The NSSI team came together to reimagine distance learning in the pandemic.

Kevin Anderle

For the past 12 years Kevin has worked on the team at Achievement First, most recently in the role of regional superintendent of high schools.  Prior to his time at AF, he worked on staff at Teach for America and as a teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools system.  Inspired by the work that he led as a principal and regional superintendent at AF, Kevin recently founded Authentic Leaders – an organization devoted to coaching and training leaders to lead with vulnerability and from authentic care. 

Savita Bharadwa

Savita was chief of staff of Newark Public Schools, supporting the superintendent on the transition from state to local control, the annual budgeting process, management of the school board and other stakeholders, and strategic planning. She worked at the New York City Department of Education in the Bloomberg administration, creating city-wide plans for opening new charter and district schools, closing under-performing schools, and implementing strategic enrollment-based policy changes. Previously, Savita also worked at Deloitte Consulting and Deutsche Bank. Savita has an B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School. In 2018, she completed the Broad Residency in 2018, graduating with an M.A. in education leadership. 

Chris Cerf

Chris Cerf was superintendent of the Newark, New Jersey public schools, where he drove dramatic increases in reading and math performance. Graduation rates rose 20 percentage points and the city was recognized as having the most “beat the odds” schools in the country. Newark also developed one of the largest and most successful charter school sectors; Newark charter schools now serve 31 percent of the city’s students and 50 percent of its African American students. Previously, Chris was New Jersey’s commissioner of education and deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

Rochelle Dalton

Rochelle is a senior fellow with Bellwether Education Partners in the strategic advising practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether, Rochelle was the senior director of advising at the College Advising Corps, a national nonprofit that works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation, and other underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education degrees. She previously worked as the senior manager for college partnerships at the KIPP Foundation. Rochelle was a classroom teacher for eight years and began her career as a Teach for America Los Angeles corps member.  Rochelle holds a B.A. and MBA from Columbia University and an M.A. from Loyola Marymount University.

Aquan Grant

Aquan has served as a high school principal in Michigan for eight years, and heads leadership development for PrepNet, a network of high schools in the state. Recently, Aquan established Balance Power, a nonprofit leadership development organization focused on transforming educational communities. She began her fifteen-year career in education as a high school science teacher. Aquan earned her B.A. and M.Ed. in education from Wayne State University.

Monnikue Marie McCall

Monnikue Marie is program coordinator for the PhD and fellowship programs at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. She also founded McCall Business Solutions-Virtual Services, which provides professional guidance, career coaching, and administrative management support to solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and executives, including scientists and engineers, professors and administrators, and philanthropists. Monnikue Marie earned her B.A. from Berklee College of Music in music education.

Doug McCurry

Achievement First

Doug is the co-CEO and superintendent of Achievement First, which operates a network of 37 public charter schools educating 14,000 students in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT; Brooklyn, NY; and Providence, RI. Achievement First is consistently one of the highest performing charter networks in New York City. Prior to co-founding Achievement First in 2003, Doug was one of the founders of Amistad Academy and served as the school’s instructional leader for three years. Achievement First Amistad High is ranked the number one high school in Connecticut.

Katie Rouse

Katie is a senior associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners in the strategic advising practice area. She brings deep expertise in aligning human capital strategies and processes with organizational goals and in coaching and supporting new and emerging leaders in managing and developing their teams. She has led work on strategic planning, change management, decision rights, leadership support, and the operationalization of theories of action. Prior to Bellwether, Katie was the chief operating officer at DC Prep charter school and was a Broad resident at Chicago Public Schools. Katie earned her B.A. at Swarthmore, MBA at the Harvard Business School, and a M.Ed. at the Broad Center for Management of School Systems.

Ian Rowe

Public Prep

As CEO of Public Prep, Ian provides the strategic direction for the network of single-sex elementary and middle public schools that are determined to put their students on a predictive path to earn a degree from a four-year university. Ian was the Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked to increase college completion rates among low income young adults. Ian worked for MTV as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs. Prior to MTV, Ian worked as the director of strategy and performance measurement at The White House USA Freedom Corps office.

Betsey Schmidt

Mesh Ed Collective

Betsey is the founder and CEO of Mesh Ed, a design collective that builds digital portfolio tools and enrichment, wellness, and mindfulness programs for middle school, high school, and early college students. She led R&D teams for Whittle School & Studios, a global network of independent schools, where she designed and built in-school, after-school, summer, and online programs that foster project-based learning aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to Whittle, Betsey served as chief curriculum and innovation officer at Ascend Learning, where she led the design of an ambitious liberal arts curriculum that between 2015 and 2017 helped Ascend students close the achievement gap of race in New York State.

Saya Taniguchi

Saya is an independent education consultant who partners with nonprofits and school networks across the country to reimagine what schooling can look like for underserved populations. She provides strategic advising and project management, with a focus on systems development, process codification, and implementation planning. Recent clients include Transcend Education and the Philadelphia School Partnership. Saya began her career as a TFA corps member and most recently served as Director of Strategic Initiatives for a STEM charter network in Los Angeles. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.

Mary K. Wells

Bellwether Education Partners

Mary is a cofounder and managing partner at Bellwether Education Partners. She leads the strategic advising practice, which focuses on supporting education organizations with growth strategy, market assessment, business planning, organizational development, and implementation planning. Recent clients include Urban Teachers, The Achievement Network, Teach Plus, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Before joining the Texas High School Project, where she led STEM and new school investments, Mary was a manager and consultant with Bain & Company.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. He founded and led Ascend Learning, a charter school network in Brooklyn which offers a tuition-free liberal arts education in a warm and supportive setting to 5,500 students. Funded entirely at district spending levels, Ascend reversed the achievement gap on Common Core assessments. As special assistant for strategic planning for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, Steven helped shape the state’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that made Massachusetts schools the highest performing in the country and gave rise to the Boston charter school sector.

Lakisha Young

The Oakland REACH

Lakisha is cofounder and executive director of The Oakland REACH, a parent-run organization founded in 2016 with the mission to “make the powerless parent powerful.” The Oakland REACH has conducted over 5,000 1:1s with parents in Oakland’s most underserved communities to create a team of informed and organized parent advocates fighting for quality schools. Lakisha is a respected national voice on parent advocacy and regularly consults with cities across the country interested in exploring parent advocacy to demand better access to quality education for underserved students.

© The National Summer School Initiative 2020