Cheryl Logan, 2022 Prize Winner
Cheryl Logan’s innovative leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and her commitment to providing opportunities for students to achieve at their highest potential embody the essence of the McGraw Prize. As superintendent of Omaha Public Schools, Logan confronted the COVID-19 pandemic with remarkable creativity and courage. Recognizing the importance of keeping kids in environments where they can thrive and learn, she was determined to open Omaha schools safely so that children could return to in-person schooling. To ensure a safe learning and working environment, Logan led the Omaha Public Schools through a groundbreaking SARS-CoV-2 testing pilot study with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to explore how COVID-19 could affect the health and safety of students and staff. As one of the first large urban school districts to return to in-person learning in 2020, Omaha provided other districts with screening and surveillance strategies to detect infectious diseases in schools. A hallmark of Logan’s K–12 leadership is her commitment to nurturing cross-sector relationships, and then leveraging them to expand higher education and career opportunities for students—especially students who have the least access to opportunity. Before becoming superintendent in Omaha, Logan served as Chief Academic Officer at the School District of Philadelphia, where she developed a vision for college- and career-readiness built on sector-spanning relationships. Under her leadership, the District partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia to establish the first high school in Pennsylvania where students are able to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree by the time they graduate. Logan’s innovative thinking also led to the creation of the Education Scholars Program with Temple University that also offered industry certifications through an Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurship with Fox Chase Farms, and an Information Technology and Electronics internship with Comcast. As the daughter of an educator and the mother of an educator, Logan is a passionate advocate for developing future educators in Nebraska and has created several initiatives to enhance and support the teacher pipeline.