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Charter Board Partners

CEO and Co-Founder Carrie Chimerine Irvin has an extensive background in education policy and school reform, focusing on preK-12 education for economically disadvantaged students and communities. In 2013, Carrie delivered a TEDx talk about Charter Board Partners' innovative work to improve the quality of public education. In addition, CBP's work has been featured in Education Week, Education Next, The Washington Post, and NPR. Previously, Carrie was a consultant for Education Resource Strategies, a nonprofit that works with urban districts to help them redirect resources to improve student achievement; held a leadership position at New American Schools; held positions as a policy researcher and analyst at Policy Studies Associates, and taught eighth grade at the American School in Japan. Carrie is a Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellow, a prestigious and selective program designed to "strengthen and sustain diverse, high potential leaders who are reimagining public education.” She recently chaired the Board of Trustees of the National Child Research Center, a model preschool in Washington, DC, and currently serves on the Georgetown Child and Adolescent Mental Health Advisory Council. She holds a master's degree in education policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor's degree from Brown University. Carrie lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two daughters. Email: cirvin@charterboards.org

Chief Governance and Business Strategy Officer Kate Essex brings extensive experience in urban education to Charter Board Partners. She began her career in education as the first Education Director for Horton’s Kids, an award-winning nonprofit serving children and families in Anacostia. She then went on to gather a broad perspective on the DC Education landscape through positions at KIPP DC: KEY Academy, Sidwell Friends School, and Excel Academy Public Charter School. Much of Kate's work has focused on increasing access to great schools for all children regardless of zip code or family circumstance. Kate remains in touch with many of the students she has worked with over the years as they continue with their education by attending some of the nation’s best high schools and universities. These students have shaped her core belief that an excellent education has the power to transform a child’s future. Kate holds a master's in education and human development from The George Washington University and a bachelor's degree from Duke University. Email: kessex@charterboards.org

Chief Governance and Recruitment Strategy Officer Shereen Williams joins Charter Board Partners with a wealth of experience in public education. Most recently she was the Special Assistant to the Chancellor at DC Public Schools, the fastest improving urban school district in the nation. Before that, she served as the Senior Director of Community Partnerships and managed the district’s relationships with local and national partners. In that role, Shereen successfully cultivated relationships that resulted in tremendous resources for students and teachers across the district. She began her career 22 years ago as a Teach for America corps member, teaching elementary school in the South Bronx and Washington Heights sections of New York City. Shereen has also served on the board of the Emmanuel Community Economic Development Corporation in Brooklyn, NY as both secretary and board chair. Shereen holds a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Email: swilliams@charterboards.org

Talent Strategist Alicia Robinson is the founder of EdPlus Consulting, born in 2013 out of a desire to improve educational equity for marginalized communities. Alicia has fifteen years of hands-on experience in early childhood through 12 th  grade urban education as an instructor, non-profit manager, talent/human assets executive and career search/development coach. She is passionate about connecting people with opportunities to create equitable education for every student. EdPlus works with those invested in education as a social justice issue to bring the right people to the right work. EdPlus Consulting engages in individual coaching for talent professionals and career searchers, recruitment searches for schools and education organizations, and professional development for those leading talent management initiatives within high-impact organizations. Prior to beginning her consulting career, Alicia served as the Chief Talent Officer at DC Prep, a charter management organization for students in preschool-8 th  grade ranked for multiple consecutive years as the highest performing CMO in Washington. Alicia began her career in education in 2001 as a member of the inaugural class of DC Teaching Fellows, a program of TNTP, and went on to join the founding faculty of DC Prep. She also has experience leading education and recruitment initiatives at Washington Scholarship Fund and New Leaders for New Schools.

Chief Governance and Program Operations Officer Debbie comes to Charter Board Partners with over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. She most recently served as the DC Director for Education Pioneers where she led the successful growth and implementation of transformative Education Pioneers Fellowship programs in the DC Metro area with school districts, charter schools, and nonprofits. Debbie was Senior Vice President of Partner Engagement at America's Promise Alliance and prior to that role, she was a Program Manager at the CityBridge Foundation. Debbie holds a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Florida and a master’s from American University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on nonprofit development in Lithuania and was an active member of the board of Septima Clark Public Charter School in DC.

Operations Manager Emily comes to Charter Board Partners with ten years’ experience in the education and nonprofit sector. Emily has dedicated her career to empowering youth from low-income, at-risk backgrounds through education. She began her career as a Teach For America corps member in Washington, DC. She taught English at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School for five years. Following her teaching career, Emily transitioned into the nonprofit sector as a program manager for the Bainum Family Foundation. As a program manager, she worked diligently to provide quality programming and resources to students from low income backgrounds in Montgomery County Public Schools. She most recently served as the Older Youth Program Manager for Horton’s Kids where she oversaw all aspects of the 7th-12th grade academic program including tutoring, educational advocacy, and college and career readiness. Emily has a Master’s degree in Education from American University and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Communications Strategist David is a former award-winning journalist, with experience in state government and national education policy. His dual commitment to telling meaningful stories and promoting educational opportunity for all students coalesced in his work as a spokesman and communications director for the Maine Department of Education and then for Parcc Inc., a national education nonprofit. Until recently he served as Director of Communications and spokesman for the annual PARCC assessments during a time of intense national scrutiny. There he built relationships with national education media and launched an integrated campaign to demystify the PARCC test. He has been quoted extensively in Politico, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Education Week, on National Public Radio and in other national and state media. David was a member of the second cohort of Teach For America, teaching high school French in pre-Katrina New Orleans. His additional credits include co-founding the Maine Jewish Film Festival, and serving on the board of a small family foundation based in New York.

Chief Governance and Equity Officer Lucecita "Lucy͟" Castillo was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. After graduating from Seton Hall University, Lucy joined Teach for America and taught fourth and fifth grades in New York City. Lucy was active on several school and district committees while a teacher and pioneered an after school math camp and coached the cheerleading team. Lucy has held leadership positions with a number of exceptional institutions, including the New York State Education Department, Teach for America’s New York Office as its first Alumni Director, and CORO NY as a Director of Community Programs. In 2001, she earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College, where she was a National Urban Fellow. In 2004, Lucy shifted from the education reform sphere to one of New York City's most venerable instructions, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she served as a leader in the Office of Organizational Development and Training. After the MTA, Lucy then served as a Senior Development Associate in Program Development at City University of New York, School of Professional Studies. She managed a state managed Governance training program for NYS authorities and development entities. She also designed customized trainings for organizations like the United Federation of Teachers and the New York City Board of Elections. Lucy returned to her home state of NJ in 2011 to become the Executive Director of Citizen Schools, an out-of-school time program that partners with middle schools to improve the academic and social outcomes of students by extending the school day and supporting local citizens share their expertise with students. Most recently she was a staff member at Teach For America where her work focused on the organization's executives.

Board of Directors

Tom Vander Ark, Board Chair

Tom Vander Ark is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World and CEO/Partner and founder of GettingSmart.com. Mr. Vander Ark is also a partner in Learn Capital, a venture capital firm investing in learning content, platforms, and services with the goal of transforming educational engagement, access, and effectiveness. Previously he served as President of the X PRIZE Foundation and was the Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he implemented $3.5 billion in scholarship and grant programs. Mr. Vander Ark was the first business executive to serve as public school superintendent in Washington state. A prolific writer and speaker, Mr. Vander Ark has published thousands of articles and blogs. In December 2006, Newsweek readers voted him the most influential baby boomer in education. Mr. Vander Ark is a director of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and several other nonprofits. He received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his master's in business administration in finance from the University of Denver. He continues his education online.

Evan DeCorte

Evan DeCorte is Vice President at Columbia Capital. He joined Columbia Capital in 2011 and focuses on Broadband Infrastructure, Enterprise IT Services and Cyber Security investments. Prior to joining Columbia Capital, Mr. DeCorte was the Head of Marketing and led the Voice Business for Roshan TDCA, Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications provider. Before joining Roshan, Mr. DeCorte was as an analyst with JPMorgan Chase’s foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives group in New York. Mr. DeCorte received his bachelor's in science from The George Washington University, where he double majored in Economics and Political Science.

Naomi Rubin DeVeaux

Naomi Rubin DeVeaux guides the school performance and data teams at the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) and is responsible for the development and implementation of qualitative and quantitative tools to evaluate public charter schools. Naomi co-authored, with Mark Schneider of AIR and Steven Taylor at FOCUS, Choice Without Options (2011), a study of school reform in the District of Columbia. She has presented at the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools Annual Conventions on Common Core State Standards and Charter School Design and Development. Ms. DeVeaux has extensive experience working in urban education as both a teacher and literacy coach at Long Beach Unified School District (CA) and the Seed Public Charter School (DC). As Deputy Director at Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), she led the effort to develop and publish the first school quality dashboards that compared school performance across sector and across the city. Ms. DeVeaux earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College (OR) and a master's in curriculum and instruction from California State University, Long Beach. She holds a professional clear teaching credential (CA) and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.

Corey Ealons

Corey is a senior communications strategist with stints providing strategic counseling to The White House, Capitol Hill, political campaigns, commercial marketing, and the U.S. military. A leader on the VOX Global team, Corey directs client efforts in broad political, public policy, and reputational campaigns and crisis communications. Corey previously served as a communications director for The White House communications office working on some of the Administration’s most significant initiatives including the Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street reform. Corey has served in presidential and congressional campaigns across the country. He has served with the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard), the U.S. Army Ceremonial Honor Guard for the President of the United States, which conducts funerals and guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Corey is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a regular political commentator appearing on FOX News and National Public Radio.

Julie Green

Julie Anne Green, Executive Director at New Futures, has more than 20 years of nonprofit and leadership experience including development, marketing, public relations, and community engagement. Since joining E.L. Haynes in 2005, annual fund revenues have grown by more than 3,000%, and Green led the school's first-ever comprehensive campaign, raising more than $11 million for annual, capital, and special projects between 2009 and 2012. Previously, Green was Director of Development for George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, where she raised private funds and built community fundraising organizations for the College’s Center for the Arts, Theater of the First Amendment, and four academic arts departments. She has worked with Virginia Opera, The Washington Opera, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is an officer on the Board of Directors for Jubilee JumpStart, a non-profit early childhood center serving DC families. Green holds a B.A. in music from Mount Holyoke College.

Beth Hunkapiller

Beth Hunkapiller is board chair of Aspire Public Schools, a charter management organization with 38 schools and 15,000 students in California and Tennessee. She has served as board chair of Aspire for nine years. Beth began her involvement with charter schools as a founder of the San Carlos Charter Learning Center, the first charter school in California. A nineteen-year member of the San Carlos Elementary School District Board of Education, Beth served eleven years as a member of the California Advisory Commission on Charter Schools. As a founding member of the commission, she participated in early California charter policy development, authorization and oversight. Beth was chair of the charter commission from 2008 to 2010. Her career in education began as an eighth grade middle school reading and English teacher of underserved Latino, Vietnamese and Cambodian students in the Mountain View School District in El Monte, California. She is also formerly a middle school administrator and director of the California Department of Education Charter Schools Division. Beth graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and received her teaching credential from U.C. Irvine and masters from USC.

Carrie Irvin

CEO and Co-Founder Carrie Chimerine Irvin has spent her career focusing on preK-12 education for underserved students. In 2013, Carrie delivered a TEDx talk about CBP's innovative work to improve the quality of public schools. Previously, Carrie worked for Education Resource Strategies, New American Schools, and Policy Studies Associates. Early in her career, she taught 8th grade at the American School in Japan. Carrie is a Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellow, a selective program for leaders who are “reimagining public education.” She chaired the board of the National Child Research Center, and currently serves on the Georgetown Child and Adolescent Mental Health Advisory Council. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School. Carrie lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two daughters.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones is Strayer University’s 15th president. He joined the university in 2012 as general counsel. Previously, he co-founded and was president of Latimer Education, which partnered with an historically black college to provide online postsecondary education solutions to African American working adults. He was General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, in the administration of President George W. Bush, and was an attorney with Curiale Dellaverson Hirschfeld Kelly and Kraemer. He has served California Governor Pete Wilson and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and as President of the Center for New Black Leadership.He currently chairs the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and serves on the boards of directors of two DC public charter schools, College Loan Corporation and the Washington Ballet. He was previously chair of the DC Public Charter School Board. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the UCLA School of Law.

Nicholas Luongo

Nick Luongo is a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. Mr. Luongo focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters. He has developed particular experience in structuring and negotiating leveraged buyouts, acquisitions and dispositions of corporate divisions and equity investment transactions. In 2013, Mr. Luongo was honored as a winner of The M&A Advisor's "40 Under 40" M&A Advisor Recognition Award. He received his juris doctorate from Boston University School of Law and his bachelor's degree from Yale University.

Maura Marino

Maura Marino is the Chief Executive Officer of Education Forward DC. Maura previously served as the Managing Partner of the DC Schools Fund at NewSchools Venture Fund. Prior to joining NewSchools, Ms. Marino was Program Director and Lead Teacher at East Palo Alto High School, a charter school in Northern California. As Program Director, she coordinated student support services and managed external relations in addition to teaching humanities. Ms. Marino served on the steering committee for the Stanford Schools Corporation and was a member of the Stanford School of Education’s Performance Assessment Collaborative. During graduate school, Ms. Marino worked on the Network Growth Team at the KIPP Foundation, implementing their “smart growth” strategy. Ms. Marino earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Stanford University, a master's degree in teaching from Teachers’ College, and a master's in business administration from Harvard University.

Frances Messano

Frances Messano is Chief of Staff and Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where she co-leads the diversity strategy and investment work, ensures strong organizational culture, designs the annual Summit conference, manages the relationship with the board, and leads strategic initiatives to support NewSchools’ success. Most recently, Frances served as Vice President of Strategy on Teach for America’s Strategy, Innovation and Organization Development Team. Before that, Frances was an Associate Partner at Monitor Institute, the social impact practice within Monitor Deloitte’s strategy consulting arm, where she focused her practice on helping education organizations scale their impact through strategy development, organizational design, leadership development, and program design. Additional experiences include working at Morgan Stanley for four years in equity sales and structuring. Frances has an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Harvard College. Frances is a first-generation college graduate and an alum of Prep for Prep, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, organizations that she credits with helping her gain access to educational and professional opportunity.

Lisa Palmer

A Duke University graduate, Lisa Palmer has worked in a variety of fields all with a goal of generating revenue and providing value to stakeholders. She began her career as a Financial Analyst at Lehman Brothers in the Media and Telecommunications Group. Upon completion of the Analyst program, she transitioned to the media industry where she worked for three independent film studios as well as a television network in the areas of sales and marketing. After working with nonprofit clients at a sponsorship marketing agency, she moved to the nonprofit world where she until recently served as the Director of Major Partnerships at the national nonprofit KaBOOM! Since 2006, Ms. Palmer has closed deals with over 70 corporate partners and has served as a senior member of a team that has raised approximately $8oM which has funded, among other programs at KaBOOM!, the creation of over 1,000 playgrounds serving more than three million kids over the lifetime of the playgrounds.

Michael Pickrum

Michael Pickrum is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), and the pre-eminent entertainment brand serving African Americans and consumers of Black culture globally. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Pickrum is responsible for managing the financial operations for BET Networks and plays a strategic role in the overall management of the company. Prior to becoming Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Pickrum was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Interactive, LLC, since 2003. He was responsible for the development and refinement of BET.com’s successful business model, driving the site’s growth and accelerating revenue. He also facilitated the 2006 purchase of BET.com from the site’s original non-BET investment group. Under Mr. Pickrum’s leadership, BET.com has become a leading online destination for African American content. Mr. Pickrum first joined BET Interactive in September 1999 as Vice President of Business Development for BET.com, where he expanded the site’s business plan and developed news concepts for market analysis and competitive analysis. Prior to that, he served as a telecommunications and Internet consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. A native of Cincinnati, Mr. Pickrum holds a master's in business administration in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a master’s of science degree in engineering-economic systems and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Our Supporters

Charter Board Partners is grateful to our generous supporters for their belief in our mission and for making our work possible.

Lead Investors

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy and productive lives. Under its U.S. program, the Foundation focuses on ensuring that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life. In alignment with its "College-Ready Education" U.S. program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given Charter Board Partners a grant to strengthen governance within the charter school sector, including support to expand our proven governance model to Washington state and to build out an online resource center of best governance practices, tools, and case studies.

NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools is a national venture philanthropy firm that raises philanthropic capital from both individual and institutional investors, and then uses those funds to support education entrepreneurs who are transforming public education. NewSchools is committed to transforming public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children, especially those in underserved communities, have the opportunity to succeed. The firm initially invested in Charter Board Partners through its DC Schools Fund to allow us to launch operations in the fall of 2010. One year later, NewSchools renewed its investment with a sizable grant, making Charter Board Partners one of four key DC investments to improve academic achievement in charter schools.

The Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation gave Charter Board Partners a grant to implement core parts of our model. Driven by the urgent need to dramatically raise student achievement, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, the Foundation has invested more than $1 billion to date to initiatives that expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education. Empowering parents to choose quality schools, regardless of type - traditional public, private, or public charter school - will help spur the bold transformation of our national K-12 system of public education. Washington, DC is one of the Foundation's key markets and Charter Board Partners is a part of their investment in stronger charter schools.

Corporate Partners

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a full-service international law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys in 31 offices around the world. The founders of Latham & Watkins instilled an ethic of hard work, commitment, and quality that flourishes today and has nurtured the firm's dramatic growth into one of the world's premier business law firms. They have built internationally recognized practices in a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate, and regulatory areas.

Foundations

Clark Charitable Foundation

Harold M. & Adeline S. Morrison Foundation

Weatherspoon Charitable Foundation