Barbara Byrd-Bennett


Barbara Byrd-Bennett

Age: 63

Occupation: CEO, Chicago Public Schools

Presiding over the biggest public school closure in Chicago’s history, Byrd-Bennett gained a measure of respect from education reform onlookers for at least standing firm on the decision to rip off the Band-Aid in order to close the $1 billion gap in the CPS budget. Will 2014 be the year she smartly rebuilds schools for the district’s 400,545 students? All eyes are on her.

Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune