Melissa Zaikos

Principal, CEO & Founder


Ms. Zaikos has significant experience leading a network of elementary and high schools and working with communities throughout Chicago. Most recently, Melissa led the Pershing Network, a network of schools in the Southwest communities of Chicago. From 2005-2011, Zaikos was the Chief Area Officer for the AMP Schools, overseeing more than 100 schools within CPS, where student performance increased from 68% to 87% of students meeting or exceeding standards on the ISAT. Under her leadership, the AMP Schools led the district in data-driven instruction as the first schools to utilize the Northwest Evaluation Association MAP assessment, which is now used district-wide. The AMP Schools also led the district in piloting various online curricula including ST Math and Compass Learning. Prior to her career in education, Zaikos was a business strategy consultant with a results-oriented reputation for engaging stakeholders, building teams and applying rigorous analysis of data to complex, systems-wide challenges. She holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and was a member of the Broad Fellowship for Education Leaders in 2011 and the Broad Residency in Urban Education from 2003-2005. She also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.