Who are the Chicago school board candidates for the 2024 election?

The Chicago Public Schools logo on the side of a glass wall with reflection of cars and people passing in the background.
Here is a list of who is running in Chicago's first school board elections on Nov. 5. 2024. (Reema Amin / Chalkbeat)

Sign up for Chalkbeat Chicago’s free daily newsletter to keep up with the latest education news.

Chicago school board candidates have submitted petitions for the city’s first school board elections on Nov. 5.

School board hopefuls need 1,000 valid signatures from residents of their district in order for their name to be printed on the ballot. The deadline to submit signatures was June 24 at 5p.m.

To learn more about the new school board districts and find out which one you live in, Chalkbeat created an interactive map.

Many candidates have also begun fundraising for their campaigns, reporting contributions to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Here are the candidates running in each district, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

This list will be updated.

District 1

  • Jennifer Custer, a CPS parent and former teacher, union leader, and school administrator in the Chicago suburbs
  • Chuck Hernandez, Republican committeeman of the 38th Ward on the city’s North West side and retired detective with the Chicago Police Department
  • Michelle N. Pierre, a CPS parent and Local School Council member, executive director at New Leaders, a training program for school leaders, former charter school leader, and former district administrator in Cleveland

District 2

District 3

  • Jason Dónes, chief of people operations at non-profit Beyond 100K, former teacher and leader at Teach for America*
  • Kirk J. Ortiz, vice president of a private security company and former candidate for Illinois House District 4*
  • Carlos Rivas, a spokesperson for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and former alumni counselor at UIC College Prep, a Noble charter school*

District 4

  • Kimberly Brown, a marketing professional, adjunct professor, and CPS parent
  • Andrew Davis, a nonprofit leader, CPS parent, and former LSC member
  • Thomas Day, co-founder of Illinois Veterans for Change
  • Carmen Gioiosa, a CPS parent, Local School Council member, adjunct professor, former CPS administrator, and former CPS teacher*
  • Ellen Rosenfeld, a family and community engagement manager at Chicago Public Schools, a CPS parent, and former CPS teacher
  • Karen Zaccor, a teacher at Uplift High School and former LSC member

District 5

  • Michilla “Kyla” Blaise, a CPS parent, chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar, political consultant, and public relations professional
  • Jitu Brown, a community organizer with Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, director of the Journey for Justice Alliance, and a Dyett hunger striker
  • Anthony Hargrove, an associate director of the Back To Our Future program at nonprofit Breakthrough Urban Ministries and former dean at Chicago Public Schools*
  • Kernetha Jones, a retired CPS teacher*
  • Jousef M. Shkoukani, an attorney and founder of an education nonprofit Unified Under Hope*

District 6

District 7

District 8

District 9

District 10

  • Rosita Chatonda, nonprofit founder and teacher advocate, former CPS teacher and former teachers union organizer*
  • Rev. Robert Jones, a pastor at Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church and a Dyett hunger striker*
  • Karin Norington-Reaves, a CPS parent and consultant, former candidate in Illinois’s 1st congressional district*
  • Adam Parrott-Sheffer, a CPS parent, adjunct lecturer at Harvard, author, former principal in CPS and the Chicago suburbs, former district administrator in New York City
  • Che “Rhymefest” Smith, a Grammy-award winning songwriter, rapper and community activist*
  • Nathaniel “Nate” Ward, director of community outreach & engagement for City Colleges of Chicago, CPS parent, and Local School Council member*

*Indicates the candidate is facing an objection to their nomination petitions. Each case will be reviewed in July and August by the Chicago Board of Elections to determine if the candidate’s name will be printed on the Nov. 5 ballot.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, July 9, the following candidates have withdrawn:

  • Danielle Wallace, a community youth advocate and non-profit leader (District 6)
  • Darius Dee Nix, interim impact director for City Year Chicago, former CPS charter school teacher, former candidate in Illinois’s 1st congressional district (District 8)
  • James M. Walton, a former school principal and administrator in CPS and the Chicago suburbs (District 10)

Becky Vevea is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Chicago. Contact Becky at bvevea@chalkbeat.org.


The Latest

Alicia Alvarez helps students at Western International High School in southwest Detroit to envision, and obtain, a path to higher education. But there’s no shortage of obstacles standing in the way.

Success Academy and Zeta Charter Schools won three schools each. But an unconventional middle school geared toward LGBTQ+ students was left out.

Schools would have to come up with their own policies on how to ban phones and would not get additional funding, principals told Chalkbeat.

Critics say Lee’s education platform promotes segregation and inequality.

Critics urge the district to push for more funding — and more spending — rather than cuts.

The location shift comes after the board’s regular meeting room was damaged by a water leak in a neighboring business.