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ED-RED was established in the fall of 1971 by seven north suburban high school districts and has expanded to include 13 high school districts, 64 elementary school districts, 2 unit districts, 2 Special Education Cooperatives and 3 Intermediate Service Centers in Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties. Legislatively, ED-RED’s area includes all or part of 19 of the present 59 Senate districts and 30 of the 118 House districts.

ED-RED has an Executive Board of twelve district administrators and board members.

Click here to view a listing of the current Executive Board.



Caryn M. Valadez

Caryn joined the ED-RED team in July 2014 as the Executive Director and brings more than a decade of experience in Illinois’ legislative and regulatory processes to our member districts. Prior to joining ED-RED, Caryn served as the Manager of Government Relations for Advocate Health Care, where she was responsible for monitoring legislation and regulation at the local, state and federal levels of government. Most notably, she communicated policy and regulatory positions with lawmakers during the overhaul of Illinois’ Medicaid program and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Caryn also gained a robust network of contacts during her work in the Illinois House of Representatives as a senior staff member on the Research and Appropriations Staff for the Office of the Speaker. She holds a B.A. in Political Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, as well as cooking; traveling and exploring Chicago’s numerous museums and live music offerings.

Contact Caryn at caryn@ed-red.org.

Arabed Hernandez

Arabed joined the ED-RED team in September 2016 as administrative assistant. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Political Science and minors in Communications and Spanish Literature. Prior to joining the ED-RED team Arabed worked as an Assistant Director at a Grassroots Campaigns office. Where she worked towards engaging and mobilizing the public through face to face interactions in aim to inspire and create progressive change. She did so by training and developing activist as well as, being an activist herself. Additionally, she handled data reports and payroll – among many other office tasks. During her free time, Arabed, enjoys reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and exploring new things from food to music to travel.

Contact Arabed at arabed@ed-red.org



Sarah Miller

Sarah became ED-RED’s Education Policy Consultant in October 2013. Before joining ED-RED, Sarah was a school law attorney for seven years with Whitt Law LCC in Aurora, Illinois where she worked closely with public school districts on issues related to collective bargaining, finance and employment. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and received her teacher’s certification from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She received her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School where she graduated cum laude and served on the law review editorial board and was a member of several moot court teams, including an international arbitration moot in Vienna, Austria. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, Cecelea and Evelyn, as well as reading and participating in triathlons and marathons.

Contact Sarah at sarah@ed-red.org.