The Board of Directors of Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford announced the appointment of Sara Ray Stoelinga as the next President & CEO, effective May 28, 2019. Stoelinga joins Easterseals with more than two decades of experience as a non-profit leader and expert in public schooling and education reform.
“Sara Ray Stoelinga brings deep experience in organizational development and partnership-building to Easterseals, as well as extensive expertise in schools and education,” said Easterseals Board Chair Gary Kaatz. “The Board is enthusiastic about the skillset that Sara brings and the amazing work she is sure to accomplish with our team at Easterseals.”
Stoelinga 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 B.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.
“I am honored to join the incredible team at Easterseals,” said Stoelinga. “The organization’s model to create opportunities for people of all abilities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities aligns deeply with my passions and life’s work.”
Stoelinga succeeds F. Timothy Muri, who has served as President & CEO since 1989. Under Muri’s leadership, Easterseals has grown from a $1.8 million annual budget, serving 4,500 clients to a more than $50 million budget, serving 30,000 clients.
“Tim’s long-term and committed leadership has laid a foundation for a bright future at Easterseals,” Stoelinga noted. “It is an honor to work side by side with Easterseals staff in this next chapter of the organization.”