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Maggie Runyan-Shefa



Maggie Runyan-Shefa is the Co-CEO of New Schools for New Orleans and has been on the NSNO team since the fall of 2007. Maggie oversees NSNO’s school investment, school support, human capital investments, internal operations and organizational culture. In her time at NSNO Maggie has helped to fund or launch 28 schools, doubled the size of NSNO’s human capital portfolio, and was a chief architect of the Common Core programming offered to 33 schools across the city. Before coming to NSNO, Maggie founded and led KIPP STAR College Prep Charter School in Harlem, New York City and she is a graduate of the KIPP School Leadership Program. Under her leadership, KIPP STAR was among the highest performing open-enrollment public schools in Harlem and its graduates have gained acceptance into some of our nation’s finest college preparatory high schools and colleges. She was recognized by the Robin Hood Foundation with its Hero’s Award in 2004. Maggie is a former Teach For America corps member (Mississippi Delta ’97) and holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Michael Stone



A New Orleans native, Michael is committed to ensuring that New Orleans becomes the first city in the country to provide an excellent education to every child, regardless of class, color, or learning need.   Since joining NSNO, Michael has worked in various roles, overseeing human capital strategy, community engagement, fundraising, communications, major grant implementation, advocacy, government relations, and the organization’s finances.   Michael joined New Schools for New Orleans following his time with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York. While at McKinsey, Michael worked on a number of education-related projects, including developing Pennsylvania’s Race to the Top application strategy. Prior to McKinsey, Michael taught 7th, 8th, and 9th grade math in public schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. He has worked for the Achievement First charter school management organization and for Bronx Charter School for the Arts.  Michael is a graduate of Harvard College, and received a teaching degree from Pace University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

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Beth McAlear

Chief Financial Officer


Beth is a CPA who joined NSNO in 2012, after working as an Audit Manager with the professional services firm, Deloitte & Touche. She serves NSNO as the Chief Financial Officer and oversees the Finance and Operations Team. She received a B.A. in English from Kalamazoo College and an M.B.A from Tulane University. Beth was a long-time resident of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina and is happy to have returned and to be a part of NSNO’s team.








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Indrina Kanth

Chief of Staff


Indrina Kanth serves as the Chief of Staff for New Schools for New Orleans. Prior to joining NSNO, Indrina spent five years on Teach For America’s National Recruitment Team where she managed teams of recruitment directors and recruitment associates and recruited at over 100 universities around the country. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Creative Writing from The George Washington University. 


Sarah Barnes

External Relations Team Coordinator


Before moving to New Orleans in 2009 as a Teach For America corps member, Sarah graduated from Saint Mary’s College, where she majored in Communications Studies. As a teacher, she taught some of the city’s youngest students for three years. After her time in the classroom, Sarah joined the staff at Teach For America as an Operations Coordinator. Sarah joins NSNO as the External Relations Team Coordinator, where she helps manage NSNO’s communication strategy and the daily operations of the External Relations team. 

Eileen Chao

Senior Director of TIF Implementation


Eileen serves as the director of TIF implementation for New Schools for New Orleans. She is responsible for managing federal and programmatic compliance of the grant with 10 different organizations and 34 schools in New Orleans. Prior to joining NSNO, Eileen spent three years working in brand management (managing projects for Degree brand deodorant) and as a shopper marketing manager for Unilever (Managing all Unilever brands at Walgreens and CVS nation-wide).  Eileen also has two years of consulting experience with Accenture and was a 2002 Teach For America Corps Member in Houston, teaching 6th grade at Burnet Elementary. She holds a BBA in business honors/marketing and minor in French from the University of Texas at Austin class of 2002, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University class of 2008, specializing in marketing, marketing management and decision sciences. 

Adair Clayton

Senior Manager of School Support Program


Adair moved to New Orleans as a Teach For America corps member in 2010 after graduating from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in economics and studio art. As a corps member, she taught art and reading at ARISE Academy, a school incubated by New Schools for New Orleans. She was introduced to NSNO through the school review process at ARISE and enjoys serving NSNO as the School Support Program Manager.

Mandy Folse

Development Director


A native of Cut Off, Louisiana, Mandy joined NSNO after 10 years of working in international development in Washington, DC. During that time, Mandy led advocacy programs to influence policies related to education, health, nutrition, and agriculture in developing countries. She has also served as an advisor to Senator Mary Landrieu and former Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu on a variety of domestic social issues.  Mandy received her Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a social worker with children in foster care and as a civil rights advocate.  Mandy is mother to twin daughters, Nola and Zoe.   

Amanda Kruger Hill

Director of School Reviews


Amanda Kruger Hill is an experienced school leader, educator, college counselor and coach for teachers and school leaders.  She currently serves as NSNO’s Director of School Reviews and also leads our High School Consortium and College Counseling Convenings. Amanda earned her Master in Educational Leadership and an Administrative Credential through UC Berkeley’s Principal LeadershipInstitute. She graduated with honors in International Studies and with a minor in Education
from UC Berkeley.  Amanda co-founded a charter high school in California, where she served as a teacher, college counselor, assistant principal and then the principal. She also served as Regional Program Director for College Summit in San Francisco. Additionally, she was a founding member and coach at the Reach Institute for School Leadership. Amanda has dedicated her career to ensuring young people actualize their potential and has taken leadership in this endeavor at the classroom, school, and university levels. In addition to her work at NSNO, she serves as a coach for Columbia University’s Summer Principals Academy and as an Adjunct Instructor for the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Jenny Katz

Senior Director of Human Resources


After receiving a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Go Blue!), Jenny began working on Teach For America’s Recruitment Team. Inspired by the work of educators in New Orleans, she moved to New Orleans to teach 4th and 5th grade. Upon joining NSNO in 2010, Jenny initially supported the Schools Team in delivering direct support to our partner schools and then transitioned to become NSNO’s human resources director. She feels extremely lucky each day to work with such an amazing group of individuals, both at NSNO and in New Orleans at large. 


Jen Kurtz

Managing Director of Accounting


Jen is a lifelong resident of Greater New Orleans. She comes to NSNO from the International School of Louisiana, a local charter school, where she was the finance director for three years. Jen holds a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans and has a Louisiana CPA license. She has been working in accounting since 1996 and is excited to utilize her experience to help NSNO thrive.

Bernadette Lucas

Grants Accounting Director


A native of New Orleans, Bernadette received a B.S. in accounting from Dillard University and a M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She has been working in accounting and business since 1994 and is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to NSNO and to support NSNO’s vision of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans. She has served as a volunteer after school tutor and worked in summer enrichment programs.

Josh McCarty

Senior Director of Advocacy and Communications


Josh joined NSNO after completing his M.B.A. at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, where he also received his B.A. in history. Josh was an Education Pioneer Graduate School Fellow in Chicago, where he worked for Chicago Public Schools to create a training guide for local school councils to use during the principal hiring process. Prior to business school, he was with Teach For America, where he spent time on the Recruitment Team and in Human Assets as the manager of learning and development. 

Sarah Morrison



Sarah Morrison graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology. She began her nonprofit communications work as an intern at Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and later became co-lead of the National Youth Advisory Board for Loveisrespect.org, a teen dating violence prevention nonprofit. Sarah has also worked in nonprofit organizing, raising public awareness and building support to overturn Citizen’s United. Most recently, Sarah wrote about global poverty and human rights issues for the Borgen Project. She is thrilled to be NSNO’s writer, and to be part of such a dedicated team working to ensure access to a quality education for every child in New Orleans.

Christiana Newsome

Schools Team Coordinator


Christiana comes to NSNO from Washington DC, where she graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science. Beginning in 2010, Christiana joined the Department of Energy to work on the Oil Spill Commission following the disaster that struck the Gulf Region. In the following year, she worked as a special assistant to Deputy and Assistant Secretaries of Energy. Christiana is thrilled to serve NSNO as the Schools Team Coordinator and falls more in love with the city of New Orleans each day.

Katie Patterson

Director of Common Core Strategy


As the director of common core strategy, Katie is responsible for supporting schools in their transition to common core state standards and aligned assessments. She has taught in both charter and district schools in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Florida in a variety of subjects and grade levels with a focus on literacy. As an instructional coach both at the school level and for a national network of charter schools, she created scalable professional development practices and curricular resources impacting more than 30,000 students in 40 schools across five states. Katie holds a B.A. in History and a Master in Teaching in Elementary Education from the University of Virginia. She is thrilled to continue this work with a deep passion for and belief in the students, teachers, and leaders of New Orleans.  

Audrey Sanchez

Director of Teacher Support


Audrey Sanchez graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with degrees in art history and creative writing before becoming a 2008 Teach For America charter corps member in Kansas City.  Audrey was honored as the region’s first Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award nominee after leading her third grade students to over two years reading and math growth in one school year.  Following her time in the classroom, Audrey joined staff at Teach For America in Greater New Orleans as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development. For the past two years, Audrey has worked as a certified Real Time Teacher Coach in dozens of schools across seven Louisiana parishes.  In her capacity as the Director of Culture of Achievement for Teach For America, Audrey saw the Greater New Orleans region to its highest performing cohort of classroom cultures in the region’s twenty-three year history.   Audrey’s greatest passion lies in coaching and developing teachers, especially as it pertains to classroom cultures.   Her goal is to ensure that all students have access to high achieving, joyful and caring classrooms across the city of New Orleans. 

Liz Santos

CEO: Executive Assistant


Liz completed her bachelor’s degree at The College of New Jersey, where she studied Journalism. As an undergraduate, she provided tutoring and mentorship services to the students of Paterson, New Jersey through summer enrichment programs and as a teacher’s aide. Inspired to ensure all students receive a high-quality education, Liz relocated to New Orleans to serve as an AmeriCorps/City Year Corps Member. Throughout her year of service, she provided students in kindergarten through fourth grade with academic, behavioral and attendance support at John Dibert Community School. Liz now serves NSNO as the Operations Coordinator.

Tom Shepley

Managing Director of School Support


Tom holds a Ph.D. in education administration and policy from the University of Michigan. He began his career in 1992 as a charter Baltimore Teach For America corps member. Tom served as a co-principal of Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School and then moved to serve as principal of Mt. Washington Elementary School. During his leadership tenure at Mt. Washington, math scores in the primary grades increased by nearly 30% and the gap between those students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers was virtually closed. During his last year as principal, Tom was proud to announce that Mt. Washington had the highest reading achievement levels in the Baltimore City Public School system and the school was subsequently named a Blue Ribbon School for the sustained progress made. Tom moved to New Orleans in 2008 and while in the city, has served as senior managing director of Program for Teach for America as well as leadership coach and interim executive director of New Leaders for New Schools. Tom is the proud father of two young children, Adam and Claire.

Stephanie Slates

Managing Director of Human Capital Investments


Stephanie serves as the Managing Director of Human Capital Investments with NSNO.  She originally moved to New Orleans in 2002 to teach fourth grade through Teach For America.  Following teaching, she worked at Tulane University’s Office of Service Learning, where she coordinated college students’ service placements in local public schools.  She subsequently worked as a Program Design Specialist on Teach For America’s Teacher Preparation Team and as a Project Manager on the start-up team of New Leaders for New Schools in New Orleans.  Stephanie holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University, an M.S. in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, and an M.A. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University.  She is grateful to work with partners to expand high-quality educational opportunities for all students in New Orleans.

Alyse Utley

Director of School Selection


After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in psychology and Spanish, Alyse joined the Recruitment Team at Teach For America. During her time at TFA, she recruited new teachers from some of the top universities in the country. After two years, she decided to take on the challenge of leading her own classroom, which brought her to New Orleans and her 9th grade students. After just a few months, she knew New Orleans was where she wanted to continue her career in education. She is thrilled to be a part of the daily work on behalf of New Orleans’ students.

Davis Zaunbrecher

Director of Strategy


Davis, a native of the New Orleans area, serves NSNO as the Director of Strategy. He assists with building and executing a data-driven strategy to meet the organization’s ambitious goals. He previously worked in Chicago for the management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, and in New Orleans for the Recovery School District. With the RSD, he was part of the statewide team developing Louisiana’s Race to the Top application. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. Most recently, he lived in New Haven, CT, where he completed a Master’s degree in Ethics from Yale focusing on social policy and political philosophy.