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Stephen McClain

Chief Executive Officer | Empowered Community Schools

"I will continue my work supporting leaders to build breakthrough school models that empower underserved students to succeed in college, career, and life. Similar to the HCZ, Chicago will launch a school that includes comprehensive economic and health supports for underserved Black and Latinx communities. I am confident Chicago will become the hub of excellence, equity, and innovation in public education."


Undergraduate Degree: Michigan State University, '06

Fun fact: I love reading fiction! Fiction allows us to believe that at any moment we might be spirited away from our daily routine and portaled into another world or time.

As Co-CEO of Empowered Community Schools (ECS), Dr. Stephen McClain is responsible for providing academic, cultural, and strategic leadership across all ECS campus schools. Dr. McClain works with principals, school leaders, and instructional staff to ensure students attain the highest level of academic achievement while also cultivating civic leadership within their communities.

Prior to leading Empowered Community Schools, Stephen served as Chief of Staff at Chicago International Charter School, a principal and assistant principal in Chicago Public Schools, and a teacher in some of Chicago's most underserved communities.

Throughout his career, Dr. McClain has been recognized for transforming school communities and improving educational outcomes for students. Dr. McClain earned a B.A in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, Ed. M in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an Ed.D in Urban School Leadership from University of Illinois at Chicago.

When Stephen is not supporting schools, he continues to serve his community through the work of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and his church's ministry, Love Works.