Sarah Duncan is the Co-Director with the Network for College Success. She began her career with Ariel Education Initiative in 1991, coordinating the I Have A Dream program, working to improve the life chances of forty seventh-graders from Shakespeare School. In her twelve-year tenure with Ariel, she worked in every aspect of the nonprofit: designing and implementing academic, enrichment, and jobs programs; raising funds; supervising and supporting staff and volunteers; and board development, finance, and planning. In 1996, Ariel opened a Chicago Public School through the Small Schools Initiative and Sarah worked to help develop the staff, curriculum, program and policy at the school. The Ariel Community Academy became a community school before the term was popularized, offering before and after school programs as well as clubs and services for parents, and a unique economics and investment curriculum.
Sarah started at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in 2004, where she developed the Leadership in Community Schools Program and helped to support the quickly-growing community schools movement in Chicago with professional development opportunities for school teams and community school managers. Sarah co-founded the Network for College Success in 2006 to support school leaders with research and data, peer networks, and job-embedded coaching to improve student outcomes, particularly high school graduation and college success.
Sarah is a board member of the Ariel Education Initiative and the McDougal Family Foundation. She was also a founding board member of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago.