Our Team

Patrick Dobard

Patrick Dobard


Patrick Dobard is the CEO of New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit organization committed to delivery on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans. NSNO serves the city as a strategic leader, accelerates the development of high-quality schools, and provides financial and advisory support to grow, connect, and sustain school support organizations.

Dobard served as the Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) from 2012 to 2017. In 2014, the New Orleans RSD became the nation’s first school district comprised entirely of charter schools. Under his leadership, the RSD made significant progress in transforming the most chronically low performing schools in Louisiana—nearly eliminating failing schools in New Orleans. Patrick helped design EnrollNOLA, the centralized enrollment system for New Orleans that provides families with equitable, transparent access to schools. Under his leadership, the RSD reduced expulsions through a common hearing office, passed an equitable school funding policy that takes the unique needs of each student into account, and progressed through the largest school construction project in the nation’s history. Dobard also led efforts to develop New Orleans Youth Opportunity Center to serve high-needs students at risk of dropping out and the Therapeutic Day Program, which serves students with severe behavioral health disabilities. Prior to leaving the RSD, Dobard, in collaboration with the Orleans Parish School Board, managed the process to unify New Orleans two school districts (RSD and OPSB).

Patrick is a native New Orleanian and career educator. He began his teaching career in his hometown after graduating from Southern University of New Orleans.

Maggie Runyan-Shefa

Maggie Runyan-Shefa

Chief Innovation Officer

Maggie Runyan-Shefa is the Chief Innovation Officer of New Schools for New Orleans and has been on the NSNO team since the fall of 2007. Maggie leads NSNO’s work on school talent, school support, and investments. In her time at NSNO Maggie has helped to fund or launch 31 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 and is a member of the 11th Cohort of Pahara Aspen Education Fellows. 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

Chief Advancement Officer

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 Chief Advancement Officer, Michael oversees NSNO’s finance and development work. 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.

Nash Crews

Chief of Staff

Nash serves as the Chief of Staff at New Schools for New Orleans. Most recently she was the Chief of Strategic Advancement for Collegiate Academies, a high school charter network in New Orleans. Previously, Nash was Chief of Staff at the Recovery School District working with then Superintendent Patrick Dobard. Prior to that, she helped found the Cowen Institute and served as the Associate Director of Policy. Before Nash moved to New Orleans in 2006, she was the Health and Legislative Assistant to Senator Mary Landrieu in Washington, DC. Nash holds a M.A. in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and a B.A. in English from Furman University.

Indrina Kanth

Indrina Kanth

Chief Portfolio Officer

Indrina Kanth serves as the Chief Portfolio Officer 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.

Shana Applewhite

Development Operations Manager

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.

Alex Dunkenberger

Project Coordinator

A native of Southwest Virginia, Alex moved to New Orleans in 2017 after graduating from the University of Virginia, where he received his B.S.Ed. in Youth & Social Innovation and Government. Prior to joining NSNO, he worked or interned with several political organizations and campaigns, the office of a U.S. Senator, and a New Orleans law firm. He is thrilled to be working alongside a great team of people dedicated to delivering on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans.

Mandy Folse

Managing Director of Development

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

Managing 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.

Josh McCarty

Managing Director of 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

Development Director

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 Development and Communications Manager, 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 Instructional Quality

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

Human Resources and Special Projects Director

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 Human Resources and Special Projects Manager and falls more in love with the city of New Orleans each day.

Toni Osbey

Operations Coordinator

Toni, a native of New Orleans, is responsible for oversight of all technology support. Before joining NSNO, Toni gained extensive technical support experience while working for Apple and Humana. She has also spent more than five years volunteering with local non-profits that serve children and families and is honored to be a member of the NSNO team.

Katie Patterson

Senior Managing Director of Instructional Quality

As Managing Director of School Support, Katie is responsible for coaching leaders and leadership teams in pursuit of increasing the number of high quality seats for students in New Orleans. 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 leader 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.

Holly Reid

Managing Director of Policy

Prior to joining NSNO, Holly served as the Executive Director of Policy for the Louisiana Recovery School District for six years. In this role, Holly directed a wide range of state and local policy initiatives focused on improving educational outcomes for children through promoting autonomy, accountability, and equity in New Orleans charter schools.  Holly is a former Teach for America Corps Member (Rio Grande Valley ’06) and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Baylor University and a J.D. from Tulane University.

Tom Shepley

Vice President of Schools

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

Senior Managing Director of Talent Development

Stephanie manages NSNO’s school talent development strategy.  She began her career as a fourth grade teacher in New Orleans in 2002; following teaching, she worked at Tulane University’s Office of Service Learning, where she oversaw 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, a M.S. in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, and was a U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a M.A. in Sociology. She is grateful to work with partners to expand high-quality educational opportunities for all students in New Orleans.

Michael Smithers

Portfolio Director

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 Portfolio Manager where he will contribute key insights to support NSNO in delivering on the promise of excellent public schools for all children in New Orleans.

Shelley Stocker

School Talent Grant Director

Shelley serves as the School Talent Grant Director, working on NSNO’s federal Teacher Incentive Fund and Charter Schools Program grants. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University before completing a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University Chicago. Prior to moving to New Orleans in 2003 she worked in a wide variety of campus life capacities at Cornell University and Louisiana State University. As a member of the 2005 University of New Orleans’ Teach Greater New Orleans program she served on the Special Education staff of Nelson UNO Charter School before joining Partnership for Youth Development in the summer of 2006. Over an eight year tenure with PYD, Shelley provided a strong operations infrastructure and grant management for the organization while delivering diverse supports to partner non-profits. She and her husband David are the proud parents of Jakob and Levi.

Alyse Utley

Senior Director of New School Investments

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.

Monica Yoo

Instructional Quality Operations Manager

Monica Yoo is the Schools Team Operations Manager. In 2012, Monica began her career in education as a 2012 Greater New Orleans Teach for America corps member. She taught high school English, first at International High School of New Orleans as a 9th grade and 10th grade ELA teacher and then at Abramson Sci Academy (ASA) as a 10th grade writing teacher. During her teaching tenure at ASA, she co-lead the English II team to the highest English II EOC scores in ASA’s history. She holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture with a minor in Art History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.