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ABOUT UNBOUNDED

Our Staff

We are a team of former classroom teachers, curriculum writers, school leaders and education experts who have worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

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Rolanda Baldwin

Vice President, Mathematics
Rolanda Baldwin
Vice President, Mathematics

Rolanda Baldwin has worked in mathematics education for nearly 2 decades as a middle and high school math teacher, a math instructional coach, and a math curriculum coordinator at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina. She began her career at UnboundEd as a math specialist before transitioning to the math director role. Currently, as vice president of mathematics, Rolanda coordinates development across all UnboundEd math programs. Rolanda also contributes to organizational strategy, cross-functional workstreams, and external partnerships. She is passionate about everyone being a “math person” and is committed to influencing the systems and structures to support educators in providing grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful math instruction.

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Jonathan Bolding

Director, Strategic Initiatives
Jonathan Bolding
Director, Strategic Initiatives

Jonathan Bolding is a seasoned educator with a background in gifted and special education. A passionate staff developer, he has coached general/ special education teachers and school leaders while working in the central office of the Metro Nashville Public School System. Prior to UnboundEd, Jonathan served as a state coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Education and managed a grant portfolio that included, but was not limited to, Title IX (MckInney-Vento) and Title I, D (Neglected/Delinquent) in the Division of Consolidated Planning and Monitoring. Moreover, Jonathan was appointed the ESSA Foster Care Point of Contact ensuring the educational stability of students in foster care. He was in the first cohort of educator fellows with the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (TN-SCORE). Jonathan was selected by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) to receive the 2015-16 Javits-Frasier Scholar Award.

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Sonia Cintron

Specialist, Mathematics
Sonia Cintron
Specialist, Mathematics

As a math specialist at UnboundEd, Sonia develops professional development and helps with the implementation of programs such as Virtual Summit and the Cohort program. Sonia Cintron began her career as a third-grade teacher in Florida. She also taught 6-8 grade math and served as the math department chair and grade-level chair in both public and charter schools. Sonia served as Lake County district's Middle School Math Program Specialist. In that role, she supported teachers in lesson development and implementation, created and facilitated professional development, and managed initiatives related to the implementation of higher educational standards in mathematics.

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Peter Coe

Chief Academic Officer
Peter Coe
Chief Academic Officer

Peter Coe is a former teacher who has designed and developed curriculum, assessment and training for K-12 mathematics curriculum and assessment. Peter taught in New York City public schools and held multiple school leadership roles. As chief academic officer, he directs math and ELA content work for all of UnboundEd's products and services. Previously, Peter was a fellow for math curriculum and assessment at the Regents Research Fund, where he led the design and development of K-12 mathematics curriculum on EngageNY.org. Peter was awarded a master teacher fellowship and the school leader fellowship from Math For America. He received the DeForest Senior Prize in pure and applied mathematics at Yale University.

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Lakisha Covert

Executive Director, Standards Institute
Lakisha Covert
Executive Director, Standards Institute

Lakisha Covert has worked for more than 20 years as an educator. As the former senior director, program and engagement, Lakisha designs and develops the facilitator program, content, and conducts communities of practice sessions focused on school and district leadership, equity through standards instruction, and effective implementation strategies. Lakisha taught grades K–5 for 11 years before becoming an academic dean and principal in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Specializing in school leadership and professional development, Lakisha’s certification in mentoring and coaching contributed to her work with educational leaders across the country. Prior, Lakisha worked at New Leaders as regional leadership facilitator where she facilitated leadership sessions for three different leadership programs with a focus on leadership team development, school culture, equity, and instructional observation and supervision. She also coached first-year principals in Baltimore, MD. Throughout her career she has received recognition as teacher of the year in two different districts; the visionary educator award from Center City PCS in Washington, DC; and the effective educator award from Prince George’s County Public Schools. Her passion for equitable education stems from her background in urban education both personally and professionally.

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Patti DeMatteo

Coordinator, Administrative Support
Patti DeMatteo
Coordinator, Administrative Support

Patti is a theater and education professional with 15 years of combined experience on stage and in classrooms. She has worked with many theatres as both a performer and educator, including Florida Studio Theatre’s Write a Play program, George Street Playhouse’s Educational Tour, the ShowPlace Ice Cream Parlor at Surflight Theatre, and was a company member at Vital Theatre Company. At Vital, Patti performed in multiple shows, held teaching residencies in NYC public schools, and helped with the day to day administrative work of running a non profit theatre in NYC. She is able to apply those administrative skills at UnboundEd, where she works closely with Onika King to manage scheduling, travel, expenses, and often assists with office technology. Patti graduated from DeSales University, where she studied theatre and secondary education.

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Kristen Ehlman

Executive Director, Program and Engagement
Kristen Ehlman
Executive Director, Program and Engagement

Kristen Ehlman has worked for more than 30 years as an educator, with expertise in school leadership, organizational development and adult learning. As executive director, program and engagement, Kristen designs and conducts professional development sessions focused on school and district leadership, change management, and effective implementation strategies. Before coming to UnboundEd, Kristen served as the national director of principal support at New Leaders, a nonprofit which trains aspiring school leaders. Kristen began her career as an elementary and middle school teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, where she also spent more than a decade as a staff and organizational development specialist.

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Andrea Hancock

Deputy Chief, Program Design & Development
Andrea Hancock
Deputy Chief, Program Design & Development

A career educator, Andrea Hancock has served in several capacities within the district where she was educated during her formative years: Baltimore City Public Schools. Andrea worked as an elementary school teacher, instructional coach, principal, network lead, and instructional leadership executive director charged with supervising principals across a network of PreK-8 schools. Andrea transitioned from the district to lead the Baltimore division of the Emerging Leaders Program at New Leaders and served as an advisor for the Transforming Teams program. Currently, Andrea is the deputy chief, program design & development at UnboundEd, overseeing the staff who design and develop the cohort, math, ELA, leadership, and teacher prep programs. Andrea also supports organizational strategy, cross-functional workstreams, and external partnerships. Andrea holds a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and was a member of the Baltimore New Leaders Principal Program, Cohort 6.

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Taknauth Khilawan

Senior Director, Finance & Operations
Taknauth Khilawan
Senior Director, Finance & Operations

Taknauth Khilawan has worked in finance for the past ten years. As senior director, finance and operations, Taknauth manages the financial operations including financial analysis, financial policies and procedures, accounts payable and receivable, contract management, and HR system operations. Previously he was the director of budget and analytics for the Core Instruction and Professional Learning division at the NYC Department of Education. Prior to that, he worked at Amplify Education as a senior accountant, finance manager at Associates for Bilingual Child Development and an accounting analyst at Collective Media.

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Onika King

Manager, Executive Team Support
Onika King
Manager, Executive Team Support

Onika King began her career as an executive assistant in commercial real estate. She brings over thirteen years of experience managing executives in the Commercial Real Estate and Consulting firm industry. As administrative manager, she manages scheduling, travel, expenses, executive assistant coordination, and coordinates large team projects. Previously, she worked as an Executive Assistant at Boston Consulting Group, where she managed the operations and logistics of her managers, teams and company.

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Connie Landinez

Director, Program Implementation and Delivery
Connie Landinez
Director, Program Implementation and Delivery

Connie Landinez has over 15 years of experience in relationship management, as well as in project/program planning and execution. Connie is a results-driven individual who specializes in conceptualizing and executing programs from start to finish, managing complex milestones while adapting to changes and shifting priorities. In her role as director, program implementation and delivery, Connie works closely with cross-functional teams in developing and delivering comprehensive project plans including timelines and team protocols, systems’ structures and criteria for fulfilling bottom-line results. Previously, Connie worked at Amplify as a senior account manager where she successfully managed a diverse portfolio of accounts totaling over 3M annually in revenue. These complex, district-level implementations of educational software included some of the largest school districts in the nation such as Miami Dade, New York City DOE, Boston Public Schools, as well as Statewide strategic partnerships.

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Joyce Macek

Director of Partnerships
Joyce Macek
Director of Partnerships

Joyce Macek has led coaching, organizational change management and talent development around the implementation of new educational standards for the past decade. She is a former high school English teacher for students with disabilities in Greater New Orleans. As the director of partnerships, Joyce manages relationships and quality assurance metrics with key stakeholders receiving professional development, including goal setting, strategic planning and ongoing evaluation of local professional development. Previously, Joyce was a fellow for educator engagement at the Regents Research Fund. During this time, she created an extensive library of more than 400 K-12 teacher and principal practice videos. Joyce was also the national director of assessments, recruitment and admissions at the national nonprofit New Leaders, which trains aspiring school leaders.

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Rachel Nicolay

Director, Digital Product & Marketing Technology
Rachel Nicolay
Director, Digital Product & Marketing Technology

Rachel Nicolay is a mission-driven problem solver with a passion for learning. She comes with a diverse background in communications, marketing, and education in the nonprofit and private sectors. As director of digital product & marketing technology, Rachel oversees the product development and management of UnboundEd’s digital products and internal marketing technology platforms. Prior to joining UnboundEd, Rachel managed marketing and PR for a global architecture firm, provided marketing consulting to start-ups and nonprofits, and spent a year teaching English at a public school in South Korea.

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Taya Page

Advisor, Technology
Taya Page
Advisor, Technology

Taya Page has over 17 years experience leading strategy and design for products that deliver rich learning experiences and support meaningful assessment practices for both K-12 and higher education organizations. Taya leads the development of a suite of tools that support teacher learning and classroom pedagogy. Taya has also led teams building career management tools and content publishing platforms. Most recently she was the product director at Artsy, building a marketplace that taught new audiences how to develop the language to describe their artistic taste and how to navigate buying works from fine art galleries and auction houses. As an active instructor and mentor in the New York product community, Taya is excited to bring those personal teaching experiences to UnboundEd.

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Josh Parker

Senior Director, Cohorts
Josh Parker
Senior Director, Cohorts

Josh Parker’s mission in education and life is to “help people and solve problems,” and throughout his career, he has achieved both goals. He served students and teachers in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. corridor as an English Language Arts (ELA) instructional coach, Language Arts department chair, Secondary Language Arts teacher, professor, and compliance specialist. As the senior director, cohorts, Josh serves teachers, administrators, and educational leaders by providing high-quality professional learning experiences at the Standards Institute, Leadership Fellowships, and Communities of Practice. He is a Teaching Channel Laureate, Education Week writer, a Lowell Milken Unsung Hero (2017), N.E.A. Global Fellow (2013), and the Maryland Teacher of the year (2012).

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Gail Perry-Ryder

Senior Director, Research, Strategy and Evaluation
Gail Perry-Ryder
Senior Director, Research, Strategy and Evaluation

Gail Perry-Ryder has 20 years of experience as an educator and administrator in K-12, nonprofit, and higher education settings, and has also worked as a behavioral health professional. Broadly, her research aims to bring attention to the profound influence of systemic oppression on educational processes and individual health. Her current work focuses on the impact of institutional racism on the lives of Black women teachers working in New York City alternative education. She began her career as a Social Studies and English teacher, and most recently oversaw multiple teacher professional development initiatives between the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Education. At UnboundEd, Gail helps develop and implement research plans to better understand the factors that enable educators to deliver impactful, equitable instruction, impact usability and implementation, and track and inform new programs that grow teachers’ beliefs, knowledge, and practice. She also serves on the planning committee of the Mind and Life Institute’s Contemplative Research Conference.

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Lacey Robinson

President and Chief Executive Officer
Lacey Robinson
President and Chief Executive Officer

Lacey Robinson has more than 20 years in education as an educator, teacher, principal, and staff development specialist with a focus on literacy, equity and school leadership. As chief executive officer, Lacey sets the vision and oversees the design, delivery and quality of all of UnboundEd’s work, while also ensuring its overall health and sustainability. In her previous role as chief of program and engagement, Lacey was responsible for engaging with external partners to support standards-aligned, content-focused adult learning and professional development. She supported vital design and execution elements for primary external UnboundEd service offerings, the Standards Institute and the national programs. Her life’s work focuses on eradicating the student achievement gap, predictable by race, in addition to creating adult learning experiences that honor us as professionals in school system leadership, teaching, and learning.

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Shakiela Rose Richardson

Director, ELA
Shakiela Rose Richardson
Director, ELA

Shakiela Richardson is a former high school English teacher, instructional literacy coach and literacy workshop facilitator. As director, ELA, Shakiela provides general analysis of literacy content for UnboundEd curriculum products and creates professional learning materials and experiences for the Standards Institute. Shakiela began her career as an English teacher at various high schools in New Jersey. During this time, she presented with the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE). She has served as a presenter and facilitator of various literacy workshops and worked as an instructional coach at Barringer Academy of Arts and Humanities in Newark.

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Amy Rudat

Senior Director, English Language Arts
Amy Rudat
Senior Director, English Language Arts

Amy Rudat has worked in the education field for 20 years as a teacher, literacy coach, and coordinator for school and district support. As senior director, ELA, Amy ensures the coherence of ELA across organization-wide programs including the Standards Institute, the Chief Academic Officer's Academy, ELA and English Learner video project, and the ELA curriculum. Previously, Amy was an associate for New York State’s Education Department, where she led, advised, and engaged in the design, development, and revision of EngageNY’s curriculum, now used nationwide.

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Jason Schweid

Interim Vice President, Research, Strategy & Evaluation
Jason Schweid
Interim Vice President, Research, Strategy & Evaluation

Jason Schweid is a research scientist, expert in Evidence-Centered Design, Validity Theory, and assessment policy. Jason leads design and evaluation of all UnboundEd products and services. In addition, he serves as a general research methodology resource for UnboundEd and partner organizations. Previously, Jason was a fellow for assessment at the Regents Research Fund, where he led the redesign, development, implementation and research for the New York State Testing Program and the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations. Jason’s research appears in journals including Teachers College Record, Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, and Journal of School Counseling. He started his career as a public school teacher, first in South Texas and then in Harlem.

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Steve Sebelski

Director, Mathematics
Steve Sebelski
Director, Mathematics

Steve Sebelski designs mathematics curriculum and assessment, and has more than 10 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach. As director, mathematics, Steve is responsible for the development of mathematics content for UnboundEd’s curriculum offerings and assists in the creation of professional learning experiences. He also supervises content and product development for Teacher Advisor with Watson, an initiative of the IBM International Foundation. Previously, Steve taught and supervised middle school mathematics in New York, NY and Camden, NJ.

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Laura Smith

Chief Operating Officer
Laura Smith
Chief Operating Officer

Laura Smith has developed and implemented strategic initiatives for educational organizations for nearly 20 years. As chief operating officer, Laura leads day-to-day operations, finance and strategic planning and also oversees digital product development. Previously, she was vice president of professional services for an ed-tech nonprofit, and was an assistant commissioner at the New York State Education Department. She also served as an executive director for the New York City Department of Education and as deputy director of High School Renewal for the San Diego Unified School District. Laura was in the inaugural cohort of the Broad Foundation’s Residency in Urban Education. She started her career teaching environmental education for nonprofit organizations in the Florida Keys and San Juan Islands. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and is currently a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women.

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Alisha Stewart

Director, Marketing & Communications
Alisha Stewart
Director, Marketing & Communications

Alisha Stewart is a storyteller with expertise in cause marketing and advocacy. As director, marketing and communications, Alisha leads external outreach for all our programs and products; this entails developing, managing, and tracking the effectiveness of all promotions and messaging of our specific programs and products to different audiences. Previously, Alisha managed media and executive communications for Project GRAD Atlanta, a former college and career readiness partner of the Atlanta Public Schools. She also worked for the Boy Scouts of America to manage online crisis communications and pitch positive member stories. Alisha holds a graduate degree in public relations and communications from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in journalism from Howard University.

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Diane Takata Powell

Deputy Chief, Engagement
Diane Takata Powell
Deputy Chief, Engagement

Diane Takata Powell is an educational professional and servant leader. She began her career developing marketing campaigns and communication strategies for financial services and internet start-up companies before transitioning into education. Diane has served as a paraprofessional, teacher, coach, facilitator, dean of instruction, and, most recently, the director of literacy for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where she was able to focus her passion and drive for equitable educational opportunities for all children. Diane also worked as a director of professional services at Amplify designing and leading district, state, and national-level professional learning engagements. In her role at UnboundEd, Diane develops and implements the strategic alignment of client and partner engagement, marketing, communications, and support.

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Sierah Tyson

Director, English Language Arts
Sierah Tyson
Director, English Language Arts

Sierah Tyson is responsible for the development of ELA content for UnboundEd’s programs and products. As the director of ELA, she leads the design and execution of professional learning experiences for the Cohort Programs, The UnboundEd Planning Process, Virtual Summits, and other partner work. In her most recent role as an ELA specialist, Sierah developed and revised professional development that supported educators with implementing equitable instructional practices and improving student outcomes. Previously, Sierah was a 10th grade English teacher at University Preparatory High School located in Detroit, Michigan. She served with the Teach for America program. She holds a bachelor’s degree for Georgetown University and received her Master's in Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Sierah also curated The Education Nomad project, where she traveled around the United States to capture best practices and amplify teacher voices via blog. Sierah proudly coordinates UnboundEd’s Woman of Color Affinity group and The Kindness Project, which both aim at empowerment, wellness, and unity.

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Brittany VanDyke

Manager, Information Systems
Brittany VanDyke
Manager, Information Systems

Brittany has been involved in music education for more than 15 years. She has a piano studio, Hitchpin Piano, where she enjoys developing and teaching foundation skills to beginning musicians. As the information systems manager, Brittany assists with the selection, implementation, and training of UnboundEd’s SaaS internal and external facing platforms. Previously, Brittany has worked with the Sarasota Orchestra, Avid Technology, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Monica

Monica Vasquez

Deputy Chief, Talent & Organizational Development
Monica Vasquez
Deputy Chief, Talent & Organizational Development

Mónica has worked in education for over 25 years. As deputy chief, talent and organizational development, Mónica leads the design and implementation of our talent systems, practices, policies, and cultural norms needed to enact our core values with diversity, equity and inclusion at the center, as well as internal communications that foster transparency, and helps to ensure that UnboundEd structurally evolves in alignment with our vision and values. Prior to UnboundEd, Mónica served as chief talent officer at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools and chief human resources officer for the San Francisco Unified School District, as well as advised school districts and state departments of education across the country on talent practices and policies. She began her career as a bilingual Spanish teacher in Los Angeles, CA, and taught at the upper elementary and middle school levels. She holds degrees in sociology and anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has completed Harvard’s Public Education Leadership Program, as well as the Equity Lab’s inaugural national Nexus Fellowship on race, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Brandon White

Specialist, English Language Arts
Brandon White
Specialist, English Language Arts

Brandon White is a former middle school ELA teacher and Restorative Practices educator for the Rochester City School District. As a student, Brandon found that he could connect with the instruction through the language and culture of hip-hop; as an educator, he would provide cultural relevance and responsiveness through pedagogy and content. As an ELA specialist, Brandon selects, adapts, and sequences open educational resources, as well as supports the creation of professional development materials and resources. In addition to providing these elements via traditional school settings, he has worked for seven years as a servant leader intern and site coordinator for Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Literacy Programs located in Rochester. He has also advocated for these practices through his participation in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory Council and through providing professional development at BMGF-sponsored Elevate and Celebrate Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) Conferences.

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Alice Wiggins

Vice President, Instructional Design & Products
Alice Wiggins
Vice President, Instructional Design & Products

Alice Wiggins has close to 30 years of experience applying instructional design principles and adult learning theory to the development of training and development materials across various domains. As vice president, instructional design & products, Alice focuses on ensuring cohesive instructional design across all of our products and offerings--including alignment to our organizational vision and approach. In previous roles, Alice was responsible for ELA partner engagement work, curriculum development, and supporting professional development programs for the Standards Institute. Alice is a passionate educator with a keen interest in equitable instruction that bridges the research to practice gap. Her research and writing includes the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence and Teacher Handbook; Scaffolding With Storybooks: A Guide for Enhancing Young Children's Language; An investigation of four hypotheses concerning the order by which 4-year-old children learn the alphabet letters; and Literacy Achievement and Assessment in Emergent Literacy. Alice's interests and expertise in education are enhanced by her 15 years as a consultant and project manager in the private sector.

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Lauren Wolford

Coordinator, Engagement
Lauren Wolford
Coordinator, Engagement

Lauren Wolford has more than seven years of combined experience working in client relationship management and support. In her role as coordinator, engagement, Lauren manages and maintains UnboundEd’s support help desk where she ensures inquiries are resolved in a timely manner and followed through to resolution. She ensures a positive client experience through high-quality service, organization, and communication, by supporting educators with their needs (from registration to financial inquiries). Lauren is a customer advocate at heart and works diligently to assist clients and in building positive relationships. Lauren works closely with the senior director of engagement to help sustain relationships with key stakeholders nationally, and ensure they receive professional development. Her role includes assisting in relationship management, strategic planning, implementation of professional development, and ongoing evaluation. Previously, Lauren worked as a federal loan officer, supporting students in their financial aid process. She has also worked as an event planner, where she designed, organized, and executed virtual and live events for groups of 10-1,200.