LEAP Team

Collaboration and connection are central to our mission. If you have a question, idea or comment, we are here to listen.

Phyllis Lockett is a serial social entrepreneur who has led transformative efforts in the education, government and civic arenas. She is currently the founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, an organization headquartered in Chicago that connects innovation and education to transform how students learn. LEAP works directly with educators and innovators across the country to pilot, research and scale personalized learning technologies and innovative practices across classrooms and outside learning environments.

Before starting LEAP, Phyllis was a driving force behind Chicago’s charter movement. As founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, she helped raise more than $70 million to support opening 80 new public schools. Her work more than tripled the number of charter schools and drove Chicago’s first magnet school replication. She previously served as executive director of the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), a pro bono consulting firm for government agencies, helping to shape the Chicago Transit Authority’s $2.8 billion capital improvement program and the Chicago Housing Authority’s 10-year, $1.5 billion Plan for Transformation. She also held marketing, sales and business development roles with Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Kraft Foods and General Mills.

Currently, Phyllis is a board member of ASCD and CME Group, as well as an independent director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. She is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Phyllis and LEAP have been recognized through several awards, including the Chicago Innovation Awards 2016 Social Innovation Award, and the ASU+GSV 2018 Innovator of Color Award. She earned a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

Emily Bader
Senior Director, Marketing Communications

A seasoned brand storyteller and word-of-mouth sparker, Emily gathers, shapes and communicates the inspiring stories of LEAP Innovations.

Jessica Bee
Senior Marketing Manager

Jessica has spent the last decade marrying her PR skills with a passion for transforming the learning experience for Chicago's youth. As LEAP's Events Manager, she executes experiences that connect the broader education community to learning innovation.

John Boumgarden
Personalized Learning Coach

John spent ten years as an educator working with a variety of public, charter, and independent schools throughout the east coast. At LEAP, John works with high schools to implement personalized learning practices to help prepare students for post secondary success.

Courtney Crary
Executive Assistant

Courtney's professional experience spans the Shedd Aquarium, Guaranteed Rate, and Chicago's theater community. At LEAP, she curates a fantastic culture by supporting internal administrative functioning and events.

Annie Dillon
Professional Learning Manager

As a former teacher and instructional coach, Annie has benefited from LEAP at the school level, witnessing its positive impact first hand. At LEAP, she now supports the professional learning design and facilitation.

Erin Figula
Senior Director, Programs & Learning Design

A former Chicago Public Schools instructional leader, Erin has experienced the transformational power of personalized learning with her students. At LEAP she helps educators create innovative teaching and learning models in their own classrooms and schools.

Jordan Gutterman
Manager of Program Reports and Data

Jordan has a rich background serving as an organizer of political campaigns. At LEAP, he works on research and data collection efforts to help schools and partners identify how best to support students and teachers in the transformation to personalized learning.

Joseph Hemingway
Product Development Associate

Joseph is an innovator with experience across private, public and social sectors to advance learning environments, programs and products. With passion for equity-centered innovation, he supports LEAP's development and scaling of transformative tools.

Beth Herbert
Chief of Staff

Beth brings more than ten years of experience building new initiatives. She helped to launch Science in Society, Northwestern University’s office for science outreach and public engagement. A founding LEAP member, Beth has led work across the organization, from ecosystem-building, to communications, and now as Chief of Staff.

Dr. Jilliam Joe
Senior Director, Research Design

Jilliam has dedicated her career to measuring effective teaching practices. At LEAP, she provides psychometric leadership for LEAP's personalized-learning instructional and leadership competencies, and certification initiative.

Silvia Kosovich
Administrative Services Manager

Silvia has over 20 years of experience in senior executive administrative and office management roles, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at LEAP. As a founding member of LEAP, she is dedicated to creating opportunity for every student.

Alex Madda
Associate, Client Success

Alex has an arts administration background, most recently in development for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She incorporates her experience as a theatre maker and improviser to LEAP's survey and research development.

Jannette Moya
Personalized Learning Coach

Jannette is a former CPS educator, who worked with LEAP to create unique learning experiences to reach students of diverse cultural backgrounds. At LEAP, she continues to work with educators to ensure that all students have the tools necessary to succeed.

Amy Peterson
Director, Professional Learning

Amy comes to LEAP with 15 years of teaching experience both in Chicago Public Schools and the Archdiocese; including, three years as a K-12 instructional coach. At LEAP, Amy works with the professional learning team to create and facilitate personalized learning development for teachers.

Connie Scalzetti
Personalized Learning Coach

Connie is a former middle school teacher and instructional coach, who transformed learning experiences for her students and teachers with LEAP. At LEAP, Connie works with teachers to create learning experiences that are relevant, rigorous and engaging.

Jen Stack
Senior Manager of Professional Learning

Jen brings 15 years of passionate experience in instructional coaching, evaluating instructional practice and teaching. She works with the LEAP professional learning team to ensure educators are supported and empowered to innovate in their classrooms.

Barbara Uher Vijuk
Director of Administration

Barbara has over 20 years' experience directing the business functions of nonprofit organizations, many in the education space. Her three school-aged children have taught her the importance of LEAP's work.

Jake Williams
Manager of Data & Research

Jake brings six years of teaching experience at the elementary and high school levels. He serves as Manager of Data & Research at LEAP, overseeing data and analytics systems, and measuring program impact.