We’ve Been Busy!

Edgility is proud to share this season’s placements within these dynamic education organizations.
Do you recognize anyone?

Jorge Arellano: Principal; Alpha Public Schools, Cindy Avitia High School

Jorge, who shares the background of many Cindy Avitia students, has a strong vision for student culture, and in his past roles, has excelled at building authentic, highly accountable relationships with his students. Jorge enjoys sports, hanging out with family, playing the guitar, cooking, hiking, and traveling.

“I’m very grateful and excited to be part of an organization that shares my values and passion for serving students in underserved communities.”


Edward Xavier Barrios: Chief Academic Officer, LEAP Academy University Charter School

Edward Xavier Barrios is a versatile and experienced leader in education with 20 plus years’ success reimaging and preparing next generation educators to build successful communities. A product of the city of Chicago and Chicago Public schools, fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, with two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees, from DePaul University, Mr. Barrios knows the importance of higher education for minority students growing up in cities like Camden.

In his professional life, Mr. Barrios split his time in education evenly between classroom teaching and school leadership. His experience is as a school teacher for ten years and as a school administrator for six. In 2011 he moved to Tennessee and was a lead principal in Metro Schools for two years, where his school was recognized by the state Department of Education for being in the top five percent of all schools, statewide, for academic growth.

Mr. Barrios joined the LEAP community as Chief Academic Officer this past May with the goals of pushing LEAP towards becoming a Future Ready School and most notably, a Blue Ribbon School. Already we can tell that he is well on his way!


Varina Bleil: Executive Director, Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts

“I am so moved by the honor of being chosen as the Executive Director of the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts and the Los Feliz Charter Middle School for the Arts (LFCSA and LFCMSA).  In taking this job, I am certain I interviewed this amazing community as much as they did of me because every organizational leader knows you are only as good as your team. I knew right away that the LFCA/LFCMSA is an amazing team! I feel fortunate and very excited to dig in soon to facilitate some imitable educational leadership for the betterment of all students, staff, parents, and the community. “

Varina Bleil was the Executive Director of the American Youth Symphony since February 2014, and was previously the Executive Director of Inside Out Community Arts, and Development Executive at The Help Group. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Varina worked in the entertainment industry where she served as a development executive, producer and writer. Her experiences included Senior Vice President at Weed Road Pictures, staff writer on the SyFy TV series “Eureka”, and Associate Producer on the film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Varina received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas and a M.Ed. (Arts in Education) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she worked closely with the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations.


Stephanie Eafford: Principal, Citizens Academy Southeast

“Joining Breakthrough at Citizens Academy Southeast will be an amazing chance to serve students who need my experience the most. Cleveland and its surrounding area need attention and resources to improve, and I’m committed to giving my all.”


Tara Haskins: Founding Principal, Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy

Following her graduation from Hampton University, Tara joined the New Teacher Project (TNTP) and taught middle school English and Language Arts in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was here that she developed a middle school all-girls mentoring program that focused on mindfulness, college preparation, and community service. Tara then joined KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls in Houston, where she taught U.S. History and served as a History and later an English content lead, responsible for supporting and developing teachers in both disciplines. She also led school-wide culture systems as Dean of Restorative Justice and Culture. Her implementation of school-wide restorative practices at led to out of school suspensions decreasing by half in a single year.

Ms. Haskins has also most recently served as Assistant Principal where she led a broad array of academic and cultural functions. For example, her leadership of the implementation of a standards-aligned English Language Arts curriculum led to students and staff achieving 2020 academic goals two years ahead of schedule.

“I am so grateful and excited at the opportunity to lead the first public all-girls school in the Kansas City area.  With equity and and high achievement at its core, I am confident that Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy will be a school that provides an environment for young women to become true agents of change.”


David Kloker: Founding Head of School, North Oakland Community Charter School

“I feel like Edgility Consulting helped me get my dream job. Christina Greenberg was exceptionally helpful in guiding me and NOCCS towards a mutual match for the Head of School position. There are a lot of schools out there who need the kind of support Edgility Consulting offers. North Oakland Community Charter School needed some outside expertise to help them define what they wanted in a new Head of School and find qualified, compelling candidates. I would not have known NOCCS was looking for a new head of school without Edgility’s outreach, a job I pursued the moment I knew it was available. I’m thankful for the services Edgility offered our great school.”


Georgia Lazo: Principal, UCLA Lab School

“I’m thrilled to be at the center of research and practice. The praxis and reciprocal learning will benefit many students and schools both locally and internationally. It’s an honor to be part of work that will serve California and beyond. I am also very excited about working with UCLA and furthering the relationship with faculty and researchers at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.”

Dr. Lazo received her Master of Arts degree and Doctorate from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and brings with her 28 years of school-based experience, including serving as founding Principal of the UCLA Community School in Los Angeles. Most recently, she served as a Director of Instruction for the Los Angeles Unified School District, supervising and evaluating 15 principals and overseeing school curricular programs for more than 10,000 students, including courses in STEM, Dual Language and Linked Learning, and Visual and Performing Arts.  She is also a lecturer in the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute where she co-teaches a course in Democracy and Accountability.

“I am excited about the role Dr. Lazo will play in bringing the Lab School to the next level of excellence, innovation and achievement. As we prepare to celebrate UCLA’s centennial, Dr. Lazo’s addition to the school and our university community could not be more timely for breaking new ground.” – Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.


Joel Mackey: Executive Director, Oakland Public Education Fund

Joel has served in leadership roles for East Bay nonprofits for over 20 years. For the past eight years he was executive director of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund. At the West Contra Costa Ed Fund, he led efforts to increase financial aid and scholarship applications, expand music and arts grants for schools, and improve access to after school and summer programs. Through this work Joel remained focused on a collaborative approach among stakeholders to increase collective impact.

Joel is an attorney, having graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College and a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University.

“The people at Edgility played an instrumental role in preparing me for my new position at the Oakland Public Education Fund. Their insight and counsel guided me through the hiring process. I am grateful for the Edgility team.” 

Jonathan Mathis: Executive Director, The Next Step Public Charter School
The pursuit of excellence—in academia, within the community, through organizational leadership, and otherwise—is core to the professional identity of Dr. Jonathan Mathis. His work spans both secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, with a focus on college access and success. He was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of The Next Step Public Charter School, of Washington, DC in December 2017. In this role, Dr. Mathis provides vision and leadership for a learning community serving nearly 400 adult-learners, ages 16-24, with a focus on college and career readiness. Prior to this appointment, he served as the inaugural director of the National Honor Societies at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). His efforts impacted nearly 2 million students, advisers, and leaders annually. Dr. Mathis has also served as the director of education and training at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, where he was responsible for the professional learning and leadership preparation for more than 14,000 college admission professionals.

Dr. Mathis has contributed to college access efforts nationally. He completed his PhD in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California (USC). While in Los Angeles, he served as the regional director for the Collegiate Identity and Participation Model with Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) Schools in Los Angeles. He also served as an adjunct assistant professor in USC’s Rossier School of Education. Dr. Mathis has also earned a bachelor of science in business administration from American University (DC), and a master of science in administration for educational administration (K-12) from Trinity Washington University (DC).


Sheri Miller: Executive Director, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls

“We are thrilled that Dr. Sheri Miller will be Hawthorn’s next Executive Director!  Dr. Miller’s experience, skills, talents and mindset are a wonderful fit for our young school.  She comes to Hawthorn at an important time as we expand our high school and continue to strengthen our middle school program.  Hawthorn’s community of students, families, faculty, staff and board welcome Dr. Miller with much anticipation of what lies ahead for all of us!” -Mary Stillman; Executive Director, Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation

Dr. Sheri L. Miller is a visionary education and business professional with outstanding qualifications in educational leadership, leadership development, and business operations in both education and business markets. Sheri is an influential leader with an intrinsic talent for conceptualizing and communicating vision, developing consensus and cohesion building for achievement of common goals.

Sheri brings extensive experience in urban education arenas inclusive of her most recent work as Superintendent and Regional Vice President for Lighthouse Academies where she led radical turnaround of historically underperforming charter schools in Chicago, Illinois, Gary Indiana and East Chicago, Indiana. A native Houstonian, Sheri believes in giving back to communities that served her well. She was responsible for the 2008 launch of the Regional Principal Leadership Academy for Houston A+ Challenge. Her four-year tenure as Director of Leadership/School Performance included the strategic leadership, design, and execution of six leadership academies for aspiring principals, seated principals and executive leaders for seven school districts in the Greater Houston area.


Asheesh Misra: Chief Academic Officer, DC International School

“We are thrilled to have both Asheesh and Laurel join our team! They are both incredibly experienced and most importantly share enthusiasm for our IB for all language immersion mission.” -Mary Shaffner; Executive Director, DC International School


John Monteleone: Academic Superintendent, Citizens Academy

I am a lifelong resident of Lorain, Ohio.  I am a 1998 graduate of John Carroll University with a Bachelor’s in Arts and Science with a concentration in education.  I continued my education at Bowling Green State University and earned my Masters of Education in the area of Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction in 2005.  From there I went on to earn my Superintendent’s license through Cleveland State University. I am an alumni fellow of UnidosUS formerly, NCLR’s (National Council of La Raza) National Institute for Latino School Leaders.

I have been honored to serve as an educational leader for the past 16 years in a variety of roles in Lorain City Schools.  I am leaving my most recent position as the Assistant Superintendent of Oberlin City Schools to become the Academic Superintendent of Citizens Academy, a Breakthrough Charter School.

I am thrilled to join strong Citizens Academy teams that are as equally passionate about finding new and innovative ways to reach and teach scholars.  There exists a culture at Citizens Academy where everyone is a champion for equitable, high-performing charter schools, and I enthusiastically share that perspective with Citizens in the schools, with the team, families, and in the broader community.  As the new Academic Superintendent I wholeheartedly embrace equity and excellence as the path for success, and am steadfast in the belief that every child can achieve at high levels.


Angie Peluse: Chief of Regions, College Track

“I’m incredibly excited to welcome Angie Peluse as our new Chief of Regions. Angie will be a critical leader as we continue to grow and evolve. She will supervise regional executive directors and senior program staff to execute our vision for success.”  -Elissa Salas, College Track CEO

Angie most recently led a multi-million dollar system implementation at Teach For America (TFA), focusing on supporting the fundraising efforts of TFA’s 53 regions.  During her time at TFA, Angie also led teams devoted to regional fundraising support and analytics and local partnerships. Prior to Teach for America, Angie led program and innovation at Peer Health Exchange, was a strategy consultant in the Educational Practice of the Parthenon Group, and has also been a Division I Swim Coach and a high school teacher.

She is passionate about joining College Track for two reasons. First, she loves working with multi-site educationally focused organizations that are thinking about scale, and getting the opportunity to be close to the work with kids. Second, she knows how critical it is for young people to attain a college degree, and what it takes to get someone there, which includes: a combination of incredible academics; wrap-around services and supports; and a lot of love and dedication by those who support the students.  Angie received her AB degree from Harvard College, magna cum laude in Women’s Studies and History. She also received a EdM from Harvard University, where she received a scholarship for those committed to public service.


Laurel Schwartz: Principal, DC International School

“I’m so excited to join the DCI team! DCI’s mission of IB, language immersion, and diversity are what I believe are best for students to be prepared for the future. I’m looking forward to working with DCI’s talented staff and dedicated students and families.”

Laurel Schwartz has experience teaching and leading at middle and high schools in diverse communities in New York City, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She started her education career as the founding social studies teacher at KAPPA International High School, a public, open-access IB school in the Bronx. At KAPPA, Laurel taught a variety of high school social studies courses, including IB History of the Americas and IB 20th Century Topics, and led the development of the school’s IB History and Chinese curriculums. After seeing the first class of KAPPA students through graduation, Laurel worked as a Principal Resident at City on a Hill Charter High School, one of the first charter schools in the United States. While at City on a Hill, Laurel completed coursework at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she designed a model for a diverse 6-12 IB school very similar to DCI.

Seeking middle school experience, Laurel worked as the Assistant Principal of Instruction and Teacher Development at St HOPE Leadership Academy, an independent charter middle school in Harlem. At St HOPE, Laurel led the school’s work to build a rigorous curriculum for students and a strong professional development program for teachers. Laurel currently serves as the head of the middle school at Madison Park Academy, the only Pre-K through 12th grade school in Oakland Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area. At Madison Park, Laurel has worked to create a consistently strong culture and curriculum that builds on the work at Madison’s Primary School and prepares students for high school and beyond.

Laurel has a BA in Political Science, Asian Studies and Global Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, a MAT in Secondary Social Studies from Pace University, and an EdM in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. When she’s not at schools or traveling, Laurel can be found studying Spanish, biking, hiking, skiing, sailing, or doing pottery. She is thrilled to be joining the DCI community!


Heidy Shinn Slattengren: Principal, One Purpose School

Heidy earned her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology at Boston University and her M.Ed. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy at Harvard University.  She hails from the East Coast and is a fierce Red Sox and Patriots fan.  Just as fierce is her belief that all students deserve a right to the best education possible.  Prior to One Purpose, Heidy spent sixteen years in teaching and administration at several high performing charter schools across the country, including KIPP, Rocketship, and Excel Academy.  She is excited to lead One Purpose as it continues to grow into a K-12 school over the next decade.  In her rare spare time, Heidy enjoys running, rock climbing, etch-a-sketching, and traveling.


Rachel Skiffer: Head of School, Khan Lab School

As was apparent from the team’s observations, our collective interactions, and our extensive evaluation of her experience and skills, Rachel brings deep school leadership expertise to this role along with remarkable empathy, a commitment to equity, and a passion for student-centered education,” said Sal Khan, Founder & Chairman of Khan Lab School. “We are thrilled that after evaluating opportunities to lead more established schools, Rachel was drawn to KLS by our collaborative learning environment, our incredible teachers, and the opportunity to reimagine education with all of us.”

Over the past five years as the Dean of Policy and Strategic Planning and Philips Academy in Andover, MA, Rachel oversaw the strategic direction of the school, working closely with constituents to shape and implement the school’s vision. Listening and responding to the needs of Andover’s community, Rachel led faculty working groups in creating a new interdisciplinary department, integrating academic advising and college counseling, and incorporating social-emotional learning into Andover’s curriculum.

Prior to Andover, Rachel was the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at San Francisco University High School, where she gained experience managing school revenues while remaining compassionate to the needs of individual families. Rachel was instrumental in increasing University High School’s admissions yield and building support systems for newly enrolled students. Rachel received A Better Chance’s Hero Award in 2013, which recognizes educators who go above and beyond the call of duty to empower young scholars of color and their families within their school communities. Rachel holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was on the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College.

“Our mission as educators calls upon us to prepare students for the complex and interconnected world that awaits them, yet at the same time foster in them a deep love for learning that makes them excited to go to school each day,” said Rachel. “I am thrilled to join Khan Lab School and its community of innovators who, led by Sal Khan’s vision for education in The One World Schoolhouse, are helping to shape what the future of education will look like: deep learning experiences that are mastery-based and infused with joy.