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Author of YOU: Your Child's First Teacher Sunny P. Chico

November 5, 2013

Sunny P. Chico’s life has been shaped by two passions: family and education. A daughter and granddaughter of school teachers, she was born in Cuba, but immigrated to the United States with her family at a young age. Throughout her career, from special education teacher to federal director, Chico has worked to empower parents to be active partners in the education of their children. This commitment, along with her experience, expertise, and passion for helping families, culminated in creating the series YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher, an unprecedented parent empowerment program that guides parents as they lay a foundation for their child’s success in school and in life.

Prior to writing the YOU series, Chico served as the Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor for Education for the State of Illinois, where she led the state’s School-to-Work effort. She was later appointed the Regional Secretary of Education in the Midwest for the U.S. Department of Education before launching SPC Educational Solutions.

Chico continues to be an active member of the community, serving as a commissioner on the State of Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, and as a board member of many organizations including the DePaul University School of Education Dean’s Advisory Council, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, and the Illinois Literacy Foundation.


2010 Illinois Teacher of the Year Kevin Rutter

November 5, 2013

Kevin Rutter has been teaching for 15 years, currently serving as the department chair for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Carl Schurz High School, where he teaches economics and business courses.

In 2010, the Illinois State Board of Education named Rutter the Illinois Teacher of the Year and the Chicago Public Schools named him the Exemplary CTE Teacher. He was also honored as the Chicago Bears/Symetra Financial Hero of the Classroom in 2011.

As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Rutter acts an ambassador for the teaching profession and plays an active role in shaping educational policy in Illinois.

Rutter is currently pursuing an Ed.D in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University. His previous education includes an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from the University of Illinois at Springfield, an M.A. in Chicago Studies from Loyola University, and a B.A. in Social Science from Eastern Illinois University.

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Education Research and Policy Expert Dr. Bruce Marchiafava

November 4, 2013

Dr. Bruce Marchiafava brings over 40 years of experience in education to, with positions ranging from adjunct professor at National-Louis University to assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago, Dalhousie University, and The Ohio State University.

In addition to his university positions, Dr. Marchiafava spent 30 years in various administrative positions within Chicago Public Schools, where he authored desegregation plans and many school reform plans. He also participated in special projects in the areas of bilingual education, early childhood education, special education, student testing and assessment, and more.

Dr. Marchiafava earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Minnesota, a teaching certificate from Northeastern Illinois University, and his Type 75 Administrative Certificate from Loyola University Chicago.


Early Childhood Specialist Noralba Martinez

October 21, 2013

Noralba Martinez

Noralba Martinez is currently an early childhood intervention counselor with nearly 15 years of experience in intervention. She has been a licensed professional counselor, a certified anger resolution therapist, and a certified early intervention specialist.

In her current role, she provides counseling services to children from birth to three years old who have developmental delays, disabilities, or a qualifying diagnosis. Her eclectic theoretical approaches, behavior management techniques, and parent education and training result in family friendly outcomes. Martinez also has extensive experience teaching parents, teachers, and providers to prepare children for school success through a variety of strategies and training tools.

Martinez earned her M.A. in Counseling and her B.A. in Psychology from University of Texas at San Antonio.

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