Chief Executive Officer Biography

Chief Executive Officer Biography

Chief Executive Officer Tony Sanders


Chief Executive Officer Tony Sanders runs the day-to-day operations of School District U-46, a place he has called home since 2007. Mr. Sanders oversees the implementation of all Board and District policies and procedures as well as alignment of resources to all Districtwide initiatives and improvement plans for the state’s second-largest school district. He works in close collaboration with an administrative staff that manages a balanced District budget of nearly $500 million, and he has lobbied relentlessly in Springfield for more equitable state education funding.

Mr. Sanders is working with staff and community members to set specific measurable goals for the District’s newly-developed Strategic Plan which calls for ensuring all students gain the experiences they need to graduate from School District U-46 prepared to compete in a global society. He’s proud of the District’s many achievements, from high schools ranked among the best in the country, to a thriving dual-language program and expanding preschool opportunities.

Mr. Sanders recently attended the White House’s Rethinking School Discipline conference, representing Illinois and U-46 where suspension rates have dropped dramatically as staff members embraced new approaches to responding to behavioral issues and supporting students.

Prior to becoming CEO, Mr. Sanders served as the Chief of Staff for former Superintendent Dr. José M. Torres. Mr. Sanders joined the district as Chief Communications Officer after holding the same title in St. Louis Public Schools. He brings two decades of leadership experience to his current post, having served as Acting Director for Governmental Relations and Public Information for the Illinois State Board of Education and other top posts at the Department of Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Mr. Sanders earned his Master of Business Administration degree from New York Institute of Technology – Ellis College, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Mr. Sanders and his wife, Schelli, live in Elgin with their two children, Jack, a U-46 graduate and Lexie, a current U-46 student.