As the Director of Talent Management, Emily works to find the best teachers and leaders to serve our scholars. Emily holds a BA in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley where she also worked in a lab researching neurogenesis in mice. Emily began her teaching career in Memphis as a Teach for America Corps Member in 2010 and began working for Collegiate Academies in 2013 as a science teacher at Abramson Sci Academy. It was at Abramson Sci Academy where she learned how to expect the highest from all scholars and to achieve impossible results. She has coached and developed new teachers through both Teach for America and The New Teacher Project.
Emily loves working for CA because she believes that our schools change lives. She is excited to find amazing people to help our scholars find their own way to give back to others and change the world.
Timur joined Collegiate Academies in September 2015 as Manager of Talent Marketing, where he supports the schools in finding and hiring the best talent for our students.
Timur attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a degree in Mathematics. Afterward he joined Teach for America New Orleans, teaching at the New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School. He taught Physics for three years, while also coaching the nationally ranked debate team and founding the annual science fair, resulting in 20 students qualifying to enter the citywide science fair, with six students winning honors. His ninth grade students experienced an average two years of growth as measured by the ACT science test. He has also coached new teachers as a Corps Member Advisor in Teach for America Atlanta Summer Institute, and has supported building analytic systems at Algiers Charter School Association.
Timur is thrilled to be working at Collegiate Academies and support their continued excellence in scholar growth and success.
Andrea is the Director of Scholar Support at Collegiate Academies. Andrea has been a part of the Collegiate Academies team since 2011. During her first two years with the CMO, she served as the Director of Intervention at Sci Academy, CA’s first school, located in New Orleans East. In her role, she is responsible for ensuring that all scholars receiving intervention services reach their individualized and rigorous goals across diverse learner programming including; EL Programming, RTI/MSS, 504, Special Education and aligned related services. In her time with Collegiate Academies, Andrea has led the CMO in launching a true continuum of services for scholars with diverse academic, social-emotional and transition support needs. Additionally, she has collaborated with the CA team to create and implement a comprehensive data infrastructure that tracks progress of all scholars, at every level of the service provision continuum, toward their post-secondary goals. Prior to joining Collegiate Academies, Andrea taught for three years in New Orleans charter elementary schools while also serving as the Special Education Coordinator. She was a 2006 Teach For America corps member in Metro DC, where she taught for two years. She has masters in Special Education with a focus in Learning Disabilities from American University.
As a School Leader Fellow, Topher Bordenave will learn the culture of CA in hopes of becoming a Founding School Leader next fall. Topher earned his undergraduate degree in Human Development from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. Topher joins the CA family after spending four years teaching middle school math and four years of teaching Algebra I and Algebra II at the Noble Network in Chicago, IL. During his first year at Noble, his Algebra I students had historical growth on the annual state test. To date, he holds the record for the highest Algebra I growth in that network. After spending eight years of teaching, he became the Founding Assistant Principal at Butler College Prep. During his duration at Butler, he oversaw academics and lead teacher leaders.
As a native New Orleanian, Topher is excited to be back in the city to build a diverse community whose mission is grounded by inspiring others.
Margo is the Chief Academic Officer of Collegiate Academies and works to ensure our schools have the programming and teacher development to hit rigorous academic goals. A founding member of the Sci Academy team, she served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction (DCI) and a Special Education teacher. In her role as DCI, Margo built the academic program that has fueled Sci Academy’s success. Prior to joining the Collegiate Academies team, she taught special education at Edward Livingston Elementary School in New Orleans and as a Teach for America Corps Member in Philadelphia, PA. Margo holds a BA from the University of Connecticut and M.Ed. from Chestnut Hill University.
Jerel is the principal at Carver Collegiate Academy. Jerel received his B.A. in History from Yale, with his senior thesis on the impact of the war time experience on black African troops in South Africa after the Second Boer War. Teach For America brought him to New Orleans in 2007. He taught English language arts for two years in Central city. In 2009, Mr. Bryant joined the Sci Academy faculty to teach Civics to the class of 2012 and lead the Yale advisory. As a humanities teacher and dean at Sci Academy, Mr. Bryant’s teaching directly contributed to Sci Academy sophomore Graduate Exit Exam scores in English Language Arts; during the 2009-2010 school year, 80% of our scholars achieved a score of Basic and Above. Proudly from East Harlem, Jerel is also proud to have served the communities that he has the opportunity to serve here in New Orleans.
Jerel says he believes that CA will confront anything, regardless of the challenges, if it is ultimately what is best for kids.
Alison is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at Collegiate Academies, where she works to support the CEO and expand his capacity for growing the organization. Alison has a B.A. in German from Ohio Wesleyan University. She started her career in education as a 2003 Teach for America corps member in Eastern North Carolina, where she taught at KIPP Gaston College Preparatory. After four years, she stayed with KIPP as she transitioned to New Orleans, where she began teaching at KIPP Believe. Alison taught math at KIPP Believe for eight years, including writing the 7th and 8th grade math curriculums, serving as grade level chair, and coaching soccer. For three consecutive years her 8th grade students passed the 9th grade Algebra exam at rates of 85% or higher. She has been awarded both the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2011) and the KIPP Harriet Ball Excellence in Teaching Award (2013).
Alison joined CA to learn more about day to day operations of a charter management organization and about running a network of successful charter schools.
Tylita is an Accountant at Collegiate Academies. In this position, she assists in processing and finalizing financial transactions. She also maintains, organizes, and verifies financial records while protecting the organization’s confidentiality. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Prior to joining Collegiate Academies in 2014, she obtained a position as a Tax Professional which she still maintains currently. She also was an Account Clerk for Hurricane Legal Center, LLC in New Orleans, LA for three years where she assisted in completing file suits and disbursing settlement funds to clientele who were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
While being a part of the team at Collegiate Academies, Tylita pursues the opportunities to advance in her career of accounting and finance all while being able to impact the lives of youth from the city of New Orleans where she is a fellow native.
Rhonda is the Principal of Abramson Sci Academy. She joined Abramson Sci Academy as a founding teacher in 2008. During her tenure at Abramson Sci Academy, she has served as an academic dean, a culture dean, and an English teacher. Her efforts in the classroom directly correlated to Abramson Sci Academy’s consistent success and its ranking as the #1 school in the district on English exams. In 2009, Rhonda was named the Louisiana Public Charter School Association’s Teacher of the Year. Prior to joining the Abramson Sci Academy team, she taught for six years in schools in Texas and New Orleans, including George Washington Carver High School. In addition to her experience in the classroom, Rhonda has held a variety of roles in education, including three years as an online high school administrator and as a facilitator or professional development and coach of new teachers. She holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in English from Western State University. She completed the inaugural year of the Relay Graduate School of Education’s National Principals Academy Fellowship.
Ben is currently a leader at Carver Collegiate. He graduated from Middlebury College in 2007, where he majored in Geography. Upon graduating, he joined Teach For America and came to New Orleans where he taught Physical Science, Environmental Science, and Algebra I at Joseph S. Clark High School for two years. He then joined Sci Academy, where he taught Algebra I for three years and led grade level teams as a culture dean for two years. He helped found Carver, where he has had the pleasure to help lead a remarkable team of scholars and leaders since 2012.
Ben continues to work for Collegiate Academies because he deeply believes in our mission and loves the constant growth and professional development.
Angele Jackson DeLarge
Angele joined Collegiate Academies as a Director of Talent, supporting schools in finding and hiring the best talent for our students. She is a native New Orleanian, earning her Bachelors of Political Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and her Masters of Public Administration from Louisiana State University. Following her undergraduate education, Angele joined the New Teacher Project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and spent the next seven years educating students in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Following her time in the classroom, she joined the Teach for America-Greater New Orleans staff as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development, building partnerships with schools throughout the Greater New Orleans area, coaching classrooms, developing first and second year teachers, and working alongside the hiring team. During each of her four years at Teach for America, Angele’s classrooms performed in the top 90% of all classrooms in nationally tracked student achievement data.
Angele is committed to working at Collegiate because she believes in the organization’s commitment and work towards being the best for our students and community on a daily basis.
Rachel Jacobsen Johnson
Rachel joined Collegiate Academies as an Americorps VISTA in August of 2016. She is currently serving as CA’s Network Operations Manager. She is responsible for academic operations, student recruitment, and office management for the network. Rachel graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and later attended University of New Orleans for her Masters in Sociology.
Rachel is energized by her work at Collegiate. She is inspired by the students’ growth and how they tackle solving world-changing pursuits.
Gerrit is the director of English Language Arts and Literary, a role in which he works to ensure that every scholar has the reading and writing skills needed to do whatever they want in life. As an undergrad at Ithaca College he studied History and Sociology – two topics that inform his worldview today. After teaching in New Orleans, he decided to pursue an MA as a Literacy Specialist at Columbia University. As a teacher for 5 years in New Orleans, he regularly led his students to top scores in his network, but views his close ties with students and families as the real achievement. He also worked out of NYC for five years where he led literacy initiatives in schools and countries across the world. He is the co-author of “The Middle School Writing Units of Study” published by Heineman and the author of “Turning Every Kid Into a Reader…Really” curricular unit released by the Reading and Writing Project.
He has enjoyed working with students and teachers all over, but is thrilled to be working with students in New Orleans again.
Kristin joined Sci Academy in 2010 and is now CA’s Director of Accounting. She is responsible for payroll, grants management and the general accounting of the network. She received her undergraduate degree in finance from DePaul University in Chicago. Prior to joining CA, Kristin worked in accounting with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and a Montessori school in Evanston, IL.
Kristin loves the CSTeam and the mission of the network.
As Director of Math Instruction, Emma oversees the design, execution, and effectiveness of math programming, instruction and teacher development. She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors of Science in Movement Science Kinesiology. She is a 2009 Secondary Math Greater New Orleans Corp Member. Emma started her teaching career as an Algebra Teacher at East Saint John High School in Reserve, Louisiana. In 2011, she joined the Sci Academy team as a 9th grade Algebra Teacher. Before taking on this role as a Director of Math Instruction, Emma worked for TNTP as a Training and Instruction Manager where she oversaw the coaching, development and certification for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency. From 2013 to 2015, she has worked to specialize in Common Core Math. In 2014, she wrote and published the Secondary Math Certification Course for TNTP Academy Online to support teachers to pursue their Common Core aligned teacher certification.
Emma is excited to return home to Collegiate as the Director of Math Instruction where she gets to work directly with teachers and students to prepare all scholars for college success in mathematics.
Brad is Collegiate Academies’ Network Speech-Language Pathologist. In this role, Brad performs evaluations and provides intervention to scholars in need of speech-language services. Brad specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for scholars who are traditionally nonverbal or have limited verbal output to improve and generalize their communication skills in all settings. Brad was born and raised in Louisiana and attended Louisiana Tech University while pursuing his B.A. in Pre-Professional Speech-Language Pathology. Following his graduation from Louisiana Tech, Brad continued his master’s degree in Communication Disorders at LSU Health in New Orleans. In the Spring of 2016, Brad began working with Collegiate Academies as a graduate student where he immediately presented exemplary mission-aligned mindsets.
Brad says his main mission for working at Collegiate Academies is to give every scholar a voice.
Anne is the Director of Data & Analytics at Collegiate Academies. In her role, she supports schools by ensuring they have access to the data and resources they need to best serve our scholars. She holds a BA from The Ohio State University and served as a Teach for America Corps member in the Mississippi Delta. Prior to joining the Collegiate Academies team, Anne served in many roles as an educator, including principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and teacher.
Anne is excited to spearhead the work to make to make Collegiate Academies the most data-driven organization possible.
Amelia is the Grants Manager at Collegiate Academies. She works to secure the resources that our schools need to prepare all students to be successful into adulthood. Amelia has a B.A. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with a double major in French and Spanish language and literature. In May 2017, she will graduate with a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University. Amelia’s first job in education was teaching high school English for a year outside of Paris, France. Since then, she has spent years working in a variety of academic settings, fulfilling a range of roles from interpreting to marketing to budget and facilities management. Most recently, she was the International Education Coordinator in Loyola University’s Center for International Education where she managed administration and marketing of study abroad programs.
Amelia joined Collegiate Academies because she wants her work to make strides toward equality and because she believes in the power of public schools to deliver opportunities to all students.
As the Chief Culture Officer, Chris’s primary objective at Collegiate Academies is to help each school create the strongest high school cultures in the country.
Chris graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College in 1999. He went on to teach middle school science for three years at Sousa Middle School in Southeast Washington, D.C. as a ’99 TFA Corps Member. After spending some time as a musician and traveling extensively in South Asia, Chris became Dean of Students at Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston. Over his five years as Dean, Chris worked with an impressive team of educators to execute a very successful turnaround. He helped the school go from a mediocre school to a joyful school. The school consistently ranks at or near the top on the yearly Massachusetts state test while having low attrition and high student and family investment. After Excel, Chris consulted with CMOs across the country to help them improve their cultures, systems and staff training.
Chris says he is here to help an amazing organization unlock its full potential. He will work with CA schools to implement a strong and replicable school culture model and training program.
Julie serves as our School Psychologist. Her main goal is to promote student success and growth and to have 100% compliant, timely reports. She earned a Bachelor in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and a Masters and Specialty in Education in School Psychology from Georgia State University. She has worked in schools in Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, and now Louisiana. In Cleveland and Greater Cleveland, Ohio, she worked in public, private, and charter schools for 6 years as the go-to service provider for some of the most difficult cases.
New Orleans is definitely a truly unique city to live and work in.
Julie says she is excited about joining the CA team because these schools truly promote a positive culture focused on our scholars’ current and future successes.
Frederick Johnson IV
Frederick is a Manager of College completion with Collegiate’s CA Next program. He works with 2016 and 2017 alumni to assist them in achieving all of their post secondary goals. Frederick graduated from the University of New Orleans in New Orleans, LA where he received his degree in Secondary Education: Biology. He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration. Frederick taught Physical Science at Edna Karr High School as well as Human Anatomy and Physiology and Biology II. In college, he worked as an Orientation Leader & Coordinator getting students ready for their college careers. He has also spent time with STAIR NOLA where he served as a tutor and site director.
Frederick says he is excited to join an organization with a mission and values that truly resonate with him personally. Collegiate Academies’ mindset to change education on a national scale motivates him every day.
As the Director of College Completion with Collegiate’s CA Next program, Lauren works to ensure that all Collegiate Academies alumni complete college with the knowledge and skills to live out their passions and achieve their rigorous lifelong goals. Lauren graduated from Tulane University, where she started her work in New Orleans schools, in 2007. From 2011-2014, Lauren was the Director of External Affairs at KIPP NYC, connecting their schools and programs with families, community leaders, politicians and the media. Prior to that, she was the Director of Operations and Community Service at Sojourner Truth Academy in New Orleans where she was charged with developing parts of their social justice curriculum through student-led community service. She also served as Sci Academy’s College Counselor and Student Enrollment Manager in the school’s third year of existence.
Lauren returned to Collegiate Academies in 2015 because of her love for the students, the alumni, the team, and the work.
As Director of Resident Teacher Development, Jennifer coaches, teaches, and supports first-year teachers who are part of the Collegiate Academies Teacher Residency Program. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Rutgers University, an MA in Education Administration from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ, and is expected to graduate with an MSW from the Tulane School of Social Work in 2018. Prior to joining the Collegiate Academies Team, Jen spent eleven years at KIPP where she served in a variety of roles at the local level in the Bay Area and most recently as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction on the national KIPP Foundation Team out of KIPP’s NYC office. Her career in education began in Newark, NJ, where Jen was a 2001 Teach for America Corps Member.
Jen is thrilled to be back in New Orleans and is equally thrilled to have joined the remarkably talented team at Collegiate Academies, where what’s best for ALL scholars drives the team’s collective work daily.
Hannah is the Grants Associate. She has a BA in English and BA in Spanish from the University of Virginia. In 2014, Hannah came to New Orleans through teachNOLA and worked as an 8th grade English and Special Education teacher at Dolores T. Aaron Academy. She has previous experience working with a national literacy nonprofit, Reading Partners, where she served as a coordinator for their volunteer tutoring program in Harlem, and with The Boys Club of New York as a teacher and tutor.
Hannah came to Collegiate to follow many of her former students through high school and to be a part of the transformative growth CA schools offer for students. She is excited to be a part of the team that ensures our organization is equipped with the resources necessary to provide a comprehensive continuum of services to all scholars.
Kelsey is the principal at Collegiate Baton Rouge, our newest Collegiate Academies school. Kelsey received her B.A. in psychology and behavioral science from Concordia University in Seward, NE and completed her M.Ed in special education at the University of New Orleans. Kelsey got her start in the classroom in 2009 as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans. Kelsey taught elementary special education (primarily students with autism) in Jefferson Parish for her first year in the corps, then taught middle school special education for her second year in the corps. She then moved to high school where she continued teaching special education at Sci Academy. Here Kelsey founded Sci Academy’s â€œEssential Skillsâ€ program (program for scholars with significant disabilities). Kelsey served as Sci Academy’s Director of Intervention for two years before deciding to be a founding principal.
Kelsey is here at CA because she loves working with the best team in the world as they serve the most amazing scholars in the world.
As the Director of Finance and Strategy, Jenna plays a leadership role in developing and operationalizing sustainable growth within the Collegiate Academies network. In this capacity, she ensures the execution of an annual financial plan that simultaneously achieves the CA vision of academic excellence and makes progress toward Collegiate’s priority of financial sustainability.
Jenna holds a Bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She began her career as a 5th grade teacher with Teach for America in the Greater New Orleans corps in 2001. Subsequently, she worked as a Program Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools’ Renaissance 2010 initiative. Jenna then spent 10 years with Huron Consulting Group, assisting universities and research hospitals across the country achieve efficiency and financial sustainability within their research programs.
Jenna is passionate about serving the city of New Orleans and ensuring all scholars at Collegiate are prepared for college success.
James is the Executive Director of Opportunities Academy and works to ensure students with special needs have access to their most rigorous post-secondary opportunity. James attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a B.A. in International and Area Studies. He joined Teach For America in Philadelphia where he earned his M.Ed. with a focus in Special Education from Chestnut Hill College. After teaching for two years in the School District of Philadelphia, James moved to New Orleans and earned his M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Tulane University. He served as the Director of Special Education at Sojourner Truth Academy before joining Collegiate Academies as a 9th grade world geography teacher. This will be James’ 8th year at Collegiate Academies, having also worked as a 9th grade algebra teacher and assistant principal.
Michael Mahoney, Collegiate Academies’ Director of Specialized Programs, serves teachers and Intervention staff across the network to ensure specialized programs effectively prepare all scholars for their most meaningful and rigorous post-secondary opportunities. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English in 2010, and joined Teach for America in New Mexico, teaching middle school Language Arts to Navajo students in a small town called Thoreau. He moved to New Orleans in 2012, helped Abramson Sci Academy found its school garden, and has worked for Collegiate Academies in a variety of Intervention roles since then.
He was drawn to CA by the love teachers had for their scholars and for each other, and he remains because the work gives him an anchoring sense of purpose that enriches his life.
Benjamin is the founder and CEO of Collegiate Academies, currently operating three high schools in New Orleans, LA. Beginning in 2007 with Sci Academy, Collegiate Academies has led the district in high school performance and has won honors from the Oprah Winfrey Show and US News & World Report. Ben taught in New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. He holds a BA from Yale University and Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His work at Collegiate has earned him recognition from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, fellowships at Achievement First’s Charter Network Accelerator and the Pahara-Aspen Institute, as well as the Ryan Award for transformational urban school leadership. Additionally, he has served on the faculties of New Leaders and Leading Educators, and presents with Relay Graduate School of Education, Future Leaders in the United Kingdom, as well as the Newark Charter School Fund, among others.
Stacy is the Director of Community Affairs & Advocacy. She previously held the position of Louisiana State Director with Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). New Orleans born and raised, Stacy brings CA her deep knowledge of the city, its leaders, and influencers across Louisiana. She spent a decade in City Government and has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving our children. At Collegiate Academies, Stacy will be focused on building and maintaining relationships in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, cultivating family advocates, and advocating for policies that support our scholars, specifically TOPS funding.
As the Chief of Leadership Development, Adam coaches and supports the current and future school leaders of Collegiate Academies. He earned his undergraduate degree from Willamette University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National Louis University. He began his education career in 2000 as a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans. After leading his students to significant gains for two years, Adam joined KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy in Denver, Colorado as the founding English teacher. In 2006, determined to bring a transformative school to New Orleans that could set a bar for excellence in the city, Adam opened KIPP Believe College Prep. Over the course of his eight years leading the school, KIPP Believe was the top-performing, open-enrollment charter school in the city.
In 2014, Adam joined Collegiate Academies to help ensure all students have access to a phenomenal high school that keeps the promise of an unlimited future.
Serving as Director of Development, Julia is thrilled to have the opportunity to connect education supporters and advocates with Collegiate Academies’ scholars, teachers and schools. Julia works to ensure our organization is equipped with the resources necessary to provide a comprehensive continuum of services to all scholars. Originally from Chicago, Julia made her way down to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. She earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Sociology and found her home in New Orleans.
Julia’s love for and commitment to the kids and families of New Orleans began in college and has been the guiding force behind each of her past roles. Prior to joining CA, Julia spent time exploring several facets of the local education space including community engagement, teaching, and grant making. Most recently, Julia worked at KIPP New Orleans Schools as Development Manager. When she is not rallying support for CA scholars, Julia spends her time serving as a project leader for YLC, as a board member for the Louisiana Himalaya Association and Network Voluntours, and spending time with her family.
Rebecca works as Director of Scholar Support Compliance and General Counsel, where she supports schools in ensuring all learners get the services necessary to achieve their most rigorous post-secondary opportunities. Rebecca recently re-joined the Collegiate Academies team in 2017 after earning her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. A 2004 graduate of Tulane University’s Newcomb College, Rebecca also has a B.A. in Political Science, concentrating in American Policy and Process, and a minor in Philosophy. Prior to joining CA in 2013, Rebecca spent more than seven years as a committee staffer in the United States House of Representatives, first as Legislative Floor Assistant and Professional Staff for the House Rules Committee, and later as Floor Director for the House Appropriations Committee.
Rebecca loves working at CA because she believes providing quality education for all students is critical to protecting New Orleans’ future.
Amanda Ochoa, MCD, CCC-SLP
As the Director of Related Services, Amanda’s role is to provide supervision to the speech-language pathologists and assistants, and support other related service providers that work in the Collegiate Academies network. Additionally, she provides direct therapy services to scholars at Livingston Collegiate Academy and G.W. Carver High School. She received at B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Amanda continued her education at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center where she earned a Master of Communication Disorders. She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Speech-Language Pathology. She has worked in St. Bernard Parish Schools as a Speech-Language Pathologist and also works as a private practitioner at Ochoa Speech & Language Specialists, LLC.
Amanda enjoys working at Collegiate Academies because she LOVES working with scholars with special needs while developing other related service providers to provide the highest level of therapy services.
Erica is the current Network Operations and Communications Coordinator. She works to ensure that scholars are taught and led by people who think of nothing more than teaching and leading them. Originally from Chicago, Erica holds a Bachelors of Science in Finance from DePaul University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. She came to New Orleans to teach middle school math at Dolores T. Aaron Academy. She taught math there for two years and also ran the independent learning lab. Before moving to New Orleans, she taught with Chicago Public Schools for two years. Erica also comes with lots of corporate experience, having been an Accounts Payable Manager and International Liaison for a manufacturing company. She is also the the treasurer of a non-profit called Partnerships in Education and Service that has been doing service work in New Orleans since 2006 and has expanded to other communities in New York and Utah.
Erica joined Collegiate Academies because she believes all scholars need the skills and opportunities to go to college.
As the Managing Director of Operations, Justin works to ensure that all students and staff have the supports they need to be successful, safe, and focused on learning.
He received his undergraduate degree in Latin American History from Tulane University where he later received his Master of Arts in Caribbean History. After college Justin worked for an educational technology non-profit before joining the operations team of Sojourner Truth Academy in New Orleans. In 2012 he joined CA as the Director of Finance and Operations of Sci Academy where he worked for 4 years before joining CA’s Create and Support Team.
Justin is thrilled to continue his work at CA in support of our students and staff in New Orleans and beyond.
As the Director of Communications, Zoey works closely with stakeholders within the community and local and national news outlets to help spread and share the mission of CA and its schools. Zoey holds a B.S. from LSU in Political Communications with a minor in Sociology and Political Science. Zoey has brought over 17 years of marketing, public relations, government relations and event planning experience to Collegiate Academies. She most recently served in various communication roles throughout New Orleans as the Executive Director of Communications for the Recovery School District, Director of Communications for the Downtown Development District, and Vice President of External Affairs for Greater New Orleans, Inc. She has also served in government relations roles with the American Cancer Society as the State Government Relations Director and the American Heart Association as the State Advocacy and Communications Director.
Zoey loves working at Collegiate. She says scholars and teachers’ positive energy is infectious! She is privileged to work with inspiring scholars and teachers united by the unwavering belief all scholars can and will tackle world changing pursuits.
Maria is one of the Managers of College Completion in the CA Next program. CA Next works with the alumni of our schools to help them complete college and live happy, healthy and empowered lives after high school. Maria graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. where she studied Education, American Studies and Spanish. After working with City Kids Wilderness Project in their youth leadership program Maria realized that working with youth gives her more energy than anything else. After graduating, Maria served as a Teach for America Corps Member in New Orleans at L.W. Higgins High School as a Spanish teacher. She facilitated a dual enrollment Spanish course where her students earned six college credits.
Maria says she joined Collegiate Academies because of the people and the mission. She loves her team because they do whatever is necessary to ensure Collegiate alumni complete college!
A New Orleans native, Sophia is currently a Manager of College Completion for Collegiate Academies’ CA Next program. It is here that she gets to work as an alumni advisor to graduates who are transitioning from high school to college, or another rigorous post secondary opportunity.
Sophia received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans in Mass Communication: Public Relations, and she received her Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education from Xavier University Louisiana. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Sophia has been an educator in the New Orleans public school system since 2007, but she has worked with at-risk you in various capacities for nearly 15 years. While her passion is working with, and advocating for, students with disabilities, she has worked in numerous capacities. She has served as a mentor to a young ladies in the Juvenile Justice System in Delaware, Ohio, as well as an arts and crafts teacher to a group of young boys. She has also served as a big sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeastern Louisiana. Sophia began her teaching career as a Secondary English and Reading Teacher. Over time, she has taught English, Reading, READ 180, and various elective courses.
Sophia made the decision to transition out of the classroom, and into working directly with alumni. She believes the education system should be doing more to ensure that there are supports in place for alumni to become their best possible selves-whether it be in college or another post-secondary option.
Alexandra Sims, Ph.D
As the Director of Pupil Appraisal, Alex works with all of our schools to coordinate and complete evaluations for our scholars receiving special education services. As an undergraduate, she attended La Salle University in Philadelphia before pursuing her Masters in psychology from New York University. While in New York for four years, she worked in research at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx on a study working with children and their caregivers who were victims of domestic violence, and at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital conducting internal research in their Quality Initiatives program. Her experiences in New York drove her to find a career where she could both study kids and spend time with them as often as possible. Alex moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where she received her Ph.D. in school psychology, with a trauma focus. She completed her internship at KIPP: Renaissance High School and joined the team at Collegiate in 2015.
Alex works at CA in order to work with scholars and their families to maximize not only their time with us, but their future in college, their careers, and beyond.
Evan is the founding principal of Livingston Collegiate and a native New Orleanian. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Music from Loyola University of New Orleans. In his previous role as Sci Academy’s Freshman Dean and Algebra I teacher, Evan supported 9th grade scholars, teachers, and advisors to develop and maintain a positive, challenging, and rewarding academic experience for each year’s freshman class. Before joining Collegiate Academies, he taught middle school math as a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans.
Evan was the proud advisor to the Loyola Wolves Advisory, Class of 2016 and is nervous and eager to see his boys graduate from college and change the world.
Soraya Verjee currently serves as the Collegiate Academies Chief Talent Officer, working to ensure every classroom and role is led by a high quality teammate. Soraya completed her Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating, Soraya began her career at The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm. In 2007, she moved to New Orleans, where she joined the KIPP New Orleans team as a recruiter, working to staff 3 schools and supporting the writing of the KIPP strategic growth plan. Soraya then joined Teach For America and joined the Collegiate Team as a 9th Grade Algebra I at Abramson Sci Academy, where she helped attain the highest high school math scores in the Recovery School District. Since 2011, she has served Collegiate Academies in a talent capacity, working to find, grow, and keep great educators for our students.
Soraya believes in every student and teacher’s ability to grow at the fastest rates and wants to ensure every American has access to opportunities that will allow them to reach their full potential.
Davis serves as Chief Operating Officer of Collegiate Academies. He graduated from the University of Virginia and later completed a Master’s degree in Ethics from Yale University with a focus on social policy and political philosophy. Davis began his career in Chicago as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, working with teams across the private, public, and social sectors. He later served as Managing Director of Strategy for New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO). At NSNO, he helped to develop and refine an organizational strategy to accelerate progress toward ambitious citywide academic goals.
Davis, a native of the New Orleans area, joined the Collegiate Academies team to help launch and support schools that create freedom and opportunity for scholars.