CHICAGO – The board of directors for the Noble Network of Charter Schools is pleased to announce it voted unanimously to appoint Constance Jones to serve as its new chief executive officer. Noble serves more than 12,000 Chicago public school students at 18 campuses across the city and is nationally recognized for academic performance and the collegiate success of its graduates.
"When Constance accepted the position of Noble’s president one year ago, we knew the educational future of our students was secure. Now having her transition into CEO duties will be seamless,” said Allan Muchin, the chairman of Noble’s board of directors. “As a board who cares deeply about Noble and its students, we are thankful for Noble’s first 20 years, and having Constance at the helm aligns us for our next 20 years of success serving tens of thousands of children as they become accomplished young adults.”
Jones added, “Noble’s mission matches my personal mission of helping students realize their potential by achieving successful completion of high school and college – a goal historically that has been inaccessible for too many students. We are going to continue loving every student and serving each one’s individual needs. The vast majority will find success, and Chicago will be a stronger, better city for it.”
Jones will be the first African American and first female to lead the Noble Network of Charter Schools, Illinois’ largest and most successful charter school network. Connected through community groups and board positions across Chicago, she has quickly become a widely influential and trusted voice within the nation's third largest school district. As Noble’s CEO, she will oversee the strategy and operations of an organization of 12,000 students and 1,300 staff across 18 campuses, with a total budget of $175 million.
Noble is nationally renowned for preparing its students – 98 percent students of color and 89 percent from underserved communities – to be accepted to and graduate from college. Noble represents about 10 percent of all CPS high schoolers. Under Jones’ leadership, Noble has continued to set the high-water mark for college preparation across the city’s public schools, ultimately contributing to a significant portion of the success that CPS has publicly claimed in recent years. In the 2018 school report card issued by the State of Illinois, all Noble campuses were recognized with “commendable” ratings for their students’ performance. This achievement follows the Chicago Public Schools’ 2018-2019 school quality ratings where Noble schools captured 10 of the top 15 ranking slots, including all four of the top spots as measured by the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP).
Before Jones’ previous role as Noble’s president, she also served as Noble's chief external affairs officer, where she spearheaded a campaign that resulted in Noble winning the Broad Foundation’s national prize for best charter school in 2015. She continues to stand out as a coalition leader and advocate for high quality public schools of all types. Her leadership resulted in the passage of crucial education funding reform in Springfield in 2017 and Noble’s Class of 2018 graduating 2,300 seniors, 98 percent of whom were accepted into college while earning an astonishing $474 million in scholarships.
A lifelong advocate for educational opportunity, Jones was first introduced to Noble in 2010, when she became a volunteer advisor to young women in UIC College Prep’s founding class while serving as a leader at the national nonprofit KIPP Foundation. Her commitment to Noble’s mission and Chicago ultimately led Jones to assume the role of Noble’s chief external affairs officer in 2015 and president in early 2018.
Prior to her educational leadership roles at KIPP and Noble, Jones held management roles at Hyatt Hotels and Johnson & Johnson. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School after earning her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the proud daughter of an accomplished public school teacher and statistician, each the first in their families to graduate from college.
Jones is currently a prestigious Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow through the Aspen Institute, and recently completed fellowships with Leadership Greater Chicago and the IMPACT Leadership Development program through the Chicago Urban League and The University of Chicago. She was named a 40 Under 40 Game Changer by WVON, Ariel Investments, the Urban Business Roundtable, and BMO Harris. In addition, Jones was included as one of Chicago’s Top Black Women by Make It Better and has been profiled by the Chicago Defender.
Additionally, Jones is the founder of the Shelton Maurice Jones First Generation Scholarship Fund at North Carolina Central University, a historically black university in her hometown. Named in honor of her late father, the fund is an endowed scholarship for first generation mathematics majors.