AMY COLE VREELAND, Founder + CEO, vreeland@trueschoolstudio.com
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

 

GABRIELLE ALICINO, Manager of Partnerships, alicino@trueschoolstudio.com
Gabrielle’s experience draws on community development and education grounded in a passion for social justice. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Urban Studies, Gabrielle was awarded the Fox Leadership Fellowship to work with nonprofit leaders in New Orleans. During her time as a Fox Fellow, Gabrielle worked at Catholic Charities to develop a collaborative care program for chronically ill patients. The program focused on securing wrap around social and medial services to Louisiana’s highest need populations and empowering patients to understand and navigate health services independently. Gabrielle went on to manage Providence Community Housing’s NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership, a coalition committed to collaborative planning and information sharing for the economic and community development of New Orleans. At Providence, she embedded herself at Faubourg Lafitte – a public housing site that is home to over 500 school aged children. Here, with community input and consensus, she developed and implemented a cradle to career strategic program to help families navigate the complex charter school system and social services network across the city. Through her work as a Fox Fellow, Gabrielle developed a strong commitment to the city of New Orleans and now serves on the board of Broad Community Connections, an organization committed to revitalizing the neighborhoods along Broad Street and achieving healthy equity via fresh food access, health education, economic opportunity, and community organizing.

 

 

EMILY MADEIRA, Executive Assistant, madeira@trueschoolstudio.com
Emily has a BA in Psychology with a focus in international relations from Salisbury University. She studied in South Korea where she was involved with local artists, and volunteered with UNESCO, a program that teaches English to Korean youth. After graduating, Emily provided job skills training for Living Classrooms re-entry program and became involved with grassroots campaigns for progressive issues.  A native to Baltimore, Emily traveled across the country, supporting her endeavors by working as a self-employed street performer, eventually settling in New Orleans. Emily has been assistant general manager of a popular music venue in the French Quarter and is learning to salsa and tango. In addition to her work at TrueSchool, Emily is a site director at Start The Adventure In Reading (STAIR), a New Orleans non-profit whose mission is to improve the reading skills and self-esteem of lower elementary students.

 

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HADIATOU BARRY, Market Research Intern, barry@trueschoolstudio.com
Hadiatou is an MBA student at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business with a passion for education and social entrepreneurship. For the past three years she worked for CARANA Corporation, backstopping and managing transformative and inclusive economic growth projects in Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. Hadiatou holds a BS in International Economics from Georgetown University, is a live music enthusiast and loves to travel.

 

 

 

MAILLE FAUGHNAN, Research + Design Lead, faughnan@trueschoolstudio.com   Maille is a PhD student International Development at Tulane University, where she also received her MS and BA. Her research specializations are in social innovation and entrepreneurship, the cultural dimensions of development, and qualitative methodologies. She is in her fourth semester as a teaching assistant in the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship program, instructing undergraduates in human-centered design, and is a coach for the Fast 48 graduate and professional design thinking bootcamp. Maille moved to New Orleans from California 10 years ago and is passionately dedicated to making this city thrive. She believes in a world where everyone has the power and agency to take action on wicked problems, big and small.

 

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NGOC BUI, Program + Digital Experience Intern, bui@trueschoolstudio.com
Ngoc is an undergraduate student at Stanford University studying Computer Science. With her technical skills, she seeks to innovate and personalize the classroom experience for students. Last summer, she spent six weeks teaching advanced algebra to rising eighth graders at Breakthrough Twin Cities, a college preparatory program for under-resourced students. The incredible experience intensified her passion for improving education and increasing educational equity. This past year, she led a five-day service-learning trip on educational technology and spearheaded Stanford’s first undergraduate conference on education. 

SHANNON SIPHER, Writer, sipher@trueschoolstudio.com
Shannon Sipher earned a BA in English Literature from Loyola University of Chicago, and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago in writing, where she specialized in speculative and fabulist fiction. She has worked and volunteered in the education sector as a substitute teacher, tutor, technical writer, and administrator in Chicago and her hometown of New Orleans for over a decade. She is not a fan of dystopian fiction turning into reality, which is why she feels it is so vitally important that we as a society guarantee every person on the planet has access to a quality education. She is excited to work with TrueSchool Studio and aid in their mission of redesigning the school experience. As a life long hobbyist, and pupil of all that excites her curiosities, Shannon is passionate about helping students experience the sublime and vital joy of learning. Shannon is also ardent about solving the coastal erosion crisis in Louisiana, reading comic books, and petting any pugs that she sees.

 

 

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ANALLELI MUÑOZ, Educator-Innovator-In-Residence

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, Educator-Innovator-In-Residence

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, Educator-Innovator-In-Residence

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.

 

RONETTA WARDS, Educator-Innovator-In-Residence

Ronetta Wards is a Director of School Support in Michigan and Ohio for the Achievement Network. Committed to education and empowering all educators to provide an excellent education for all students, she began her career as a high school science teacher in Jacksonville, FL. Her journey has afforded her to served as a mentor teacher, professional development facilitator, liaison for a university partnership to promote college readiness, district level technology director, national conference presenter and school improvement director for districts in Ohio and Illinois. Ronetta also served as a school leader in Chicago Public Schools helping to implement a thriving STEM program where their students achieved academic success moving their school improvement rating to a Level 1+ in three years. Ronetta has also participated in a number of design thinking studios to deepen her impact across the school to influence student outcomes grounded in innovation. Focusing on empathy actions and disruptive innovation, she help to lead the charge around teacher ownership in STEM learning with an emphasis on building teacher capacity in engineering. Ronetta also spearheaded the idea to incorporate foreign language into their STEM programming. She also help to ignite her students’ ability to learn Mandarin Chinese and take it as a core course during the academic school day. Ronetta recently participated in the Chinese Bridge Delegation program initiative with the College Board and Hanban/Confucius Institute to interact with Chinese educators and strengthen their program.

 

 

Our 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.

 

Nashay-Jones-ProfileNASHAY 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.