In May 2019, Sara Ray Stoelinga was appointed President and CEO of Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford.
Stoelinga joined Easterseals with more than two decades of experience as a non-profit leader and expert in public schooling and education reform. She was formerly the Sara Liston Spurlark Director of The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI), a non-profit organization committed to bridging the worlds of education research and practice in a way that contributes meaningful new knowledge on what matters most for school improvement and student success to educators and education policymakers nationwide. During her 22 years at UEI, Stoelinga gained critical experience across education research, practice, and policy, and oversaw nearly 500 employees and a $50 million operating budget. Stoelinga also served as a clinical professor on the University of Chicago’s Committee on Education, advising and teaching undergraduate and graduate students.
In 2015, Stoelinga received the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for outstanding undergraduate teaching and the Don York Award for Faculty Initiative from the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement for her work with undergraduates and her contributions to the community throughout her career.
Stoelinga has written and spoken extensively on urban school history and policy, and has published articles, op-eds, research reports and two books with Columbia University’s Teachers College Press. Stoelinga is an expert in teacher leadership and organizational change in schools.
Stoelinga received a BA and PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.