CICS Network Office Staff

Elizabeth Shaw - Chief Executive Officer

Elizabeth Shaw is responsible for crafting and executing the CICS network strategy, and managing the performance of the network and its portfolio of School Management Organizations. Ms. Shaw brings a wealth of experience to CICS including 5 years as the CEO of Education First, a national education policy and strategy firm.  She served as the Asst. Superintendent for the Recovery School District in New Orleans during some of its most challenging years, she was the Executive Director of Human Capital for the Louisiana Department of Education, and worked as TFA’s regional Director of District Strategy and Professional Development. Ms. Shaw started as a public high school teacher and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College.

Elizabeth can be reached here.

Stephen McClain, Ed.D - Chief of Staff

As Chief of Staff, Stephen McClain will oversee the implementation of CICS’ new strategic plan and support the Chief Executive Officer in managing internal and external projects and stakeholders. Prior to joining CICS, Stephen was a school leader in some of Chicago's most underserved communities. Throughout his career, Stephen has been recognized for transforming school communities and improving educational outcomes for students. McClain earned a B.A in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, Ed. M in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an Ed.D in Urban School Leadership from University of Illinois at Chicago.

Stephen can be reached at here.

School and Student Success

Mike Bower - Chief of School and Student Success

Mike Bower joined CICS through the Broad Residency Program and manages advocacy, internal strategy, and data. Prior to CICS, Mr. Bower was the Director of Strategic Projects at Sears and served in the United States Navy. Deployed in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for exceptional leadership. In addition to his combat experience, Mr. Bower served as the Compensation Policy Officer and a Naval Academy Mathematics Instructor. He received a Masters from MIT's Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy.

Mike can be reached here.


Kathleen Clarke - Chief of Operations

Kathleen Clarke is responsible for all finance, budgeting, facilities, procurement and administration for the CICS charter network.  She previously served as Director of Operations at Namaste, a Chicago based charter network.  Ms. Clarke also worked at the Chicago Public School’s Charter Schools Office of Accountability managing all aspects of the charter application and renewal process. She graduated from Grinnell College and earned her Masters of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where she was a Levin Fellowship recipient. 

Kathleen can be reached here.

Dave Gershenson - Deputy Chief of Operations

As Deputy Chief of Operations, Dave Gershenson will focus on ensuring that service delivery is high and processes are clear, so that schools can focus on educating kids. Prior to joining CICS, Dave was a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting, working with diverse external and internal clients to streamline processes, implement technology systems, develop training programs, and design large-scale communication campaigns. Most recently, he contracted for Noble Network to analyze and reengineer compliance procedures across their organization. Dave holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School in Operations and Information Management.

Dave can be reached at here.

Pelin Deniz - Director of Facilities

As Director of Facilities, Pelin manages the Facilities team and allocates CICS funds to ensure students have a safe learning environment. Pelin ensures service delivery is high, processes are clear and that schools can focus on educating students. She was formerly the Associate Director of Facilities and Operations for Highline College in Washington state. There she was responsible for the management of 38 buildings over 88 acres. Pelin’s areas of specialty include facilities, operations, finance, and capital projects in education. She speaks 3 languages and has a BA in Political Science and a Master of Arts in International Studies.

Pelin can be reached here.

External Relations

Meghan Schmidt - Director of Community & Family Engagement

Meghan Schmidt joined CICS in 2004. She has more than 10 years of experience as an educator in both public and private school settings. Ms. Schmidt facilitates community and family engagement at all 14 of CICS’ campuses, coordinates more than 150 after-school and community-based programs across the network and facilitates the CICS Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Meghan can be reached here.


Jerry Lambrinatos - Director of Talent and Culture

Jerry Lambrinatos is responsible for securing exceptional talent for CICS, managing human resources administration and helping to build an innovative, high performing network culture. He previously worked as a Senior Associate with the Education Insight Group where he consulted with large urban school districts and charter networks to improve performance through leadership development.  Jerry also worked for the New Teacher Project as well as Teach for America, including serving as the Director of Growth Strategy and Development in Chicago. Jerry has a B.S. in chemical and biological engineering from Northwestern University and a Master's in teaching from John Hopkins University.

Jerry can be reached here.


Eric Lavin - Chief of Innovation

Eric Lavin is responsible for overseeing CICS’s Innovation Fellowships and helping to design initiatives and partnerships that spark and spread worthwhile innovations in teaching and learning throughout the network. Previously, Eric worked at the Aspen Institute, where he led a range of efforts to harness the Institute’s platform and resources to catalyze and accelerate social innovation. Prior to that, he co-founded and served as the first CEO of Whetstone, an education technology company.  Eric started his career as a high school social studies teacher in the Mississippi Delta and holds a B.A in International Political Economy from Tulane University.

Eric can be reached here.

Strategic Initiatives

Liz Williams-Clark - Director of Strategic Initiatives

Liz Williams-Clark oversees high-impact projects and initiatives, focusing on establishing network-wide systems, routines, structures, and communications to achieve organizational excellence. Prior to joining CICS, Liz led the Teacher Leadership Development team at Teach For America where she coached managers, led the redesign of teacher effectiveness metrics, and united a multi-layered team under a common charge of empowering students with the academics, critical consciousness and agency to pursue the opportunities of their choosing. Liz was also a CPS teacher for eight years. Liz has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University and a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Liz can be reached at here.

Opportunities at CICS

If you are interested in roles at the campuses (teaching/leadership/staff) or at the School Management level, please visit our careers page for more information.