AMY COLE VREELAND, Founder + Executive Director, vreeland@trueschool.org
Amy’s experiences have been grounded in social entrepreneurship, including developing programs to cultivate the leadership skills of first-generation college students at a nonprofit start-up in Boulder, Colorado; working as a founding high school math teacher in the unprecedented charter school movement in New Orleans; and advising community leaders in the design of human-centered social enterprises in rural South Africa. Realizing the potential of applying a grassroots design approach to education and recognizing the opportunity for educator-led innovation in the field, Amy left graduate school at Princeton University and founded TrueSchool Studio in 2013. Since then, TrueSchool Studio has supported over 1,100 educators impacting over 50,000 students across the United States. TrueSchool has also collaborated with Microsoft, Stanford University, and Teach for America on the design of education technology products and national education initiatives. As a teacher, Amy built an entire Algebra 1 curriculum that focused on project-based learning. She open-sourced her curriculum, including lessons plans, materials, and assessments on her classroom website, which is still widely used by Algebra teachers today. In addition to her domestic education experience, Amy received the Benjamin Brown Award and spent ten months researching and writing about an education-focused development initiatives in Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil.

Amy has participated in the 4.0 Schools Launch Program and Propeller Social Venture Accelerator. She is an Unreasonable Fellow and was honored as “one of the world’s best emerging social innovators” by Echoing Green.

MARGUERITE SHEFFER, Manager, marguerite@trueschool.org
Marguerite is in her ninth year of teaching high school—previously in Oakland, California, and now at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans. She holds a doctorate 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 Bay Area Writing Project.

COURTNEY SCHOFIELD, Manager, courtney@trueschool.org
Courtney Schofield comes to TrueSchool with experience in education and business. Courtney has worked with a focus on tutoring and counseling K-12 students in adverse communities, as well as working in a classroom setting with students with learning disabilities and behavioral issues. Inspired to investigate and change the learning process in a traditional classroom structure, Courtney begin to work in early education in a private education setting. Courtney gained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from West Chester University, and later gained her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Cabrini College. She worked at Go Auto, in Baton Rouge, under the leadership of the Chief Marketing Officer and CPA; in which she functioned as the Executive Accounting and Marketing Assistant. Since co-managing a multi-million-dollar budget and assisting in marketing daily operations, Courtney has directed her attention to putting both passions in business and education together at TrueSchool to better use her tool-kit to be part of the vision to rebuild schools through the non-traditional setting of supporting teachers to be leaders in their educational structures; in hopes of transforming the minds and characters of the students. Courtney currently resides in New Orleans with her husband and two young children, enjoying parks, writing, and exploring new restaurants.

RADAYNA THABATA, Associate, radayna@trueschool.org
A graduate of The University of New Orleans, Radayna Thabata holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. She is a former educator in the New Orleans area having taught various concentrations of science to grades sixth through twelfth. For the past three years, she has been involved in humanitarian relief work both locally and globally with organizations such as Helping Hand for Relief and Development and ICNA (Islamic Circle North America Louisiana.) One project that’s very dear to her heart is providing learning centers to refugee children. She is also a volunteer at multiple hospitals in the New Orleans area including UMCNO (University Medical Center New Orleans, WJMC (West Jefferson Medical Center), and Children’s Hospitals. Her interests include community outreach, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Radayna’s mission is to use her pursuits in education to tackle ongoing social justice issues that continue to hinder opportunities for some students to succeed. She’s a firm believer that there’s no better way to empower others to lead successful lives other than to provide them with the proper resources; which starts with their education.

MITCHELL BULLINGTON, Outreach Intern, mitchell@trueschool.org
Mitchell is a sophomore at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs and Economics. He is specifically focused on studying issues of human development. His research has focused on the role of labor movements and international economic institutions in global development. For the past year he has worked as a tutor with the Neighborhood Partnership Program, providing academic assistance to high schoolers in the Los Angeles area. Previously hetaught at and designed a speech and debate camp at his former high school in New Orleans. He is passionate about helping to fulfill TrueSchool’s commitment to creating social equity through education. At TrueSchool he has worked to recruit and select schools for the TrueSchool Innovation Fellowship. Additionally he is working to help TrueSchool measure its impact on education outcomes. He is an avid sports fan and a music enthusiast.

TrueSchool Coaches + Facilitators

ANALLELI MUÑOZ
Analleli Muñoz’s background as an ESL tutor, elementary educator for emergent bilinguals, a bilingual lead teacher and as a dual language coordinator allows Analleli to connect with families, educators, and administrators serving linguistically and culturally diverse students. As a first-generation immigrant, she is fully vested in the communities she serves. Although the focus of her career has revolved around the service of emergent bilinguals, her experience is coupled with work in the areas of social and emotional learning, action research, and personalized learning. She is driven by the potential of equitable access to education as an agency for social justice. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Linguistics, a M.A. in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University and a M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership in Educational Studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago.

JONATHAN JOHNSON
Jonathan Johnson began his career teaching 8th grade social studies at KIPP Central City Academy in New Orleans. While a teacher, 83 percent of Jonathan’s students achieved a passing score on the 8th grade test when the average pass rate was 57 percent in his district. Through a partnership between New Schools for New Orleans, 4.0 Schools, and Khan Academy to incubate innovative public schools in New Orleans, Jonathan founded Rooted School in 2014. Rooted School will be an ecosystem of high schools in New Orleans and beyond that provides personal pathways to financial freedom. Rooted’s flagship campus focuses on pathways to the digital media sector, creating a model of schools that provides lucrative career options for students in the Greater New Orleans region. Jonathan is a 2015 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow a Camelback Ventures Fellow, a Teach For America Social Innovation Award winner, and is currently a part of the NewSchools Venture Fund Invent: 2016 Cohort.

JULIA CICIORA
Julia is currently a math and science teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, a selective enrollment Chicago public high school. Julia participated in TrueSchool’s program in 2014-2015 and also served as a mentor in 2015-2016. Her school’s project combined the math and science department to create a STEM department that worked to design an inter/intradisciplinary STEM scope and sequence. Through this work, topics and standards have been reorganized to teach topics when students are cognitively prepared as well as to bridge between sciences topics, between math topics, and math and science topics. As a result, she has been working on the STEM I team, which piloted the initiative with 9th grade students. In 2016, Brooks welcomed a new challenge in opening an academic center open to academically gifted students in the 7th grade. As a result, the 7th grade students have been taking the STEM I curriculum with Julia leading the science initiative, while continuing to teach 9th grade math. In addition to welcoming the 7th graders, she has also been piloting personalized learning in all of her classes. Julia is excited to share her experiences and provide support to others.

ASHLEY LAMB-SINCLAIR
Ashley Is the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Founder and CEO of education technology startup, Curio Learning, created using human centered design. She served as Teacher in Residence for the Kentucky Department of Education, co-founded multiple statewide projects including KYEdPolicy.org, Policy Together, and The Courier Journal Classroom Connections. As Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she was accepted to the Spotify for Education Advisory Board and received an EF Education First scholarship to study the education system in Finland with other educators. Prior to her honor as Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Thailand and Vietnam and an English Speaking Union Scholarship to study creative writing at Exeter College at the University of Oxford. She is a contributing writer to the Atlantic and the Washington Post, among other publications and has been teaching secondary English and creative writing for twelve years. She currently works as a deeper learning instructional coach at Fern Creek High School in Louisville, KY.

TrueSchool Advisors

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ANDREA CHEN, Advisor
Andrea currently serves as the Executive Director for Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation in New Orleans. She began her career as a high school English teacher at John McDonogh Sr. High School and subsequently trained teachers at the University of New Orleans and The New Teacher Project. She has worked at the Louisiana Association of Charter Schools where she oversaw grantmaking for over $5 million in charter school startup funds and launched a $1.5 million below-market rate Bridge Loan Fund. She was named “40 Under 40” by Gambit Magazine, 2010 City Business Women of the Year, World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and is an appointed board member of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the official economic development arm of the City of New Orleans. She graduated from Stanford University, attended Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of New Orleans, and was trained in business at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business.

BEN KUTYLO, Advisor
Ben Kutylo is Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at eSpark Learning, where he leads the organization’s work and collaboration with school districts throughout the country. Before joining eSpark Ben was the Director of Program Investments and Innovation for The Chicago Public Education Fund. Under Ben’s leadership, The Fund launched its Innovative Educator Network in 2013. The Network unites talented educators and invests in schools and organizations committed to using resources such as time, technology and talent to transform student learning in Chicago. Prior to moving into the education sector and joining The Fund, Ben spent nearly ten years in private-sector technology in roles ranging from developer to business development for companies including Sun Microsystems and Transora, a Chicago–based business-to-business software provider.

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MATT CANDLER, Advisor
Matt, a veteran of the charter school movement, is Founder and CEO of 4.0 Schools, an education design lab focused on solving the toughest problems in education. After teaching and coaching middle school after college, Matt returned to his hometown to help run the main operations center for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. From 2001 to 2004, Matt served as KIPP Foundation’s Vice President of School Development, where his team established 37 new schools across the U.S. Matt later served as founding COO of the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, a $41 million effort to promote quality charter school creation. Most recently, Matt served New Schools for New Orleans as its first CEO and built a team whose human capital and school creation efforts have led to the most innovative and aggressive public school reforms in the nation. Matt continues to play an active role in Louisiana reform as chairman of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and co-founder of the city-wide teacher support community.

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NASHAY JONES, Advisor
Nashay, Senior Associate in the Global Fellowship Program, manages Echoing Green’s 2015 global fellows through providing support, guidance and connection to community. Nashay is a multi-issue human rights and social justice advocate. Before joining Echoing Green, she managed the youth engagement portfolio within the Democracy and Power fund at the Open Society Foundations. Additionally, Nashay worked at Amnesty International USA in both the regional and national offices where she contributed to various human rights initiatives, such as the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Nashay received her BA in Political Science from Howard University and her master’s in Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Nashay and her family recently moved back to NYC. When not supporting the fellows, you will find her and her family rediscovering Brooklyn through food.

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SAUL GARLICK, Advisor
Saul, born and raised in Denver, Colorado, is founder and CEO at ThinkImpact Company. Saul is a Truman Scholar, an Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, a top 9 Young Foreign Policy Leader under 33 by the Diplomatic Courier, and a speaker for the US Department of State. He has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, TNW, and The Huffington Post. His work has been endorsed by President Nelson Mandela. Saul received his BA with honors from Johns Hopkins University and his MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In his words: “There is no time like the present to build the community and programs that will move the world towards a more equitable and prosperous future. It is up to us to declare that nobody is poor, and with that knowledge, to unleash human potential everywhere.”

SYLVIE TRAN, Advisor
Sylvie Tran has been working in the Oil&Gas industry for nearly 20 years. She currently works at Shell Oil Company as the Delivery and Integration Manager for Shell Deepwater which is focused on offshore activities in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. Prior to joining Shell Deepwater, Sylvie worked in various management and project management roles in Pittsburgh, PA and Calgary, Canada covering shale developments, sour gas developments and coalbed methane exploration. Finally, before joining Shell in Canada (2004), Sylvie worked as a drilling engineer and rig supervisor with various oil and gas companies worldwide in Canada, Australia, France and Algeria. Sylvie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University. She has served on several Boards, including Carnegie Science Museum, Propel Charter Schools, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Junior Achievement (Western PA) and has recently been appointed to the Board of the Metropolitan Human Services District in New Orleans.