Consortium welcomes new staffers…

Debbie Pixton

Sarah Jackson

The Consortium has added three new staff members this fall. Debbie Pixton joined us this month as a Program Director focusing on our business/school partnerships and Sarah Jackson joined us in October to manage our Prime Time after- school program in Woodland Hills School District. As previously reported, we also brought Christy Kuehn on board as a Program Director, working across several initiatives.

Debbie brings experience in the area of college and career readiness.  Prior to joining us, she managed the Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network. The network—including school districts, community colleges, state education agencies and nonprofits—cultivated college and career readiness and aimed to ensure that a majority of northern Illinois graduates would obtain college degrees or other high quality post-secondary credentials.

Debbie’s work in the nonprofit and education sectors began in Pittsburgh with the Arts Education Collaborative where she managed professional development programs for arts educators, including the Leadership Academy, department self-assessments, and curriculum writing.

She is passionate about learning and sharing that passion with students. Debbie also loves to make connections across sectors and silos as a means of creating synergies and enabling collaboration.

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

An advocate and mentor for youth, Sarah is a natural to head the after-school program. With a background in the arts, including stage performance, poetry and photography, she brings creativity to the job and the experience of growing up in an underserved district. She’s a 2012 alumnus of Wilkinsburg High School. She also attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC where she pursued her passion for poetry as a member of the campus chapter of the Black Ink Monk P.O.E.T. (Profound Orators of Elevated Thinking) society.

Christy Kuehn

She has since performed as a spoken word artist locally at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Sherwood Events Center as well as venues in Charlotte and Washington D.C.   Sarah also has taught therapeutic poetry workshops and worked as a photographer and D.J.

Just to follow up on last month’s profile of Christy, we already think of her as an old-hand at the Consortium! Many of you have no doubt met her as she began work with our Future Ready Alliance, the Student Powered Solutions program, Educator in the Workforce and the High School Collaborative we launched in partnership with PNC Financial Group.