TrueSchool Headquarter Staff

AMY COLE VREELAND, Founder + Executive Director amy@trueschool.org

Amy has focused her career on the intersection of education and social entrepreneurship. As the first person in her family to graduate from college, Amy wanted to pay it forward and joined a non-profit startup to develop programs to improve retention and graduation rates for underrepresented college students across the U.S. Amy then jumped headfirst into the unprecedented shifts in the New Orleans education system post Hurricane Katrina, helping to launch the city’s first International Baccalaureate high school and serving as a founding math teacher. Next, moving to rural South Africa, Amy collaborated with community leaders on the design and launch of locally-led small businesses to drive job creation and economic development. Through all of this, Amy realized the power, potential, and necessity of engaging the people on the ground to drive and lead change. In 2012, Amy left graduate school at Princeton University and, with $300 of venture capital investment from her piggy bank, founded TrueSchool. She quickly found her jam in small, mighty teams with big dreams of social innovation and hasn’t looked back since. In addition to working in education across the U.S., Amy has traveled extensively throughout Latin America. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and has contributed to various education-focused research and development initiatives, particularly in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador. She has also been part of systems-design efforts and the unique public-private partnership model for education reform emerging in West Africa. Amy is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in anthropology and international affairs. She is an Unreasonable Fellow and, in 2015, was recognized as “one of the world’s best emerging social innovators” and selected as a Global Fellow by Echoing Green. Amy enjoys New Orleans food, improv, her partner Rich, high fives and most of all, post-its.

 

DR. MARGUERITE SHEFFER, Manager of Programs marguerite@trueschool.org

Marguerite has ten years of experience as a teacher leader—previously in Oakland, California, and now at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans. She holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Her research focused on teacher professional development, specifically the connection between teacher-driven inquiry projects, teachers’ sense of efficacy, and the stories teachers tell about their work. Marguerite is passionate about teacher-led innovation. She has co-led school improvement innovations focused on supporting Emergent Bilingual students, school journalism, and civic engagement for students. She has worked as a facilitator for teacher-driven inquiry work at Mills Teacher Scholars, and as a coach for prospective and beginning teachers at Mills College, the University of California-Berkeley, Oakland Unified School District, and teachNOLA (TNTP). Marguerite is a Teacher Consultant with the National Writing Project.

 

KATRINA STRULOEFF, Manager of Operations kat@trueschool.org

Katrina (Kat) is an experienced educator and operations professional with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in project management, public relations, philanthropy, youth and community education, event planning, management, and community organizing, Kat has spent 5+ years in the New Orleans charter school landscape in middle school and high school administration and operations. She has 6+ years of experience in marketing, communication, and operations for local/national community and youth organizations. Kat has dedicated her career to directly engaging with youth, their families, and their communities and has done so in multiple capacities, including: operations management and leadership in the New Orleans public school system, facilitating national training for organizations who serve youth and families in vulnerable positions, teaching arts and business to youth with the Arts Greenhouse Program at Carnegie Mellon University, and partnering with numerous national and local organizations for information-sharing, and innovative evidence-based programming. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy focused in Non-Profit and Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Gonzaga University. Kat was also a Coro “Leader in Learning” Fellow in Pittsburgh, PA.

 

TRONN MOLLER, Coach Developement + Community Management tronn@trueschool.org

Tronn W. Moller is a leadership coach, facilitator, speaker, and trainer. He currently teaches history at Delgado Community College in New Orleans. He is passionate about working with leaders to solve challenges, and developing their capacity to lead change. He loves using simple and innovative visual thinking tools that help individuals discover, plan, and move forward.

Tronn holds a Masters degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a B.A degree from Xavier University in Louisiana.

 

TrueSchool Coaches + Facilitators

 

DR. ANDREA THOMAS-RENYOLDS, Coach andrea@trueschool.org

Dr. Thomas-Reynolds is a native of Avondale, LA and a graduate of the Jefferson Parish Public School System. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University, a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University of New Orleans, a Master of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, and is an inaugural cohort graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education Mid-Career Doctorate Program in Educational Leadership and Organization Management. In 2017, she became a Certified Executive Coach and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. Andrea has a unique background in community economic development, K-12 education, and academia. She is the Founder and President of Pinnacle Learning Systems LLC., which provides business development, organization consulting, and coaching services to mission-driven non-profit organizations and education service providers.

Prior to PLS, Dr. Thomas-Reynolds worked as an education systems leader in K-12 education as well as a manager at Pearson. She has also served as Regional General Manager of EdisonLearning and was a Director of the Say Yes to Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband Todd and son Donovan, who attends Jesuit High School. Their daughter Sydney attends Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

SADE JACKSON, Coach sade@trueschool.org

A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, Sade is a Louisville, Kentucky native who has dedicated the past 7+ years to educating students. She was a 2012 TeachNOLA fellow, 2015 TNTP (The New Teacher Project) Good2Great Educator, 2016 Education Pioneers national talent pool member and 2018-2019 IGNITE Teacher Leader Fellow. In addition to education, Sade is very passionate about civic engagement and volunteering. She is a 2011 AmeriCorps alum, 2013 Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans and Junior League of New Orleans 2015-2016 program evaluation committee member. In 2017, Sade was selected by the New Politics Academy as a national virtual and local program facilitator. Sade is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and resides in New Orleans, LA with her 1-year-old son, Jackson.

 

SANDY PHILLIPS, Coach sandy@trueschool.org

Sandy serves as the Principal of Green Park Elementary School in Metairie, Louisiana. She began her career in the Jefferson Parish Public School System in 1988. She was a classroom teacher, a Dean, and Assistant Principal, and a Hearing Officer. She received her undergraduate degree from Southern University, as well as two Master’s Degrees from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. Sandy has served on the Jefferson Association of Principals and School Administrators as the Elementary School Representative. While at Green Park, she led the staff in developing new strategies to improve student achievement, and her school was noted as a School of Top Gains within the parish. She is passionate about delivering TrueSchool’s message of social equity and innovation through education. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and enjoying time with her family. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

 

ANGLIA WITTMUS, Coach anglia@trueschool.org

Anglia Wittmus is a National Board Certified Teacher and Gifted Education Specialist that is personable and heartfelt about developing dynamic educators. She believes educator support and empowerment are essential to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Experience, creativity, and a sincere love of teaching drive her design and facilitation in adult learning and professional development. A champion of educator retention, she provides support through meaningful workshop experiences and clear communication for the cultivation of tomorrow’s explorers. She brings over 20 years of classroom experience at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary level. Anglia holds a Master of Science in Classroom Instruction and is currently a doctoral candidate in educational technology and e-learning.

 

TIYE JONES, Coach tiye@trueschool.org

Tiye is originally from Oakland, CA but now call New Orleans home. She holds a Bachelors from Temple University and a Masters from Louisiana College. She is passionate about education as the pathway for liberation for African-American youth and specifically young women. She knows that young women can and should live out the life of their dreams. She is devoted to community building, healing, and giving back in whatever way she can. She is a lifelong educator and has learned from over 500 young people in New Orleans, as well as worked as a facilitator for Nola Our Way Youth Symposium, Teach for America’s National Office, and Tulane University. Dance is one of her first loves and she is an active board member of Dancing Grounds. She is also a part of No Lye Comedy Collective (an all black female stand up comedy, improv and sketch collective). And a certified yoga instructor in Trauma-Informed Yoga. She currently works at Tulane University’s Center for Public Service.