DC Prep is continuing virtual learning through February 2021. Click here for updates and resources.
DC Prep’s Board of Directors is diverse and multi-talented – drawn to the organization by a deep commitment to the Washington community and to education reform. The Board’s mix of business, education, community, and philanthropic leaders has resulted in a tremendously effective and dynamic governing body.
Michela English is and education advocate and former President & CEO of Fight For Children, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of education for low-income children in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Fight For Children, Michela worked for eight years at Discovery Communications. In the 1990s, Michela served as Senior Vice President of the National Geographic Society, with responsibility for the book division, Traveler magazine, WORLD magazine for children, educational media, and international publishing. She also served as a member of the Society’s Board of Trustees and as Vice Chairman of the Board of the NGS Education Foundation. Throughout her professional life, Michela has held leadership roles in a variety of education, youth-related and other non-profit and corporate initiatives. She holds a BA from Sweet Briar College and a Master of Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.
Hadley Cooper is a proud mom of two girls. She has been involved with DC Prep for over 10 years, first helping with the annual benefit, then as a Development Committee member and Advisory Board member. Hadley has an undergraduate degree from Yale.
Jenny Abramson is the Founder and Managing Partner at Rethink Impact. Prior to that role, she served as CEO and President at LiveSafe. Jenny is a proven executive with roles in the technology, education, and media sectors. Her past successes have ranged from large companies like The Washington Post to start-ups like Personal. In education, Jenny ran the Transformation Management Office for DC Public Schools’ Chancellor Rhee, and was Director of Program Strategy & Development at Teach For America. Jenny received a BA and an MA from Stanford, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Fulbright at The London School of Economics.
Collette Bruce has been involved with DC Prep for over 10 years, serving as Co-Chair of the DC Prep Advisory Board, helping with the DC Prep Back to School Bash, and as a member of the Development Committee. Collette is an active volunteer within Washington, DC, serving or having served on several boards with a focus on education and the arts. Collette has an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Patrick Clowney works as a manager of IT Systems at the United States Department of Education Federal Student Aid Office, and is the proud parent of two DC Prep students. Prior to his current role, Dr. Clowney served as a Systems Engineer at the National Nuclear Security Administration. He has also worked as Technical Program Manager at Amazon Web Services and as an officer in the United States Air Force. He has held several leadership roles in DCPS to include two-time Chairman of the DCPS Head Start Parents Policy Council, Chairman, McKinley Technology Local School Advisory Team, and as a member of DCPS Chancellor’s Parents Cabinet. Dr. Clowney also serves on Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Service Academy Selection Committee. Dr. Clowney graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Engineering Sciences. He holds master’s degrees from The University of Oklahoma, The George Washington University, Naval War College, and the School of Advanced Air and Space Study at Air War College. He earned his PhD in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University.
Nicole Davy is a mother of two and her son has been attending DC Prep’s Anacostia Elementary Campus since its inaugural year in 2015. She has 15 years of healthcare experience. She has worked at the student health center at George Washington University since moving to Washington, DC in 2013. Nicole received her Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner in 2017 from GW.
Terry Eakin is a former President and Chairman of EYA, LLC, a builder of urban “in-fill” housing in the Washington DC area. EYA has built over 5000 homes, was twice selected as America’s Best Builder, and has received over 250 other national and local awards. Prior to founding EYA in 1992, Terry was a Senior Vice President and General Partner for 20 years at The Holladay Group. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 from the DC Metropolitan Area Builder Association. Education reform has long been a passion of Terry’s. He served on the Federal City Council’s Committee on Public Education and as Chairman of the DC Public Charter School Resource Center before becoming the initial DC Prep Board Chair. He has also served on the Board of Sidwell Friends School and The Learning Alliance of Vero Beach, FL among other not for profit Boards. Terry graduated from Sidwell Friends School and Princeton University and received an MBA from Stanford GSB.
Ahmad M. Hajj is a Co-Founder and Principal of Broadwater Capital, a real estate fund focusing on the purchase and re-development of multi-family assets in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Mr. Hajj co-founded Broadwater Capital in 2010. Currently, Broadwater Capital has ownership in approximately 3000 apartment units and over 20 buildings on the East Coast. In 2014, Mr. Hajj also Co-founded Cornerstone Capital a private real estate finance platform. Cornerstone Capital provides mezzanine and bridge financing for real estate projects in the Washington D.C. metro area. Mr. Hajj is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of the McDonogh School, where he was a Rollins-Luetkemeyer Scholar. Mr. Hajj attended Georgetown University and George Washington University where he graduated with a B.S. in International Economics. Mr. Hajj went on to graduate Columbia Law School in 2003, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. From 2003-2010, Mr. Hajj practiced law in Washington, DC at Arnold & Porter, LLP. His practice focused on Banking and Securities regulation. Mr. Hajj is currently a member of the Real Estate and Finance Committee of DC Prep. Mr. Hajj also co-chaired the Auction Committee for the 2015 American Heart Association Annual Heart Ball. Mr. Hajj is a member of the Economic Club of Washington. Mr. Hajj lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children.
Brian Jones is the President of Strayer University. Prior to this role, he served as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Strayer Education, Inc. – the University’s holding company. Prior to that, Brian served as General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. Brian has a long and distinguished career in education, formerly serving as Chairman of the DC Public Charter School Board. In addition, he co-founded Latimer Education, Inc., a venture-backed company that partners with HBCUs to provide African-American students with online educational opportunities. Brian earned a BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a JD from the UCLA School of Law.
Mercedes Kearney is a native Washingtonian, a proud mom of five, two who are DC Prep students, both of whom are Benning Middle Campus Preppies. Mercedes has been a supporter and fan of DC Prep since first reading their test scores when searching for a school for her then 3 year-old. Mercedes has over 28 years of government, private sector, and non-profit experience. Mercedes is also the owner of MASsiveworks, LLC, a designed apparel and home décor company as well as photography. Mercedes has experience in human resources, creative arts, and administration.
Judy Lansing Kovler, PhD, is a Psychotherapist in private practice with over 30 years of experience. She has served on a variety of boards for non-profit organizations. Judy graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.
Emily Lawson founded DC Prep in 2002 and led the growth of the organization from a single middle school to the highest-performing Charter Management Organization in the nation’s capital — today serving 1,900 students in preschool through 8th grade on five campuses. Emily’s work at DC Prep has been featured in The Washington Post and on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and has attracted the support of major national foundations focused on public education reform. In 2007, Emily completed the Broad Foundation’s Associate Residency in Urban Education. Prior to founding DC Prep, Emily worked for Victory Schools, a charter school management company in New York, as well as Academy of the Pacific Rim, a nationally-recognized charter school in Boston. Emily holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and an MPA, with a focus on education, from the Kennedy School of Government. Her business career includes three years at The Boston Consulting Group and two years at the New York private equity firm, New Mountain Capital. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina where she was a Morehead Scholar. She is a native Washingtonian.
Maura Marino is the CEO at Education Forward DC, where she leads the organization’s effort to accelerate the work of visionary education leaders to foster a city of high-quality, equitable public schools for every DC student and family. Prior to that, she served as a Managing Director in NewSchools Venture Fund’s Washington, DC office, where she led the DC Schools Fund. Before joining NewSchools, Maura was Program Director and Lead Teacher at East Palo Alto High School, a charter school in Northern California. Maura served on the steering committee for the Stanford Schools Corporation and was a member of the Stanford School of Education’s Performance Assessment Collaborative. Maura earned a BA in American Studies from Stanford University, an MA in teaching from Teachers’ College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Lt. Colonel Sterling R. Thomas is the Program Manager of the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region XI (Washington, DC, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina). He is part of the Senior Leadership team that drives OCR’s mission to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools. On 30 September 2020, he retired from the US Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The Secretary of Defense presented Lieutenant Colonel Thomas with the Defense Superior Service Medal, the highest non-combat medal awarded by the Secretary of Defense, for his work defending the Rule of Law and the US Constitution before the Guantanamo Military Commissions and his worldwide investigation of torture and human rights violations by government agencies. Sterling has significant experience on the national and international stage. He has addressed the United Nations on legal injustices and the impact of torture on the litigation at Guantanamo Bay, briefed European Union representatives, provided testimony to Commissions on the Investigation of Torture, and lectured at universities, as well as legal and human rights organizations throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He has extensive courtroom litigation experience as a Prosecutor and Defense Attorney and significant Civil litigation hours. He has appeared in the District and Superior courts of North Carolina, nearly 100 military courts-martial, US federal district courts and military commissions. Sterling is married to Dr. Joneis Thomas. They have two children, Logan McKinley Thomas (13 years old) and John Jackson Thomas (11 years old). Sterling received a Bachelor of Arts in English and African-American Studies from the University of North Carolina. He also holds a Master of Laws in Environmental Law from The George Washington University School of Law.
For the full Board schedule, please click here.
Please see below for an overview of the agendas.
As a network of public charter schools, DC Prep embraces our responsibility to the community of students, family and staff we serve. Board meetings are open to the community, though personnel discussions, competitive contract negotiations, confidential student information and sensitive matters will always be handled in closed session.
All Board meetings will be held from 5:15 to 7:30pm. For the foreseeable future, all Board meetings will be held via video conference. Board meetings are open to the public. To attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 business days in advance so that we can provide you with the meeting link and any materials for the meeting.