The mission of Distinctive Schools is to support each child in becoming an engaged and curious learner, as well as ensure that each and every one of our students thrive in college, career and life. Through community support, we are able to provide all our students the tools and resources they need to be successful in, and outside of the classroom. This year, Distinctive Schools is excited to honor an individual who truly embodies the role of a Distinctive Citizen.
A Distinctive Citizen is someone who embodies the Distinctive Schools Mission & Vision:
Diana Mendley Rauner, Ph. D., learned early from her parents the importance of participating in the community. As a young adult, Diana spent time volunteering at a settlement house in New York to help teach ex-offenders to read. After witnessing the education inequities in our country first-hand, she realized this was an issue she wanted to focus on long term. Today, Diana serves as President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, based in Chicago, with impact across the country.
The Ounce is a public-private partnership that provides and advocates for the highest-quality care and education for children in poverty from birth to age five. With an operating budget of approximately $74 million, the Ounce develops direct center-based and home-based programs and services to children and families, provides professional development tools and trainings to scale best practices within the field, innovates new solutions for continuous quality improvement, and advocates for effective public policies and funding.
Diana joined the Ounce staff in 2007 and was appointed president in January 2011, having previously served as an Ounce board member. Prior to joining the Ounce, Diana was a Senior Research Associate at Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and an associate at private equity firms in San Francisco and Chicago.
Diana holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago, an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Yale University. She and her husband, Bruce, are the proud parents of six children and grandparents of Ella, aged one.
We look forward to sharing more about the impact Diana has made in Chicago and throughout the country as we honor her at the Distinctive Schools Gala! To learn more about the Gala and purchase your tickets, visit: https://www.distinctiveschools.org/gala.html