Tanika Island Childress

Acting Director, Urban Education Institute, Director & CEO, UChicago Charter School


Tanika Island Childress is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of the University of Chicago Charter School and its four campuses, and is the managing director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI). Island oversees program design, curriculum, and program operations, as well as the recruitment of students, staff, faculty, and clinical instructors. Prior to assuming her leadership role with UChicago UTEP, Island was the UChicago Charter School’s chief academic officer and served for six years as the director of the UChicago Charter North Kenwood/Oakland (NKO) Campus. During her tenure as director, Island was recognized with a Community School Leadership Award in 2012 from the Federation of Community Schools and a Principal Achievement Award from the district in 2013. Island previously served as NKO’s intermediate/upper grades literacy coordinator and as a 5th grade literacy instructor, providing professional development and creating literacy tools with researchers from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.