Careers in K-12 Education

Shaz Rasul (AB'97, SM'08, UChicago), Moderator, Director of Community Programs in the UChicago Office of Civic Engagement

Shaz Rasul graduated from the University of Chicago in 1997 with a degree in Sociology.  While in the College, he was deeply involved in Student Government & the Neighborhood Schools Program.  Mr. Rasul subsequently worked to retrain teachers in Post-Apartheid South Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  He continued to work with teachers, curriculum, and community engagement through the CPS | UCHICAGO Internet Project (CUIP) which seeks to prepare students, teachers, and schools to use technology resources.  Presently, Mr. Rasul leads a number of community focused education initiatives for the University, most notably the University's Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP). NSP engages students and the campus community to form partnerships with local schools to improve educational outcomes. He has a strong interest in technology and data science, and also holds a degree in Computer Science (SM'08) from UChicago.

Jeffrey Bell (MA'02, UChicago), Head of School at Beacon Academy

Jeff Bell is the founding head of school at Beacon Academy, a Montessori-based, IB high school opening in downtown Evanston in the fall of 2014. Jeff grew up in St. Louis and completed his undergraduate degrees from the University of Missouri. After earning his AM from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, Jeff spent eight years at Lake Forest Academy, serving as English Department Chair and Assistant Academic Dean. He then moved to the metropolis of Sewanee, Tennessee to be the Academic Dean at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. His work there was marked by a progressive approach to education. During his tenure, he launched the upper school Winterim program, crafted a daily schedule emphasizing extended class periods for self-directed learning, and enhanced the depth and rigor of the academic program. Jeff and his wife, Kim, an English teacher at Lake Forest Country Day School and published poet, live with their daughters, Charlotte and Amelia, in Evanston.

Frankie Brown (MA'98, UChicago), Director of Enrollment Management at the Latin School of Chicago

Frankie Brown has more than 10 years experience working in independent schools as an educator, administrator, and parent. In addition to her day-to-day duties as the director of admissions, Frankie continues to manage inclusion efforts at Latin, volunteers at school events and loves doing outreach to share Latin's mission with families throughout Chicago.

She has been at the Latin School since 2004, where she's served as both a second grade teacher and as the Dean of Multi-Cultural Affairs. Ms. Brown has a master's degree in humanities from the University of Chicago and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is co-founder of The Revival Arts Collective (RAC), a network of citizen activists committed to using arts and culture as a catalyst for community redevelopment in the city of Chicago.

Meridith Bruozas (MA, Northwestern), Educational Programs and Outreach Manager at Argonne National Laboratory

Meridith Bruozos has spent the past 15 years in a combination of district, not-for-profit, and academic service positions researching and promoting STEM education. She earned an MS in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. As the Educational Programs and Outreach Manager at Argonne National Laboratory, she oversees initiatives that currently serve over 4,000 middle and high schoolers, 231 undergraduates, 280 graduate students, and 300 post-doctoral appointments each year. Her publications include several national curriculum resources for the K-12 classroom and numerous professional presentations and research articles.

Olivia Liddell (MA'08, UChicago), Arabic Teacher at Marquette School of Excellence

Olivia Liddell teaches 5th-8th grade Arabic at Marquette School of Excellence, a public school located in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood.

Olivia grew up in Temple Hills, Maryland and completed her undergraduate degree in anthropology at New York University. In 2008, she received her MA from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. In 2012, she completed the Chicago Teacher Residency program at the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University.