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Deborah Quazzo to be honored by Golden Apple Foundation./photo by Shia Kapos 0

Deborah Quazzo’s impact on education

September 27th, 2016

Deborah Quazzo stepped down from Chicago Public Schools a few years ago, but she hasn’t left the education space.

This week, she’ll be honored by the Golden Apple Foundation, which mentors college students going in to teaching and trains current teachers. The group was founded by retired businessman Mike Koldyke. Quazzo will receive the inaugural impact award for her work, which spans beyond Chicago.

She’s managing partner of GSV Acceleration, a venture capital fund that invests in entrepreneurs and companies focused on education. It recently teamed up, for example, with a firm that uses Angry Bird-like graphics to teach math. Quazzo calls it “stealth learning.”

Her company also puts on a wonky talk fest in California for entrepreneurs and education leaders. Khan Academy founder Sal Khan, billionaire Bill Gates and Common, the hip-hop artist who runs Common Ground Foundation, have all taken part.

In Chicago, Quazzo, an avid SoulCycler and theater-goer, works behind the scenes in funding charter schools and other nonprofits. She’s also helped raise funds to help care for Tavon Tanner, the 10-year-old shot while standing on his front porch last summer. “We don’t want him to be forgotten,” she says.

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