August 25, 2020
Chicago Connected: Closing the Digital Equity Gap for Students & Families – moderated by Daniel Anello – Jennie Huang Bennett, Phillip DiBartolo & Darnell Shields
Daniel Anello has served as CEO of Kids First Chicago since 2015. Daniel brings deep quantitative analytical skills and authentic lived-experience to his role in supporting parent-led and data-informed change within Chicago’s public schools.
He previously served as the Chief of Strategy and External Relations for Chicago International Charter School. In 2014, Daniel played an important role in securing equitable funding for students citywide, working side-by-side with the CPS budget office on the implementation of a new student-based funding formula. Daniel came into urban education through the Broad Residency. Prior to working in the education sector, he worked in brand management.
In 2015, Daniel was named in the inaugural class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, an initiative that draws upon the resources of the U.S. presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. He was a member of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship Summer 2016 cohort and the Leadership Greater Chicago 2018-19 cohort. Daniel is a member of Education Leaders of Color, and a Board member of Bottom Line Chicago and Chicago Urban League.
Phillip DiBartolo strives to provide equitably distributed, innovative technology solutions that improve the quality of education for our students, reduce administrative burden on our educators, facilitate parent engagement, and eliminate operational inefficiencies.
As the district’s chief information officer since 2016, DiBartolo is responsible for the delivery of all information technology (IT) services. These duties include maintaining 420,000 computing devices, provisioning core systems for 30,000 staff members, securing accessible and secure communications and internet services, and resolving approximately 140,000 annual support requests.
Jennie Huang Bennett
Jennie Bennett serves as the City’s Chief Financial Officer. Previously the Chief Financial Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Ms. Bennett has extensive experience in managing financial turnarounds, driving cost efficiencies, managing large complex capital structures, developing governmental budgets, generating revenues through creative solutions, and finding paths toward financial stability. Bennett has a wide range of both public sector and private sector experience. She helped lead CPS through significant financial difficulties, which have now been relieved through new, fairer educational funding. She also served as CPS’s acting Chief Internal Auditor from 2018-2019 and Treasurer from 2012-16. Prior to CPS, Bennett spent over a decade as a senior investment banker in municipal securities, managing post-recovery financing needs for New York after 9/11 and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, large water and wastewater acquisitions as well as various types of municipal financings.
A passionate builder of relationships and innovative developments, Darnell Shields is a lifelong Austin resident and co-owner of HairTech the Salon, a local business he started with his wife. He holds two Associate degrees from Wilbur Wright-City Colleges of Chicago (Applied Sciences & Liberal Arts) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Darnell is also an Inaugural Fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and serves as Vice Chairman on the board of directors of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation.