Makita Kheperu began working with children as a teenager, first as a tutor, then a camp counselor. Along her journey to CT3 Education, she explored pediatrics as a high school student and the intersection of the sciences and human development in college, always focused on children. As a recent college graduate, she joined the staff of a small African-centered elementary school on Chicago’s southside, where she served in the high-needs communities of Greater Grand Crossing, Washington Park, and Englewood. Committed to providing a culturally relevant education in a setting that affirmed the historical and contemporary experiences of her students and families, Makita served in a number of roles.
As a primary grade teacher, Makita developed curriculum that married traditional textbooks and resources with a myriad of supplemental materials that affirmed her students and taught them to be assertive and critical learners. When her school transitioned to a charter school, becoming one of Chicago’s pioneers in that arena, Makita eventually shifted to teaching middle school, where she was able to maintain and establish long-standing traditions that resulted in increased enrollment in selective high schools, greater community engagement, and more deeply involved parents. She was selected by her school community to become principal; then by her network to become director of curriculum and instruction; and eventually the founding superintendent when her network became an independent district. With a focus on social justice, cultural arts and STEAM, Makita was a leader of an innovative and unique school village.
Dr. Kheperu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human development from Howard University, a master’s degree in elementary education from DePaul University, and a doctorate of education in urban education leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago.