North Chicago Public Education Foundation Hires First Executive Director

North Chicago, IL – The North Chicago Public Education Foundation (NCPEF) is pleased to announce the hiring of the foundation’s first-ever Executive Director, Tracey Horwich.

Ms. Horwich is a philanthropic professional with more than 20 years of experience. She served as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd., a boutique advisory firm in Chicago, where she worked with individual donors and family foundations to create and implement high-impact philanthropic plans addressing issues that included children’s mental health, gun violence prevention, and housing insecurity. Before that, Ms. Horwich was Executive Director of the Essendant Charitable Foundation, directing the philanthropy of the Fortune 500 company and engaging its 6,000 associates in giving of their time, talent, and treasure. She also spent nearly a decade at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, focusing on fundraising and community engagement in the Midwest Region.

NCPEF was founded three years ago to support post-secondary education opportunities for North Chicago Community High School (NCCHS) graduates. In its first three years, NCPEF has raised $250,000 - $300,000 annually and secured a $1.5M capacity-building grant from The John & Kathleen Schreiber Foundation. Ultimately, the foundation aims to support free college for all NCCHS graduates.

Ms. Horwich will lead the organization forward with its ambitious goal to expand NCPEF’s impact on students.  As executive director, she will create and implement the overall strategy for increasing the fundraising capacity of NCPEF and implement the mission and vision of the foundation. She will also manage all day-to-day operations that include setting fundraising goals and implementing strategies to achieve them; increasing annual and endowment funding; identifying prospective donors; cultivating and stewarding relationships with current and prospective donors; working with the foundation’s board to design, implement, and achieve all foundation fundraising plans; and serve as a liaison between the foundation, the school district, related boards, the community, and the philanthropic community. 

“We are thrilled to have Tracey lead the foundation,” said Mrs. Dora King, D187 Board Chair. “NCPEF is off to a great start, and having a seasoned fundraising professional at the helm with her experience and expertise will enable us to help more of our students achieve their goals.”


NCPEF's mission is to create an ecosystem of educational support and economic vitality for graduates of North Chicago Community High School. The foundation’s long-term goal is to allow all graduates of North Chicago High School to attend college for free.  For more information, please visit NCPEF’s website - 

North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 (D187) is located about 40 miles north of Chicago, IL, in North Chicago, also home to the US Naval Station Great Lakes.  The district educates an economically diverse, majority African American and Latino student body of 3,500, PreK-12th grade. D187’s mission is to empower each child to write their own story of success and to prepare each child, academically and socially, to pursue and realize their unique purpose. For more information, please see D187’s website -