Team

Our schools and students are supported by a group of dedicated team members at KIPP DC’s headquarters. This diverse and talented team brings skills and experiences to KIPP DC that help us provide the highest quality education to KIPPsters.

  • Executive Leadership

    • Susan Schaeffler,

      Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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      In 2001, Ms. Schaeffler founded KEY Academy, D.C.’s first KIPP school, after being selected as one of three inaugural KIPP Fisher Fellows, a highly competitive program endowed to train future KIPP leaders. After founding and leading KEY Academy, Schaeffler became KIPP DC’s chief executive in 2005. Under her guidance and strategic vision, KIPP DC has grown from one school in 2001 to sixteen schools currently serving over 5,200 students with plans to serve over 6,000 students. As CEO, Ms. Schaeffler oversees all school leadership and academic programming, and plays a direct role in supervising the performance of students, staff, and faculty at KIPP DC’s high-performing, college-preparatory schools. Under Ms. Schaeffler, KIPP DC has received numerous honors including the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School award and the National Title One Distinguished School award. Prior to founding KIPP DC, Susan Schaeffler spent nine years in the classroom, first as a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore, Maryland, where she earned such honors as Teacher of the Year. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Schaeffler spent a year in rural Ethiopia working with the International Foundation of Education and Self-Help to train 180 new teachers at the Teacher Training Institute and two summers training and evaluating new Teach for America teachers. Ms. Schaeffler brought her extensive teaching and teacher training experience to KIPP DC, rooting the network’s success in strong teacher performance and making KIPP DC the highest performing system of charter schools in the district. Ms. Schaeffler’s many honors include being named one of EnVest’s 2007 “40 under 40” and the 2008 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. She currently serves on the KIPP Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Schaeffler earned a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and an MA in Instructional Systems Design from the University of Maryland.

    • Allison Fansler,

      President & Chief Operating Officer

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      Allison Fansler joined KIPP DC in 2006 and has since served as KIPP DC’s President and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Ms. Fansler manages all business operations for KIPP DC, a network of 16 high-performing schools that serve students in Washington, D.C.’s educationally underserved communities. Ms. Fansler oversees all financial management, talent management, external affairs, real estate development, fundraising, human resources, and performance management strategies. During her tenure at KIPP DC, Ms. Fansler has led the strategic planning for KIPP DC’s expansion efforts from 575 students to over 6,000 students and developed the business plan for network growth, including expansion to early childhood, elementary, and high schools.Under Ms. Fansler’s leadership, KIPP DC has raised over $55 million to date in private and public fundraising, secured more than $100 million of financing, and received its first credit rating of BBB+ from Standard and Poors, making KIPP DC one of five charter schools to receive such a rating and the first to do so on an initial rating.From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Fansler successfully completed the Broad Residency, a nationwide education leadership program. In 2013, Ms. Fansler was selected for the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and joined the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She currently serves on the Federal City Council.

      Prior to joining KIPP DC, Ms. Fansler spent three years at the KIPP Foundation in San Francisco. Before joining the KIPP team, Ms. Fansler worked at the United States Department of Treasury as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. Ms. Fansler received a BA in Spanish from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

  • Academic Leadership Team

    • Susan Toth,

      Chief Academic Officer

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      Susan Toth joined KIPP DC in July 2012 as the director of secondary academics and currently serves as our chief academic officer. Susan guides our early childhood schools, elementary schools, and high school as they create the powerful, joyful learning experiences that put our incredible students on the path to and through college and career. Susan comes to D.C. from Seattle, Washington. She obtained her bachelor of arts from the University of Washington, master of arts from Seattle University, and principal certification from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Susan worked for 16 years as a teacher and school leader in Seattle Public Schools. In her free time, Susan enjoys exploring the D.C. area, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and inventing new recipes.

    • Melissa Kim,

      Chief Academic Officer

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      Melissa Kim joined KIPP DC in September 2015 as a chief academic officer. In this role, Melissa works closely with our elementary schools and middle schools so they can continue creating the powerful, joyful learning experiences that put KIPPsters on the path to and through college and career. Melissa grew up in Yardley, Pennsylvania and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Colby College, a master of arts from Trinity College, and a doctor of education from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining KIPP DC Melissa worked as a partner at NewSchools Venture Fund and the principal of Alice Deal Middle School. When Melissa isn’t working, she can be found running around with her  husband and two sons.

    • David Ayala,

      Head of Schools - Middle Schools

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       David Ayala joined KIPP DC in 2004 as a teacher at KEY Academy and currently serves as head of secondary schools. In this role he works closely with middle school leaders, advising them in areas such as curriculum implementation and instructional planning. David lives in Mayo, Maryland and obtained a bachelor of science in business administration from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National Louis University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, David began his teaching career as a member of the Inner-City Teaching Corps in Chicago. While at KEY Academy, David was recognized with the Kinder Award for Excellence in Teaching by the KIPP Foundation and the KIPP SIX award. Outside of work, David enjoys spending quality time with his wife and children.

    • Bob Ettinger,

      Managing Director of STEM

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      Bob Ettinger joined KIPP DC in July 2015 as the managing director of STEM. In this role he leads and develops region-wide systems that support engaging and rigorous learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from preschool through high school. Bob is from Evanston, Illinois. He obtained a bachelor of science in geological sciences from Brown University, a master of education from the Boston Teacher Residency at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and doctor of education in leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Bob taught middle school science and math in Boston for four years and in Seattle for five years, earning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. After leaving Seattle, Bob led the redesign of school improvement processes as a member of the superintendent’s cabinet in the Cambridge Public Schools. While Bob isn’t working, he can be found searching for fossilized shark teeth with his two young sons or cooking the newest recipe for grilled pizza.

    • Kate Finley,

      Managing Director of Elementary Schools

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      Kate Finley joined KIPP DC in June 2007 as a fifth-grade teacher at WILL Academy. Kate later served as the principal of WILL Academy before joining the headquarters team, where she is currently the managing director of our elementary schools. In this role Katie supports school leaders in creating warm, joyful, and academically rigorous schools. Katie provides guidance to school leaders with instructional planning, data analysis, regional professional development, student behavior support, hiring and staffing and family outreach. Kate is a Baltimore, Maryland native. She received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in special education and reading from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Kate taught in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Outside of work Kate enjoys chasing the sunshine, spending time with her husband and two daughters, shopping online, and reading.

    • Stacie Kossoy,

      Managing Director of Early Childhood Schools

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      Stacie Kossoy joined KIPP DC in July 2007 as one of the founding Pre-Kindergarten teachers at KIPP DC’s LEAP Academy. Before taking on her current role as the managing director of early childhood schools, Stacie served for five years as the founding principal of KIPP DC’s Grow Academy. As managing director of early childhood, Stacie helps school leaders with curriculum implementation, instructional planning, data analysis, regional professional development, student behavior support, hiring and staffing, and family outreach. Stacie’s support ultimately allows school leaders create warm, joyful, and play-centered early childhood schools. Stacie is from Topeka, Kansas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in education leadership from National Louis University. Before joining the KIPP DC team, Stacie taught as a first and third-grade teacher in Camden, New Jersey. When Stacie isn’t working she can be found practicing yoga and working on her handstands.

    • Kimberly Neal,

      Head of Schools

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      Kimberly Neal joined KIPP DC in July 2015 as the managing director of secondary education and now serves as the head of schools for secondary schools. Kim works closely with secondary school leaders, coaching them on curriculum implementation, instructional planning, data analysis, regional professional development, student behavior support, hiring and staffing, and family outreach. Kim’s counseling helps ensure that our secondary schools provide a nurturing, engaging environment and a well-rounded, rigorous education. Kimberly is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. A first generation college student, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. Kimberly also holds a master’s degree in social work from the Washington University St. Louis and a master’s degree in education from Columbia University, Teacher’s College. Before joining KIPP DC Kim was a Teach For America corps member in St. Louis and served as the founding principal of Muchin College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. When Kimberly isn’t working, she can be found with family, traveling, or reading a good book.

    • Liz Striebel,

      Managing Director of Literacy & Humanities

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      Liz Striebel joined KIPP DC in July 2015 as the managing director of literacy and humanities. Liz provides support to school leaders as they implement joyful and rigorous curricula in grades K-12. Liz is a native of Floral Park, New York and obtained a bachelor of science in special education from New York University and a master of science in education from Fordham University. Liz previously worked as the managing director of ANet DC, providing coaching support to schools as they adopted data-driven instruction and the Common Core standards. She has over sixteen years of education experience as a teacher, curriculum author, instructional and leadership coach in D.C. and New York. While Liz isn’t working, she can be found reading, biking and spending time with her family and friends.

  • School Leaders

    • Allison Artis,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Arts & Technology Academy

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      Allison Artis joined KIPP DC in the summer of 2014 and is currently the principal of Arts & Technology Academy. She previously served as the dean of students and principal of Howard University Middle School. Ms. Artis received a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Howard University, a master of arts in early childhood special education from George Washington University, and has completed all coursework for a doctorate in educational administration with a concentration in special education law at Howard University.

    • John Barnhardt,

      School Leader / KIPP DC KEY Academy

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      John Barnhardt first joined KIPP DC in 2008 as a fifth and sixth-grade social studies teacher. Over the past several years, John has also taught ninth and tenth-grade English and served as vice principal at two KIPP DC schools: Key Academy and Promise Academy. Mr. Barnhardt returned to KEY Academy in 2017 to serve as school leader. Mr. Barnhardt obtained a bachelor of arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a master of arts in teaching for secondary education from American University.

    • Abe Clayman,

      School Leader / KIPP DC LEAP Academy

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      Abe Clayman was born in Washington, D.C. and returned to the city to teach after college. Mr. Clayman taught Pre-Kindergarten at LEAP Academy in 2007, the school’s founding year. Prior to becoming principal, Mr. Clayman taught Kindergarten and served as LEAPs vice principal. Mr. Clayman loves to read with and to students. Mr. Clayman lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.

    • Gillian Conner,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Valor Academy

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      Before founding Valor Academy, Gillian Conner served as the vice principal at KIPP DC’s high school. Ms. Conner taught eighth-grade math in New Orleans Public Schools, seventh-grade math at KIPP DC KEY Academy, and special education at KIPP DC AIM Academy.  Gillian holds a degree in finance, international business, and cultural anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MPA from Princeton University.

    • Michael Cordell,

      School Leader / KIPP DC The Learning Center

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      Michael Cordell is the founding school leader of The Learning Center. He previously served as a chief academic officer at KIPP DC headquarters. Mr. Cordell is deeply and personally inspired to work with students with disabilities. His mother spent years working as a Special Education teacher on the south side of Chicago and he is the parent of a child with special needs. Prior to joining KIPP DC in July 2012, Mr. Cordell was the chief academic officer for Friendship Public Charter Schools, overseeing eleven different schools. Prior to Friendship, Mr. Cordell was a founding teacher at Chicago International Charter School. Mr. Cordell also worked for High Jump at The Latin School, where he taught high-performing, low-income middle school students. Mr. Cordell received his bachelor of science from Washington University in St. Louis, earned a master’s degree from Marquette University and completed all coursework for a Doctorate in Education at George Washington University.

    • Lauren Ellis,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Grow Academy

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      Lauren Ellis joined KIPP DC in July 2009 and is currently the principal of Grow Academy. Ms. Ellis has also served as vice principal of Grow Academy, special education coordinator for Discover Academy, and taught pre-Kindergarten classes. Before joining KIPP DC, Ms. Ellis taught fourth-grade and worked both domestically and internationally with humanitarian aid and development programs. She completed her undergraduate degrees in elementary education, special education, and French from Salve Regina University. Ms. Ellis also obtained a graduate degree in education and human development from George Washington University.

    • Gaelan Gallagher,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Heights Academy

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      Gaelan Gallagher taught fifth and sixth grade reading at KIPP DC AIM Academy before joining the KIPP DC Heights Academy team in 2012. She served as vice principal of the school before becoming principal in 2014. Ms. Gallagher received her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University.

    • Erin Huseby,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Promise Academy

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      Erin Huseby joined KIPP DC’s Capital Teaching Residency program as the Manager of Professional Development and Certification in 2013. In January of 2014, Erin joined Promise Academy as a Vice Principal, where she worked primarily with 1st and 2nd grade before taking over as Principal in February of 2017. Before joining KIPP DC, Erin was a Leadership Resident at Success Academy in NYC, an Instructional Coach with Friendship Public Charter School and an elementary teacher in Washington DC, West Palm Beach, and San Diego. She got her teaching certificate in CA from the University of San Diego, where she also studied Organizational Leadership. She earned her Master’s from the University of Houston in School Administration and Supervision and her BA from the University of St. Thomas.

    • Jerry Jellig,

      School Leader / KIPP DC WILL Academy

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      Jerry Jellig is the principal of of WILL Academy. He previously taught middle school classes at KEY Academy and WILL Academy. Dr. J has over 20 years of experience in education, during which time he has taught high school English and history in the D.C. metro area and spent ten years as a principal and superintendent in New Jersey. Dr. J attended Providence College and did his graduate work at University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he still teaches. Dr. Jellig is married to Jule Jellig, a middle school math teacher and they have four young children and foster children. He also served in the US Army with the 82nd Airborne Division. Dr. J loves wellness, Shakespeare, and newspapers.

    • Mekia Love,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Lead Academy

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      Mekia Love is the founding school leader of KIPP DC Lead Academy. She has worked at KIPP DC since 2005. Prior to opening Lead Academy, she served as a vice principal at KIPP DC KEY Academy. Ms. Love has years of teaching experience in public schools and was awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s American Star of Teaching award in 2007 and The KIPP Excellence in Teaching award in 2008. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in educational leadership from National Louis University.

    • Andhra Lutz,

      School Leader / KIPP DC College Preparatory

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      Andhra Lutz graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1990 with a degree in history. After college, Andhra joined Teach For America and became one of the founding corps members. She taught fifth and sixth-grade for three years in rural North Carolina. She went on to earn a master’s degree in American History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After finishing her degree, Andhra returned to the classroom. In 1998, Andhra moved to Seattle, Washington, where she taught high school for three years and earned her administrative certificate at the University of Washington. She became an assistant principal in Seattle Public Schools. In 2004-05, Andhra completed the KIPP Fisher Fellowship. During her time as a Fisher Fellow, Andhra spent five wonderful weeks at KEY Academy where she learned a tremendous amount about how to put students on the path to and through college. She returned to Seattle to open a new KIPP school. Unfortunately, at the same time, the voters of Washington State passed a referendum banning charter schools. At that point, Andhra became the principal of Asa Mercer Middle School in Seattle Public Schools. During her six-year tenure, Mercer became one of the most successful schools in the district. Andhra has served as KIPP DC’s director of secondary academics, a chief academic officer, and now serves as KIPP DC College Preparatory’s school leader.

    • Caitlin Maxwell,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Northeast Academy

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      Caitlin Maxwell joined KIPP DC in July of 2009 as an eighth grade math teacher and is currently the school leader of Northeast Academy. Prior to becoming the school leader, Caitlin taught at AIM Academy for five years before moving to Northeast as a founding vice principal. Caitlin is a native of Chicago, IL and obtained bachelors degree from Saint Louis University. Prior to joining KIPP DC Caitlin began her career in education as an eighth grade math teacher in St. Louis Public Schools with Teach for America. While Caitlin isn’t working she can be found going on adventures with her dog, Lucyboo, and doing Crossfit.

    • Aliesha Maye,

      School Leader / KIPP DC AIM Academy

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      Aliesha Maye first joined KIPP DC in 2008 as a Spanish teacher at AIM Academy. Ms. Maye had previously taught Spanish in Washington, D.C. as a Teach For America corps member. Before taking on her current role as Principal of AIM Academy, Ms. Maye also taught fifth and sixth-grade math and served as the school’s vice principal. Ms. Maye graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor of arts in international studies and Spanish. When Ms. Maye is not at school she loves spending time with her husband–who is also a school leader in D.C.–and her puppy, Zora.

    • John Petersen,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Quest Academy

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      John Petersen is entering his fourth year of school leadership at KIPP as the successor principal at KIPP DC Quest Academy. He was the founding vice principal of Quest (2014) and joined KIPP DC as a vice principal at AIM Academy (2013). Prior to joining KIPP DC, Mr. Petersen worked as both a teacher and regional leader with DCPS. As a regional leader, Mr. Petersen supported and helped to open schools as a chancellor representative and as the director of school operations. A Teach For America alum, Mr. Petersen has also taught fourth through seventh-grade English language arts at two bilingual schools in Washington. Mr. Peterson received his bachelor of art in English from Yale University and an master of art in teaching in teaching English as a second language at American University.

    • Donny Tiengtum,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Spring Academy

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      Donny Tiengtum founded Connect Academy in 2013 after completing KIPP’s Fisher Fellowship and currently serves as the principal of Spring Academy. Mr. Tiengtum (Mr. T)  started his career at a non-profit called Greater DC Cares, holding several positions on the leadership team including director of programs and development director. Discovering that true social change begins with our youngest community members, Mr. T realized he needed to shift his career towards teaching. He then spent two years as a KIPP DC Teaching Fellow and three years teaching kindergarten at KIPP DC LEAP Academy. Mr. T received his Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, majoring in psychology with a minor in Spanish.

    • Amy Witherspoon,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Connect Academy

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      Amy Witherspoon first began her career with KIPP DC in 2010 as a Capital Teaching Resident at Discover Academy. As a resident, Ms. Witherspoon taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes and served as a grade level chair. She then joined Lead Academy where she was in charge of the first grade team. Most recently as assistant principal at Connect Academy, Ms. Witherspoon helped found the kindergarten team and oversaw the school’s student support team. She became principal of Connect Academy in 2017. Ms. Witherspoon grew up in the mountains of Maine and obtained a bachelor of arts in psychology from Middlebury College. Outside of school, Ms. Witherspoon enjoys cooking, eating, riding bikes, and spending time with her family and chocolate lab.

    • Sommer Wynn,

      School Leader / KIPP DC Discover Academy

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      Sommer Wynn is the principal of KIPP DC Discover Academy. Dr. Wynn first joined the Discover family in 2010 as a pre-Kindergarten lead teacher. Prior to joining KIPP DC, she spent two years teaching in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Teach For America corps member. Dr. Wynn received a bachelor of arts in sociology from Howard University, a master of arts in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware, and a doctor of education in education administration and policy from Howard University. Her dissertation explored how African American mothers from wards seven and eight in the District define preschool quality. In her free time, Dr. Wynn enjoys spending time with her family, exploring Washington, D.C., and taking her dog, Macho to various dog parks.

  • Student Support Services Team

    • Dana Lourie,

      Managing Director of Student Support

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    • Michael Beare,

      Director of Student Support

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      Michael joined KIPP DC in June 2011 as a Special Education teacher at KEY Academy and is currently the Director of Student Support. In this role he works with Campus Directors, Compliance Managers, and School Leaders to ensure that all students are being successful in school. Michael has called D.C. home for the last 10 years and obtained a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. from George Mason University in Special Education. A Teach For America alumni, Michael previously taught high school special education before transitioning to KIPP DC. When Michael isn’t working he can be found tailgating for the Dawgs every Saturday in the fall, pretending to be a Paleo home-chef, and hanging out with his wife and two young daughters at the National Zoo.
    • Melissa Wade,

      Social Work Manager

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      Melissa Wade joined KIPP DC in July 2014 as the dean of students for 9th and 10th grade at KIPP DC College Preparatory. She later moved on to become the director of student support at KIPP DC College Preparatory. Currently, she is the social work manager at KIPP DC. She supports and supervises a team of 27 social workers and school counselors serving students in grades PreK through 12th grade. She also helps develop the emerging Behavioral Health Program that includes partnerships with mental health agencies and training opportunities for social workers and counselors. Melissa is a native of the Washington, DC area and received her B.A. in english and a certificate in Afro-American studies from the University of Maryland College Park, a masters in social service administration from the University of Chicago, and a certificate of advanced practice in schools from Loyola University Chicago. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Melissa spent six years at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago as a founding social worker and later, Dean of Student Support at the Gary Comer College Prep campus. During her time in Chicago, she also developed programs for Upward Bound and served as the founding team member for two charter schools. Outside of school, Melissa is an avid volleyball player and coach, weekend chef, and summer traveler.
  • Data & Analytics Team

    • Edmund Han,

      Managing Director of Data & Analytics

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      Ed Han re-joined KIPP DC in August 2014 as the managing director of data and analytics. In addition to managing KIPP DC’s data and analytics, Ed also leads the student information teams. Ed originally joined KIPP DC in 2009 as the director of operations before leaving to pursue a graduate degree in science education at George Washington University. A native Philadelphian, Ed has lived in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and D.C. He obtained a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a law degree from New York University. Before joining KIPP DC, Ed spent several years teaching in the Boston and Philadelphia areas, practicing law in New York, and assisting D.C. Superintendent Deborah Gist at OSSE. When Ed isn’t working he can be found having tea parties with his daughter and wife.

    • Laura Aragon,

      Data Specialist

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      Laura Aragon joined KIPP DC in September 2016 as a data specialist. In this role, she helps elementary school leaders access and analyze their academic and behavior data so that they can make informed, data-driven decisions. Laura is a native of Bethesda, MD and obtained a bachelor of arts in psychology from the College of William and Mary. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Laura worked as a research associate conducting higher education research. When Laura isn’t working, she can be found practicing yoga, baking cookies, and volunteering as a Girls on the Run coach.
    • Keith Dykstra,

      Data Specialist

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      Keith Dykstra first joined KIPP DC in July 2012 as a learning specialist. He currently serves as a data specialist, building dashboards to help school leaders analyze trends in academic and behavior data, and track progress towards annual goals. Keith grew up in the Chicago, Illinois suburbs and obtained a bachelor of arts in political science from Trinity Christian College. Before joining KIPP DC, Keith spent several years working in the human rights sector on cases of forced labor slavery in India and refugee resettlement in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While Keith isn’t working, he can be found exploring ethnic grocery stores in search of rare ingredients for his next dinner party.

    • Melvin Freeman,

      Director of Data Strategy

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      Melvin Freeman joined KIPP DC in April 2017 as the director of data strategy. In this role he is responsible for establishing the organization-wide vision and structure for the collection, warehousing, and analyses of student and academic data. Melvin is a native of San Diego, California and obtained a bachelor of science in physics from Morehouse College and in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Melvin worked in D.C. alternative and adult schools, building database and analytics applications. Melvin enjoys spending quality time with his family in D.C.

    • Allison Kerbel,

      Lead Secondary Data Specialist

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      Allison joined KIPP DC in January 2016 as a data specialist and is currently lead secondary data specialist. In this role she helps teachers and school leaders set and track progress toward data-driven goals. Allison is a native of North Kingstown, RI. She obtained her bachelor of arts in English from Hamilton College and master of public policy from Brown University. Prior to joining KIPP DC Allison worked in assessment design and evaluation for states and school districts. While Allison isn’t working she can be found volunteering at the zoo in the Small Mammal House.
    • Cindy Legagneur,

      Director of Student Information Systems

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      Cindy Legagneur joined KIPP DC in August 2009 as a student data manager and is currently the director of student information systems. In this role she manages data quality, student and staff master schedules, and PowerSchool Gradebook. Cindy is from Boston, Massachusetts and earned a bachelor of science in statistics from George Washington University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Cindy worked as a research associate at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In her free time, Cindy enjoys staying active; she competes in Spartan Races, practices kickboxing, and teaches dance fitness classes.

    • Angie Martinez,

      Director of Data

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      Angie Martinez joined KIPP DC in August 2011 as a data specialist and is currently the director of data. As director, Angie leads a team of five data specialists who manage, analyze and present academic and behavioral data to schools so that they can make informed, data-driven decisions. Angie grew up in central Indiana and obtained a bachelor of arts in international relations from the College of William and Mary, and a master of arts in international education from American University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Angie taught ninth-grade math in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Teach For America corps member. When Angie isn’t working, she can be found spending quality time with her husband and son.

    • Katie Newmark,

      Senior Data Specialist

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      Katie Newmark joined KIPP DC in August 2015 as a data specialist and currently serves a senior data specialist. In this role, she helps teachers, social workers, and school leaders make sense of academic and behavioral data. Katie grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She obtained her bachelor of science in economics from Duke University and master of public policy from Georgetown University. Before joining KIPP DC, Katie taught seventh-grade math. When Katie isn’t working, she enjoys baking cookies, swimming, and reading young adult novels.

    • Jessica Peters,

      Associate Director of Personalized Learning

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      Jessica Peters began her career at KIPP DC in 2014 as an instructional technology coach. She is currently the associate director of personalized learning and guides schools’ use of instructional technology with students. Jessica is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Boston University and her master’s degree from the European Peace University. Before joining KIPP DC, Jessica taught high school math in Mississippi and middle school math in Connecticut. When Jessica is not working, she can be found wandering around nearby forests and mountain ranges or paddling the rivers of D.C.

    • Regina Pratscher,

      Application Specalist

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      Regina Pratscher joined KIPP DC in June 2017 as an application specialist. In this role she is responsible for middleware applications and system integrations. Regina is from Burgenland, Austria and obtained a bachelor of science in information technology from the University of Baltimore. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Regina worked at DNS assisting KIPP DC’s technology team. While Regina isn’t working, she can be found running and traveling.
    • Jessica Walker,

      Data Specialist

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      Jessica Walker joined KIPP DC in June 2016 as a compliance manager and is currently a data specialist. As a member of the data team, she manages all attendance analysis and reporting, works closely with chief academic officers to set and monitor goals, and builds interactive dashboards for the college transition team to track student contact history, matriculation, and persistence. Jessica is a native of Texas and Louisiana, but has called Washington, DC her home for nearly 8 years. She is currently working towards her second master’s degree in Education Policy from George Washington University. Prior to joining KIPP DC Jessica began her career as a teacher, working with students from PreK3 to 6th grade. While Jessica isn’t working, she can be found throwing clay on her pottery wheel, playing with her black lab, Penelope, and cooking traditional Louisiana foods.
    • Oliver Williams,

      Information Systems Manager

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      Oliver re-joined KIPP DC in June 2017 after a three-year sabbatical during which he wandered the outskirts of the Internet learning about APIs and Python at Schoolzilla. Previous to his first go-round, Oliver worked at the DC Public Charter School Board, and before that was a drummer in a rock band touring the country in search of the best polyrhythms. He enjoys the baseballs, terrible puns, and goofing around with his two sons.
  • Capital Teaching Residency Team

    • Rebecca Maltzman,

      Managing Director of the Capital Teaching Residency & Professional Development

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      Rebecca Maltzman joined KIPP DC in June 2015 as the managing director of the Capital Teaching Residency and professional development. As director of the Capital Teaching Residency, Rebecca helps KIPP DC develop a talent pipeline of powerful, educated, and prepared teachers. She also oversees KIPP DC’s other teacher professional development initiatives. A D.C. area native, Rebecca earned a bachelor of science from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was a Zuckerman Fellow, and a juris doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Rebecca served as the director of teacher development strategy at the District of Columbia Public Schools and as the managing director of academics at Scholar Academies. Rebecca began her career teaching second grade in Camden, New Jersey as a Teach For America corps member.

    • Susan Breipohl,

      Manager of Fellows in Special Education

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      Susan Breipohl joined KIPP DC in October 2012 as a member of the Student Support Services leadership team and is currently the manager of fellows in special education for the Capital Teaching Residency program. In this role she manages the program’s operations and works directly with teachers as a mentor and coach. Susan grew up in Huntsville, Alabama and moved to D.C. over 15 years ago. She obtained a bachelor of arts in early childhood education and teaching from Catholic University and a master of education from George Mason University. Susan worked as a classroom teacher for nine years before moving into the world of coaching and mentoring. In her free time, Susan enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.

    • Emily Ellis,

      Senior Manager of New Teacher Support

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      Emily Ellis began working at KIPP DC in July 2012 as a fifth-grade science teacher at KEY Academy. Emily currently serves as the senior manager of new teacher support for the Capital Teaching Residency, supporting new lead teachers and secondary residents. Emily is from San Francisco, California. She earned a bachelor of science in biology from University of California, Los Angeles, and a master of arts in teaching from American University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Emily taught seventh-grade science in Prince George’s County, Maryland as a 2010 Teach For America corps member. When Emily isn’t working, she can be found trying new restaurants in D.C. and admiring NASA’s Instagram account.

    • Grace Lyons,

      Capital Teaching Residency Associate

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      Grace Lyons joined KIPP DC in December 2016 as an associate for our Capital Teaching Residency. In this role,she helps the Capital Teaching Residency build a pipeline of talented, experienced teachers for our schools. Grace grew up in Mount Airy, Maryland and earned a bachelor’s degree in early elementary education from Virginia Commonwealth University. While in college, Grace also received a certification in community engagement and the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her community service in Virginia and  Honduras. Outside of work, Grace continues to enjoy volunteering in her community.

    • Whitney Turner,

      Manager of Professional Development

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      Whitney Turner joined KIPP DC in October 2017 as manager of professional development for the Capital Teaching Residency program. In this role she develops the scope and sequence, coursework, and assignments for the program’s resident teachers. A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, she obtained a bachelor of science in education degree from Xavier University and a masters in elementary education from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Whitney worked as a kindergarten teacher for KIPP St. Louis and Democracy Prep Charter Schools in New York City. She also taught 5th grade in Washington, D.C. When Whitney isn’t working she enjoys reading new books.
    • Amber Woodruff,

      Associate Director of the Capital Teaching Residency

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      Amber Woodruff began her career at KIPP DC in July 2014 as the manager of professional development and certification for the Capital Teaching Residency program. She now serves as the associate director of the Capital Teaching Residency, providing high-level, general oversight. Amber also runs the Teacher Leader Fellowship, training KIPP DC teachers how to facilitate professional development for adult learners. A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, Amber obtained a bachelor of arts from Spelman College and a master of education from George Mason University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Amber taught Kindergarten, first, and third-grade classes in D.C. When Amber isn’t working, she enjoys traveling with friends and family.

  • Operations & Finance Team

    • Dane Anderson,

      Vice President of Operations & Finance

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      Dane Anderson joined KIPP DC in 2015 as the vice president of operations and finance. in this role he leads financial planning, debt management and compliance, accounting, technology, and all headquarters and school-based operations. Dane is a native of Vancouver, Washington and obtained dual degrees in political science end economics from the University of North Carolina and a master of business and science from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Dane started his professional career teaching math in Zuni, New Mexico as a Teach For America corps member. More recently, Dane was a manager at the management consulting firm Bain & Company where he specialized in strategy, organizational effectiveness, and integration. When Dane isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing recreational soccer, and watching the Tar Heels and the Seahawks.

    • Kevin Mehm,

      Managing Director of Operations

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      Kevin Mehm joined KIPP DC in April 2015 as managing director of operations. In this role he oversees school, technology, and business operations. Kevin is from Herndon, Virginia and obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Kevin worked in TV sports production, traveling around the country and providing graphics and statistics for live sporting events. After graduate school he worked on brand management, product management, and product portfolio strategy for Lenovo. Kevin began working in education as a Broad Resident at Prince George’s County Public Schools where he was responsible for improving the business and operational practices of the district’s Division of Supporting Services. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

    • Justin Ellis,

      Director of Financial Planning & Analysis

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      Justin Ellis joined KIPP DC in January 2015 as an associate director of financial planning and is currently director of financial planning and analysis. In this role he leads KIPP DC’s efforts around financial planning, debt management, financial analysis, and investments. Justin originally hails from New Hope, Pennsylvania and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Elon University. Justin began his career working as an auditor for CohnReznick and Deloitte. After becoming a certified public accountant, Justin became the director of finance at the political research firm Potomac Research Group. Justin was excited to join KIPP so that he could combine his professional skill set with his passion for educational equity. When Justin isn’t crunching numbers he enjoys being outside and hunting for the best D.C. restaurants with his wife, Emily.

    • Joseph Hassine,

      Manager of Strategic Operations

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      Joseph Hassine joined KIPP DC in October 2015 as an executive associate. Now as the manager of strategic operations, Joseph manages strategic initiatives and special projects, supports the CEO and COO, and oversees a portfolio of events. Joseph is a California native and obtained a bachelor of arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Joseph worked for six non-profit, private, and political organizations as a Coro Fellow in public affairs. When Joseph isn’t working, he is often cooking, brunching, or going to the movies.

       

    • Tania Honig-Silbiger,

      Headquarters Business Manager

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      Tania Honig-Silbiger joined KIPP DC in July 2014 as business manager for our Douglass Campus and currently serves as headquarters business manager. In this role she provides central support across the KIPP DC network. Tania is a native of the Los Angeles, California area and obtained a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Massachusetts and an master’s degree in public administration from American University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Tania spent three years at the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation as a seasonal programs specialist, coordinating logistics for the agency’s seasonal programs.  While Tania isn’t working, she can be found outdoors with her Boston Terrier pup, Theo.

    • Langley Lease,

      Executive Assistant

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      Langley Lease joined KIPP DC in August 2017 as an Executive Assistant. In this role she supports both the CEO and COO, manages a portfolio of events and assists with special projects. Langley is a native of Raleigh, NC and obtained a degree in art history from Wake Forest University. Prior to joining KIPP DC Langley began her career working in advertising as an art producer, and later working for a children’s museum in Raleigh as an art educator. When Langley isn’t working she can be found trying new restaurants and making friends with every dog she meets.
    • Eric Lynch,

      Grants Associate

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      Eric Lynch joined KIPP DC in December 2015 as the grants associate. In this role, Eric makes sure that KIPP DC continues to use its federal and private grant funds effectively and appropriately. Eric grew up in Guilford, Connecticut and obtained his bachelor of arts in Japanese from Vassar College. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Eric worked fundraising administration at Save the Children and Whitby School. When Eric isn’t working, he can be found at a piloxing class or at an indoor bouldering gym in the D.C. area.

    • Donna MacAlester,

      Director of Shared Services

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      Donna WarddMacAlester joined KIPP DC in August 2017 as the Director of shared services. In this role she works with the operations team to coordinate projects and services across campuses for security, cleaning, and emergency preparedness. Donna is a native of Texas and obtained a bachelor of amarts from Tulane University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Donna began her career as a founding team member of a charter school network in New Orleans, Louisiana. While Donna isn’t working she can be found spending time exploring D.C. with her family.
    • Ronica Milledge,

      Headquarters Office Coordinator

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      Ronica Milledge joined KIPP DC in July 2017 as a headquarters office coordinator. In this role Ronica organizes, plans, and problem-solves to ensure the efficient operation of our headquarters office. Ronica is a native Washingtonian and obtained a bachelor of science in criminal justice with a concentration in administration from Strayer University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Ronica volunteered for the juvenile services department at Upper Marlboro Correctional Facility and worked for District of Columbia Public Schools as an attendance counselor at Eastern Senior High School.

    • Lorraine Ramos,

      Director of School Operations

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      Lorraine Ramos joined KIPP DC in October 2010. In her current role as the director of school operations, Lorraine oversees operations across KIPP DC schools and serves as an advisor on issues ranging from operational innovation to crisis management. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Lorraine spent over a decade with Disney, first as a Regional Site Controller overseeing ESPN Zone’s East Coast locations and later, as an Assistant General Manager of a $10m Disney entertainment complex. Lorraine has a BS in Accounting and is a voracious reader of leadership and change management books. She proudly hails from the Bronx, NY, and is a foodie, dancer, and mother of a beautiful daughter.

    • Dontae Rawlins,

      Accounting Associate

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      Dontae Rawlins joined KIPP DC in March 2016 as an accounting associate. In this role he helps manage KIPP DC’s finances, making sure that the lights stay on in our schools and headquarters office. Dontae grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bowie State University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Dontae spent nine years as a finance manager for Capital One. When Dontae isn’t working, he enjoys critiquing restaurants across the United States for his food blog, Savory Travels.

    • Nate Schwartz,

      Director of Business Operations

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      Nate Schwartz began his career at KIPP DC in June 2014 as a senior business manager and is currently the director of business operations. In this role he focuses on creating systems and processes that promote efficiencies, cost savings, and operational sustainability. Nate is a native of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. He obtained a bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of business administration from Georgetown University. Prior to joining KIPP DC Nate served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and taught middle school Spanish at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. When Nate isn’t working, he’s often being climbed all over by his son, Ryan or walked by his oversized labradoodle, Hank.

    • Kyle Stewart,

      Senior Manager of Financial Planning

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      Kyle Stewart joined KIPP DC in September 2012 as an accounting associate and is currently the senior manager of financial planning. As senior manager Kyle provides financial analysis for all KIPP DC schools, departments, and construction projects while also assisting with the budget planning process. Kyle is from Seattle, Washington. He earned a bachelor of arts in accountancy from the University of San Diego, and a master of arts in education from the University of Missouri–St.Louis. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Kyle taught middle school math for three years as part of the Teach For America program. When Kyle isn’t working, he can be found spinning records as a DJ or caring for his cat, Muggsy Bogues.

    • Denocencia Wade,

      Business Manager of Facilities

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      Denocencia “Deno” Wade joined KIPP DC in September 2014 as the Smilow Campus business manager and is currently the business manager of facilities. In this role she focuses on establishing KIPP DC facilities management as a model for all other public charter schools and works to help create best-in-class learning environments for our students. Deno is a native of Brooklyn, New York and Atlanta, Georgia. She obtained a bachelor of business administration in finance from The University of Georgia. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Deno began her career in corporate finance at Goldman Sachs focusing on monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reporting. While Deno isn’t working, she can be found cooking, traveling, and playing with her pup, Moka.

    • Dea Watkins,

      Controller

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      Dea Watkins, a native Washingtonian, joined KIPP DC in October 2015 from Ernst & Young LLP. She has a master’s in accounting from the University of North Carolina and is a certified public accountant. Dea has worked as a contractor with numerous accounting firms as well as within the federal government at the Federal Aviation Administration. Her technical career has focused on financial accounting services and operational improvement engagements. Dea’s specific expertise include policy development and implementation, internal audit, financial reporting, internal control assessments, compliance, and quality assurance.

    • Sumner Weymouth,

      Associate Director of Finance

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      Sumner Weymouth joined KIPP DC in December 2013 as the associate director of finance. In this role he oversees external reporting, insurance, and payables. Sumner is from Anniston, Alabama and earned a bachelor of arts in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a master of business administration from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Sumner was the director of finance and planning at the Aidan Montessori School in Washington, D.C. Outside of work Sumner volunteers as the president of the board of trustees at the Southern Opera Theatre Company, which combines professional opera, musical theater, and the culture of the deep south.

    • Kate Williams,

      Accounting Manager

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      Kate Williams joined KIPP DC in July 2015 as headquarters business manager and is currently accounting manager. As a manager she oversees all vendor payments and employee reimbursements. Kate is from Western New York and obtained a bachelor of science in mathematics from Elmira College and a master of business administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Kate worked as the assistant director of parent giving at Vassar College. When Kate isn’t working, she enjoys playing volleyball at the Lincoln Memorial sand courts, trying out new restaurants with her husband, or perusing the shelves of her neighborhood D.C. Public Library.

    • Leaton White,

      Technology Associate

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  • Talent Team

    • Steph Kapsis,

      Managing Director of Talent

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      Stephanie Kapsis joined KIPP DC in 2013 as a senior advisor and now serves as the managing director of talent In her role, she focuses on Human Capital and External Affairs support. Before joining KIPP DC, Stephanie helped lead Teach For America’s D.C. Regional office.  She held a variety of roles at Teach For America, including serving as a “teacher coach” and Managing Director of Program where she led a team that supported 200 elementary and early childhood teachers across Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County. She later served as Senior Managing Director where she led the D.C. Region’s external partnerships with administrators, teachers, and city officials, certification and compliance strategy, management of the regional board, as well as the region’s fundraising efforts and communications strategy. Prior to working on staff with Teach For America, Stephanie taught dual language first and second grade in New York City public schools.  Stephanie attended Princeton University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Politics and certificates in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She received a Master’s of Science in Teaching with a Bilingual Extension in Spanish Language from Pace University. She is originally from Northern Virginia, and now lives in Alexandria with her husband, Jim, and daughter Cora. Stephanie also serves as a member of the School Board for Alexandria City Public Schools.

    • Chanté Chambers,

      Senior Director of Recruitment

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      Chanté Chambers joined KIPP DC in August 2015 as director of recruitment and is currently senior director of recruitment. In this role Chanté leads all aspects of recruitment for our 16 schools, Learning Center, and headquarters staff. Chanté creates a vision for the recruitment team and facilitates its execution. Chanté is a D.C. area native and obtained her bachelor of arts in English from Spelman College. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Chanté worked as the first African American vice president of recruitment at Teach For America. As vice president Chanté oversaw both Teach For America’s partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and recruitment efforts and outcomes across half of the country. Chanté first began in education as a middle school English language arts teacher. When she isn’t working, Chanté can be found reading, traveling, brunching, dancing in the mirror, laughing with friends, and hanging out with her adorable nephew, King.

    • Katie Cheng,

      Senior Director of Talent Management

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      Katie Cheng joined KIPP in October 2015 as associate director of human resources and is currently the senior director of talent management. In this role, she works on initiatives to better attract, develop, and retain top talent. Katie is from New York City and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Katie also has a master’s degree in educational leadership from the Broad Center, a master of business administration from the Yale School of Management, and a master of studies from Pace University. Katie began her career teaching middle school science in New York City as a Teach For America corps member. After teaching, Katie spent eight years developing a generalist business skill set focused on finance, consulting, project management, and strategy with experiences at JPMorgan, Barclays, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Achievement Prep. When Katie isn’t working she can be found exploring D.C.’s restaurants, neighborhoods, sights, and hiking trails.

    • Caitlin Baker,

      Senior Human Resources Associate

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    • Kaisha Baker,

      Recruitment Manager

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      Kaisha Baker joined KIPP DC in November 2015 as a recruitment associate and is currently a recruitment manager. In this role she manages the hiring of lead and assistant teachers for our early childhood schools. Kaisha grew up in Freehold, New Jersey and obtained a bachelor of arts from the University of Maryland, College Park. Kaisha began her career teaching middle school reading in Houston, Texas as a Teach For America corps member. Following her experience as a teacher, Kaisha worked with Leadership for Educational Equity as a community organizer. When Kaisha isn’t working she enjoys playing soccer and enjoying days at the park with her two dogs.

    • Phoebe Beall,

      Recruitment Associate

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      Phoebe Beall joined KIPP DC in September 2016 as a recruitment associate. Phoebe builds cultivation efforts, strengthens strategic partnerships, ultimately generating a strong talent pipeline for KIPP DC. Phoebe is from Columbus, Ohio and obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego and her master of arts in education from Johns Hopkins University. Phoebe began her career as a third and fifth-grade literacy teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. When Phoebe isn’t working she enjoys running, shopping at Trader Joe’s, and getting outside as much as possible.

    • Allison Cook,

      Recruitment Manager

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      Allison joined KIPP DC in March 2018 as an elementary Recruitment Manager. In this role, she ensures that scholars throughout KIPP DC’s elementary schools have incredibly strong and committed teachers each day. Allison grew up in Valley, Alabama, and graduated with a degree in public relations from The University of Alabama in 2010. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Allison spent three years as a high school science teacher with Teach for America-Alabama before moving to Jacksonville, FL, to coach and support City Year AmeriCorps Members as they mentored high school freshmen. She joined the KIPP Jacksonville talent team in 2016 to recruit new K-8 educators and to support teachers and staff through human resources. In her spare time, you’ll find Allison traveling to new places, sweating it out in hot yoga, listening to podcasts, or cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    • Christine Kim,

      Human Resources Manager

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      Christine Kim joined KIPP DC in December 2013 as a human resources associate and is currently the human resources manager. In this role she helps coordinate KIPP DC’s administrative functions. Christine grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and obtained her bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Temple University. Before joining KIPP DC, Christine worked at Ryder System, Inc. as a human resources coordinator.

    • Michelle Lee,

      Recruitment Manager–Capital Teaching Residency

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      Michelle Lee joined KIPP DC in August 2016 as a recruitment manager for the Capital Teaching Residency.  In this role she manages the Capital Teaching Residency recruitment and selection process for early childhood residents. Michelle is from northern New Jersey and obtained her bachelor of science from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Michelle began her career as an Indianapolis Teach For America corps member. After serving as a corps member, Michelle worked as a program manager for iMentor, a non-profit organization focused on providing college access to educationally underserved communities in New York City. Outside of work Michelle can be found mentoring students, lying outside with a good book, or experimenting in the kitchen.

    • Alexandra Muir,

      Human Resources Coordinator

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      Alexandra joined KIPP DC in October 2017 as HR Coordinator. In this role, she supports KIPP DC teachers and staff in answering and fulfilling any HR question or request they may have as quickly and smoothly as possible. Alexandra is a native of Alexandria, VA and obtained her bachelors of science in industrial/organizational psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Alexandra began her career in human resources with a financial planning company. While Alexandra isn’t working, she can be found spending time with friends and family or traveling as much as she can.
    • Katie Rakusin,

      Associate Directior of Recruitment

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      Katie Rakusin joined KIPP DC in July 2010 as a recruitment associate and is currently the associate director of recruitment. In this role, she manages recruitment and selection for our middle schools and high school. Katie is from Charlotte, North Carolina and obtained a bachelor of arts in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Katie began her career as a special education teacher. When Katie isn’t working she can be found reading, watching reality TV shows on Bravo, or spending time with her husband and friends.




       

    • Valarie Salas,

      Recruitment Manager

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      Valerie joined KIPP DC in August 2017 as a Special Education Recruitment Manager. In this role she is in charge of recruiting Special Education Teachers for KIPP DC, as well as any related service providers Student Support Services team members. Valerie is a native of Valencia, Venezuela and obtained her master’s degree in Special Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining KIPP DC Valerie worked at KIPP Austin and KIPP Houston in roles that supported special population programs. While Valerie isn’t working she can be found running short distances at slow paces, reading a good legal thriller book or spending time with her niece and nephew in Virginia.
    • Lauren Washington,

      Human Resources Associate

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      Lauren Washington joined KIPP DC in October 2016 and serves as a human resources associate. Lauren supports KIPP DC teachers and staff with any human resource needs they may have, ultimately helping make sure that our schools and offices run smoothly. Lauren grew up in Harford County, Maryland and earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice from Delaware State University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Lauren worked at Howard University on visa immigration and recruitment. In her free time, Lauren enjoys working on interior design and spending quality time with her family.

  • External Affairs Team

    • Tom Clark,

      Managing Director of Development & Communications

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      Tom Clark joined KIPP DC in September 2014 as the managing director of development. In this role he is responsible for leading KIPP DC’s fundraising efforts, marketing and communications strategy, and various other external affairs functions. Tom grew up all around the country but has called D.C. home for more than a decade. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Tom began his career teaching high school Spanish in Baltimore, Maryland. He then worked for Teach For America for several years on teacher recruitment and training, fundraising, marketing, and events. Tom can frequently be found chasing his dog, Toby at the dog park across the street from KIPP DC’s Shaw Campus.

    • Althea Holford,

      Managing Director of Real Estate & Community Relations

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      Althea Holford joined KIPP DC in August 2016 as the managing director of real estate and community relations. Althea comes to KIPP DC after having served three years at the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Office (DME). She spent nearly three years at the DME as a Senior Policy Advisor. There she supervised the school facility portfolio for the District and the Master Facilities Plan. Prior to the joining the DME, she spent 6 years at the Department of General Services where she oversaw the Right of First Offer process for charter school reuse of excess District schools. Althea has long been a supporter of KIPP DC and was an advocate for many of the current KIPP DC campuses. Althea attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the George Washington University Law School. She is also a Certified Public Manager and a Six Sigma Greenbelt. Althea is a native New Yorker and an avid Giants fan.

    • Brandon Best,

      Director of Engagement

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    • Dorian Ezzard,

      Events Manager

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      Dorian joined KIPP DC in January 2018 as the events manager. In this role, she is responsible for communicating KIPP DC’s story and creating brand champions through well-run, intentional event executions and strategy. Dorian is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from the University of Georgia. She began her career as an Assistant Account Executive at MKTG leading brand activations at major sports and lifestyle events across the country. Most recently, she served as the Director of Member Events and Partnerships at a private city club in Atlanta. When Dorian isn’t working, she can be found hitting burpees at the gym, trying a new brunch spot or tuned in to a new podcast series.

    • Clare Gallagher,

      Senior Manager of Foundation Relations

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      Clare Gallagher joined KIPP DC in March 2013 and serves as the senior manager of foundation relations. In this role she oversees KIPP DC’s portfolio of foundation grants as well as competitive public grants. Clare is a native of Dublin, New Hampshire and graduated from Georgetown University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, she worked as the senior portfolio manager at the Grassroots Business Fund, an international impact investment fund. When Clare isn’t working, she loves listening to NPR, reading, and baking.

    • Kristin Jackson,

      Manager of Corporate & Community Partnerships

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    • Daphne Kiplinger,

      Creative Services Manager

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      Daphne joined KIPP DC in November 2017 as the Creative Services Manager. In this role, she leads the creation of visual materials through graphic design, videography, and photography, and stewards KIPP DC’s brand identity. Daphne is a native of Washington, DC and obtained a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Daphne worked at the architecture & design firm HOK, and on the communications team at Landon School. When Daphne isn’t working, she can be found singing in The Washington Chorus with her husband Dave, exploring DC by foot, and skating on the city’s various outdoor ice rinks.
    • Theresa Loth,

      Associate Director of Development & External Impact

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      Theresa Loth joined KIPP DC in June 2011 as a lead teacher at KIPP DC’s Douglass Campus, teaching elementary and middle school classes. Theresa currently serves as the associate director of development & External Impact connecting stakeholders with meaningful opportunities to become champions of KIPP DC. Theresa is from Chicago, Illinois and holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and justice and peace studies from Marquette University and a master of science in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania. Theresa began her career serving as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before some time working in non-profit development. When Theresa isn’t working, she can be found volunteering as a community organizer, participating in her book club, writing witty Yelp reviews, and hash running around D.C.

    • Adam Rupe,

      Director of Communications & Marketing

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      Adam Rupe joined KIPP DC in January 2017 as director of communications and marketing. In this role he oversees KIPP DC’s efforts to grow our brand and communicate to internal and external audiences. A native Ohioan, Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in elementary education from American University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Adam taught second grade at a charter school in Southeast D.C. with Teach For America and then worked on their recruitment and public affairs team for seven years. Outside of work, Adam spends his time running, hosting dinner parties, and binge watching the latest BBC series on Netflix.

    • Robert Spriggs,

      Communications & Marketing Associate

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      Robert Spriggs joined KIPP DC in June 2016 as a communications and marketing associate. In this role Robert oversees all digital media and supports KIPP DC’s marketing and communications strategy. Robert is a native of the D.C./Maryland area and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he also played NCAA football. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Robert has worked and made his life mission to positively impact educational outcomes for communities of color. He began his career at the United Negro College Fund working with the Gates Millennium Scholarship Fund, later moving to Leadership for Educational Equity and most recently Capital Partners for Education. When Robert isn’t working, he can be caught brunching with friends, dancing to his favorite Beyoncé song, or planning his next tropical vacation.

    • Nathan Woods,

      Community Relations Manager

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      Nathan Woods joined KIPP DC in July 2016 as a history teacher at KIPP DC College Preparatory and is currently the community relations manager. In this role Nathan is responsible for creating strong advocates of KIPP DC in our schools and in the community. He does this by engaging with school leaders, parents, community members, and local government officials. Nathan is from Southeast Washington, D.C. and obtained a bachelor of arts in political science and child and family policy from Syracuse University. Nathan’s relationship with KIPP DC began when he was a fifth-grade student at KIPP DC’s KEY Academy. Prior to joining KIPP DC  Nathan worked as a seventh and eighth-grade social studies teacher in San Antonio, Texas with Teach For America. When Nathan isn’t working he can be found watching reruns of Friday Night Lights and coaching his nephew to be the next Michael Jordan or Usain Bolt.

  • Legal & Accountability Team

    • Katie Cole,

      General Counsel

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      Katie Cole joined KIPP DC in April 2016 as general counsel. In this role Katie oversees KIPP DC’s legal and compliance teams, and assists with a broad range of issues including strategic decisions, transactions, human resources, education policy, and governance. Born and raised in Vienna, Virginia, Katie graduated from Yale University and began her career in education teaching U.S. history at the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. She subsequently attended the University of Virginia School of Law, clerked for a federal judge, and practiced labor and employment law, most recently at Hunton & Williams LLP. Outside of her job, Katie spends most of her time trying to keep up with her two kids and rooting for D.C. sports teams.

    • Abbie Gifford,

      Assistant General Counsel

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      Abigail Gifford joined KIPP DC in August 2013 as the assistant general counsel. Originally from Connecticut, Abbie is a three time graduate from the University of Connecticut. She completed her B.A. from the University of Connecticut Honors Program in Developmental Psychology, a JD with a focus of family law and policy and a MPA with focus in Non-Profit Management and Public Financial Management. Abbie moved to Washington, D.C. several years ago to join a small administrative team to found and grow the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School. Working as Project Manager for the first two years of Inspired Teaching School’s existence, Abigail has gained broad experiences in school administration. She is very passionate and dedicated to improving the well-being of all children by advocating and promoting strategic investments in public education.

    • Lauren Outlaw,

      Director of Policy

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      Lauren joined KIPP DC in 2016 as the director of policy. She hails from northern New Jersey. She attended Columbia University where she majored in Political Science and Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington where she received her juris doctorate. Lauren has always been passionate about child advocacy and education policy. To that end, during her final semester in law school, she participated in an externship at the Children’s Defense Fund’s D.C. office, which further solidified her desire to pursue a career in these fields. She returned to D.C. after law school to become the Policy and Advocacy Associate at FOCUS, and was there for about two years. After leaving FOCUS, she clerked at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on a domestic relations docket.

    • Kelli Whalen,

      Director of Accountability

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      Kelli Whalen joined KIPP DC in June 2012 as a school-based compliance manager and is currently the director of accountability. In this role she works to ensure our schools are meeting compliance standards at the local, state, and federal level. Her primary areas of focus are new and returning student enrollment and statewide high-stakes testing. Kelli is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and obtained her bachelor of arts in communications from American University. Prior to joining KIPP DC, Kelli began her career as a seventh-grade english teacher and Teach For America corps member in Prince George’s County, Maryland. While Kelli isn’t working, she can be found reading on her balcony or exploring the D.C. area.