Gail D Ward, Member
Gail Ward was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education in June of 2015 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Ms. Ward has been a teacher and a principal at the elementary and high school levels in a distinguished 30-year career at Chicago Public Schools.
Ms. Ward was the founding principal at Walter Payton College Prep, one of the city’s most accomplished selective enrollment high schools. Ms. Ward served in that role for seven years, a period when Payton ranked first in the state in mathematics three consecutive years and placed second in Illinois in overall student performance.
Ms. Ward won the Outstanding Principal School Leadership Award in 1999.
As principal of Agassiz Elementary School, a time when 40 percent of the school’s students had severe and profound special education needs, Ms. Ward led the school to remarkable gains in ISAT testing and overall student enrollment.
In November, 2006, Ms. Ward was named Chief Officer of the CPS Office of Principal Preparation and Development. While at OPPD, Ms. Ward helped the department expand its partnerships with universities and foundations, streamlined the eligibility process for new hires, and piloted a coaching program for new principals to ensure that CPS principals had the appropriate preparation and support to become effective school leaders.
Ms. Ward has worked extensively with cultural institutions and universities to create projects that are national and international in scope. Ms. Ward is a frequent traveler and has visited schools in Africa, China, Europe, India and the Middle East.
Retired since 2008, Ms. Ward is currently a trustee on the board of the Chicago History Museum.