“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
Judy JablonExecutive Director
I ignite innovation and provide strategic direction to execute Leading for Children’s mission to realize shared power and a commitment to equity. Before beginning Leading for Children, I enjoyed more than 35 years in early learning as an educational consultant, facilitator, and author. I am driven to provide the best possible early learning experiences for children, while simultaneously creating environments where educators thrive.
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Nichole ParksDirector of Programs
I support the development and implementation of programs at Leading for Children that promote transformational relationships, work directly with our partners to foster collaboration and co-construction of programs, and contribute to the development of resources in our LFC library. Prior to joining Leading for Children, I was the Quality Rating Improvement System Program Coordinator with A-State Childhood Services in Arkansas. My role included establishing short- and long-term coaching partnerships with teachers and directors, supporting teams to offer individualized and diverse professional development programs to early learning providers across the state.
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Abasi ClarkDirector of Development
I strategize and activate Leading for Children’s fundraising. In partnership with the program team, I communicate the transformative impact of our program’s relationships working with constituents to ensure that our organization has the necessary resources to build equity in early learning.
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Gretchen Henderson Chief of Staff
I manage the administrative, financial, and operational activities of Leading for Children. I am a strategic partner to Judy Jablon and the leadership team, and ensure timely and effective completion of projects and initiatives. Before joining Leading for Children, I spent more than 15 years as a project manager in the fields of medical communication and nonfiction book publishing. In these roles I oversaw large projects and created systems and processes to streamline operations.
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Angela Dutton Operations Associate
I ensure day-to-day operations of Leading for Children are carried on in an appropriate, cost-effective way while partnering with the management team to improve operational systems, processes, and best practices. Prior to joining Leading for Children, I was an account director for leading branding agencies in the NYC area focusing on meeting client goals and delivering projects on time and on budget, before transitioning to operational support for small businesses, including a nonprofit multicultural preschool in Manhattan.
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Jonathan FribleyProgram Leader
I facilitate equitable and respectful professional learning with adults in the early learning field and co-design programs with members of the LFC team. In addition to my work with LFC I have collaborated with early childhood professionals around the United States on relationship-based adult-child interactions that support learning, with a focus on language and literacy. I began my life with young children as a teacher, serving as an educator of children birth through Kindergarten in my home state of Minnesota
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Serene StevensProgram Leader
I support educational leaders through coaching and facilitating conversations to encourage growth that impacts the children and families whom they serve. I began my professional journey 20 years ago as an early childhood teacher working with children aged 6 months to 4 years. From there, I served as a Program Director in New York City and then in the Bronx, New York. I currently teach as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and provide educational coaching and consultation.
Shannon NewmanProgram Manager
I coordinate and manage programming and activities across projects to ensure alignment with Leading for Children’s mission and goals. Working closely with the Director of Programs, I develop systems and processes to promote effective and cohesive program implementation.Before joining LFC, I partnered with directors on their administrative journey as a Quality Rating Improvement Project Specialist with A-State Childhood Services in Arkansas. I encouraged systems thinking to increase sustainability of effective administrative practices and offered support to the early childhood community through varied professional learning opportunities.
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Sarah ZawackiAssistant Director of Impact and Outreach
I develop and strategize communications to tell the story of Leading for Children’s programs and impact. Before joining Leading for Children, I conducted public health research and advocacy with immigrant communities in the UK. This gave me insight into pathways to equity in public service systems, and I am excited to apply this learning in early childhood education communications.
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Andrew Davis Chief Partnership Officer, Shine Early Learning
Board Chair. Andrew Davis works with programs nationwide to focus on closing the achievement gap. He brings a deep understanding of corporate education and their foundations. As an advocate for children, a public speaker, and general problem-solver, Andrew shares the best of what he has observed from programs across the country striving for lasting, positive change.
Vik Gupta Vik Gupta Consulting
Board Treasurer. Vik Gupta is a consulting director of finance to a number of non-profits. He devises and implements robust financial systems, strengthens internal controls, and is responsible for overall financial strategy. He advises start-up non-profits on risk and compliance matters as well as the role of finance in effective mission delivery.
Renée Skolaski Executive Director & CEO, Help for Children
Board Secretary. Since 1998, Help For Children (HFC), has worked to prevent and treat child abuse both at home and abroad. A global foundation, historically supported by the alternative asset management industry, Help For Children provides grants to effective child abuse prevention and treatment interventions across three continents, in seven countries and 13 cities, making the world a safer place for children.
Marneshia Cathey Director & Founder, West Point Christian Preschool
For over a decade, Marneshia Cathey has leveraged her position as Director of West Point Christian Preschool to be a champion for early childhood education. She has gained tactile work experience through her roles in higher education, local government, and legislative administration. She has state and national director’s credentials and has earned numerous continuing education hours in the area of Early Childhood. Marneshia is married to her husband of 24 years, Marcus Cathey. Together they are founders of West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS where she also started and served as the coordinator for the preschool ministry. Marneshia’s philosophy is that with trusting relationships, safe organized environments, and meaningful experiences each student and staff can learn and excel at being the best version of themselves.
Margo L. Dichtelmiller, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Teacher Education, Eastern Michigan University
Margo Dichtelmiller has provided professional development experiences to educators across the country and is the author of numerous publications including The Power of Assessment and Work Sampling System.
Robin Hancock, MA, Ed.D. Director of Global Learning and Community Engagement, The Packer Collegiate Institute
Dr. Robin Hancock is an educator, researcher, documentary filmmaker, and consultant. Her research centers on the value of teaching global citizenship education to very young children. Dr. Hancock’s most recent book, “Global Citizenship Education: Resources and Strategies for Educators and Communities” will be released through Taylor and Francis in December 2020. Robin is the producer of a docuseries about global citizenship for young children titled World Class Trip, which is currently in production.
Jacqueline Hazan Chief People Officer, Hydrow
Jackie Hazan is a strategic executive leader with 15+ years of executive management and human capital leadership experience. Her expertise includes leading businesses through complex transformation, shifting organizations to profitable operation and optimizing resources for maximized ROI. Ms. Hazan possesses deep practical experience leading in complex global operations and fostering innovative cultures. Jackie thrives in complex and ambiguous environments in which she partners with executive teams as an empathetic strategic advisor in navigating pressing business challenges and charting a course forward. Passionate about lowering barriers to entry and creating pathways for long term success for those on the other side of the opportunity gap, Ms. Hazan is a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to her work experience, Jackie offers pro-bono advisor services to executives in her network as well as mentorship and career assistance to soon to be college graduates. She is dedicated to using her experience in both the public and private sectors to broaden access to high quality careers in inclusive environments.
Chelsi Jones Lead Pre-K Teacher, Ariton School
Chelsi Jones has been an early childhood educator for more than fifteen years. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education. Her passion for early learning has led her to pilot several early childhood initiatives for the state of Alabama including the implementation of two First Class Pre-K programs. Alabama First Class Pre-K Program is nationally recognized as a leader in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Jones has been a member of several Leading for Children Learning Networks as well as the Alabama Video Project. Leading for Children has made a significant impact on her life as an educator and has given her a platform to speak about the power teachers possess to ensure children and families have extraordinary and equitable educational experiences. She brings the perspective of a classroom teacher to the Leading for Children Board and lives out the vision of the organization with her classroom family daily.
Harri Magaldi Vice President of Interest Rate Derivatives – Natwest Markets LLC.
Harri Magaldi is a Vice President in Interest Rate Derivatives at Natwest Markets Group LLC. She works with large institutions (Pensions, Hedgefunds, Insurance companies) in USA & Canada on solutions to earn returns in financial markets. Using a humanized and mathematical approach, she has consulted many high net worth individuals and institutions on how to grow revenue in difficult financial market conditions. Harri has joined the LFC board to help with donor engagement and growth, and sponsorship and partnership opportunities, tapping into the Donor Advised Funds (DAF) circuit via new Technology. As a new mother this upcoming spring, she looks forward to implementing LFC’s frameworks into her personal approach to parenting and spreading the word to new parents around her in her local communities of CT and Hudson NY.
Alison Masutani Vice President of Operations, Partners in Development Foundation
Alison Masutani manages the Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool, which serves thousands of Native Hawaiian 0-5 year-old children and their caregivers. This program has become a national model for outreach to native peoples, especially those living in rural and remote areas. She oversees the implementation of programs and all related issues including staffing, fiscal needs, quality assurance, and efficiency.
Kwamara Thompson Owner, TEC, LLC
Social entrepreneur, Kwamara Thompson has always been fighting for positive change by leading with her passion for education. As an accomplished speaker, consultant, educator, and activist, Kwamara has started multiple ventures throughout her career to help people improve their lives, to help organizations become equity and empathy focused, and to help alleviate the structures of systemic racism. Kwamara has always believed that entrepreneurship and education are often the best ways to attain financial freedom; to live the quality of life you want to live. A natural-born businesswoman, Kwamara started her entrepreneurial career at the early age of eight, when she began creating her own children’s books and then selling them to her friends. When she first began working as a classroom teacher, Kwamara was also consulting on the side, helping school districts develop curricula and after school programming. Eventually, she decided to formalize these endeavors and create her own consulting business, TEC: Thompson Education Consulting, helping school districts, non-profit organizations, and small businesses, with professional development, programming, and creating high-performing positive work environments. As a Black female entrepreneur, Kwamara wants those in her community to succeed, and through marrying her passions for leadership, activism, and education, she has been able to help many in her community attain their financial and entrepreneurial goals. Over the past 10 years, Kwamara has created multiple initiatives, products, and services all under the TEC umbrella, acquiring multiple streams of income, servicing individuals across the country, and helping companies create more equitable, empathetic, and human-centered organizations.
Lisa Holton Advisor, Publications and Development
I help the Leading for Children team create, publish and distribute books, webinars, and digital resources; I partner with Judy Jablon and the team on development strategy and execution, and I serve as a strategic advisor to the senior team. As a former children’s book publisher, digital media entrepreneur, and nonprofit Executive Director, I bring a deep passion for Leading for Children’s mission and experience in getting things done.
Egda VelozAdvisor, Bookkeeping and Accounting
I provide financial and accounting services to Leading For Children. My focus is to ensure that the LFC maintains a sound and fiscally responsible accounting system. I also collaborate with Judy Jablon and Gretchen Henderson to help them analyze financial information. I bring almost two decades of diverse financial and business experience as a Certified Public Accountant. I help non-profits achieve organizational, mission-driven success by establishing practical and strong accounting practices.
Ahmed YearwoodAdvisor, Digital Media Strategy
I utilize the myriad of media tools to tell the stories of Leading for Children Learning Networks. I listen for stories of impact and transformation, visualize them, and share via the website, social media, video clips, and more. Through Y INTERACT, the creative agency I founded 20 years ago, I have partnered with brands in non-profit, education, sports entertainment, and financial services, among others. Since 2019, my primary role has been to oversee the design of accessible custom websites and applications for users of all abilities at Princeton University.