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Executive Director Ebonie Durham, Ed.M

Ebonie Durham is a third-generation Chicagoan, proudly raised on the west side of Chicago in the Garfield Park community. As a graduate of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), she attended Melody Elementary (PreK-6), Kenwood Academy (7-8), and Whitney Young Magnet High School (9-12), experiences that have deeply shaped her commitment to education and community.

In 2022, Ebonie began her tenure as Executive Director of Great Lakes Academy Inc., where she steers operational and financial strategies for a charter elementary school serving the South Shore and South Chicago neighborhoods of Chicago. Her leadership has been pivotal in achieving a successful three-year charter renewal, enhancing student enrichment programs, and increasing the percentage of students securing offers to selective enrollment schools by 17%.

Before her role at Great Lakes Academy, Ebonie spent eleven years at Noble Network of Charter Schools, where she held various leadership positions, including founding administrator for Noble's 10th campus, Johnson College Prep. She led initiatives in student admissions, network operations, and campus administration.

Ebonie holds a master's degree in Education Leadership and Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her professional journey is marked by several prestigious recognitions, including being named a McNair Scholar, a Presidential Management Fellow, and a Pahara Fellow as part of the Aspen Global Leaders Network.

She previously served on the national board of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition and is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Outside of her professional commitments, Ebonie enjoys traveling, volunteering for causes that impact women and children, and spending quality time with her family.

Ebonie's dedication to equity and social justice is deeply rooted in her experiences as a first-generation college graduate. She is passionate about empowering children through diverse education, believing in its power to create better futures for themselves and their communities.