Meet Our People
As Relay’s co-founder and president, Norman Atkins has led the institution since 2008. Atkins is also the founder, board chair and former CEO of Uncommon Schools, one of the nation’s highest-performing nonprofit charter management organizations, with 46 schools serving 14,000 students. In 1997, he co-founded and co-led North Star Academy Charter School of Newark, one of New Jersey’s very first and most celebrated charter schools. From 1989 to 1994, he was the co-executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City.
Recently, Atkins co-founded Zearn, a nonprofit, which is building the only comprehensive, standards-aligned, personalized K-8 math curriculum on the web for students and teachers to use for free. He has also joined the board of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. Atkins began his career as a freelance journalist, writing about education, poverty, politics, culture and social issues for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Parenting, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
Kelly Boucher Morris
As Relay’s chief student services officer, Kelly Boucher Morris manages the recruitment, selection, admissions, registrar, student financial services, student systems, and student support teams. She leads the development of services, systems, and policies critical to providing excellent customer service and support to students. She previously served as the Managing Director, National Operations at Relay, overseeing campus operations, guiding student recruitment, and supporting new campus launches. Before joining Relay, she worked as a manager in the Office of School Turnaround at District of Columbia Public Schools. She also served as a special education teacher at Beach Channel High School and Teachers Preparatory Academy, entering the profession through the New York City Teaching Fellows program.
Morris received her B.A. from Smith College, an M.S. in Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities from Brooklyn College, and an M.B.A. from Duke University.
Dr. Nichelle Bowes
Nichelle Bowes assumed the role of Dean of Relay Newark in 2018 after serving the campus as Assistant and Associate Dean since 2013. Nichelle is committed to continuing the campus' legacy of strong instructional preparation and dedication to social justice. As a proud immigrant and product of public education systems, she believes strongly in ensuring that practitioners in K - 12 classrooms are equipped with pedagogical practices that not only drive academic achievement, but values the individual student, honors the cultural practices of the students and families, and engages the communities in which students live.
Nichelle began her career as a Teach for America corps member in Paterson, NJ where she served for 5 years as a humanities teacher, before serving the students and families of East Orange, NJ as a 4th and 5th grade ELA teacher and literacy coach. Nichelle holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Binghamton University, an M.A. in Counselor Education from Kean University, a M.P.A. from Rutgers University, and an Ed. D. from Johns Hopkins University.
As Relay's Managing Director of Talent (Talent Development and Operations), Antoinette Chukudebelu is responsible for performance management, professional development, staff culture and home operations at Relay. Antoinette has a passion for learning and development and supports a culture of coaching and learning at Relay. She is an leader on the Diversity Steering Committee which works to foster a diverse and vibrant workplace at Relay.
Antoinette was a founding Assistant Professor of Practice whose love for the people at Relay brought her to the Talent team. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher in the New York City Department of Education. Antoinette earned her M.P.A with a concentration in Management from New York University, M.S.T in Early Childhood from Pace University and a B.A in History and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh. Antoinette also holds a coaching certificate from Columbia University.
As Senior Dean of Student Affairs, Shemanne Davis ensures all students have a meaningful, positive, and seamless experience at Relay. She believes that teachers, like their students, thrive when they have a strong sense of belonging in inclusive, equitable, and suppportive communities. She was the founding dean of Relay Philadelphia & Camden and previously taught and supported graduate students at the Relay Newark campus. She began her teaching career at Stephenson Middle School in DeKalb County School System, GA, where she was later selected as a Special Education liaison to support district teachers in the implementation of inclusion and co-teaching strategies.
Davis earned her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating cum laude. She previously advocated for appropriate placement and support services for students with special needs with the Georgia Legal Services Special Education Program. Davis was also an Education Pioneers fellow at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, where she conducted research that led the Secretary to endorse rigorous state standards. From 2011-14, Davis was the Dean of Students at Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School, where she developed and executed strategic goals and school policies before joining Relay.
Davis earned her B.A. in history and women's studies and her M.A.T. from Emory University.
As founding dean of Relay Delaware, Christine Eisenhauer oversees all aspects of teacher training in the First State. As a native Delawarean, she is thrilled to be leading Relay Delaware in her home state and providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers for their PK-12 students.
Most recently, Eisenhauer taught core pedagogy to graduate students at Relay’s Newark campus. Prior to joining Relay, Eisenhauer served as the Managing Director of Academics at KIPP Philadelphia Schools, where she worked with regional and school-based teams to create effective network-wide systems for curricular alignment. Before joining KIPP, Eisenhauer worked with schools in Wilmington, Delaware, and on staff with Teach For America as a program director in Newark, New Jersey. Eisenhauer began her teaching career as an 8th grade math and science teacher at Bishop Spaugh Community Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education, and her B.A., in political science and Asian studies, from Furman University in Greenville, SC.
As Relay’s chief financial officer, Piper Evans is responsible for all aspects of financial management and planning at Relay. Most recently, Evans consulted on economic development and sustainability at O-H Community Partners, where she worked with nonprofits, foundations and government agencies to create jobs, develop entrepreneurial communities, and reduce CO2 emissions. Previously, she worked at The Walt Disney Co., in operations planning and analysis, for three years. She also worked at a boutique investment bank, advising parties to corporate bankruptcies, for two years.
Evans earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and she has lived in North Carolina, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
Kari Feinberg is the National Dean of Regional Leadership Programs at Relay. In this role, she leads Relay Leadership's current work and strategic planning efforts to provide network-embedded professional learning, coaching, and support for CAOs, principal managers, and school leaders in the areas of observation and feedback, school culture, data driven instruction. Before joining Relay in the summer of 2017, Kari spent ten years with YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas, most recently as the Head of Schools from 2013 to 2017. She has also worked as a school leader and teacher in Baton Rouge, LA and Durham, NC.
Kari holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Science and graduate degrees in School Leadership and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. She continues to be Houston based.
Dr. Jennifer Francis
As senior dean of Relay New Orleans, Dr. Jennifer Francis oversees all aspects of teacher training in New Orleans. For more than ten years, Francis has been committed to closing the opportunity gap in public education. As a native of Chicago and alumna of Chicago Public Schools, she believes that public schools in America can be positively life-altering institutions for students and families — but only if they are staffed with dedicated and results-driven teachers and leaders.
Francis has taught in several states and previously worked with Teach For America and TNTP to train and support teachers. Before launching the New Orleans campus in 2013, she served as the principal of West Gary Lighthouse College Prep Academy in Gary, Indiana. During her tenure, students’ class-failure rates dropped 40 percent and parent participation rose more than 80 percent.
Francis earned a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction and an Ed.S. from National Louis University, as well as a dual B.A. in Black Studies and American Studies from Scripps College. Francis received her Ed.D. from the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California.
As senior dean of Relay Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Chris Fraser oversees all aspects of our teacher preparation in Texas. Fraser also serves as Executive Director of Relay Lab Schools- Texas. Fraser was the founding dean of Relay Houston and previously taught and supported graduate students at the Relay Newark campus.
Previously, he served as a Ferguson Education Leadership Fellow in Revere Public Schools and taught at YES Prep Public Schools. He began his career as a Teach For America (TFA) corps member in the Houston Independent School District.
Fraser earned an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in finance from the University of Florida. He is currently a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University, where he is pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Learning in Organizations.
As founding dean of Relay Baton Rouge, Norah Gillam leads the teacher training curriculum for the campus. As an educational leader, Norah helped drive Newark Collegiate Academy in Newark, NJ to strong academic results and above 90% college matriculation for the past 7 years. During her time at Newark Collegiate, she also worked as a writing teacher and English Department Chair. Before joining KIPP: New Jersey, Norah taught English and AP Language at East New York Family Academy in Brooklyn as a member of Teach for America. Norah earned her B.A. in Writing from Wittenberg University and her Masters in Teaching from Pace University.
As Managing Director of Talent (Talent Acquisition & HR), Lawrie Givner is responsible for overseeing Relay's talent acquisition, benefits, and compensation strategy in order to recruit and support a diverse and high performing faculty and staff. As a co-leader and founding member of the Diversity Steering Committee, she is responsible for ensuring Relay's culture, policies, and practices are aligned to our vision to becoming the most inclusive and diverse graduate school of education.
Lawrie previously served as the Director of Talent Acquisition at Relay, overseeing Relay's growth from 3 campuses to over 15 campuses today. Before joining Relay, Lawrie served as a public school teacher in New York City. Today Lawrie brings that same passion for identifying and cultivating individuals' unique talents and diverse perspectives to her talent work today.
Lawrie received her B.A. from Yale University and an M.A.T from Teacher U.
As the Founding Dean of Relay Connecticut, Rebecca Good leads teacher preparation and support through the state. She believes that aspiring teachers who are provided a rigorous curriculum of theory, practice, and culturally responsive pedagogy can have a dynamic impact on K-12 students. She began her career in 2003 teaching Secondary ELA in the Miami-Dade School District as a member of the charter corps of Teach For America Miami-Dade. During her time in Miami she was honored as Teacher of the Year in her school and a finalist for the District. In 2006, she begin teaching in New Haven, CT Elm City College Preparatory Middle School. She spent 9 years at the school as a teacher, Dean of Students, and 6 years as the principal.
Good earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently a doctoral student at the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, where she is pursuing an Ed.D. in Global Education.
As the Founding Dean of Relay Atlanta, Christy oversees all aspects of teacher preparation programs in the Atlanta Metro area. As a native of Atlanta and product of Atlanta Public Schools, Christy is honored to lead Relay Atlanta in her hometown by providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to have a positive impact on K-12 students.
As an educator for over 16 years, Christy is a personal and professional advocate of not only developing the intellectual needs of students and educators, but also their social and emotional well-being. Christy taught in Atlanta Public Schools, Achievement First, and KIPP as a middle school English teacher. Christy also has over 10 years of experience in educational leadership as an Assistant Prinicpal, Principal and Chief Academic Officer, during which time she led KIPP STRIVE Academy to become a National Blue Ribbon School.
As Managing Director of National Operations, Mara Harwel co-leads the program operations team and is responsible for providing operational support and guidance to campus leaders, Student Services, and programmatic teams. Before joining the national operations team, she supported the inaugural class of students in New York City, was the founding Director of Operations for the New Orleans campus, and then the Senior Director of Operations for Leadership Programs. She began her career as a Teach For America corps member in Greater New Orleans.
As Dean of Relay San Antonio, Annie Hoffman oversees all aspects of teacher training. As a native Texan, she is thrilled to be leading Relay San Antonio in her home state and providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers for their PK-12 students.
Most recently, Hoffman took a sabbatical from her role as the Senior Director of Elementary Curriculum Design and Assistant Professor of Practice in Relay New York to teach first grade in the New York City Department of Education. Prior to joining Relay, Hoffman completed her Masters of Education in Language and Literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her teaching career at Sherman Elementary in the Houston Independent School District. Hoffman earned her B.S. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University.
Dr. Mayme Hostetter
Dr. Mayme Hostetter assumed the role of President in 2018, having previously served as Relay's National Dean, Dean of Relay NYC, and founding Director of Teaching and Learning in the decade prior. Additionally, Hostetter serves on the board of Deans for Impact, where she was a founding member, as well as on the board of directors at Cents Ability. Before joining Relay in 2008, she conducted reading development research in the Gabrieli Laboratory of M.I.T.'s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Prior to that, she taught English and coached everything at KIPP Academy in the South Bronx and Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts.
Hostetter earned her A.B. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was an Urban Scholars Fellow in the Mind, Brain and Education program. She earned her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. in Massachusetts, where she was an English teacher, coach, and dean.
Dr. Anne-Marie Hoxie
As Relay’s Chief Research Officer, Dr. Anne-Marie Hoxie oversees institutional research and program evaluation activities in support of Relay’s commitment to data-driven improvement and learning. Prior to joining Relay, Anne-Marie lead research and strategic learning for Classroom, Inc., a non-profit ed-tech organization. Anne-Marie also managed research, evaluation, and data initiatives at the New York City Department of Education and at The After-School Corporation (now ExpandED). She received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Fordham University. Her dissertation research focused on adolescents’ growth experiences in after-school programs.
As Relay's executive vice president, Pamela Inbasekaran is responsible for running an equitable and inclusive institution that sets and meets its annual targets through strong systems, effective communication, people development, decision making, and a productive and joyful work environment. Previously, Inbasekaran served as chief operating officer and chief talent officer at Relay and led community engagement and non-academic programming at North Star Academy Charter School of Newark, a member of Uncommon Schools. She also helped build and refine recruitment systems for the Uncommon Schools home office. She began her career as a middle school special education teacher and coordinator at M.S. 224 in the South Bronx, through Teach For America.
Inbasekaran earned an M.S. in teaching from Pace University and a B.A. in economics and American culture from the University of Michigan.
As founding dean of Relay Washington, D.C., Brooke James leads all aspects of teacher preparation for the region. In the six years that Brooke has been with Relay, she served as a founding Assistant Professor of Practice of Relay, NYC, and led the research, design, and review of over 80 graduate-level courses used in Relay’s Master of Arts in Teaching program nationally. Brooke started her teaching career at English High School in Boston, MA, and then excitedly moved back to D.C. to join DC Public Schools, teaching social studies for two years at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, where she served as Social Studies Department Chair, and two years at Alice Deal Middle School, where she served as a Cross-curricular Team Leader. In 2007-2008, Brooke was named DCPS Outstanding First Year Teacher and, in 2009, Brooke served in the first group of Teachers Central to Leadership Fellows. James holds a B.A. from The George Washington University and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
Dr. Shelby Keefer
As Dean of Relay Online, Dr. Shelby Keefer, along with Alice Waldron, is responsible for Relay's online courses and programs. Before joining Relay in 2013, Shelby was an elementary school teacher and teacher coach in charter schools and district schools in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Throughout her Relay career Shelby has taught elementary methods courses and led professors in their advisory practices. She is very excited to expand access to Relays courses to more teachers in diverse schools and geographies.
Shelby earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Penn State University, where her dissertation explored charter-district collaboration through the lens of in-group bias. She also holds a MS in Education from Hunter College and a BSBA in Finance and Accounting from Georgetown University.
As senior dean of academic programs, Julie Kennedy leads the development and ongoing evolution of Relay’s rigorous. Kennedy directs a team of designers who work to continually improve Relay’s core and content curriculum and create new programs, including computer science and personalized learning. Kennedy also oversees Relay’s instructional media team, which produces and manages an extensive library of instructional videos. Prior to joining Relay, she was the managing director of Uncommon Schools’ NYC middle and high schools, where she was responsible for the growth and performance of fifteen schools serving approximately 4,000 students. She has worked with Relay in an adjunct professor role since 2009, eventually joining the organization full-time in June 2016. Kennedy has also created and delivered professional development for organizations around building and maintaining staff culture, pedagogical techniques, and best practices of school leadership.Kennedy received her B.A. from Willamette University and a Master’s in Public Policy in Human Resources from Harvard University.
As Managing Director of National Operations, Kohler co-leads the program operations team and is responsible for providing operational support and guidance to campus leaders, Student Services, and programmatic teams. Before joining Relay, Kohler worked in academic operations, program development, and grant management at Mastery Charter Schools. She began her career as a Teach For America corps member in South Texas.
As the dean of special education, Erin Larkin-Maguire manages the development and implementation of Relay’s special education teacher preparation programs. A seasoned special education teacher and leader, Erin is passionate about setting high expectations and improving outcomes for students with disabilities. Erin started teaching via New York City Teaching Fellows, teaching self-contained and integrated co-teaching classrooms in East Harlem. She then spent five years at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant (LPBS), a member of Uncommon Schools, first as a Learning Support Coordinator and then as Dean of Curriculum and Instruction. LPBS' students with IEPs significantly outpaced the city and state averages on state exams, and showed accelerated rates of reading growth, across multiple years. Erin joined Relay in 2012, as an Assistant Professor, and looks forward to managing the growth and impact of Relay’s special education programs for years to come. Erin earned her M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities from Hunter College and her B.A. in sociology from Wesleyan University.
As founding dean of Relay Nashville, Linda Lentz leads the teacher training curriculum for the campus. As an educational leader and entrepreneur, Linda has a remarkable track record of success in Nashville and is proud to call the city home to her and her family.
Before joining Relay, Linda co-founded RePublic Schools, a network of schools aimed at reimagining public education in the south. During her tenure as founding partner and managing director, the network’s two middle schools in Nashville had the highest composite growth of any charter management organization in the United States, according to the 2013 CREDO study. Prior to her role at RePublic, Linda founded and served as executive director of Liberty Collegiate Academy in East Nashville, which was named a Tennessee Reward School for performing in the top five percent of all schools in the state in both absolute academic achievement and growth.
Linda earned her M.A from Pennsylvania State University in Organizational Development and Change, and her B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher in Houston as a member of Teach For America.
As Relay’s chief external affairs officer, Anne McCarley is responsible for communications, development, marketing, and public affairs at Relay. Before joining Relay, McCarley served in a number of capacities on Teach For America’s national development team, securing over $150 million in philanthropy to support the organization’s growth in scale and impact from 2008-2015. She began her career as an associate at the global investment research firm, Morningstar, Inc.
McCarley earned an M.A. in English from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame.
As dean of Relay Memphis, Aubrey Nelson leads teacher preparation for the Memphis campus. Before joining the Relay faculty as the founding elementary adjunct instructor in 2015, Aubrey served as the founding Assistant Head of School of Freedom Preparatory Academy Elementary School. She previously taught kindergarten and first grade and served as a Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America Memphis. She is an alumna of Teach For America (Memphis, ’08). Most recently, Aubrey served as the Residency Director of Relay Memphis, teaching and coaching residents in year 1 of the Relay Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program. After 13 years in Memphis, Aubrey, with her family, proudly call Memphis home. Aubrey earned an M.A.T. from Christian Brothers University; and her B.A. in International Studies from Rhodes College.
As Relay's Chief Information Officer, Stephanie Nelson is responsible for identifying and adapting the technological and knowledge management solutions that will position Relay to be a cutting-edge, efficient and effective graduate school of education. Before joining Relay GSE, Stephanie worked at Uncommon Schools, where she lead the efforts to develop the systems and processes to scale the organizations talent recruitment efforts, as well as managed the recruitment and marketing teams. Prior to working at Uncommon Schools, Stephanie worked as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP in the Human Capital practice. While at Deloitte, Stephanie specialized in organization and talent projects for public sector clients. Stephanie began her career as an elementary school teacher at Plummer Elementary School in SE Washington, DC through Teach For America.
Cherise Ortiz Cota
As Relay’s managing director of talent, Cherise Cota leads the Talent team’s mission to find, support, and develop a diverse, high-performing staff. Cota continuously conducts research into staff development and hiring best practices, and she leads the organization’s Diversity Steering Committee, which works to ensure a diverse and vibrant workplace culture at Relay. Before joining Relay, Cota served as a senior director of talent initiatives at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas where she led the talent acquisition team, the teacher performance evaluation system, and several other cross-functional initiatives. She began her career as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in the Houston Independent School District and YES Prep, eventually becoming a co-school leader at its East End Campus. She received her B.A. in Spanish at the University of Kansas, and received her M. Ed. From National Louis University.
As dean of Relay New York, Jennifer Ramos leads all aspects of teacher preparation for the New York campus and teaches core pedagogy to Year 1 graduate students. She believes that great teachers are made, not born, and she is committed to developing in all teachers the knowledge, skills, and mindsets needed to ensure all students, schools, families, and communities have the excellent teachers they deserve. Most recently, Jennifer served as the assistant dean of Relay’s New York campus, managing and coaching faculty. Before joining Relay, she worked to increase teacher retention, leading efforts to redevelop how to support, evaluate, and compensate teachers at all levels of their careers at Achievement First and Green Dot Public Schools. Jennifer previously taught high school Biology and Chemistry in North Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Now, after spending six years in New York, Jennifer and her family proudly call the city home. Jennifer earned an Ed.M. from Columbia Teachers College and her B.S. in Biology from University of California, Berkeley.
As dean of school leadership programs at Relay, Jesse Rector leads all aspects of training for current and aspiring school leaders. In this role, he teaches courses on instructional leadership and serves as an advisor to the participants in our leadership programs.
Previously, Rector spent sixteen years in Newark, New Jersey, as a high-performing teacher in both the Newark Public Schools and at North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. During his last six years in Newark, Rector led North Star’s Clinton Hill Middle School.
As founding dean of Relay Dallas-Fort Worth, Jabari Sims oversees the Metroplex’s growing teacher preparation programs. A Louisiana native, Sims started his career as a teacher in Houston, Texas. He eventually moved to New York City, where he taught, served in several education and school leadership positions, and was a founding principal at an elementary school in Brooklyn. During his time teaching in the Bronx, Sims’ 4th grade students earned the highest test scores in the state and were featured in the New York Daily News.
Sims earned his M.Ed. in Education Administration from National Louis University, as well as a B.A. in English from Dillard University. He is currently a doctoral student at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, where he is pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Learning in Organizations.
As the founding dean of Relay Chicago, Mindy Sjoblom is Relay's lead instructor in the Windy City. A Chicago native and career educator, Sjoblom is uniquely qualified to train novice teachers to lead their students to life changing academic achievement.
Before joining the Relay faculty as dean fellow in 2013, Sjoblom served as director of curriculum and instruction, then as principal, of Rauner College Prep, part of the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago. While she was principal, Sjoblom’s students earned the highest average ACT scores in the school’s history, and the third highest of all nonselective high schools in the city. Before that, she served as founding humanities teacher at the Crossroads School in Baltimore. She is an alumna of Teach For America (Baltimore ’00).
Sjoblom earned an M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins University; her Certificate of Advanced Study from National Louis University, through the KIPP School Leadership Program; and her B.A. in political science from Butler University.
As Dean of Relay Online, Alice Waldron, along with Dr. Shelby Keefer, is responsible for Relay's online courses and programs. She is committed to expanding access to high quality teacher education and training through Relay's online offerings, and loves making online learning engaging, community-based, and relevant. In addition to being a dean at Relay, Waldron has taught science education courses to Relay students for six years. She began her teaching career teaching middle school science in New York City.
Waldron earner her M.S.T. from Pace University and B.A. from Pomona College. She is currently a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, where she is pursuing an Ed.D. with a focus on technology integration in education.
Maya Weatherton is the Dean of Relay Houston. Prior to the role of Dean, Maya was the Director of Teacher Residency for Relay Houston. In this role, Maya was responsible for teaching and coaching incoming teacher residents. Before coming to Relay, Maya served as Principal of Foerster Elementary in the Houston Independent School District. There she dramatically turned around student performance, student and teacher attendance, and teacher morale. She did exemplary work for students in HISD for 16 years, including winning numerous awards for work as a teacher, regional curriculum specialist, assistant principal, and principal in at-risk schools.
Maya graduated from Paul Quinn College, earned her Masters in Educational Administration from Texas Southern University, and is part of the prestigious Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program. She is currently a doctoral student at North Central University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
As senior dean of Relay Newark, Jamey Verrilli oversees all aspects of our teacher preparation programs in Newark. Since the beginning of his career, Verrilli has fought for community development and social justice. He began his educational work in 1984, as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps community organizer in the Bronx. Verrilli then joined Link Community School, where he stayed for more than a decade — first as a teacher and eventually as principal. In 1997, Verrilli co-founded North Star Academy Charter School of Newark, where he was principal of the Downtown Middle School for 14 years and saw North Star Academy grow to a network of 10 schools with 3,500 students.
Verrilli has received numerous awards for this leadership, including the National Blue Ribbon Schools' Terrel H. Bell Award, given each year by the U.S. Department of Education to the top ten principals in the nation. He earned his B.A. in history from Colby College and his M.A.T. from Brown University.
As founding dean of Relay Denver, Therese Zosel-Harper oversees all aspects of teacher preparation in the Mile High City. Before joining Relay Denver, she served as Relay New York's Assistant Dean of Students, and as an Assistant Professor of Practice for four years. Prior to joining Relay, Zosel-Harper served as a high school social studies and adolescent literacy teacher at Peace and Diversity Academy in the Bronx, NY, where she was placed as a Teach For America corps member. Zosel-Harper earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College. She earned her M.S.T. in Teaching Social Studies at Pace University, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Zosel-Harper’s dissertation focuses on the role of observation and feedback cycles in teacher performance management systems. Her research interests include: teacher recruitment, support/development and retention, and teacher evaluation policy.
Board of Trustees
LARRY ROBBINS - CHAIR / FOUNDER AND CEO, GLENVIEW CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
AIMÉE EUBANKS DAVIS - FOUNDER & CEO, BRAVEN
DAVID LEVIN - CO-FOUNDER, KIPP
DAVID SALTZMAN - TREASURER / SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, TWO SIGMA INVESTMENTS LP
SHAYNE SPALTEN - DIRECTOR, EDUCATION, CHARLES & LYNN SCHUSTERMAN FAMILY FOUNDATION
DR. DAVID STEINER - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION POLICY; PROFESSOR
DACIA TOLL - VICE CHAIR / CO-CEO & PRESIDENT, ACHIEVEMENT FIRST
NORMAN ATKINS - EX OFFICIO / PRESIDENT, RELAY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION