Debbie Sim
Program Manager for the Chicago Collaborative

Debbie is the Program Manager for the Chicago Collaborative. She is responsible for planning and executing all Chicago-based programming, including project management and event planning.

What You Do and Why You Do It

Debbie has spent the last 7 years working in K-12 education and nonprofits with a focus on strategy and operations. She helped establish the Chicago Collaborative partnership at Leading Educators and is currently serving as the Program Manager for the region - managing multiple cross-functional projects that drives towards successful implementation of regional programming and initiatives.

Before joining Leading Educators, Debbie worked on the Compliance and Student Information teams at KIPP DC Public Charter School as the Senior Operations Manager. She helped open the Diverse Learners program, led strategy and operations for the yearly enrollment audit and PARCC testing, and supported the onboarding and support for the Compliance Managers across all 16 schools.

As a Korean-American and granddaughter of a North Korean refugee, Debbie takes pride in exploring her culture and learning the history of her people. She recognizes the role of her identity in having access to a quality education and the opportunities it has afforded her professionally.

Debbie holds a B.A in Political Science and a B.S in Mathematics from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She lives in Chicago and loves exploring Chicago’s food and live music scene.

What inspires Debbie: I have had the privilege of teaching over 300 7th Grade students in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Every day, I walked into class wanting to be the best educator for them. I developed a genuine love for my students and their families that still stays with me. I want my students, their families, and their communities to have equal access to a quality education and know they are valued and seen.

Fun-fact: Debbie got to sit in the East Room of the White House when President Barack Obama hosted his first Twitter Town Hall & sent his first tweet!