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About Britta McKenna

Britta W. McKenna has been a leader at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy for 15 years, currently serving IMSA as its Chief Innovation Officer. She oversees its innovative entrepreneurial and makerspace programs that serve students and educators in the region and across the state. Britta led the founding of the Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Innovation & Inquiry (IN2) in 2017, raising over $2M to construct and seed the project. IN2 is the first secondary school innovation center in the nation and was awarded the Chicago Innovation Award "People's Choice" in 2017.
IN2 has impacted entrepreneurship and makerspace education across the state for middle and high school students as well as the IMSA community. IN2's progressive and user-centric design is showcased daily to educators and guests from around the world. It is purposeful space for IMSA to engage with new community partnerships with corporations for both programming, innovation, and accelerating new businesses. IN2 is home to innovative learning for the future of work in a digital age when there is a critical need to reimagine the future of education.
Ms. McKenna has extensive experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, developing, mentoring, and accelerating early stage start-ups and educating future leaders, entrepreneurs and educators across the state. She was previously a serial entrepreneur across multiple sectors, as a co-founder of the Fox River Outdoor Store, the Batavia Parks Foundation, and founder of the IMSA Kids Institute and Breast Cancer MyStory. She has deep organizational leadership skills dealing with multiple stakeholders from being an elected official, to successfully engaging the community in building a Riverwalk, serving on multiple boards, and rescuing a failing MainStreet program where she earned 8 state awards for best practice during the turnaround. Ms. McKenna currently serves on the Fermilab Citizens Advisory Board.
Britta was named Batavia's Citizen of the Year, and was also awarded BP's Leader in Education, ComEd 100 Keeping Things Bright in the Community Award and the Illinois Diversity Council Advancing STEM Leadership Award. Britta received her BA from the University of Minnesota and her MPA from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Batavia with her husband, Steven and they have two grown sons, Kyle (Karen) and Owen (Natalie).


Present Chief Innovation Officer, Illinois Math and Science Academy

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Batavia Citizen of the Year - 2013
  • NIU Model Public Administrator Award - 2011
  • Batavia Chamber of Commerce Donna Dallasassee Award - 2006
  • Com-Ed 100 "Keeping Things Bright in the Community" Award - 2002
  • BP Leader Award/Education - 2001

Articles (2)

Conference Papers/Presentations (4)

Presentations (5)