Our Team

Samantha Walston

Samantha Walston is a Reading Interventionist for K-8th grade students with Chicago Public Schools.  She earned a B.A. in Radio-Television News with a minor in Black American Studies from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  She has a M.A. in Elementary Education with a Middle School Endorsement in English and Social Studies from Roosevelt University and a M.A. in Educational Leadership: School Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University.  She has taught reading, English language arts, and social studies across elementary grades where she has dedicated her career to working with students from underserved communities.  As a teacher leader, Samantha is a teacher mentor and serves as both grade-level and curriculum leads.  She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTA), International Literacy Association (ILA), and National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

Sherard Jones

Sherard is the President of Strategic Futurist Consulting, an organization whose mission is to provide global leadership in Credentialing, Accreditation and Standards Development. Strategic Futurist researches, assesses, and develops processes and solutions that strategically advance corporate vision and organizational goals. Sherard is also the Founder of VYYABLE, a platform that takes a process-oriented approach to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs into successfully launching niche business enterprises. 

Sherard has 10+ years of experience in strategic program development and has partnered with clients having business needs varying from creating international workforce development programs to build capacity through training and credentialing — to creating and overseeing organizational restructuring plans. Over the past 3 years, Sherard has successfully coached numerous clients through various stages of start-up launch.

Judith Kaminski

Judith Kaminski is a retired education administrator with over fifty years of experience working alongside elementary school teachers, public school administrators, public school board members, higher education professors, and university administrators.  Judy has experience in working in a variety of leadership positions throughout her career, such as being a public PreK-5 school principal and ultimately the Director of Field Experiences & Student Teaching at Elmhurst University. 

ALL children can learn given the appropriate tools and opportunities.  This is a belief Judy holds very dear.  She considers herself a lifelong learner and is willing to help to see that every child is given the choice to become one as well regardless of individual abilities or circumstances.  An example of this, Judy served on the Board of Directors for the West Suburban Association for over twenty years, as both a regular board member and as the treasurer for close to fifteen.  The West Suburban Association was a private not for profit organization responsible for overseeing, housing, and caring for adults with Downs Syndrome, assuring that this community had many opportunities to live full, enjoyable, and productive lives.

During her twenty-five years at Elmhurst University, Judy was responsible for developing many collaborative communications and partnerships between public school districts and the teacher education community.  Since she is highly organized and very collegial,  Judy can be a powerful force in the workplace and often used her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage her colleagues to work hard and succeed.  She was, and is, always willing to offer her time and energy – whether to listen or to lend a hand.

Dwanda Murphy

Dwanda Murphy is a compliance consultant where she helps businesses  build out quality concepts, methods and practices to procedures and help stratergic in keeping overall structure in within regulatory guidelines. She began her career  in the financial industry in 2001 at a community bank where she was hired as their first black manager  from there she help implement a diversity and inclusion program and unpack the work needed to continue advancing equity.  She continues to focus her efforts to advance racial equity in corporate organizations.  She is a member of the Black Professional Group Chicago chapter via Bank of America. She has more the 20 years of management experience. She has BS in Psychology minoring in business from Northeastern Illinois University and her MBA degree from university of Phoenix.

“I think it gets a little harder as you find more success. As success happens, you have to figure out this question of ‘What I am going to do next that stands out?’ Because then you get seen as ‘this thing,’ which is a part of you. But it’s not really you.”

The Carver Science Center