Cheryl Thompson has over 20 years of professional experience in education. Prior to coming onboard at Schusterman, she most recently served as the Senior Executive Director of Programs for New Leaders. In that role, Cheryl oversaw the design and implementation of New Leaders’ National Program offerings. During her time with New Leaders she served in multiple leadership roles; from serving as Director of School Leadership Development where she facilitated monthly professional learning with principals and district leadership to serving as Executive Director of the Emerging Leaders Program, overseeing the design and development of teacher leadership curriculum before transitioning to the Senior Executive role in July of 2015.
Cheryl began her career in education teaching middle and high school science in Baltimore City Public Schools. After six years in Baltimore she transitioned to leadership in the KIPP charter network. Cheryl served in multiple roles within the network before founding KIPP DC College Preparatory in Southeast Washington, DC. Under Cheryl’s leadership, KIPP DC College Prep was the highest performing non-selective High School in DC for both math and reading. Cheryl then brought her personal experiences as a KIPP Fisher Fellow and founding school leader to the nonprofit sector and served as the Director of the Fisher Fellowship Program for KIPP Foundation. In this role, she led the development and evaluation of an international cohort of aspiring principals throughout their participation in a highly selective and intensive yearlong school leader fellowship experience. The cohort then moved on to founding schools across the K-12 spectrum in over 8 states in the US as well as in India and South Africa.
After 8 years with KIPP, and 4 years with New Leaders, Cheryl joined the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies as the Director of Instructional Quality. Since then, she launched and leads the Equity by Design portfolio focused on building the capacity of systems to provide equitable culturally affirming environments to students through change management and the development and retention of educators of color. Cheryl has enjoyed continuing to expand her work to close the opportunity gap, collaborating with stakeholders across multiple systems. Cheryl has a BS from the University of Maryland College Park and a Master’s in Education Administration from National Louis University.