2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference
November 3, 2014

Contact Information

Sponsor Inquires
Denice Davies

Speaker/Luncheon Inquiries
Christina McClain

Media Inquires
Jodie Cantrell

General Conference Inquires
Michala Mahoney

2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference

On November 3, 2014, INCS united more than  500 charter public school stakeholders at the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference in Chicago.

Focusing on our conference theme, “Our Students, Our Future: The Schools We Need Now,” it was an inspiring day  for the charter community.INCS is thankful for the opportunity to have shared ideas and collaborate with you all. The only way to push the bar higher on student achievement and create the schools we need now across the state is to work together. Thank you for joining us!

Click here  to review the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference’s Speakers and Sessions



Carlotta Walls LaNier, civil rights advocate and member of the Little Rock Nine, captivated the audience. She shared her personal story and vision for improving the education system for all students. Ms. Walls LaNier is truly an inspiration and motivation for the charter community to continue pushing forward to improve access to quality schools for all students.

Watch Carlotta’s remarks to the charter community.

“From my perspective, charter schools are an effort to reach out to people who may not otherwise be exposed to quality education, and thus quality opportunity.  As a member of the Little Rock Nine in 1957, I feel I share with you that same goal.”

“I want to congratulate you all for being warriors on the battlefield, fighting for equal education for all.”

 “The way to success is through education. Knowledge is something that no one can take away.”  

– Carlotta Walls LaNier  


Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, reflected  on the story of the charter school movement and the progress our public  education system has made to improve access to quality education for all  students.  He encouraged everyone to continue to fight for students and the  schools we need now with a quote from Ganhdi on the four phases of a social  revolution.

Watch Andrew’s address to the charter community here.

 “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you  win.” – Gandhi  

 “When the charter movement started 20 years ago, we were largely ignored. We are now firmly in the third stage of the revolution. One trip to Springfield or one look at the headlines will tell you that. Students, their futures, and quality schools are worth the fight.  And I am here to tell you that we will prevail. The stakes are too high.”

 “We must continue to carry the torch lit by pioneers like Ruby and Carlotta. Because this is about Our Students. Our Future. And the Schools We Need Now.”  

“Today, I challenge you to commit yourself to the spirit and ideals that were championed by leaders before us. Equal access to public schools and a quality education is the very core of the charter movement’s mission and purpose.”  

– Andrew Broy


Lucille Reese, proud charter school parent since 1998 with students currently attending Noble and Chicago International Charter Schools, spoke about the power of her charter school choice and the impact it has had on her children’s lives.

Watch Lucy tell her family’s charter school story on INCS’ homepage.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Razia (Perspectives High School senior pictured left), Kiarra (Youth  Connection Charter School Graduate and Harry S. Truman College Student  pictured in the middle), and Sarah (Legacy Academy of Excellence 8th grade  student pictured right) shared their stories about charter schools, the ability to  make a change, and perseverance with the crowd.

 “We need more young people, like me and my peers, joining together to stand  for peace.” –Razia

 “I have never seen teachers work so hard with their students until I attended Westside Holistic Leadership Academy.  The school genuinely brought joy to my soul to witness teachers who weren’t just working for a paycheck.  They were working for something better, a student’s future. My Future!” -Kiarra

2014 Illinois Charter Excellence Awards

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools celebrated outstanding individuals who are making a difference in public education and the charter public school movement with the 2014 Illinois Charter Excellence Awards. These honorees included high school seniors and eighth grade students who embody the missions of their charter schools, as well as exceptional teachers, school leaders, and advocates who work tirelessly every day to improve education in schools and communities across Illinois.

Illinois Charter School Champion

 The Honorable Iris Martinez, Senator 20th District, Illinois General AssemblyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Illinois Charter School Innovator
Allison Slade, Founder and Executive Director, Namaste Charter School


Illinois Classroom Hero

Karolyn Steele, High School English Teacher, University of Chicago Charter Schools – Woodlawn Campus


Outstanding Illinois Charter Seniors

Kevin Amoah, Noble – Muchin College Prep

Kaylynn Cusic, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dana Franklin, Betty Shabazz International Charter School

Amber Johnson, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Charter School

Outstanding 8th Graders  

Adrian Marin, Chicago International Charter School

Anthony White, Alain Locke Charter School

conference room

INCS Thanks the Sponsors of the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference

Lake Michigan Sponsors

Ziegler_Lake Michigan      CSUSA_Lake Michigan

Awards Luncheon  Sponsor


Magnificent Mile Sponsors

GoldbergKohn_Magnificent Mile      K12_Magnificent Mile      Office Depot_Magnificent Mile      AXA Advisors_Magnificent Mile

Registration Sponsor

MB Financial_ Registration