About the Continuum of Learning

The Continuum of Learning is an educational collaborative partnership formed by:

  • the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln,
  • Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce,
  • United Way of Central Illinois,
  • the Center for State Policy and Leadership on the Springfield Campus of the University of Illinois,
  • Innovate Springfield,
  • Springfield Public Schools District 186, and
  • Lincoln Land Community College Workforce Development.

Leaders of each of these seven organizations and educational leaders in the community serve on a Leadership Council that guides and oversees the work of the Continuum of Learning, particularly the implementation of the Sangamon Success recommendations.  The Continuum of Learning Community Partners Network is comprised of service providers and community members who serve as a sounding board on strategies for supporting youth who are less-advantaged in our community.

The purpose of the Continuum is to promote policies, programs, practices, and public attitudes that ensure: all young children in our community are ready to learn; all young adults in our community are ready to enter the world of work; and all residents are ready to succeed because they have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge.

Core Aspirations

The Continuum partnership is guided by five core aspirations that it believes everyone should endorse:

  1. To have every child ready for kindergarten.
  2. To have every K-5 student performing at or above grade level.
  3. To have every high school student graduate with a plan for the future.
  4. To increase post-secondary educational attainment.
  5. To have all residents of the county achieve their highest employment potential as a result of the learning they have acquired.

Partner Organizations

The seven partner organizations and other members of the Continuum of Learning Community Partners Network use their resources and relationships to build broad and deep support within the community for these five aspirations and the actions necessary to realize them.

Current Members

The Continuum of Learning Leadership Council:

  • John Stremsterfer (Leadership Council Chair, 2016-2019), President & CEO, Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln
  • Stacy Reed, Vice President of Programs, Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln
  • David Racine, Executive Director, UIS Center for State Policy & Leadership
  • John Kelker, President & Chief Professional Officer, United Way of Central Illinois
  • Katrina Hays, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Central Illinois
  • Chris Hembrough, President & CEO, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Sarah Graham, Director of Workforce Development, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Katie Davison, Executive Director, Innovate Springfield
  • Nadia Gronkowski (Continuum of Learning Lead Staff), Social Innovation Program Coordinator, Innovate Springfield
  • Jennifer Gill, Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools
  • Judy Jozaitis, Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education, Lincoln Land Community College

The Continuum of Learning Community Partners Network:

  • Harry Berman, Higher Education Consultant; Executive Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education (retired)
  • Diane Rutledge, Executive Director, Large Unit District Association
  • Peggy Cormeny, Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Coordinator, Springfield Public Schools
  • Stephanie Standish, Sangamon County Department of Public Health
  • Lance Thurman, Superintendent, Riverton Public Schools
  • Juan Huerta, Director of Community Relations, City of Springfield
  • Sarah Graham, Executive Director, Land of Lincoln Workforce Alliance
  • Laura Rhodes, Director, Lincoln Land Community College Child Development Center
  • Sameer Vohra, Executive Director, SIU School of Medicine Office of Population Science and Policy
  • Teresa Haley, President, Springfield Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Marcus Johnson, Data and Evaluation Director, Springfield Urban League
  • Sargent Paula Crouch, Springfield Police Department