Shaka A. Rawls

Shaka A. Rawls is in his seventh year as Principal at Leo Catholic High School, in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Mr. Rawls is a Chicago native who holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Aurora University, a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a PhD. in Educational Policy Studies, also at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mr. Rawls has worked in urban education for more than 20 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Before coming to Leo, he worked for Chicago Public Schools, where his efforts focused on the challenges facing public and charter high schools in some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged urban communities.

He has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, and has attracted broadcast coverage from NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and FOX.

Principal Rawls has received numerous accolades for his tireless work including Principal of the Year from the Illinois Principals Association (2020), Chicago Magazine’s Chicagoan of the Year (2021), Chicago Defender’s Defender Man of Excellence (2021), the Schools That Can’s Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award, (2023), and the Community Builder Award from the Onni Group and Chicago News Weekly (2024).