Meet the Team
Colleen Antas took over as the Executive Director of the Urban School Foundation in 2017. Colleen is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Northwestern University where she double majored in Human Development and Psychological Services and Spanish. As a three-year Academic All Big Ten soccer player and two year Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, she was awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship of the Year in her senior season. Colleen joined Teach For America in Chicago after graduation and was hired at Schurz High School as a Spanish teacher. Almost immediately, Colleen fell in love with urban education and saw how the power of a committed educator can impact students’ lives. Colleen also assumed responsibilities at Schurz as the Athletic Director, Varsity Girls soccer coach, co-chair of the Student Council, Behavioral Leadership Team Leader, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Coordinator and OneGoal College Preparatory Program Director. Colleen graduated with her Master of Arts in Teaching with a Special Education endorsement from National Louis University in 2013. In 2014, Colleen was selected as a national finalist in the Target/People Magazine/MLB All-Star Teacher Award for making an impact in the lives of her students and their communities. Colleen is currently working on her Masters of Educational Administration at Northern Illinois University while teaching an alternative program for at-risk youth at Wheaton North High School. Colleen’s desire and passion for helping disadvantaged students as well as her deep held belief that all students can succeed drives her ambitions for the future achievements of the Urban School Foundation.
Director of Finance and Administration
Claire Denz joined the Urban School Foundation in 2017. She is currently a Senior Analyst at United Airlines in the company's central finance department. Previously, Claire worked in Inventory Management at Gap Inc. in San Francisco where she helped develop investment and pricing strategies for various product lines. She began her career in Public Finance Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan in New York and later in Chicago, helping to structure and execute municipal debt financings for cities, states, airports and public school districts in both the Southeast and Midwest regions of the United States. Claire has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She received her BA in Economics, also from the University of Chicago, where she was a DIII All-American soccer player and president of the Women’s Athletic Association. Claire currently serves on the Executive Board of the University of Chicago’s Graduate Women’s Athletic Association.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Emily’s deep-rooted passion for working to help close the achievement gap stems from her own experiences growing up in Memphis, Tennessee’s public education system. From a young age, she was not only aware of the educational inequalities plaguing her city, she was maddened by them. Following her graduation from Vanderbilt University, Emily joined Teach For America as a 2011 corps member, teaching Spanish at Gary Lighthouse Charter School. Emily’s lifelong desire to be a writer pulled her away from the classroom and led her to earn her master’s in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in 2014. Today, Emily is a marcom manager for Microsoft's Commercial Growth Organization (CGO) team. She’s also ingrained her biggest passions into her daily life, running a widely-known food blog as well as teaching boxing classes twice a week. While Emily left the classroom years ago, her heart and mind are still deeply invested in education reform. Her dedication has led her to become a Board member for the Urban School Foundation, where she is excited to work alongside like minded individuals to help grow and empower low-resource and low-income students to excel not only in school, but also in life.