OUR TEAM

 

National



Jonas S. Chartock, Chief Executive Officer

Jonas is widely known as a leader in the nation's school reform movement. He comes to Leading Educators from the Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York where he served as Executive Director of the nation's largest university based charter school authorizer. Previously, he served as the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charter School Policy Institute (CSPI) in Austin, Texas and as Executive Director of Teach For America in Houston, Texas. Jonas began his career as a teacher with Teach For America in the Compton Unified School District. He holds degrees from Cornell University, Chapman University, and Harvard University, and earned his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Chong-Hao Fu, Chief Program Officer

At Leading Educators, Chong-Hao oversees the curriculum development and the delivery of the Fellowship program and is responsible for the national program evaluation and assessment strategy. Part of that work includes cultivating and enlisting the support of a Curriculum Advisory Committee. He also collaborates with regional Executive Directors to evaluate program efficiency at individual sites. Before joining Leading Educators, Chong-Hao founded and led KIPP Sharpstown College Prep, a fine arts middle school in Houston, Texas. Prior to serving as a school leader, he was a teacher with the original KIPP Academy in Houston and with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta. Chong-Hao holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and a M.A. in Education Administration from National Louis University.

 

Phong Dinh, Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Phong joins Leading Educators following 15 years as a leader and advisor to government, nonprofit, and commercial organizations in the areas of financial and operational improvement, strategic planning, systems integration, performance management, and organizational change. He has held senior management positions with IBM Global Business Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and his prior consulting work covers a range of sectors including education, healthcare, social services, housing, research and development, homeland security, and emergency management. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University.

 

Nikki Diamantes, Vice President, Strategic Growth

Nikki joins Leading Educators from the Recovery School District in Louisiana, where she served as the Chief of Staff for failing school takeover and transformation outside of New Orleans. Previously, Nikki transitioned from business management consulting to education management through the Broad Residency in Urban Education, which places leaders from the private sector in education management positions. In her consulting career, Nikki worked as a manager with a global consulting firm, designing and executing large-scale solutions for the federal government, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission. Nikki began her career as a political appointee for Governor Michael O. Leavitt of Utah, where she worked as a policy and budget advisor. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.

 

Kelly McClure, Vice President, Fellowship

Kelly is charged with developing and refining the content of Leading Educators professional development and coaching sessions. She joined Leading Educators from KIPP New Orleans, where she served as the regional Director of Academics. Prior to this, she was on the founding team of a 6-12 service-learning charter school in Salem, Massachusetts, taught undergraduate and graduate courses in two Schools of Education, and was Co-Founder and Director of Boston University's America Reads Challenge. On the international front, Kelly served as the Training Director of a USAID rural development project and as a teacher-trainer with the Peace Corps in Rabat, Morocco. Kelly holds a B.A. in English Literature from Loyola University, New Orleans. She also received an Ed.M. in International Education Development and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration, Training and Policy Studies from Boston University.

 

Cordelia Tullous, Vice President, Talent and Human Capital

Cordelia joins Leading Educators from KIPP New Orleans Schools where she served as the Director of Human Resources. Cordelia began her career in education management as a Resident in the Broad Residency in Urban Education, a program that places professionals into management roles in carefully selected education organizations. Prior to the Residency, Cordelia clerked for an employment law firm in Houston, Texas assisting with Title VII, FLSA and other employment related legal matters. Before returning to law school, Cordelia worked as a Human Performance Manager for a global management consulting firm. In this role, she worked with Fortune 500 as well as federal and state government clients to better understand their organizations, resolve management issues, and develop comprehensive strategies to assist them in successfully managing change. Cordelia holds a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.

 

Ingrid Alvarado, Director of Development

Ingrid is responsible for developing national relationships and securing multi-year investments for the organization’s sustainability. Ingrid also serves as a fundraising coach to regional executive directors. Before joining Leading Educators, Ingrid had worked in development for over 10 years at Spring Hill College, Tulane University, and the Bayou District Foundation. Ingrid received her undergraduate B.A. degree (magna cum laude) and M.B.A. degree (cum laude) from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Originally from Belize, Ingrid now calls New Orleans home.

 

Matt Bradford, Director of Information Systems

At Leading Educators, Matt oversees the various information systems that we use across the network and is responsible for overseeing their maintenance, their use, their development, and user training. Matt comes to Leading Educators after having spent seven years working for KIPP Houston first as a teacher and then as the Director of Information Services. Matt holds a B.A. in English from Indiana University.

 

Liz Garcia, Director of Coaching

At Leading Educators, Liz will collaborate on program curriculum and work with coaches in all regions. She joins the team from the Coaching and Leadership Development Center, where she served as the lead for leadership coaching services and professional development for educational leaders across the state of Texas. Liz began her career in education teaching 2nd and 3rd grades and serving as a team lead and instructional coach for a K-4 campus in Central Texas. In 2006, she transitioned to a state-wide position supporting struggling schools. Soon after, Liz found her passion for coaching while attending coaching school and moved into the role of training and managing state-wide leadership coaching services while delivering a variety of professional development sessions focused on communication and relationship building. Liz has her Master’s in Educational Administration and is currently pursuing her PhD in School Improvement from Texas State University.

 

Steph Bates, Executive Assistant and Special Projects Manager

Steph joined Leading Educators in 2011 after a 1.5 year stint in Athens, Greece, developing writing tutoring and teaching programs for ESL students at Hellenic American University. She returned to the US determined to support broad-scale education reform. Steph previously served as the Editor and Executive Assistant at Humanities Texas, where she focused on board relations, fundraising, and communications. At Leading Educators, Steph directly supports the CEO and coordinates development projects and oversees social media and public relations. She received her BA in English and History from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Brock Bedard, National Office Administrator

Brock joins Leading Educators after several years of experience in various administrative and educational support roles in the state of Louisiana. Although an Oregon native, he graduated from Louisiana State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, and has spent the past three years in New Orleans. Brock enjoys working with children of all ages, having served as a teacher's assistant, substitute teacher, and child care provider at a local elementary school and early childhood center. His most rewarding educational experiences with students come from one-on-one Math and English tutoring sessions in his spare time.

 

Rana Boone, Senior National Program Manager

Rana joins Leading Educators as the Senior National Program Manager. Supporting the National Program Team, Rana will be responsible for program development, refinement and implementation across all regions. Rana has over 12 years combined experience as a teacher, teacher development coach, and school administrator. Her deep commitment to improving student learning led her to teach and coach others in California, Hawai’i, and Texas, working with organizations such as Teach For America, KIPP, and the Houston Independent School District. Rana is most proud of her recent classroom work helping high school students make college a reality through a financial literacy course she helped pilot in Houston. She is most excited about retaining quality teachers across the country by empowering them with new instructional and leadership skills through programming at Leading Educators. Rana pursued a B.A. in Political Science at Howard University and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration at the University of St. Thomas.

 

Maria Bourgeois, National Program Administrative Assistant

Maria joins Leading Educators with a variety of experience in education, administration, and event planning. She is from New Orleans but studied at Boston College to receive her Bachelor's degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies in 2005. This background led to a job at the Urban Ecology Institute, a non-profit organization that offers professional development to inner-city school teachers in the natural sciences in Boston. She served as an assistant in the Education Program and later as the office manager for the organization, helping to plan teacher events during the year and in the summer, handling logistics for workshops and meetings, and supporting the executive director. She moved back home in 2007 and began working for the City of Kenner Department of Parks and Recreation, where she served as a special projects coordinator, grant writer, and administrative assistant. She is excited to contribute to the important work that Leading Educators performs in New Orleans and across the country.

 

Sarah Bullock Morgan, Strategic Support Initiatives (SSI) Program Manager

Sarah joins Leading Educators from KIPP Houston Public Schools, where she served in several roles, including math and science teacher, grade level chair, and project manager. Prior to working at KIPP, Sarah taught in fifth grade math and science in Alief ISD with Teach For America’s 2007 Houston corps. Sarah earned her B.A. in Hispanic Language and Literature with a minor concentration in Chemistry from Boston University. As SSI Program Manager, Sarah will provide project management as Leading Educators expands SSI service offerings across the country.

 

Doug Moudy, Learning Management Systems Manager

Doug Moudy was born and raised in Kansas City, has lived and worked in New Orleans, and joins Leading Educators from his home in the Washington, D.C. area. As Learning Management Systems Manager, Doug will be leveraging learning management solutions to maximize the impact of teacher leaders and the Leading Educators team. He has served at-risk and underserved students for more than seven years. In New Orleans, Doug worked for ReNEW Schools to launch an alternative education program and participated in the Fall 2012 Cohort at 4.0 Schools to hack on big problems in education. He also brings more than eight years of experience in adult learning and development, with more than five of those specific to leadership development. Doug was the first learning management system (LMS) program manager for Express Scripts, Inc. where he was responsible for creating, customizing, and launching learning initiatives to thousands of learners. He holds a Master of Education degree in Special Education from the University of Florida.

 

Lauren Mulcahy, National Expansion Manager

Lauren's interest in education began at a young age as a student in New Orleans public schools. After receiving a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Smith College in 2004, Lauren returned to her hometown, eventually working as an English teacher in a local charter school. In 2008 she left the classroom to pursue a Master's degree in Educational Policy from Brown University. She comes to Leading Educators most recently from her post as Academic Director with Bard Early College in New Orleans, where she recruited and supported students and program faculty. Lauren currently serves as Leading Educators' Launch Manager, expanding the reach of the organization nationally.

 

Chad Rohrback, Video Production Manager

Chad brings to Leading Educators over fifteen years of experience in film and digital content production and post-production, having assisted on feature films and produced everything from Super Bowl commercials, large scale multi-media presentations, experiential and augmented reality exhibits, to many small labors of love for independent filmmakers. Most recently he was an executive producer at Hint in Kansas City, one of the largest production and post-facilities in the Midwest. His most rewarding projects have been working with organizations, like the United Way and Phoenix Family Housing, through producing videos for their outreach programs with at-risk children and families, as well as other organizations that help promote the arts in the Kansas City area. He holds a B.F.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago's Film and Video Program.

 

Simon Spadaro-Bliss, National Fellowship Program Coordinator

At Leading Educators, Simon is responsible for coordinating and supporting the day-to-day operations of the Fellowship program. He also supports operations for Leading Educators events across the country. Prior to joining Leading Educators, Simon served as an English teacher for two years in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Working among 6 schools, he quickly internalized the values and recognized the power of strong teacher leadership. In New Orleans, Simon has been involved with several non-profit organizations including Communities in Schools and the Preservation Resource Center. Simon is originally from New Hampshire and holds a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Justice Studies from the University of New Hampshire.

 

Terrance Taylor, Finance Manager

Having grown up in the Orleans Parish School System, Terrance has always had an interest in the impacts education has on students’ lives. With a dream of creating a high-quality and all-inclusive education system, Terrance has committed himself to behind-the-scenes work to support that reality. Terrance gained accounting experience in the for-profit sector before becoming the business manager at Sophie B. Wright Charter School. He brings four years of accounting and finance experience to the Leading Educators team. Terrance is in the process of completing his B.S. of Accounting degree from the University of New Orleans in December 2012.

 

Rebecca Taylor-Perryman, National Program Experience Manager

Rebecca joins the Leading Educators team as the National Program Experience Manager. In addition to her experience in data analysis, project management, and program administration, Rebecca brings her passion for educational innovation to Leading Educators. She has worked in a number of alternative educational contexts, including designing curriculum for an after-school program at an underserved elementary school in Oakland, CA and teaching a wide range of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) classes as an assistant instructor at the Lawrence Hall of Science children’s museum in Berkeley, CA. Most recently, Rebecca trained undergraduates in academic research at Tulane University. This background has cemented her commitment to ensuring all students have access to the high-quality education they deserve. She is eager to work proactively for educational justice at Leading Educators. Rebecca earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley. She moved to New Orleans for a research fellowship with the Anthropology Department at Tulane University and earned her M.A in Anthropology from Tulane in 2012.

 

Greater New Orleans Team



Julie Bourgeois, Executive Director

Julie joined Leading Educators in 2008 as its founding Program Manager, responsible for the development, planning and execution of Fellowship learning experiences and program operations. As Leading Educators embarked upon its national expansion in 2011, Julie became the National Expansion Project Manager. In this expanded role, she was responsible for planning and guiding the successful execution of the Fellowship in new regions, the development and day-to-day leadership of Leading Educators OnDemand service, and guiding regional teams to ensure successful recruitment and enrollment processes. From these founding roles, she now embarks upon her next career chapter as Executive Director for the Greater New Orleans region. Her diverse background includes teaching young students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, program development and management, and consultancy work implementing services for special needs students throughout Louisiana. Julie graduated with honors from Georgia State University earning a B.S. in Psychology and holds an M.S.W. from Tulane University.

 

Rebecca Halprin, Program Experience Manager

Rebecca Halprin, a native of Boston, joins Leading Educators as Program Experience Manager. Rebecca earned her degree in American Studies and Communications at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She brings to Leading Educators her experience in fundraising, communications, and project management from her work at a nonprofit focused on basic education in Boston. In addition to her professional experience, Rebecca has volunteered as a peer mentor as well as an art therapy mentor. As the new Program Experience Manager, Rebecca is responsible for supporting the planning of cohort trainings and events. She will also support recruitment efforts and alumni engagement.

 

Shanna Harper, Special Projects Coordinator

Shanna Harper, a former educator in New Orleans, joins Leading Educators as the Special Projects Coordinator. Shanna brings her passion for education and New Orleans to Leading Educators. As the Special Projects Coordinator, she is responsible for assisting with event logistics, managing communication, preparing data, and assisting the Executive Director. While at Tulane, Shanna started working in New Orleans schools as a tutor and a mentor for a US FIRST Robotics team. She continued her work in education as a Teach For America corps member as a science teacher in New Orleans at Edna Karr High School and New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School. Shanna graduated from Tulane University with a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.A. in German.

 

Sassy Wheeler, Leadership Coach

Sassy is a lifelong advocate of educational equity for all children. She currently serves as a faculty member at Louisiana State University in the College of Human Sciences and Education. During her tenure in the education field, she has done ample teaching, systems intervention, personnel preparation, scholarly writing, and conference presentations in several areas of education including school redesign, leadership modalities, differentiated instruction, inquiry based learning, backwards planning, mild/moderate disabilities, inclusive education, transition planning, at-risk students, and multicultural populations. Sassy served as an Instructional Coach with the Institute for Student Achievement, where she created and provided professional development sessions, templates for teacher planning, and methods to establish successful school-based partnerships. Her dedication to education is further solidified by her prior role as a Leadership Coach with Advance Innovative Education. In that position she helped to cultivate new school leaders and their understanding of various leaderships styles, initiatives, development practices and school operations. Sassy received her B.S. in Psychology from Southern University and A&M College, and both her M.Ed. in Special Education and her Ph.D. in Special Education, with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction and Personnel Preparation, from the University of New Orleans.

 

Sonya Carr, Leadership Coach Consultant

Sonya joins Leading Educators with over 30 years of combined experience as a teacher, educational consultant, and university professor. While working at Southeastern Louisiana University, she served as coordinator of a program designed to prepare preservice teachers to be teacher-leaders. In that role, she provided direct support and feedback in classrooms, trained mentors, and taught graduate-level courses. Sonya has over thirty professional education publications and has delivered numerous presentations at national and international conferences. She believes that teacher leadership is essential for educational reform and is excited to join Leading Educators in working to build the leadership capacity of high-quality teachers. She has lived in the New Orleans area for many years and taught in the New Orleans Public Schools for over 10 years. Sonya holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of New Orleans.

 

Ben Marcovitz, Coaching Consultant

Ben is an experienced educator and formerly a teacher and Assistant Director at New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School (SciHigh). He began his teaching career at St. Mary's Academy in New Orleans and has also taught in the Boston Public School System. Ben holds a B.A. from Yale University, a M.Ed. from Harvard University, and is never surprised to note the domination of Sci Academy's Yale advisories. Originally from Washington, D.C., Ben founded Sci Academy in New Orleans in 2007 and now is the CEO of Collegiate Academies.

 

Greater Kansas City Team



Tom Krebs, Executive Director

As a founding academic dean and teacher at a charter high school in Newark, NJ, Tom led colleagues and students to average ACT score growths of 30 national percentile points and the highest charter school Language Arts scores in NJ. Previously, he taught in two other high schools in Newark, NJ, and the Bronx, NY, while serving as a grade level chair, founding track and cross-country coach, and founder of a college access program. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis and Economics from Pomona College, a M.S. in teaching from Pace University, and a M.A. in Education Administration from National Louis University.

 

Elizabeth Bologna, Program Experience Manager

With three years of experience in the Office of Staff Development at the Urbana, IL school district, Elizabeth comes to Leading Educators with a strong belief in the effectiveness of teacher training. As the History Coordinator with the American History Teachers' Collaborative, Elizabeth designed content-rich workshops for over 100 Social Studies teachers. A graduate of Grinnell College, she is inspired by the social justice oriented mission of Leading Educators. As Program Experience Manager in Kansas City, she is excited to develop engaging events and training for Leading Educators teacher-leaders.

 

Carol Hansen, Leadership Coach

Dr. Carol Hansen comes to Leading Educators with a personal mission and passion for education. She has spent more than 25 years in public education as an elementary teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Michigan. Carol also served as the Director of The Leadership Institute at The Learning Exchange, an educational non-profit, in Kansas City, Missouri. As such, she implemented and trained school administrators in leadership, management, teacher observation focused on instruction, and school culture. Carol has degrees from Iowa State University, Webster University, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City. She received a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

 

Tara Tamburello, Leadership Coach

Tara began her career in urban education 10 years ago as a member of the first cohort of the Ewing Kaufman Kansas City Teaching Fellows, a program designed to educate teachers to work in hard to staff inner city schools in Kansas City Kansas and Missouri. In 2002, she received her Master's Degree in education from Pittsburg State University. She has committed herself to excellence in the classroom and improving student learning, which has resulted in improving test scores in urban schools. She was honored by the state of Kansas in 2010 for "Uncommon Accomplishment in Closing the Achievement Gap" for her 7th grade students' Math Scores. In addition in 2011 89% of her 6th grade students were proficient on the Kansas State Assessment. Tara has been a leader in the Kansas City School District by providing staff development around effective instruction with highly at risk and gang involved youth.

 

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Team



Jean Snell, Executive Director

Jean began her career in education as a high school English teacher who worked across a spectrum of schools, including an independent, college preparatory school as well as an urban charter school for low achieving students, wherein she focused on cultivating her students’ voices through writing and the study of literature. While anchored in the secondary classroom, Jean became passionate about the disparities in students’ schooling experiences; while immersed in graduate studies, she became convinced of the critical importance of cultivating high quality teachers and school leaders to ensure an excellent education for all students. Over the last twelve years, Jean has become an experienced and skilled faculty administrator of university-based educator preparation and professional development programs. Before coming to Leading Educators, she transitioned from the higher education to the nonprofit sector to serve as the Managing Director of Education at College Summit. Jean earned a Master’s degree and a Doctoral degree in education policy from the University of Maryland and the University of Washington.

 

Justin Stephens, Program Director

Justin believes that educational equity is the most pressing issue our nation faces, and is committed to closing the achievement gap by creating equitable educational opportunities for students in urban schools. He joins Leading Educators from Baltimore City Public Schools, where he served as a middle school language arts teacher, school-based staff developer, and central office administrator. His previous work has focused on literacy development in urban youth, and increasing teacher-capacity to deliver high-quality literacy instruction. Justin is most proud of the 90/90/90 status attained by his students during his last two years as a classroom teacher. Justin holds B.A. in Middle Grades Education from Northern Kentucky University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Minority and Urban Education School at the University of Maryland.

 

Mercii Thomas, Program Assistant

Mercii, a native of the Washington Metropolitan area, joins Leading Educators in hopes of providing much needed support to the teachers of our Nation's Capital. Shortly after graduating from college, she moved to California to pursue a career in community organizing with PICO California, where she developed a passion for nonprofit administration. She researched emerging issues and helped organize community leaders around healthcare, juvenile justice reform, and education. Following her return to the east coast, she furthered her interest in education reform by working in a local high-achieving charter school and serving as the head cheerleading coach in order to better connect with the youth she served. Mercii is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelors in Psychology, and is in the process of completing her Masters of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision at Howard University.

 

"To succeed, particularly in high-needs schools, principals must be able to rely on a cadre of strong teacher-leaders."
- Jonas Chartock, CEO