On January 18, the Oak Park Education Foundation (OPEF) Board of Directors approved the hiring of Tracy Dell’Angela Barber as the Foundation’s new Executive Director. Tracy will be assuming her role on February 1, replacing OPEF’s long-time Executive Director, Deb Abrahamson, who retired last December.

“We’re really excited about having Tracy join OPEF. Throughout the search process, her enthusiasm for OPEF and commitment to Oak Park’s diverse student body was abundantly clear,” said Steve Miller, treasurer of the OPEF Board of Directors and chair of the search committee.

Tracy comes to OPEF after serving as a founding director and managing editor at Education Post, a nonprofit education communications organization. Previously, Tracy was Director of Outreach and Communications for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C.  She came to IES from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, which conducts research that drives improvement in Chicago and nationwide. Tracy spent her early career as an award-winning newspaper journalist, including 12 years at the Chicago Tribune as an education reporter covering national education policy and the Chicago Public Schools.

A 17-year Oak Park resident and mother of two Oak Park graduates, Tracy has strong and lasting ties to the community as a parent, school and community volunteer, and the spouse of a former D97 School Board President. Her professional career has immersed her in the inner workings of schools and the latest developments in curricular advances, STEM research, teaching techniques and extracurricular best practices.  She deeply respects the work of educators and understands their commitment and challenges. Tracy earned a B.A. in journalism and political science from San Diego State University and studied social sciences in a master’s program at the University of Chicago.

“My North Star in this work has always focused on educational equity, which is why I’m so thrilled to build on OPEF’s tremendous track record of success and take on this leadership role in a community I cherish,” said Ms. Dell’Angela Barber. “I truly believe that OPEF can play a pivotal role in closing the opportunity gap and engage a growing number of Oak Park students with captivating, hands-on learning.”

Please help us welcome Tracy to OPEF. Her contact information starting February 1 will be tdellangelabarber@opef.org and 708-524-3023.