The National Summer School Initiative team came together to reimagine distance learning in the pandemic.

Elizabeth Beugg

Elizabeth is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a background in media, entertainment, and creative writing. Elizabeth spent three years with CityStep, an arts-oriented mentorship program which partners with West and South Philadelphia public schools. She worked alongside a team of mentors to develop and execute creative curriculums at K-12 schools including KIPP Philadelphia, Comegys Elementary, and Jackson Middle School. She has also worked for the Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate, Disney, Netflix, and Tom Ford. Elizabeth was the editor-in-chief of Penn’s satire publication “Under the Button,” where she managed a staff of 45 writers, videographers, and designers. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in fine art and English.

Keri Hubbard

After teaching high school math in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Teach for America corps member, Keri joined the Achievement First charter school network. Teaching seventh-grade math and eighth-grade algebra at the network in Brooklyn, she led her students for two consecutive years to 100 percent proficiency on the New York State exam, with 97 percent of eighth-graders passing the Algebra Regents exam. Later, she joined KIPP in Austin, teaching sixth-grade reading, and rose to become assistant principal and director of curriculum and professional development. Currently, Keri is the math program lead at NSSI, supporting an incredible team of teachers, PD leads and curriculum developers tasked with providing rigorous, math instruction to students across the country.  Keri holds a B.A. in economics and sociology from Duke University.

Cheryl Kelley-Henderson

Cheryl began her career as a music educator, teaching in elementary schools in Miami and at Miami Dade Community College where she was an adjunct professor. While earning her PhD in educational leadership and music education in Memphis, Cheryl joined KIPP Memphis Collegiate Elementary, where she chaired the enrichment department and taught literacy and music. At KMCE she was the school’s assistant principal and ELA instructional coach for 5 years. Cheryl also served as a leadership coach for the KIPP School Leadership program and an ELA literacy curriculum coach for the KIPP Foundation Teaching and Learning Team. Cheryl earned a B.A. in choral music education and vocal performance from Philander Smith College, an M.Ed. from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis.

Brittany Leaverton

Brittany started her teaching career at Success Academy in New York City, where she taught for two years with Teach for America. Brittany taught kindergarten and first grade as an integrated co-teacher and grade team lead before being tapped to move into leadership. As principal, she led her school to achieve top 5% rankings within New York State in math and ELA for two consecutive years. For the past three years, Brittany served as an instructional training specialist for Success, designing and implementing leader training for assistant principals and new hire teaching staff. Brittany earned a B.A. from the University of Washington in international studies and an M.A. from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Maddy Levine

Maddy is the director of operations at NSSI responsible for managing all of the operations and communications for the program. Maddy was most recently the senior manager of community partnerships & outreach at Girls Who Code, where she worked to foster strong partnerships with school districts, library networks, and community-based organizations so that every girl has the opportunity to gain the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Previously, Maddy served as an assistant principal at Success Academy Charter Schools, where she managed instruction and teacher development in science, math, and literacy for grades K-4—achieving results in the top 1% of all New York state public schools. She first became passionate about education while serving as an AmeriCorps member in an urban education fellowship program in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddy received her BS in Psychology and History from Union College and holds a Women in Leadership Certification from Cornell. 

Doug McCurry

Doug is the Chief of Program & Partnerships at NSSI. He is the former co-CEO and superintendent of Achievement First, which operates a network of 40 public charter schools educating 14,000 students in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT; Brooklyn, NY; and Providence, RI. Achievement First is consistently one of the highest performing charter networks in New York City. Prior to co-founding Achievement First in 2003, Doug was one of the founders of Amistad Academy and served as the school’s instructional leader for three years. Achievement First Amistad High is ranked the number one high school in Connecticut.

Verónica Vazquez Ugalde

Verónica is NSSI’s Operations Manager. She joins the team after several years of working in the nonprofit and EdTech spaces, primarily in program and project management. Most recently, Verónica worked at Empatico, a nonprofit providing a virtual exchange platform for classrooms around the world, where she managed the organization’s cross-functional collaborations, strengthened program operations and capacity, expanded programmatic evidence of impact, and created numerous research-based resources/ experiences for students and educators. Before then, she worked in nonprofit evaluation with ImpactMatters (now part of Charity Navigator) estimating the social impact of a wide variety of domestic and international nonprofits. Verónica graduated with a BS in Economics from American University and later with an MA in Economic Policy from Boston University, which served as the foundation for her work in nonprofit evaluation and evidence-based program development.

Jessica Wagner

Jessica is the associate director of operations at NSSI.Most recently, Jessica was the director of special projects at PAVE Schools. Prior to that she spent five years as the director of talent acquisition at PAVE, where she was responsible for facilitating the full recruitment process across four programs annually. She began her career in school operations as a founding special projects coordinator at Uncommon Schools, and was subsequently the founding operations manager at PAVE Academy Charter School and a network operations manager at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City. Jessica graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from Trinity College (CT) in educational studies and anthropology and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

Steven Wilson

Steven is a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. He founded and led Ascend Learning, a charter school network in Brooklyn which offers a tuition-free liberal arts education in a warm and supportive setting to 5,500 students. Funded entirely at district spending levels, Ascend reversed the achievement gap on Common Core assessments. As special assistant for strategic planning for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, Steven helped shape the state’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that made Massachusetts schools the highest performing in the country and gave rise to the Boston charter school sector.

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