Tracy Dell'Angela Barber | Submitted photo

The Oak Park Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides academic enrichment programs for District 97 schools, is getting a new executive director. On Jan. 18, the organization’s board of directors approved the hiring of Tracy Dell’Angela Barber, who will replace Deb Abrahamson in that position. Abrahamson, OPEF’s first executive director, served in that capacity for 10 years before retiring last December. Barber will start on Feb. 1.

“We’re really excited about having Tracy join OPEF,” Steve Miller, treasurer of OPEF’s board of directors, said in a statement. “Throughout the search process, her enthusiasm for OPEF and commitment to Oak Park’s diverse student body was abundantly clear.”

Barber, a veteran newspaper journalist, will leave her position as founding director and managing editor of the Education Post, an education-related media nonprofit. Before that position, Barber was director of outreach and communications for the Institute of Education Sciences.

Barber worked at the Chicago Tribune for 12 years as an education reporter who wrote about Chicago Public Schools and national education issues.

“My ‘North Star’ in this work has always focused on educational equity, which is why I’m so thrilled to build on OPEF’s tremendous track record of success and take on this leadership role in a community I cherish,” said Barber in the statement. “I truly believe that OPEF can play a pivotal role in closing the opportunity gap and engage a growing number of Oak Park students with captivating, hands-on learning.”

Barber, a 17-year resident of Oak Park and mother of two adult children, is married to Oak Park trustee and former D97 school board president Peter Barber. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from San Diego State University and has done postgraduate study at the University of Chicago.

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