Faren D'Abell

Elementary School Principal

For nearly 17 years Mr. Faren D'Abell has been dedicated to improving the educational lives of at-risk urban youth.

Prior to taking the helm at One City Schools, he was the leader of Flagship Academy in Detroit where he created an engaging summer program that eliminated the two-year summer learning loss typically seen in his students. Prior to Flagship, Faren was the principal at Frazier International Magnet School, Chicago's first 90/90/90 school (90% or more students receiving free and reduced lunch, 90% or more being members of a minority group, and 90% or more meeting and exceeding state standards on the ISAT) where he and his school were honored with the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award from the US Department of Education.

He was an education adviser to then-Senator Mark Kirk.A corporate manager and broadcast journalist by trade, D'Abell followed a circuitous route into education administration.  As a result of his work with incarcerated youth, D'Abell made the move to education. He was one of fewer than 10% of applicants chosen to participate in the Academy for Urban School Leadership's program to move midcareer professionals into hard-to-staff urban elementary schools in Chicago. This began D'Abell's journey into officially working in the trenches to improve urban education, one classroom at a time.Since graduating from the AUSL program, D'Abell has successfully improved student outcomes in several underperforming CPS schools including Chicago's first professional development school, Chicago's first turnaround school, and Chicago's first 90/90/90 school.

D'Abell is proud of the fact that average student performance in every class he taught improved, most times dramatically. D'Abell is recognized for his teaching and leadership expertise. In addition to being a member of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's educational advisory board, Faren also met with Congressman Davis on several occasions including at the Congressional Black Caucus forum on educating Black youth. D'Abell is a seasoned data analyst, a former research fellow at the Chicago Foundation for Education, founder of the Chicago Young Men's Group, a winner of Midwest Magnet School Teacher of the Year, Office of New Schools Teacher of Excellence, and a speaker at local and national conferences on backward design, school improvement, International Baccalaureate, and assessment.

In Chicago, D'Abell created partnerships that resulted in scholarships to students for summer programming in arts and academics at the University of Illinois,  real life college experiences for middle school students, 840 volunteers from 14 continents and 5 countries, music artists in residence from Ravinia, a new band program, two jobs programs for students, and funding to support recess from the Mayor's office. D'Abell preaches and practices making learning experiences that are "real" for students.

His business and media careers prior to education help Principal D'Abell convey the importance of education to real world situations. He helps teachers create advanced curricula that are both meaningful to students and that challenge students at appropriate levels. Mr. D'Abell will have a focus at One City on community outreach efforts, teacher professional development, curriculum design, and international mindedness of students.