Chicago School GPS was started by 3 Chicago moms who firmly believe that the vibrancy, culture, opportunities and unique setting of Chicago makes it an ideal place to raise our families. We are committed to staying in the city because we know firsthand that an academically challenging, emotionally nourishing and culturally diverse education can be had within the city limits.
Meet the Team
We are so pleased to add our Special Education Parent Advocate, Mignon Elayda-Fulton, to our team to help you expertly navigate the complex world of special education services.
A mother of three, Mignon firmly believes that every child is entitled to a high-quality education and that parents are equal partners in their child’s education. For these reasons and for several years, her two oldest children attended a private Montessori school in Wicker Park before transferring to a public magnet school in Lakeview. One daughter is now a senior at a top selective enrollment high school and her son is at college in NYC. Assisting her children to get into these competitive schools was nothing compared to finding the most appropriate educational setting for her third child who was diagnosed with a developmental delay at eighteen months and now receives special education services through CPS at a non-public school. Navigating through the special education maze with its layers of legal issues at the District, State, and Federal levels can make any parent feel lost and defeated. Mignon’s goal is to point you in the right direction so that you can find the right answers to your unique situation and be the best possible advocate for your child. She spent many hours learning the CPS ODLSS policies and procedures, special education laws, and the jargon – all of which allowed her to participate as an effective partner in her daughter’s specialized education. She is happy to share her knowledge and personal experiences with others, however Mignon does not provide direct legal services to parents or to children with disabilities.
Although her family moved to California from the suburbs when she was a teenager, Mignon considers herself a native Chicagoan. She and her husband prefer to raise their children in the City despite its challenges and complicated school system. Mignon’s background is in architecture and interior design. She left the corporate workplace in 2006 for a less rigid schedule which allows her time to better care for and manage her family’s diverse and special needs.
Grace lee sawin
As a self-described “Tiger Mom Lite”, Grace has always felt that the most important role of a parent is to provide the best possible education for her children by putting in all the time and research required to successfully make that happen. Little did she know HOW MUCH time and research she would have to do in order to get her daughters into a sought-after private Montessori for preschool, then into a well-regarded selective enrollment elementary program followed by a top selective enrollment high school and her oldest to an Ivy League university. Throughout the years, Grace has seen the school choice landscape change in Chicago with more options for all types of students. She thrives on uncovering these nuggets of wisdom and “hidden” info that others simply don’t have time to uncover. She also is excited to share that info with you as she firmly believes a great education is a right, not a privilege. It just so happens in the City of Chicago, it’s a “right” that takes an inordinate amount of research.
Grace grew up attending public schools in suburban Washington, DC. She studied architecture at Cornell University and moved to Chicago in the mid-90’s. As she and her husband raise their two daughters in the city, she finds herself delving deeper and enjoying her quest to uncover hidden gems and enrichment opportunities for Chicago families.
After moving from Europe back to Chicago, with the first child in tow, Ginger did not realize how difficult it was to navigate the pathways of the Chicago School system. The hours it took to settle in from a international move and also start to look for schools was a bit overwhelming, as was the realization that walking to your local school was out of the question at the time. After much research and angst, her sons were accepted into a wonderful private school on the North Side where they could walk to school. Her oldest is now in college on the east coast and her youngest is in a highly regarded public high school. She has been very active in the school community, and would like to share her experiences and knowledge with families on their school journeys, especially the ever-changing High School Search.
Growing up in suburban Chicago and attending a small Private College, she knows what a good education should look like and has strived to find the same for her boys. With a background in marketing, fundraising and sales, and a wide network contacts, Ginger brings her breadth of experiences to understanding the complex world of school admissions.
Carolyn Gold Aberman
Growing up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, when Carolyn was having difficulties at her local public school, her parents began researching alternative school options. Ultimately, she and her siblings hopped on a school bus and traveled 45 minutes through the mountains daily to Valley School of Ligonier for grade school and spread out around the country (and the world) for high school. After graduating from the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, Carolyn attended the University of Pennsylvania and finally landed in Chicago after attending law school at Northwestern University School of Law and meeting her husband there. She has three children attending three different private and public schools. Although occasionally logistically challenging, Carolyn finds many benefits to educating her children, who are very different, in different environments. Her youngest has attended two outstanding Chicago preschools that are relatively unknown.
Carolyn practiced law until 2011 and then joined a legal search firm where she helps attorneys find the right positions for their careers. Carolyn believes that finding the right school or schools for your children, much like finding the right job, is definitely achievable and is excited to help you and your child navigate your way to a terrific Chicago education.
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Schedule a consultation with Chicago School GPS to get you started on your school search journey.