Network Leadership & Design

Lilly Cruz
She/Her/Hers
Director of Content

Lilly is a facilitator and designer of adult learning for education leaders that puts social justice and anti-racism at the forefront of their roles and impact in order to create inclusive and equitable learning spaces and experiences for children. She leads the design and capacity building for programming content as the Director of Content for Network 2 at Leading Educators.

Lilly’s “Why”

As a student, teacher, school leader and parent within Chicago Public Schools, Lilly has experienced the positive power of diversity (on many levels!) and a community of adults invested in children. She has also experience the disparity of resources and belief in children and families that have been historically oppressed as people and in Chicago. These varied and conflicting experiences over the span of her life have led her to tap into her super power as a coach and facilitator of learning in order to help educators understand their role and responsibility in providing an equitable and inclusive education for all students and families, especially those that continue to be impacted by systemic oppression.

Lilly’s Journey

Previously, Lilly led and supported internal coaching development and led the creation of the Instructional Coaching Vision of Excellence as Director of Instructional Practice at Leading Educators. Before joining Leading Educators, she worked in Chicago Public Schools as a middle school ELA teacher, teacher leader, mentor teacher, site manager of her network’s teacher residency program and assistant principal.

Lilly holds a Master’s in Teaching from National-Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She lives in Chicago’s South Side with her husband and two daughters and spends her time gardening in her backyard, kickin’ it with her family and friends and dancing to everything from house music to salsa.

What Inspires You? There is nothing like standing in the middle of a bookstore, and even though I left the classroom in 2012, I have an at-home classroom library that I use with my daughters. Books create spaces for stories and truths that help us connect. Lately, I’ve been inspired by literature written by Puerto Rican writers from various eras. While they mostly tell stories of oppression and hardship, the fact that they exist and cannot be erased because they were captured in a book is an example of how a book or story can be both the writer’s and the reader’s deliverance.

Fun-fact: Lilly lives two blocks away from Michelle Obama’s childhood home.