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Staff
EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

Executive Director - Scott Pearson
Scott Pearson joined PCSB as executive director in January 2012. He previously served in the Obama Administration’s Department of Education as Deputy in the Office of Innovation and Improvement, where his portfolio included school choice, charter schools, education innovation and education for military families. Before that, he was active in civic affairs in San Francisco, co-founding and serving as the board chair for Leadership Public Schools, a charter management organization serving low-income communities with college-preparatory high schools. He has had a long career in business with America Online and Bain and Company, and served as a trade negotiator during the Clinton Administration. Mr. Pearson holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wesleyan University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Deputy Director - Naomi Rubin DeVeaux
Naomi Rubin DeVeaux manages the team responsible for charter authorizing including negotiating charter agreements and holding schools accountable for meeting quality academic and non-academic standards.  She and her team have developed and implemented an innovative suite of monitoring strategies – now used by charter authorizers elsewhere – which measure school performance, examine non-academic indicators such as attendance and discipline and evaluate learning based on classroom observations.   Before joining the PCSB in January 2012, she was Deputy Director of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), where she led the effort to develop and publish the first school quality dashboards that compare public and public charter school performance across the city, and co-authored ‘Choice Without Options,’ a 2011 study of DC school reform. She has presented to national audiences on Common Core State Standards and charter school design and development. She has extensive experience working in urban education as both a teacher and literacy coach in California, in the Long Beach Unified School District, and in DC at SEED Public Charter School. Ms. DeVeaux earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College, a Master in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Long Beach, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.

LEGAL DEPARTMENT

General Counsel - Nicole L. Streeter
Nicole L. Streeter joined PCSB in October 2012 as its first General Counsel. She provides legal and policy knowledge, expertise and judgment to all phases of PCSB's operations, including but not limited to charter agreements, renewals and revocations, annual reporting, grants, contracts and ethics. Previously, she served as the Deputy General Counsel for DC Public Schools, where she provided legal advice and counsel on education matters and drafted legislation and rulemaking. Before that, she worked on several pieces of education legislation with then-Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, including the Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007, which marked the historic DC public education shift to mayoral control, and the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Amendment Act of 2008. She also served as Legislative Counsel to then-Ward 7 Councilmember Gray, and as Director of Legal Services for Covenant House Washington, the city's largest privately-funded agency serving runaway and homeless youth. She began her legal career as a litigator in the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program, the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of the State of California and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Ms. Streeter holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley.

Deputy General Counsel–Nia Fripp Smith
Nia Fripp Smith joined PCSB in March 2014. She brings over ten years of legal and policy experience and a passion for education law. Nia began her legal career as a litigation associated at a Wall Street law firm, served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra L. Townes, of the Eastern District of New York, then continued her corporate litigation practice in Washington, DC. Nia, however, had a long-standing commitment to education law and policy. While attending Harvard Graduate School of Education, she studied equal opportunity in education and presented a research paper that discussed the complexities of school finance reform litigation. Before completing law degree at Columbia University, she wrote a major paper detailing the impact of Title I education programs on closing the achievement gap between racial and ethnic groups. Nia then shifted her practice to education law and has served in the U.S. Department of Education, Office for C ivil Rights and Office of General Counsel. She has served as an Assistant Attorney General and represented the District of Columbia Public Schools in special education matter under the IDEA and Section 504. Nia is also a proud graduate of Trinity College of Duke University.

COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

Director, Communications – Theola Labbé-DeBose
Theola Labbé-DeBose leads the Communications department and serves as PCSB spokesperson (email communications@dcpcsb.org).  The department has four responsibilities: government relations (local and federal); media relations; parent and community outreach and philanthropic relations.  Her team also handles parent, school and community outreach and special events such as the annual DC Public Charter School Recruitment Expo. Before joining PCSB in May 2012, she spent more than a decade as a reporter at The Washington Post, where she was an award-winning international correspondent and wrote extensively about education reform and charter schools. She has also covered issues of crime, child welfare, social services and juvenile justice, and reported from Haiti – where her parents were born – and from Iraq. Her work in the Middle East garnered her recognition as the Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. Ms. Labbé-DeBose earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Princeton University and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Interim Manager, Communications – Tomeika Bowden
Tomeika Bowden manages all of PCSB's digital communications--the website, OpenPCSB, social media presence, brand and visual identity.  She previously worked as the Deputy Press Secretary in the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations. Prior to that, she used digital communications to lead advocacy efforts for the YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the 2,700 Ys across the country. Ms. Bowden earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina Central University.  

Liaison, Government Relations –  Josh Henderson
Josh Henderson will lead PCSB's legislative outreach strategy.   Previously, he worked for the US Department of Education where he drafted speeches, memos, analyzes legislation and worked on advocacy campaigns like student financial aid. Mr. Henderson also worked as a field director for both Organizing for America and Obama for America during the last two national elections. He is a Teach For America alum who taught public policy and US Government at Cesar Chavez PCS for Public Policy – Parkside. Mr. Henderson is a graduate of Marquette University in Wisconsin and holds a Masters in Teaching from American University. 


FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT

Financial Manager  –  Marvin Cross
Marvin Cross comes to PCSB with 16 years of financial experience in accounting, budgeting and financial management. He spent 11 years at institutions of higher learning or public education including George Washington University and Prince George's County Public Schools where he served in a number of roles ranging from Budget Analyst, Senior Budget Analyst, and Assistant Director of Resource Planning. Mr. Cross was a financial controller in Guam. He graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Operations Assistant - Charlene Haigler-Mickles
Charlene Haigler-Mickles assists with meeting planning and provides other administrative support to PCSB staff members. Before that she worked as an office manager in Washington DC for a child welfare nonprofit organization. Mrs. Haigler-Mickles holds an Associate of Science in Business Management from Averett University. 


HUMAN CAPITAL AND STRATEGIC INITIATIVES DEPARTMENT

Director, Human Capital and Strategic Initiatives – Clara Hess, Ph.D.
Dr. Clara Hess leads PCSB’s human resources and other strategic initiatives. She also works with the Deputy Mayor for Education to support public charter schools on issues such as facilities. She worked in a previous role at the PCSB developing the revised version of the Performance Management Framework (PMF), the PCSB’s tool for assessing and monitoring charter school performance. She has researched teacher and staff retention, technology in the classroom, adult learning, job performance and trust in leadership, and has presented her findings to national audiences. Previously, she worked at the Raleigh, NC-based Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. She began her career in education as a Teach For America high school teacher in Eastern North Carolina and sits on the DC alumni board for Education Pioneers. Dr. Hess holds a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies and Psychology from the University of Georgia and earned her Master and Doctoral degrees in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Coordinator, Executive Team –  Ella Krivitchenko
Ella will support the Executive Leadership. Before joining PCSB, she was the strategic content fellow at the National Journal. Prior to that, she worked at Smart Growth America managing logistics for an EPA grant and technical assistance workshops. She was a press aid for Newt 2012 Headquarters during the 2013 national election and was a Communities in Schools Career Specialist mentoring and tutoring students through the AmeriCorps Program. Ms. Krivitchenko graduated from Furman University in South Carolina. 

Manager, Intergovernmental Relations and School Support – Audrey Williams
Audrey Williams manages intergovernmental relations, working with city agencies such as Child and Family Services (CFSA), Department of Transportation (DDOT), Department of Parks and Recreations (DPR) and other agencies and nonprofits in order to bring services and support to all of the city's charter schools.  Previously, she was a public affairs officer with the former DC Board of Education, DC Public Schools and worked in telecommunications marketing at Verizon.  She was a 1998 Congressional Fellow with the Brookings Institution, working as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and helping to rewrite legislation and negotiate on the member's behalf as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from New York University and a Master of Science in Marketing from University of Maryland, University College.  

SCHOOL PERFORMANCE DEPARTMENT

Program Assistant – Katherine Dammann
Katie Dammann supports the Deputy Director, and coordinates projects across the school performance teams.  Before joining PCSB in September 2013, Katie worked at Harvard Business School.  She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University in 2012, specializing in social studies education.  Katie continues to maintain educator licensure in Massachusetts.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College.  

Legal Fellow - Katrina Homel 
Katrina Homel supports the charter review and renewal process and assists the General Counsel on policy-related projects. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2013. During law school, Katrina interned at public interest organizations including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Project Vote, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She participated in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic as well as the D.C. Street Law Clinic, the latter through which she taught a civil rights and criminal law curriculum to D.C. high school students and coached them in a mock trial tournament. Katrina served as Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy and Editor-in-Chief of Georgetown Law’s student newspaper, the Georgetown Law Weekly. Prior to attending law school, Katrina was an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) in Washington, D.C. As a VISTA, she worked at the D.C. Language Access Coalition, where she advocated on behalf of limited English proficient communities for government-provided interpretation and translation services, and was engaged in development work for Heads Up, a literacy nonprofit. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Katrina is a 2009 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science.

School Quality and Accountability Team

Senior Manager, School Quality and Accountability – Rashida Tyler
Rashida Tyler leads the School Quality and Accountability Team, which is responsible for public charter school accountability plans, the Performance Management Framework (PMF) for standard, early childhood and adult education public charter schools and qualitative assessments of academic performance. Her team also ensures public charter school adherence to federal and state academic requirements. Before joining the PCSB in June 2012, she was a teacher and later an assistant principal and principal in Harlem, NY and Washington, DC for 10 years. She was also a founding Co-Principal of the middle school campus of Maya Angelou Public Charter School and has worked as an IT analyst. Ms. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Masters in Teaching from Pace University and Educational Administration and Supervision from Trinity University.

Manager, School Quality and Accountability – Erin Kupferberg
Erin Kupferberg manages projects related to school accountability and early childhood education including the Early Childhood Performance Management Framework and Early Childhood Accountability Plans. Previously, she worked as a charter school authorizer for Duval County Public Schools in Florida. She has also worked as an administrator for educational programs at Jacksonville University and maintains her secondary science professional teaching certificate. Ms. Kupferberg holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from University of California, San Diego, and Masters of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University.

Specialist, School Quality and Accountability – Emma Nolan McGann
Emma Nolan McGann supports the School Quality and Accountability team by providing qualitative assessments of school performance of public charter schools. She is also responsible for supporting public charter schools in the District of Columbia’s ESEA Waiver implementation process, which began in Fall 2012. Prior to joining PCSB, Ms. McGann held various roles in DC Public Schools in the Office of School Innovation and the Office of School Turnaround, including Manager of the Partnership Schools Program and School Improvement Grant Manager. Ms. McGann also has a range of teaching experience, including two years teaching English abroad, and teaching English as a Second Language in the DC public charter school system. Ms. McGann holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Italian from the University of Notre Dame. She also earned a Master of Education in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Specialist, School Quality and Accountability –  Taunya Nesin   
Taunya Nesin is involved in conducting Qualitative Site Reviews (QSRs) and editing the QSR reports. She also works closely with the Elementary and Middle School Performance Management Framework. Before joining PCSB, Dr. Nesin was a research associate at The George Washington University. She has also been an editor at National Geographic School Publiching and Houghton Mifflin where she developed curricula for elementary school grades. Prior to this work, she taught elementary school in Hoboken, Atlanta, and Boston. Dr. Nesin earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in English and American Language and Literature, her master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College in Curriculum and Instruction, and her doctorate from The George Washington University in Educational Administration and Policy Studies .   

Specialist, School Quality and Accountability – Sareeta Schmitt                                 Sareeta Carter Schmitt supports the School Quality and Accountability team by working closely with the High School Performance Management Framework, particularly Career and Technical Education and Dual Enrollment.  Before joining PCSB, Ms. Schmitt was the mathematics instructional specialist for a network of public charter schools in Washington, DC and taught high school mathematics for six years in the District.  As a teacher, Ms. Schmitt was a member of the NAEP Standing Committee for Grade 12 Mathematics and served as lead teacher of her school.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Mathematics and master’s degree from American University in Teaching Secondary Mathematics.


Specialist, Charter Agreement - Sarah Medway
Sarah Medway, a member of the Charter Agreement Team, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 with a B.A. in Government, and received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2008. During law school, Sarah participated in the Georgetown Street Law Clinic, where she taught an introductory legal course at Dunbar Senior High School. After graduation, Sarah practiced at the law firm Seyfarth Shaw in New York, where she specialized in employment litigation. Following this, she worked in Kenya with Flying Kites, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the standards of care for orphaned and vulnerable children, and then returned to Georgetown to complete a clinical teaching fellowship with the Street Law Clinic, through which she earned a LL.M. in Advocacy in 2012.

Equity and Fidelity Assurance Team

Manager, Equity and Fidelity Team
- Rashida Kennedy
Rashida Kennedy leads the Equity and Fidelity Team, which focuses on all non-academic public charter school indicators of school quality such as attendance, discipline and issues of public safety. She manages projects relating to charter school compliance, high school audits, and truancy. Her team is also responsible for publishing Equity Reports, which highlight subgroup audits, and truancy.  Ms. Kennedy was a teacher for ten years in Virginia and Washington DC, in both traditional public and charter schools. As a teacher, she developed high school curriculum, served as a social studies department chairperson and a coach. She studied at Hampton University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Teaching.

Specialist, Equity and Fidelity Team - Laterica Quinn 
Laterica (Teri) Quinn supports the Equity and Fidelity Assurance team with projects related to special education and graduation reports. Before joining PCSB, she was the director of a private, school-age program in Atlanta, GA that provides academic and social services for blind and visually impaired students in grades K-12. Ms. Quinn also has a background in teaching, which began in 2006 following her acceptance in to the NYC Teaching Fellows program. As a fellow, Ms. Quinn earned a Master of Science in Special Education from City College of CUNY, and she taught in the NYC public school system for several years. Ms. Quinn also holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University, and a Master of Arts in Counseling from New York University.

Specialist, Equity and Fidelity Team - Charlotte Cureton
Charlotte Cureton manages projects on public charter schools records reviews, stakeholder complaints, discipline policies and compliance reviews. She is also the point of contact on public safety issues and the liaison to the Metropolitan Police Department. She has taught in the U.S. Virgin Islands and worked in the DC Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. She has also worked as a public charter school administrator. Ms. Cureton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Education in Educational Technology from Howard University.

Specialist, Data and Policy – Tim Harwood
Tim Harwood analyzes non-academic public charter school performance data such as suspensions, withdrawals and attendance, in order to analyze a public charter school's approach to providing a fair and equitable education to all students. He helps develop the PCSB’s school equity reports and qualitative metrics to be used on comprehensive public charter school site visits. Before joining the PCSB in June 2012, he was a Research Associate at Bethesda-based Editorial Projects in Education, where he collected, scrubbed and synthesized data from state education agencies and worked on Education Week’s Quality Counts and Diplomas Count reports. He was also an intern at Education Sector, an independent education policy think tank, where he helped develop an alternative high school accountability system to standardized tests. He began his education career as a first- and second-grade science teacher. Mr. Harwood earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Kenyon College and a Masters in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary.

Senior Specialist, Special Education - Avni Patel
Avni Patel leads PCSB’s special education service delivery and oversight of public charter schools. Her work includes instituting performance management methods to assess and monitor PCSB's efforts to provide a high-quality academic program for public charter school students with special needs, and assisting with the implementation of applicable laws.  Previously, she worked in the special education division of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) as a placement coordinator, collaborating with public charter schools to ensure students with disabilities were being supported within the most appropriate educational setting.  She became interested in education early in her career through managing the recruitment and training of student volunteers for the national nonprofit Peace First. She later went on to serve as a middle school special education and general education history teacher with Teach For America in Los Angeles, California.  Ms. Patel earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Business from the University of Southern California and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  She is currently an EPFP Fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership.  

Data Team    

Manager, Strategy and Analysis - Mikayla Lytton
Mikayla Lytton joined PCSB as an Education Pioneers Analyst Fellow to help PCSB redesign its data collection and distribution processes to improve efficiency and accuracy. Before joining PCSB in August of 2012, Mikayla worked as a data analyst and project manager for Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research. There, she coordinated initiatives to help individual investors understand fund managers’ complex strategies in fixed-income and derivatives investments. Mikayla earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in history from Oberlin College.

Associate, Strategy and Analysis  - Melodi Sampson 
Melodi Sampson supports school-based data managers to ensure enrollment, attendance and discipline data accuracy to PCSB and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).  Prior to joining PCSB in September 2013, Melodi worked at a DC public charter school where she directed school recruitment, enrollment and data management efforts.  Melodi earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with concentrations in international development and Africa from American University.