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Josie Carbone, Principal at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School

Josie Carbone
Principal at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School

Josie Carbone is the founding principal of Girls Prep Bronx and a proud graduate of a single-sex college. An educator for the past fifteen years, Josie is deeply committed to educational equity and social justice. Prior to opening her school in August 2009, she completed a year-long leadership residency at Girl Prep Lower East Side. During her residency, Josie immersed herself in the Girls Prep curriculum and culture. Josie graduated from Smith College and is an alumna of Teach for America. While teaching at PS 63 in Morrisania, she earned a masters degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College. In 2003, Josie left the New York City Department of Education and joined the start-up team of Bronx Charter School for the Arts in Hunts Point, where she served first as a founding Lead Teacher and then as the Lower School Director. While completing her Girls Prep Leadership Residency, Josie also finished a fellowship with New Leaders for New Schools and worked towards her masters in Educational Leadership. Josie has served on the adjunct faculty at Bank Street College where she has taught courses in Urban Education and Classroom Management.

Peter Herzberg, Founding Principal, Boys Prep Bronx Elementary School and Managing Director of Early Learning

Peter Herzberg
Founding Principal, Boys Prep Bronx Elementary School and Managing Director of Early Learning

Peter Herzberg is Founding Principal of Boys Prep Bronx Elementary School, opening in 2014, and Managing Director of Early Learning at Public Prep Network. Peter joined Public Prep in 2013 after a lengthy career in independent schools. He has served many different roles in seven different schools and on several boards, including, most recently, Associate Head of the Brearley School and editor of Klingbrief, an on-line PD journal. Prior to that, he was Director of the Upper School art Greens Farms Academy in Ct. He is also on the Board of Change for Kids, an education nonprofit. He has two MAs: one in Literature from Middlebury College and the other in Educational Administration from Columbia University. 

Julie Jackson- Forsberg, Chief Academic Officer

Julie Jackson- Forsberg
Chief Academic Officer

As Chief Academic Officer, Julie Jackson-Forsberg works with the Network’s academic team and school leaders to develop K-8 curriculum and grade-level expectations, oversee curriculum and instructional programs through data inquiry, and monitor instruction at Public Prep schools to ensure academic and social success for each of our students. Julie joined the Public Prep team in 2013. Prior to her work with the Network, Julie was the co-founder of Critical Thinking Works, an education consultancy that specializes in developing rigorous curriculum and instructional practices with schools. With seventeen years experience in education, Julie is dedicated to working to ensure that all students are able to maximize their academic potential and that teachers and schools have the supports they need to develop high quality curriculum and instruction. Her experience is concentrated in instructional program development, curriculum, and data analysis. Julie previously served as the founder and Head of School for Oracle Charter School in Buffalo, New York, a college-preparatory charter high school, and she taught English at the Buffalo Seminary, an all-girls college preparatory high school. Prior to her work in education, Julie worked in public health, in both field and policy development roles. Julie earned an Executive MBA through the Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders School of Business; she is a past Fellow of the Peabody Professional Institute in Charter School Leadership at Vanderbilt University; she has completed coursework in Educational Leadership and Administration through George Washington University, MA work in English / Composition Studies through Northeastern University, and a BA in Creative Writing and Chemistry through Hamilton College.

Tiffany Liston, Chief Operating Officer

Tiffany Liston
Chief Operating Officer

Tiffany Liston is the Chief Operating Officer at Public Prep. Working closely with the CEO, Tiffany oversees development, finance, human resources and operations across the network. She has been with Public Prep since its inception in 2009. Prior to taking on the role of COO in 2013, Tiffany was Managing Director of Strategy and Development and Counsel where she led Public Prep's strategic planning, external relations and development initiatives. As Counsel, Tiffany supports the network regarding legal issues, and oversees all litigation and relationships with outside counsel. Having worked in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, Tiffany has been committed to working with underserved New Yorkers throughout her professional career. Prior to joining Public Prep, Tiffany was a litigation associate at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP for seven years, and has worked for New York Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings and MFY Legal Services, a non-profit providing free legal services to low-income New Yorkers. Tiffany received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, her BA from Harvard University, and is on the Board of Directors of REACT to FILM. 

Versha Munshi-South, Principal at Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School

Versha Munshi-South
Principal at Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School

Versha Munshi-South is deeply honored to serve as the principal at Girls Prep LES Elementary School.  In 2007 she joined Public Prep as a first grade teacher, and continued to teach first and second grades for three years.  Versha then worked as the Instructional Coach for two years, supporting teachers with data analysis, curriculum planning, and professional development.  Last year Versha completed a year-long principal residency, during which she spent time at all of the Public Prep schools and planned for her first year as principal.  Versha attended The University of Chicago and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology.  She also received her M.A. in Elementary Education from Washington University in St. Louis.  Prior to joining Public Prep, Versha taught second and third grades in Montgomery County, MD.  Versha strongly believes in empowering all students by providing them with access to high-quality education. She is extremely proud of the scholarship, merit, sisterhood, and responsibility that is evident every day in the Girls Prep community of students, families, and staff.

Ian V. Rowe, Chief Executive Officer

Ian V. Rowe
Chief Executive Officer

A proud product of the NYC public school system, Ian Rowe is a social entrepreneur and leader who has worked for more than 20 years in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, to effect positive change in the lives of young people worldwide.

As CEO of Public Prep, he provides the strategic direction for the network of single-sex elementary and middle public schools that are determined to put their students on a predictive path to earn a degree from a four-year university. Prior to Public Prep, Ian was the Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he worked to increase college completion rates among low income young adults. Prior to working at Gates, Ian worked for MTV as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Public Affairs. There he helped develop global and domestic campaigns, such as “Get Schooled,” which used the power of media and popular culture to motivate young people to graduate from high school and go to — and succeed in — college.

Prior to working at MTV, Ian worked as the Director of Strategy and Performance Measurement at The White House USA Freedom Corps office which formed after September 11th to encourage every American to make a lifetime commitment in service of others. Ian also was part of Teach For America in its early days, where he helped develop a comprehensive portfolio model of assessment that measured teacher effectiveness as a function of gains in student achievement.

Ian graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. He received his BS in Computer Science Engineering from Cornell University and MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an Echoing Green Fellow and a Harvard Initiative for Social Enterprise Fellow. Ian is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Harlem Children’s Zone Asthma Initiative; a founding Board member of the NYC Special Education Collaborative; a current member of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Visiting Committee; and a founding Board member of Malaria No More.

Read more about Ian in his interviews with Fast Company and Echoing Green.

Kaitlin Seaver, Principal at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School

Kaitlin Seaver
Principal at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School

Kaitlin Seaver is thrilled to serve as the principal of Girls Prep LES Middle School. Ms. Seaver has dedicated the past ten years of her career to providing all students with the academic and interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the high school, college, and career of their choice. Having graduated from an all-girls middle and high school, Ms. Seaver believes deeply in Girls Prep’s mission to empower all students to become critical thinkers and strong leaders.  After graduating from Georgetown University (magna cum laude), Ms. Seaver joined Teach for America and taught 7th and 8th grade English in Newark, New Jersey. Ms. Seaver later served as a KIPP 6th grade English teacher and dean of students and as a district middle school assistant principal and director of instruction. At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ms. Seaver completed her Master’s degree in School Leadership and led a graduate course and national institute about data-driven instruction for teachers, principals, and district superintendents. Ms. Seaver also won the Harvard University Leadership in Education Award. As the Department of Education’s Lead Senior Instructional Coach of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Pilots, Ms. Seaver coached 21 New York City middle schools to create CCSS-aligned, curriculum-embedded performance assessments. Ms. Seaver guided school leaders to build capacity and collaborative team structures to create the instructional and curricular coherence needed for students to meet the demands of these more rigorous standards. 

Martha Zornow, Founding Principal, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School and Managing Director of New School Development

Martha Zornow
Founding Principal, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School and Managing Director of New School Development

Martha Zornow is the Resident Principal at Girls Prep Bronx and will be Founding Principal of the new Girls Prep Bronx Middle School in 2014. She also serves as the Managing Director of New School Development for Public Prep. Martha attended Harvard College with a degree in East Asian Studies; she holds a JD from Harvard Law School as well as masters degrees in education from City College and Teachers College  and in English literature from Iona College. Prior to joining Girls Prep, Martha was the principal of Seven Bridges Middle School in Chappaqua, NY, and a Housemaster at Greenwich HS. She has completed all requirements for National Board Certification for Principals. 

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Operations Team

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Rafet Abdeljabbar, Staff Recruitment Associate

Rafet Abdeljabbar
Staff Recruitment Associate

Rafet Abdeljabbar is the Staff Recruitment Associate at Public Preparatory Network. He is responsible for recruiting high-quality staff for all Public Prep schools and the network. He has been with Public Prep since 2013. Rafet attended the State University of New York College at Oneonta with a degree in Education and English. Prior to joining Public Prep Rafet worked at Robert Half as a Staffing Manager where he recruited and staffed quality candidates for dozens of clients in many different industries. 

Emilee Christopher, Director of Staff Recruitment

Emilee Christopher
Director of Staff Recruitment

Emilee Christopher is the Director of Staff Recruitment at Public Preparatory Network. In this capacity, she is responsible for recruiting high-quality faculty and staff for all Public Prep schools and the networkShe has been with Public Prep since 2013.   Emilee received her Masters of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a degree in Education Policy and Management. She received her Bachelors in Child Development and Family Studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Prior to joining Public Prep, Emilee worked at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School as the Director of Operations. 

Stacey Coburn Williams, Managing Director of Development

Stacey Coburn Williams
Managing Director of Development

Stacey Coburn Williams is the Managing Director of Development at Public Prep. She is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy in support of the Public Prep Network and its schools. In this role, she solicits and manages individual contributions, corporate giving, and foundation grants, and oversees fundraising events and external relations. Stacey began at Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School in 2008 before Public Prep’s inception. She is extremely proud of the role she played in helping establish the network and grow from serving about 225 girls to more than 1,000 students. Her prior roles at Public Prep centered on staff recruitment, external relations, and development. Stacey has also served as a 10-week Education Pioneer with the Charter Schools Accountability & Support Team at the New York City Department of Education and as a fourth grade teacher in Phoenix, Arizona through Teach For America. Stacey graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in journalism with minors in Spanish and English. She is currently attending the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration, Nonprofit Management and Public Policy.  

Tiffney Jones, Finance Manager

Tiffney Jones
Finance Manager

Tiffney Jones is the Finance Manager at Public Prep Network.  In this role Tiffney is responsible for making sure all financial policies and procedures are being followed across the network. , Tiffney is responsible for day-to-day accounting responsibilities for the Public Prep office as well as support the day-to-day accounting responsibilities for the schools. Tiffney joined the  Public Prep team as the Finance Manager in  2011. Tiffney graduated from  Lehman College where she majored in Accounting.  Tiffney has over 10 years of accounting experience. Prior to Public Prep she was the Finance Manager at Sentinel Probation Services in Duluth, Georgia followed by Jewish Care Services of Long Island in New York where she was the Assistant Director.

Jenny Maderal, External Relations Associate

Jenny Maderal
External Relations Associate

Jenny is part of the development and strategy team at Public Prep.  She is working to cultivate Public Prep’s virtual presence, in addition to planning special events and executing Public Prep’s fundraising initiatives. Jenny joined Public Prep as the Administrative Associate in 2010, and is excited to focus her skills on the growth and sustainability of the organization.   Jenny graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in English and Communications Studies. Prior to Public Prep, Jenny worked as the assistant to the Executive Director of Publicity at Henry Holt and Company, and as a sales and publicity assistant at Furlined, a commercial production company.

Erica Mattey
Student Recruitment Associate

Erica Mattey is the Student Recruitment Associate at Public Prep Network . Erica will be actively recruiting new families to join our incredible network of schools.   She began working at Public Prep in 2011 as a temporary Student Recruitment Intern before working at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School as a school aide for the 2012-2013 academic year.   Erica graduated from  Bronx Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and is attending Lehman College. Aside from working at Public Prep, Erica is the mother of two daughters, one of which is a current Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary scholar. Before working at Public Prep, Erica opened a bakery called Max and Goldie’s in Bronx, NY.

Erica Newman
Director of Operations & School Support

Erica Newman is the Director of Operations & School Support at Public Prep.  In this role, Erica is responsible for overseeing, managing and enhancing Public Prep’s existing operations procedures and practices, ensuring that school operations comply with city, state, and federal laws and regulations.   Prior to starting this role in 2013, Erica worked as the Director of Operations at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School.  Erica received her Bachelors in Economics from Spelman College and her MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Academic Team

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Kelly Pesce Cassaro, Managing Director of Instructional Leadership Development

Kelly Pesce Cassaro
Managing Director of Instructional Leadership Development

As Managing Director, Instructional Leadership Development, Kelly supports network-wide professional development. Kelly came to New York as a 2004 Teach for America corps member and graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. She graduated in 2010 with a Masters in Educational Leadership as a member of the Leadership for Educational Change cohort and earned a New York State School Building Leader Certification. Kelly has taught kindergarten, first and third grades throughout her seven-year teaching career in traditional public and charter schools in the Bronx. Kelly first came to Public Prep in 2009 as a founding lead Kindergarten teacher of Girls Prep Bronx. Kelly lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Melissa Leopard, Director of Curriculum

Melissa Leopard
Director of Curriculum

Melissa Leopard is the Director of Curriculum at Public Preparatory Network.  Melissa will be responsible for creating curriculum that includes interdisciplinary units and Common Core standard alignment within K-8 curriculum. She has been with Public Prep since 2013. Melissa attended University of Buffalo with a B.A. in Cultural Studies, and Medaille College with a M.S. in Education. Prior to joining Public Prep, Melissa has over seventeen years of teaching experience, including time in both Montessori and Expeditionary Learning schools. Her ‘Reading Right Now’ program, an early-literacy initiative for new mothers and their children, has been implemented across New York State. As a consultant for Critical Thinking Works, Melissa has designed curricula for a variety of school systems at both the elementary and middle school levels. Melissa is also the founder of Tinkering School Buffalo, one of the first national extensions of Gever Tulley’s highly-regarded experiential learning program, and co-founder of POP-UP Park, a grassroots urban playground initiative.

Mike McKee, Director of Instructional Technology

Mike McKee
Director of Instructional Technology

Michael McKee is the Director of Instructional Technology at Public Prep Network. Mike is responsible for managing the student information system throughout the network as well as best practices for technology integration.  He has been with Public Prep since 2013.   Mike attended Empire State College with a degree in Arts and Education. Prior to joining Public Prep, Mike worked/taught at Enterprise Charter School and Oracle Charter School in Buffalo New York.  Mike was integral in building technology programs at both schools and furthered the mission of integrating arts and technology into the curriculum at both schools.

David Nitkin, Director of Assessment and Accountability

David Nitkin
Director of Assessment and Accountability

David Nitkin is the Director of Assessment and Accountability at Public Prep. David is responsible for building the capacity of all members of the Public Prep community to understand and use data in their daily practice. He also leads our internal data team, which produces analyses for a variety of internal and external audiences. He has been with Public Prep since 2012. David attended Columbia University Teachers College with an MA in Economics of Education, Fordham University with an MS in Teaching of Social Studies, and Yale University with a BA in History. Prior to joining Public Prep, David worked at KIPP:NYC, The New Teacher Project, and taught 7th and 8th grade Humanities with the New York City Department of Education

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