Our Team

Maggie Runyan-Shefa

Maggie Runyan-Shefa

CO-CEO

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

Michael Stone

CO-CEO

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. In his role as co-CEO, Michael oversees communications, advocacy, development, finance and operations. 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.

Indrina Kanth

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.

Jen Kurtz

Jen Kurtz

Chief Financial Officer

Jen, a lifelong resident of Greater New Orleans, joined NSNO in 2012. As NSNO’s Chief Financial Officer, she oversees the Finance and Operations team. She is a licensed CPA with a B.S. in Accounting from the University of New Orleans. Jen has worked in private, public and non-profit accounting since 1996.

Grant Adolph

Compliance Director

A native of New Orleans, Grant joins NSNO following more than five years in public accounting, including substantial experience auditing charter schools and non-profit organizations in the Greater New Orleans area. Grant is a licensed CPA and holds a BSM in Finance and a Master of Accounting from Tulane University.

Mikal Anderson

School Talent Development Director

Mikal serves as the School Talent Development Director for New Schools for New Orleans. Prior to joining NSNO, he worked with numerous academic institutions, nonprofits, and research teams in the Philadelphia area as both a consultant and instructor. As an educator with a general education and special education background, Mikal is deeply committed to initiatives that promote high-quality educational opportunities for all scholars – regardless of their socio-economic status and diverse learning needs. He is thrilled yet humbled to be part of such a talented and dynamic team committed to improving the educational ecosystem in New Orleans. Mikal is an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Temple University, a Certificate in Education Policy and Program Evaluation from Georgetown University, and is a licensed trainer in the Restorative Practices model credentialed through the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

Shana Applewhite

Special Assistant to the Co-CEO

A native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Shana completed her bachelor’s degree at Seattle University, where she studied International Business. She then went on to work in operations and fundraising at a Waldorf School in the Seattle area, where she worked for four years. Recalling fond memories of family trips to New Orleans, Shana was compelled to return to her roots and join the movement to ensure that every student receives a high-quality education. She now serves NSNO as the Special Assistant to the Co-CEO (Maggie Runyan-Shefa).

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.

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, 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.

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.

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

Writer

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.

Katie Murphy

Managing Director of School Reviews

Katie has worked alongside and coached school leadership teams (charter and direct-run) in Baltimore and the Greater New Orleans area for the past five years. In 2001, she started her career in education as a Teach for America corps member at Lafayette Elementary in New Orleans, less than a mile from her family’s home in the Hollygrove neighborhood. Katie’s committed to building strong relationships that facilitate partnerships that are data-driven, informed by expertise, and focused on achieving equity for all students regardless of their backgrounds and previous educational experiences. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Brandeis University. She is currently a fellow in Teach for America’s School Systems Leader Fellowship.

Christiana Newsome

School Support Program Manager

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 School Support Program Manager 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.

Liz Santos

Operations Coordinator

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 School Talent Development

Stephanie serves as the Managing Director of School Talent Development 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.

Michael Smithers

External Relations Analyst

After graduating from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Michael joined Teach For America as a corps member in the Metro-Atlanta area in 2013. During his time at Teach For America Michael taught high school social studies in Atlanta Public Schools. In the summer of 2014, he joined the Urban Leaders Fellowship where he was introduced to the organization and mission, in which he provided support to NSNO on various projects. Having family roots in New Orleans, he is delighted to now serve as an Analyst on the External Relations team where he will contribute key insights to support NSNO in delivering on the promise of excellent public schools for all children 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

Managing 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.