CPS graduate, the parent of a CPS neighborhood school graduate, and is currently serving her fifth term on the school's LSC at Haines Elementary School. June's daughter now attends a Noble charter HS providing support with her daughter's athletic teams.

Cassie Creswell, in addition to being on the RYH Board, leads More Than A Score Chicago, a coalition working towards ending the overuse and misuse of standardized testing. Cassie is an active member of the Logan Square community, having served on Goethe's Title I Parent Advisory Council and the board of Friends of Goethe School and helping establish and run a community garden at Haas Park. Cassie transferred her kids to private school last year due to CPS policies that she's currently trying to change. She has a PhD in linguistics and an MSE in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a research scientist in the software industry before staying at home with her daughters.

Brenda Delgado-Als is the mother of 3 CPS students: a 6th grader and 1st grader at STEM Magnet Academy and a 3rd grader at Skinner North. She lives in Hyde Park, where her husband’s family has resided for 35+ years. She has served as both LSC Chairperson and Secretary of her children's schools. She has a Masters of Public Health from UIC. As a public health professional, her educational viewpoint reflects a global perspective of prevention and reducing disparities to achieve equity, quality, and accessibility. She often applies similar community health principles (identifying data bias, correlation vs causation, prevention focused) when advocating for high quality, public education for all students.

Deb Hass is the parent of a current CPS student and a CPS graduate. She is a member of her neighborhood's CPS Community Advisory Council. Deb has worked and volunteered for over 25 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and has extensive experience in the areas of education and employment. Her areas of expertise include evaluation, program development, strategic planning, research, and writing. Deb earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from Beloit College, from which she received a Distinguished Service Citation in 2013. She also holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Martin Perez started as a parent volunteer at Robert Healy School in 2002. Martin has played many support roles to improve the quality of education and community involvement. He supported bilingual and parent clubs, invited many speakers and programs, and launched a Cubs and Boys Scout Unit. He was elected to the LSC in 2010 to evaluate candidates and hire a new principal. All three of his children graduated from Healy. Currently, his CPS graduate attends DePaul University and his 2 CPS students attend Chicago High School for the Arts and Air Force Academy High School. Martin is an actively involved in: Rotary International Little Village Charter Founder, Domestic Violence Stakeholder, Juvenile Justice Parent Advisory Board, American Heart Association Multicultural Leadership Committee, Pilsen Neighbors Educational Task Force, Career Day Volunteer for Junior Achievement, Chicago Día del Niño Committee. DHS-Parent Matters! for Dating Matters Program, and DIF-México Family Guidance. 

Eric Reyes is a proud product of CPS and a parent of a CPS student. His work in education has been driven by an interest in social justice. He holds an M.A. in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. There his graduate studies focused on school equity, dropout prevention, gender and schools, school discipline policies, charter schools, and education policy. Eric lives in Pilsen.

Roberta Salas is the parent of two CPS students at Murphy Elementary and has been a member of the Murphy LSC since 2009. Besides serving on the board of RYH, Roberta is also a member of the Latin American Task Force of the American Jewish Committee and is a 2011 alumni of Project Interchange. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and currently works as the Senior Administrator and Director of Pension Benefits at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Perlman LLP.