In addition to the amazing team of educators, community members and leaders, local businesses and community-based organizations that have supported us, provided feedback, and helped us form the vision and mission for Envision Prep, we also have an amazingly dedicated and hard-working team of Founders that are responsible for implementing our mission.
Jill Glassbrook is the proud parent to two kids, a certified teacher, has served as a school administrator for the past 8+ years, and has been a resident of NYC CSD 15 since June 2012. Jill graduated from Indiana University – Bloomington with degrees in English and Gender Studies and went on to attend Seton Hall University where she received her master’s degree in Education – Curriculum Design and Technology. Jill began her career in education as a preschool teacher, but quickly learned that her knack was usually with the older siblings of her students. After joining AmeriCorps to launch a wrap-around and mentoring program for teenagers incarcerated in Indiana’s Juvenile Department of Corrections Facilities, Jill joined Teach for America where she taught in Newark, New Jersey as a self-contained behavior disorders teacher for students in grades 4-6. In this role Jill fell in love with Special Education services, and has committed herself to serving kids and families to receive the services they need. As her passion for education progressed, she came to Brooklyn as the founding Director of Special Services and then Dean of Students at Achievement First Bushwick Middle School. Jill then joined PAVE Academy Charter School as the founding MS Principal and then became the founding Chief Curriculum Officer of PAVE Schools, a small Charter Management Organization based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Through her administration experiences Jill learned first-hand the importance of great and extensive professional development for her teams, and looks forward to continuing her work to develop educators as co-founder and Executive Director of Envision Preparatory Charter School.
Desiree Hunter is a certified teacher, has served as a school administrator for the past 6+ years, and is a life-long resident of NYC, residing for the past 8 years in Brooklyn. As a graduate of The University of Michigan and Columbia University, Desiree has been a trailblazer in education since beginning her work with Teach for America in Chicago twelve years ago. Beginning her career as a teacher then moving into a role as a Dean of School Culture, she was a driver of a high expectations and a joyful school culture. Desiree believes strongly that the highest indicator of student success is creating a school culture of accountability that is built around data driven practices and teamwork. In her most recent role, Desiree served as a principal at the National Blue Ribbon School, Bronx Charter School for Excellence. Desiree is an advocate for the development of the intellect of children, as evidenced by her roles as educator, social worker and school administrator for the past twelve years. With the use of a targeted educational program, coupled with socio-emotional support services (Advisory and High School Placement programs) scholars that she has worked with have seen unprecedented success. Students and families receive both the promise and delivery of a safe and high expectations school culture coupled with a Parent Educational Program aimed at building their capacity to support the school’s mission and vision. Desiree is excited to advocate for students and families at Envision Prep as a co-founder and Middle School Principal.
Founding Board of Trustees:
Daniel Dowd is a 6-year resident of NYC, the past 4 of which he has lived in Sunset Park Brooklyn. He is committed to supporting exceptional organizations in finance, non-profit, and governance, and has experience leading different teams and departments, while designing and executing sound strategic decisions. Daniel works on the Operations team at Thrive Capital leading the firm’s efforts in people operations, IT and security, and managing the administrative team. Prior to joining Thrive, Daniel worked as the senior financial and operations leader at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and managed a charter school in Red Hook, Brooklyn for four years. Daniel also served as a non- commissioned officer in the US Army where he worked in Signals Intelligence for five years, during which he was deployed to Baghdad and worked at the NSA. Daniel brings over 12 years of operations experience from the government and non-profit sectors to Envision Preparatory Charter School’s founding board.
A native of Michigan, Amy Gadola has lived and worked in New York City since 2007. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Art History from Michigan State University and a Masters of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Criticism, and Theory from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Amy has worked with several high-profile contemporary art galleries in New York City and has collaborated on numerous projects with prestigious institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Seattle Art Museum, Washington; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Modern Fort Worth, Texas; the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona; the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; and the Petit Palais, Paris. She is looking forward to using her skills and arts background to support Envision Prep in its founding years as the Chair of the Development Committee.
Baylee is a passionate advocate for social change, and is excited to join Envision Prep’s founding team with a focus on scaling programs and community outreach. As the Chief Operating Officer of Crisis Text Line, Baylee Greenberg oversees human capital, partnerships, finance, and crisis counselor supervision at the nation’s first free 24/7 text line for people in crisis. She’s helped to scale CTL from 25 volunteers to over 3,100. Previously, Baylee managed corporate partnerships at DoSomething.org the largest organization for young people and social change. Greenberg has managed initiatives with 3M, American Express, CVS Health, H&M, JCPenney, The WWE and other top youth brands. She sits on Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council and the Advisory Board of Better World Ed – an empathy focused learning platform. Baylee earned a BA in Psychology and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. She reads word etymologies for fun and thinks all dates should be consumed as desserts and is excited to support Envision Prep as a founding board member.
Vivian Ibeas entered the education world with a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Canada. She further obtained a bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University and had a strong desire to combine her passion for music and education. As a dedicated advocate for the arts, Vivian taught Music and Drama at Sommerville Manor School for 3 years and was Head Instructor for a local youth theater company. In 2006 she made the big move to New York and started a career in marketing. Currently, Vivian is the Director of Communications for Carnegie, an established company in the Architecture & Design industry. On the side, Vivian practices her love of music by taking night classes for singing at Julliard and is learning to play the banjo! Residing in Community School District 15 with her husband, Vivian is excited to reignite her passion for education as Envision Prep’s founding Board Secretary and as a member of the Development Committee. Envision Prep’s mission resonates with Vivian’s strong belief that all children should have access to an excellent education.
Rahul Kalita is a New York City resident, second generation immigrant, and currently works at RTL Group’s Digital Hub working on all things technological. Rahul has led brand-building initiatives for senior leadership at Whistle Sports (the sports destination for millennials) with expertise and specialty areas in sales, partnerships, event management, corporate social responsibility, and public relations. His success in this field have been recognized when 4 of his projects were nominated and won industry awards for social media campaigns. He believes strongly in the role of public education in the success of kids, and brings his skillset to Envision Prep by joining the founding board. In prior roles, Rahul launched new products, established strategic partnerships, and sold directly and indirectly to customers. Rahul has also worked as a management consultant, worked at several start-up companies, and worked for a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi. Rahul is dedicated to supporting Envision Prep in ensuring that all families in Sunset Park have access and opportunity to an excellent education. Rahul will serve as the Chair of the Finance Committee.
Melanie Kotler is a proud parent and a 13-year resident of NYC CSD 15, and has a strong vested interest in ensuring that the children in this District receive the best quality education possible. Melanie is thrilled at the opportunity to join the Envision Prep founding board and will serve as a member of the Finance Committee. Melanie grew up attending public schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona, later receiving her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern University, and law degree from New York Law School in Tribeca. Although she has spent the last 10 years as a corporate and financial restructuring attorney in prominent New York law firms, she has maintained her volunteer ties with the community through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club’s Young Professional Alliance, as well as by volunteering as a reading partner in NYC elementary schools during law school. After the birth of her son, Melanie got the bug to dig into the education opportunities provided to children in this city, and specifically in District 15, and was thrilled to discover Envision Prep, which promises to be an invaluable addition to the Sunset Park Community. She is so excited to provide her legal, financial, and community-based expertise to the founding Board.
David Liben is the Senior Content Specialist of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. David has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in public and private schools, as well as community college and teacher preparation courses, in New York City and Vermont. David still spends as much time as possible in schools with teachers and children. Together with Meredith Liben, David founded two innovative model schools in New York City – New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem, and in 1991, the Family Academy – where he served as Principal and lead curriculum designer. David served on the ELA Work Group that authored the Common Core State Standards, and strives to challenge educators to serve their students. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in school administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. David is committed to supporting Envision Prep to build rigorous, thoughtful, and topic-driven ELA curriculum and assessment to the families and students we serve.
Julio is a life-long Sunset Park resident who has deep roots in the community. He volunteers his time as Chairperson for Brooklyn’s Neighborhood Advisory Board #7 responsible for helping to identify the needs of the Sunset Park community including supporting with the allocation of federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding. Julio is a board member for Community Board 7, where he is the Vice-Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of the Youth Committee, he is on the Board of Directors for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Inc, and the Board of Directors of his Co-Op in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Julio has been working young adult populations for over 17 years. Currently, he works as Director working with at-risk high school students in an alternative high school program. Julio holds a Master degree in Public Administration from John Jay College, Bachelor degree in Puerto Rican & Latino Studies from Brooklyn College and an Associate degree from Kingsborough Community College. As a fierce advocate for public school education, he is excited to bring his knowledge of the Sunset Park community and its residents to Envision Prep’s founding Board of Trustees.
Jaime White, founder of Capacity Rise Education Consulting and former Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Democracy Prep Public Schools joins team with over twenty years of experience in urban education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Anthropology and African American Studies, a master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and completed all but her dissertation for a doctoral degree in education at Columbia Teachers College. In addition, Ms. White is Nationally Board Certified in adolescent education. One of Ms. White’s most crowning achievements was her work as a founding staff member of Roxbury Prep Charter School, one of the highest performing schools in the country serving predominately low-income students of color. She has helped write numerous charters and worked with various start-up charter schools driven to replicate the success of Roxbury Prep. Jaime’s passion for Sunset Park stems from her childhood experiences growing up in the community, and she is deeply committed to urban public education, believing strongly in the value of a great educator in front of every child.