Sara Ray Stoelinga

President & CEO, Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford Former Director, Urban Education Institute

Sara Ray Stoelinga is the President & CEO of Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford. In her role at Easterseals, Sara oversees a broad portfolio that includes three campuses of Easterseals Academy which serves students with autism, numerous Head Start and Early Head Start centers, 2 Child-Family-Connection centers, district training in special education and community-based programs for low income families and people with disabilities. Easterseals is nearly $60m operating with more than 650 employees, serving 30,000 families each year.

Prior to her role at Easterseals, Sara was most recently the Sara Liston Spurlark Director at the Urban Education Institute and a Clinical Professor in the Committee on Education at the University of Chicago. Sara spent 22 years at the Institute, going from intern, to graduate research associate, to researcher, to senior director, to director. Sara was also a professor at the University of Chicago, teaching courses to undergraduates on school reform history and policy and sociology of education. Sara has written and spoken extensively on urban school reform history and policy, including articles, op eds, research reports and 2 books with Columbia University’s Teachers College Press.

Sara received a B.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.