Equity & Fidelity Specialist
Abby Getzel supports the Equity and Fidelity team, managing the annual 12th grade transcript audit and periodic special education, data, and English language learner audits. Prior to joining DC PCSB, Abby worked in compliance and policy implementation in DC charter schools. Her career in education began at an early childhood level where she was a contracted CLASS classroom observer, student assessment coordinator, and then classroom teacher. Ms. Getzel has a Bachelor of Social Work from James Madison University and a Master of Social Work from Catholic University.
Data Engineering Manager
Adam Bethke supports DC PCSB's data management, governance, and engineering operations. Prior to joining the Finance, Operations and Strategic Initiatives team, Mr. Bethke supported the production of DC PCSB's Performance Management Framework, analyzing and reporting on charter academic performance. He has also served as an instructor for applied graduate laboratories in research statistics and public budgeting. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration, both from the George Washington University.
Aliya Drake is the Communications Coordinator for the Communications team. Before joining DC PCSB, she interned at the National Education Association (NEA) as a Communications intern on their Editorial team. At NEA, Ms. Drake wrote several online and print news articles about providing a quality public education to all students. She also enjoys to blog on fashion and lifestyle in her free time. Ms. Drake earned her Bachelors of Arts in Journalism & Communications from Hampton University.
School Quality & Accountability Sr. Specialist
Alyssa Noth is a Senior Specialist on the School Quality and Accountability Team. In this role, she manages Qualitative Site Reviews (QSRs) of all public charter schools. Additionally, when a school has not made all of its goals and student achievement expectations, has weak financials, or is not found to be fully compliant with all applicable laws at a charter review, DC PCSB may approve continuation of the school’s charter with conditions to address the identified areas of weakness. Ms. Noth monitors each school’s progress on meeting these conditions. Before joining DC PCSB, Ms. Noth taught elementary and adult education in DC public charter schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Education in Elementary Education from George Mason University.
Sr. Mgr. Human Resources & Operations
Anne Tomkinson is responsible for all aspects of human resources as well as facilities and procurement operations at DC PCSB. With over a dozen years in the field, Ms. Tomkinson brings a wealth of human resources expertise to the organization. As Senior Director at BayFirst Solutions, Ms. Tomkinson oversaw all aspects of division operations including contract management, staffing, training and development, marketing and P&L. At TCS Associates she created a Human Resources department where she both crafted policies and implemented processes to ensure compliance and streamline systems. Ms. Tomkinson has provided human resources and operational consultation to a variety of non-profit organizations including Food For Life and The House DC, and has served as a board member of Little Lights Urban Ministries. A Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional, Ms. Tomkinson is on the board of the local DC SHRM chapter and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Management from The Catholic University of America.
Knowledge Management Sr. Specialist
Annie O’Brien supports DC PCSB’s knowledge and information management systems. Prior to DC PCSB Ms. O'Brien spent five years working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and India where she focused on knowledge management in government programs that sought to address critical shortages in the number of healthcare workers in each country. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of London.
Sr. Mgr. Intergovernmental Relations & School Support
Audrey Williams manages intergovernmental relations focusing on health, safety, transportation and recreation. She works with city agencies like the Department of Health (DoH), Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), Department of Transportation (DDOT), Department of Parks and Recreations (DPR), Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and nonprofits to bring services and support to DC public charter schools. Previously, she managed media and government relations at DC PCSB. Ms. Williams also worked in telecommunications marketing at Verizon. She was a Congressional Fellow with Brookings Institution, working with 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. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from New York University and a Master of Science in Marketing from University of Maryland, University College.
Equity & Fidelity Manager
Avni Patel Murray leads all projects related to special education oversight and support for public charter schools. She also manages the charter agreement process for all newly approved charter schools and provides support to new charter schools as they prepare all components of their program for their first year of operation. Ms. Murray also collaborates closely with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to provide direct training to school staff as a certified Nonviolent Crisis Intervention trainer through the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Previously, she worked in the special education division of 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 in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Murray 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 an EPFP Fellow alum with the Institute for Educational Leadership.
Charlene Haigler-Mickles assists with meeting planning and provides other administrative support to DC PCSB staff members. Before joining the Board, she worked as an office manager in Washington, DC for a child welfare nonprofit organization. Ms. Haigler-Mickles holds an Associate of Science in Business Management from Averett University.
Data Engineering Specialist
Chun-Wei (Hank) Lo supports the DC Public Charter Schools Board’s data collection, storage and reporting efforts. Specifically, he is responsible for designing and developing production grade SQL which will be used to analyze and monitor school performance data. Additionally, he supports the development and management of DCPCSB’s data infrastructure and data warehouse, including public and secured data applications, ETL and relational databases. Prior to joining DCPCSB, Mr. Lo served with Pure Technologies as the data analyst intern for the Strategic Decision Support Group and worked as an Analytics Fellow at Bully Pulpit Interactive. His previous work profile involves developing machine learning techniques, statistical modeling, and digital marketing. Mr. Lo received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and holds a Master of Science in Data Science from the George Washington University.
Daniel Quandt reviews charter agreements and supports various legal projects. Mr. Quandt began his fellowship in October 2014. Previously, he served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and worked for several non-profit organizations. Mr. Quandt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Danielle Bell is responsible for all front desk operations and logistics for DCPCSB. Her clerical career began with the US Army Reserve as a Personnel Administrative Specialist and continued with DC Public Schools. After departing DCPS, she supported mid and upper-level management in the mass transit and non-profit industry.
Drew Snyder covers government relations for DCPCSB at both the municipal and federal levels. Mr. Snyder brings a wealth of federal, state, and local public policy experience to the agency. Prior to joining DCPCSB, he worked as a Government Relations Specialist for Maryland's Judiciary where he worked on a diverse set of legislative issues affecting judges, the state constitution, and the rule of law. Mr. Snyder started his career at the British Embassy in Washington where he served on the communications team. At the Embassy, he worked on a wide variety of public affairs issues, high profile visits, and events. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pittsburgh.
Sr. Mgr. Financial and Academic Quality
Erin Kupferberg is the Senior Manager of the Financial and Academic Quality (FAQ) Team and oversees the Performance Management Framework (PMF), DCPCSB’s annual tool for assessing and monitoring prekindergarten to grade 12, alternative, and adult charter school performance; goals negotiations with charter schools; financial oversight; and the production of the Financial Analysis Report (FAR) for each school. Ms. Kupferberg oversees the evaluation of the charter early childhood programs by overseeing the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) observations and all early childhood assessments reporting. In addition, she assists with public charter school qualitative assessments of school performance. Previously, she worked for Duval County Public Schools’ charter school authorizer in Florida 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 a Master of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University.
Executive Team Coordinator
Flor Cabrera provides support to DCPCSB’s Executive Team and our Board. Prior to joining DCPCSB, Ms. Cabrera worked with various non-profit organizations in different capacities to ensure that high school students around the Washington Metropolitan Area have equal access to higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the City University of New York – Lehman College.
Sector Data Analyst
Gaurav Lalsinghani supports DC PCSB’s strategic planning efforts around the growth, location, and demand for DC public charter schools. He oversees issues related to charter school supply and demand, expansion, facilities, and collaborates with other local education agencies and non-profits. Prior to joining DC PCSB, Mr. Lalsinghani worked as a data analyst for the City of Los Angeles’ Census 2020 Initiative and the Non-Communicable Diseases Department of the World Health Organization. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Hannah Cousino supports the Equity and Fidelity Team with special education oversight and new school support. She conducts special education audits, oversees the internal review of new school conditions, and connects new schools with training and resources. Prior to joining DCPCSB, Ms. Cousino taught in public charter schools in Chicago and DC. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Government and English from Georgetown University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Special Education from National-Louis University.
School Compliance Associate
Janay Saunders is the School Compliance Associate for DCPCSB. Prior to joining DCPCSB, she worked as a Paralegal in Northern Virginia, supporting attorneys who handle family, criminal, and traffic law. Ms. Saunders holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mary Washington.
Sr. Data Analyst
Jessica Taguding performs data analysis and visualization projects for the Equity and Fidelity Team. She leads trainings and collaborates with LEA Data Managers to ensure accurate and timely data collection throughout the year. She also works with agencies including the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) to align data governance and reporting strategies across the sector. She primarily focuses on projects relating to discipline, attendance, enrollment, and equity across subgroups, including the annual Equity Reports. Ms. Smith held several analyst roles prior to joining DC PCSB, including two years as a Data Manager with a local DC Public Charter School. She completed the Education Pioneers Data Analyst Fellowship in 2014, and holds a Master of Science in Business Analytics from the George Washington University.
Intergovernmental Relations & School Support Specialist
Jiselle O’Neal’s work focuses on school-based health, mental health, safety, and transportation. She coordinates with city agencies such as the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), Department of Health (DoH), and the Department of Transportation (DDOT) to ensure DC charter schools and students receive the support and services they need. Prior to joining DCPCSB, Ms. O’Neal worked at The Door, a non-profit youth services agency in New York, NY, where she managed participant recruitment and group coaching sessions that supported youth throughout the city in developing work ethic, addressing barriers and obtaining employment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Equity & Fidelity Manager
Katherine (Katie) Dammann supports the Equity and Fidelity Team with a variety of projects, though her primary responsibilities include compliance, English Learner (EL) oversight, and DC PCSB’s charter application process. Overseeing compliance, Katie is responsible for ensuring schools’ compliance with applicable laws, including health and safety regulations. She also oversees DCPCSB’s oversight of EL students, working with school staff to ensure EL students are being served in DC public charter schools, and facilitating an EL Professional Learning Community (EL PLC) to provide a space for school staff to share best practices for working with EL students. Finally, Katie is responsible for ensuring that DC PCSB’s charter application review process is clear, thorough, and equitable. She also supports DC PCSB’s open enrollment and governance oversight. Prior to DC PCSB, Katie worked at Harvard Business School. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University in 2012, specializing in Social Studies Education, and she graduated magna cum laude from Colby College in 2009 with a double major in History and Women's Studies.
Kendall Edell is a Legal Fellow at DC PCSB, assisting in the negotiation and amendment of D.C. charter school contracts and offering legal support for in-house staff. He has held a number of public interest positions, including interning for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, serving as a research associate at the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), and teaching as part of the Street Law program at Woodrow Wilson High School. He holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sr. Mgr. School Quality & Accountability
Laterica (Teri) Quinn is the senior manager of the School Quality and Accountability team. Before joining DCPCSB, 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 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.
Chief Operating Officer
Lenora Robinson Mills is the Chief Operating Officer at DC PCSB, managing all internal finance, operations, HR, organizational development and culture, data/IT systems, intergovernmental relations, school support and strategic initiatives, including sector-level analysis and school closures. Prior to joining the agency, Ms. Mills was COO at Harlem Village Academies, a network of five public charter schools in New York City. There she managed all school operations, including data and technology, facilities, budgeting, HR, compliance and legal issues, student discipline, strategic planning, and organizational culture. Ms. Mills received her bachelor’s degree in International Business/Finance from Howard University and her MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Mills worked in investment banking and private equity in New York City.
Financial and Academic Quality Sr. Specialist
Melodi Sampson supports the development and implementation of DC PCSB’s Performance Management Framework, which results in the production of annual School Quality Reports. Ms. Sampson’s focus is on adult education and secondary schools. Before joining DC PCSB in 2013, Ms. Sampson worked at a DC public charter school where she directed student recruitment, enrollment, and data management efforts. Ms. Sampson holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from American University, and she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Management at Johns Hopkins University.
Marvin Cross comes to DCPCSB with more than 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.
A national expert in charter school education, Naomi Rubin DeVeaux is the Deputy Director of the DC Public Charter School Board. Since her start as an English teacher more than twenty years ago, Ms. DeVeaux has developed new tools and measurements, curricula, and policy initiatives that have shaped public education across the country. She has testified, presented, and written extensively on the role of charter schools in providing quality educational choices to K-12 students and their families. At DC PCSB, Ms. 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 the DC PCSB team have developed 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 DC PCSB in 2012, Ms. DeVeaux was Deputy Director at Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), based in Washington, DC. Ms. DeVeaux earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College, a teaching credential from Chapman University, and a Master in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Long Beach.
School Quality & Accountability Specialist
Nicole Cole is a Specialist on the School Quality and Accountability Team and is responsible for supporting the Qualitative Site Review process. Before joining DCPCSB, Ms. Cole worked as a Teaching and Learning Specialist at an area non-profit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Howard University, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from American University.
Nicole Newman establishes, strengthens and increases meaningful connections between DCPCSB and community stakeholders. She has experience helping local non-profits build coalitions and coordinate volunteers. Additionally, she has expertise in helping groups use the tools of community organizing to create more equitable people focused organizations. Ms. Newman holds a Bachelors from Trinity University in Washington, DC. She is also a poet that believes art can transform lives and communities.
School Quality & Accountability Specialist
Nikhil Vashee is a Specialist on the School Quality and Accountability Team. He is responsible for composing review and renewal reports, as well as reports on charter amendments. Before joining DCPCSB, Mr. Vashee worked as a policy analyst at DC Public Schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of California Riverside, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Financial and Academic Quality Specialist
Ozoemena (Ozo) Nnamadim is the School Finance Specialist on the Academic Evaluation Team. He is responsible for financial oversight of schools reporting to DCPCSB as well as annually creating and disseminating the Financial Analysis Report (FAR). Prior to joining DCPCSB, he worked for KPMG as a financial statement auditor where he served clients in various industries, including: Federal cabinet level agencies, Credit Reform, Oil & Gas, and Oil Field Services. Mr. Nnamadim obtained his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Accounting from Sam Houston State University. He also serves as the Student Member Services Director for the Metro DC Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
Equity & Fidelity Specialist
Patrick N. Pope has worked in public education for over 30 years as a teacher and an administrator. Mr. Pope is known for building partnerships with professional organizations and institutions to support teacher training and school programs as well as his ability to build positive school communities. He was the principal of Savoy Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC, recognized by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as one of the eight Turnaround Arts Schools in the nation using an arts-based reform model. In his tenure as principal of Hardy Middle School in the District of Columbia Public Schools, Mr. Pope built a highly regarded arts and music program, won recognition and awards for innovative and creative teaching for both himself and his teaching staff, and garnered over a quarter of a million dollars in grants and awards.
Financial and Academic Quality Evaluation Data Analyst
Paul Capp supports the production of the Performance Management Framework, including management and analysis of data relating to charter performance accountability, with a focus on the Early Childhood and Adult Education frameworks. Additionally, he supports development and data collection for DCPCSB’s data management systems and provides other support as needed for the School Performance Department. Prior to joining DCPCSB, Mr. Capp served with Louisiana’s Recovery School District as the Planning Analyst for the school choice portfolio team, and worked as a strategy and management consultant for clients in the private equity, biotech, healthcare, and industrial sectors. Mr. Capp holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service with a major in International Politics from Georgetown University.
Academic Evaluation Data Analyst
Pete Petrin supports the Financial and Academic Quality team in the creation and production of School Quality Reports with a focus on state assessment data. Mr. Petrin also analyzes PK-12 academic data for school performance for high-stakes reviews and charter renewals. Mr. Petrin joined DC PCSB in summer 2017 as a data analyst through the Education Pioneers Fellowship. Prior to joining DC PCSB, Mr. Petrin taught high school mathematics for three years, first with Teach for America in a Mississippi public school and most recently with the KIPP charter network in San Jose, California. Mr. Petrin holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Master of Education with a specialization in Learning Analytics, both from Northeastern University.
Sr. School Performance Advisor
Rashida Tyler is a Senior School Performance Advisor in the School Performance Department. She works on Community Complaints and is also the leader of the Governance Team which ensures that DCPCSB has clear guidance, processes, and timelines, internally and externally, to address potential governance concerns in our schools. Before joining DCPCSB in June 2012, Ms. Tyler was a teacher, principal and assistant principal in Harlem, NY and Washington, DC for 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a Masters in Teaching from Pace University and a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision from Trinity University.
Rashida Young leads the Equity and Fidelity Team, which focuses on oversight of non-academic public charter school indicators of school quality. She manages projects relating to charter school compliance; new school applications; charter amendments; new school planning; 12th grade transcript audits; community complaints; collection and reporting of school data including attendance, discipline, and enrollment. Her team also monitors school data to ensure equity among student subgroups. This work includes publishing Equity Reports, which highlight schools’ subgroup data on a variety of metrics. Additionally, her team provides support to schools for their work with English Learners and students with disabilities. Ms. Young was a teacher for ten years in Virginia and Washington DC, in both traditional and public charter schools. As a teacher, she developed high school curriculum, served as a social studies department chairperson and a coach. Ms. Young studied at Hampton University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Teaching.
Reema Paracha began her fellowship with DC PCSB in October 2018. Ms. Paracha assists the legal team with charter agreements and various legal projects. Prior to joining DC PCSB, Ms. Paracha worked as a student extern with the Department of Justice, Civil Division, FOIA, Records, and E-Discovery Office. Ms. Paracha holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from George Mason University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sadina Brown is the Program Coordinator providing support directly to the DC PCSB Deputy Director and the School Performance Department. In addition, she plans and oversees organizational events and meetings for DC PCSB. Ms. Brown has a well- rounded background in finance, case management and communications. Before joining PCSB, Ms. Brown worked with both for profit and not-for-profit organizations in different capacities. Ms. Brown holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Master of Science in Communications from The College of New Rochelle.
Sarah Hampton Cheatham joined DC PCSB in October 2015. Before coming to DCPCSB, Ms. Cheatham worked for several years at children’s literacy non-profit Reading Is Fundamental. Ms. Cheatham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and Linguistics from Duke University, a Masters of Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Scott Pearson is the Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB). Since joining DC PCSB in 2012, Mr. Pearson has implemented significant reforms in how the Board approves and oversees charter schools, making it a national model for charter school authorizing. Under Mr. Pearson’s leadership, DC PCSB has pioneered new strategies, tough and rigorous oversight and best practices that other authorizers around the nation are adopting. Previously, Mr. Pearson served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy of the Office of Innovation and Improvement for the U.S. Department of Education. Also, he co-founded Leadership Public Schools, a network of college-prep public charter high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Pearson has a long career in business. At America Online, he was responsible for acquisitions and strategic planning as the company’s Vice President for Corporate Development. At Bain and Company, Mr. Pearson provided strategic management consulting services to clients in education, healthcare, media, and aviation. He currently is the Board Chair of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). 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.
"We, more than anybody else, can determine whether public charter schools in our communities and in our nation realize their extraordinary potential. And that’s why I love my job – I have never felt such a sense of potential and possibility as I do as a public charter school authorizer."
Academic Evaluation Data Analyst
Tanyr Seay supports the production of the Alternative Accountability Framework (AAF) as well as analyzes school performance data for high-stakes reviews and charter renewals. Before joining DC PCSB, Mr. Seay worked as an analyst at Clarity Campaign Labs providing data strategy to political campaigns and non-profit organizations. Most recently, he served in a local DC Public Charter School as a data analyst. Mr. Seay holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tatia Pritchett is a member of the Finance team. She comes to DCPCSB with more than 20 years of financial experience in the accounting field, having worked for the DC Office of the Chief Financial Officer for three years. Ms. Pritchett holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting along with a Master of Science in Accounting Information Systems from Strayer University. Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Pritchett now resides in Southern Maryland.
Chief Communications Officer
Tomeika Bowden is the Chief Communications Officer for DCPCSB. Ms. Bowden has worked on public policy issues both at the national and local levels. She served in the United States Senate as Deputy Press Secretary for then-Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and later for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. At the national YMCA, she created the first-ever digital grassroots advocacy program for the organization’s 2,700 chapters across the country. In North Carolina, Ms. Bowden headed communications for a nonprofit focused on bridging the digital divide. Ms. Bowden joined DCPCSB to expand the board’s media and digital outreach. Later she was promoted to Communications Director and currently manages PCSB’s communications, digital, government relations and community engagement operation. Ms. Bowden has a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina Central University and a Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University.
Mr. Cruz has long been involved in public education. In Washington, DC, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of DC Prep Public Charter School which focuses on student academic achievement, character education and high school and college readiness. On a national level, Mr. Cruz held senior level positions at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Teach for America and America’s Promise Alliance. Currently, he is Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships at The College Board, a nonprofit organization which connects students to college success. Outside of education, Mr. Cruz has strong experience in finance, budget management and fiscal strategy. He was a strategic consultant, having worked at the Corporate Executive Board and the Advisory Board Company for more than a decade in successive leadership positions in the US and internationally. Mr. Cruz has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Yale University.
It is my privilege to serve as the new chair of the board, partnering with staff and the community to expand high-quality school options for families in DC. DC PCSB is often recognized as one of the country’s leading public charter school authorizers, and our success can be attributed to a few core principles: hold school leaders accountable, focus on equity, operate transparently and with consistency, and, most importantly, keep students at the center of all decisions. We lead, always, with these in mind in working to create the conditions of success for the public charter sector and for our students.
Ms. Bireda is an attorney at Sanford Hiesler, LLP, a national civil rights law firm. Long active in education policy, Ms. Bireda previously worked for the U.S. Department of Education where she served as senior counsel in the Office of the General Counsel. There she developed litigation strategy, advised on legal issues and led complex investigations on a variety of education matters. She also served as senior counsel at the Department’s Office of Civil Rights, where she advised on matters regarding discrimination in education. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bireda focused on education issues while working for EducationCounsel LLC, an education consulting firm, and the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute. She practiced law in the private sector in Philadelphia for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Ms. Bireda began her career as a teacher at Sousa Middle School in southeast Washington, DC. Ms. Bireda graduated from Harvard Law School and received her bachelors degree from Stanford University.
I believe deeply in the power of public charter schools in Washington, DC, that are expanding educational opportunities for all students and leading the way in developing innovative practices that can be replicated. I’m pleased that more and more families, like mine, are able to choose a quality public school for their child.
Mr. Bumbaugh has many years of experience working in education, philanthropy and issues related to urban poverty. Currently he serves as the Manager of Breakthrough Schools: DC at CityBridge Foundation, an organization that works to build a citywide system of high-performing schools in the District. Previously, Mr. Bumbaugh served as the President of the ECMC Foundation, a national funder focusing on education issues in low-income communities. He was also the first Executive Director of the Specialty Family Foundation, a funder focusing on education, health, and food security issues in low-income communities in Southern California. Mr. Bumbaugh has also published numerous articles and has been a regular speaker on issues related to poverty and race. Mr. Bumbaugh received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
In a city that’s transformed from poor to rich in less than a generation, the public charter sector should serve as an equalizing force for those who are being left behind.
Dr. Ganjam has spent more than 15 years with Accenture where she advises companies large and small on human performance and change management. For much of that time, her practice has focused on education, workforce development, technology, performance measurement and leadership in the Washington DC metro area. She has also been involved in education with KIPP DC’s Future Focus program that mentors students across the KIPP PCS network with career management, presentation skills, financial literacy, critical thinking and more. The program is part of Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, which equips students with the skills to reach their goals of college graduation and successful careers. Dr. Ganjam received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University. She also received her bachelors and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
With nearly 50 percent of DC public school students attending a public charter school, it’s rewarding to be a part of a board that supports equity for students and has a commitment to ensuring the school leaders have the fl exibility to educate. We must continue to use our best judgment to make sure every student has access to a variety of educational approaches and opportunities that allow them to reach their fullest potential.
Mr. Soifer is a co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. There, he directs the Institute’s research programs in domestic-policy areas including education, energy and logistics. Mr. Soifer’s education policy research has been published and discussed in many of the nation’s most influential news publications and journals, and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on several occasions and in official hearings of various federal and state agencies. Mr. Soifer appears regularly on television and radio programs around the country. Soifer serves on several governing and advisory boards for government and nonprofit organizations. He is on the board of Carpe Diem, a network of charter schools active in Arizona, Indiana, Ohio and Texas that emphasizes personalized learning. He is a 1990 graduate of Colgate University and lives in Washington, DC.
For those familiar with DC’s public charter school sector, it’s not diffi cult to connect its success with the talented, committed, and hardworking people who make our schools run every day. As a DC PCSB board member over this past decade, I recognize these same qualities embodied by the experts who comprise our professional staff. My appreciation for their work, and for the recognition it has earned for our city from national and local education leaders, serves as my constant reminder of the valuable opportunity that charter schools are capable of offering to our diverse communities of learners and their families.
Ms. Shelton has deep experience in public policy both at the national and local levels. Currently, she is the Director of K-12 Advocacy at UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. There, she focuses on national education initiatives and community engagement efforts to ensure more African-American students are college and career ready. Ms. Shelton also spent several years working in Washington, DC’s Executive Office of the Mayor and in several District agencies. She spearheaded efforts to improve online access to city services and greater efficiency between departments. A life-long resident of Washington, DC, Ms. Shelton also worked in the private sector, providing project and crisis management, and public relations counsel. Ms. Shelton has a bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi.
In my day-to-day work, accountability and doing what’s in the best interest of children are a common theme of what communities expect. As the newest member of the DC Public Charter School Board, I see this as an opportunity to continue to hold the public charter school sector accountable to those they serve through the oversight and authority outlined in the School Reform Act. Offering my perspective to DC PCSB, I intend to maintain the high bar of transparency, accountability, and innovation set by the members who have served before me and engage in collaborative efforts to see every sector of our education system improve for all children of the District.
Ms. Crusey began her career as a teacher through Teach for America, first in East Palo Alto, California, and later in Singapore. Following graduate school, she returned to her roots in education, establishing an advisory board for KIPP Chicago, then working for StudentsFirst, and later Democrats for Education Reform. In the Obama Administration, she served as an appointee in the US Department of Education, advising on P-12 education policy including teacher preparation, charter schools, Promise Neighborhoods, and literacy. Currently, Ms. Crusey is the founder and CEO of Allies for Educational Equity, a non-partisan, grassroots-funded Political Action Committee designed to unite the political voice of education reformers. Ms. Crusey holds a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College with a double major in government and history and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.
I am a Ward 1 resident. My child attends DC Bilingual Public Charter School. My family loves my children's public charter school because everyone involved with the school school brings a sense of love and joy to their work, and I see the effect on my kids when come home from school. I love that my kids are growing up in a diverse community that prepares them for the fulness of life.
I am a Ward 1 resident. My child attends Inspired Demonstration PCS. My family loves my child's public charter school because the teachers provide an engaging learnin environment where my children are excited to learn every day.
I am a Ward 5 resident. My children attend DC International School and Mundo Verde. My family loves my children's public charter school because of the schools' language immersion programs.
Andrea Jones is a parent at City Arts and Prep PCS.
I am a Ward 2 resident. My child attends Lee Montessori. My family loves my child's public charter school because we wanted to stay in DC and needed school choice. It allowed us to stay in the city instead of relocating to the suburbs.
I am a Ward 5 resident. My child attends DC International School. My family loves my child's public charter school because at DCI we have community of friends that allows our family to stay grounded to face change. The school staff and teahcers are wonderful at keeping the lines of communication open. Having our students supported, challenged and able to succeed as well as learn from failure without judgement is great.
I am a Ward 5 resident. My children attend Friendship Woodbridge, Washington Leadership Academy and Academy of Hope. My family loves my children's public charter school because of the staff's dedication to the scholar and to the family. The teacher treats all the children with respect and dignity, pushing them toward their academic goals. My oldest daughter loves Washington Leadership Academy because of the diversity and technology based academics. WLA stays in constant communication with families and scholars for consistent success. My son and I enjoy the adult high school Academy of Hope because he is able succeed at his pace and is not pressured to meet college requirements; but supported to meet his personal academic goals.
I am a Ward 5 resident. My child attends Two Rivers @Young PCS. My family loves my child's public charter school because it is mission oriented and values a strong school community. We love that Two Rivers is a diverse community-one that reflects the world we live in. We love the Two Rivers model which emphasizes interactive, hands-on project-based learning.
I am Ward 4 resident. My child attends Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS. My loves my child's public charter school because it is warm, encouraging environment that fosters a love of learning within a supportive and culturally vibrant community.
Rhea Vaflor is a parent at Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS (LAMB).
I am a Ward 5 resident. My child attends KIPP DC Heights Academy. My family loves my children's public charter school because the teachers and staff genuinely love the kids and go the extra mile everyday to ensure all Kipsters succeed!
Shaundra Lee is a parent at Roots PCS.
I'm a Ward 7 resident. My child attends Lee Montessori. My family loves my child's public charter school because charter schools give parents the option to pick what type of learning style they want their kids.
Parent at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS
I am a Ward 7 resident. My child attends Kingsman Academy PCS. My family loves my child's public charter school because their specialty programs have helped my kids improve in academics, behavior and skills. Kingsman cares about the parents and working for the successes of families, not just the student.
Parent at Washington Yu Ying