Board of Directors
Our board of directors is a diverse group of dedicated administrators, educators, and professionals who are dedicated to redesigning the school experience in the District of Columbia.
Christopher Purdy is a dedicated public servant, proven leader, and active change agent. Born in Rochester, New York, Chris grew up in a household committed to civic engagement. Working with students with disabilities became a passion for Chris as he saw the inherent disadvantages these students faced within school systems. In one of his very first teaching environments, the school had warehoused students with disabilities in a basement classroom with leaky windows and exposed pipes. Chris became a voice for these students, and through his graduate education, became an advocate for those who could not advocate for themselves. Chris is committed to working with others from across the nation and globe toward solving our society's most pressing concerns.
A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Martrice Gandy is a Special Education expert and leader with a deep passion for improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities from our most marginalized communities. She founded the nonprofit MindWorks Collaborative as a way to tackle the talent and diversity issue that is often a barrier to ensuring that our most vulnerable students are given access to quality programs and services. Before founding MindWorks, Martrice consulted with schools and organizations to improve academic and compliance systems in the areas of special education and response to intervention. She also worked with students and families as a special education advocate and supplemental instruction support through her company, Gandy Education Partners. She began consulting after she was awarded the Education Pioneers Fellowship in 2015, which she completed in the Philadelphia/Camden, New Jersey areas.
Latoya Tolbert is an instructional leader who develops training and facilitates professional development for math teachers in Prince George's County, Maryland. Latoya believes that all educators have the capacity to enhance their craft with the right supports and that building relationships with scholars should be at the forefront of educators’ work. Previously, her work as an instructional lead teacher led to a data-driven restructuring of a school's organizational structure and collaborative planning system. Latoya also has experience as a mathematics teacher and School Testing Coordinator in middle and elementary school settings. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Towson University, as well as a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Bowie State University.
Dr. Bridget Abbas is a veteran education professional with 13 years of experience in public and charter schools. Most recently, she served as the director of curriculum and instruction at Thurgood Marshall PCS in Washington, DC. Prior to that, Dr. Abbas served as the director of secondary literacy for DC Public Schools. She has extensive experience developing and delivering professional development, creating and revising curricular materials, writing standards-aligned assessments, and utilizing data to inform all aspects of teaching and learning. Dr. Abbas’ research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Research in Education and the Phi Delta Kappan. Bridget uses her expertise in blended learning instruction and English Language Arts curriculum to chair Capital Village Schools' School Performance Committee.
Matt Foster has been an educator for 13 years, starting as a Teach For America corps member in 2004 in the Mississippi Delta. Matt has always believed that all students deserve a great education and has devoted his career to that end. After teaching in Mississippi and in his wife’s hometown in Kentucky, Matt joined Monica Green at Columbia Heights Educational Campus. They worked together to create a middle school English Language Arts curriculum and began their journey of becoming blended learning proponents. Later, Matt's class at Stuart-Hobson Middle School became the DC Public Schools Model Blended Learning Classroom for Middle School English Language Arts, and Matt wrote Common Core curriculum for DCPS. He is now the Instructional Technology Facilitator for a small independent school in Bethesda and is continuing his passion to bring a 21st century education to all students.
Katrina Floyd, a licensed social worker and Doctor of Public Health, has more than 30 years of experience helping families stabilize their lives. As a native of the District of Columbia, she has committed her life’s work to helping to improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us, our children. She earned a master's degree in social work from Howard University’s School of Social Work and a doctor of public health degree from George Washington University. Currently, Katrina is serving as an Assistant Director for the Family Services Division with a community-based human services organization. In addition to serving as a social worker in various capacities, Katrina has more than 20 years of experience in the academic arena as a faculty consultant and field instructor with the School of Social Work Master’s Program at Howard University and as an external field instructor and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center. Katrina is committed to ensuring that students in the nation’s capital receive a stellar and enriched academic education.
Matt Hare, CFA®
Matt Hare is an investment specialist for the JP Morgan Private Bank in Washington, DC, and uses his financial background to lead Capital Village Schools in creating and meeting annual financial goals to ensure a strong financial foundation. Since joining the JP Morgan team in 2008, Matt has worked to tailor investment recommendations for high net worth individuals, foundations, and endowments. A British citizen, Matt moved to the United States in 2004 after living in the United Kingdom, Cuba, and Venezuela. He holds Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses and is a CFA charter holder. Matt currently resides in Washington, DC, with his wife, who is a public school teacher in the city. Matt graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in three years with a double major in economics and government.
Sarah Hawley is currently serving as the principal of iLead Spring Meadow, a school with a focus on personalized and experiential learning similar to Capital Village Schools'. Sarah has been dedicated to public service through education for more than 18 years. Her experience spans all grade levels and content areas, with extensive experience in elementary and middle-grade literacy and instructional support. Previously, Sarah was an assistant principal in DC Public Schools. Her greatest strengths as an instructional leader are around supporting teachers in changing teaching practices in order to become more effective and demonstrate greater student outcomes. She is passionate about educational reform that leads to equity in education for all students.
Jenese Jones has been in the field of K-12 education for 14 years. She began teaching in the 2002 Teach For America Saint Louis Corps and spent 12 years in the classroom, including at Two Rivers PCS in Washington, DC. In 2012, Jenese was elected to public office in the District of Columbia, serving as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single-Member District 5B05. Jenese also served as a founding board member of the DC Education Coalition for Change, as a program director at UNCF, and as a Leadership for Educational Equity Policy Advisor Fellow at the US Department of Education, where she developed the inaugural Male Educators of Color Symposium in 2015 and received commendation from President Obama. Currently, Jenese is the founding executive director of Faith Leaders for Excellent Schools, a non-profit organization aiming to build partnerships with civic and faith-based organizations throughout the city of Baltimore to improve relationships and increase access to opportunities for all children and families.
Kimberly A. Smith
Kimberly A. Smith is the executive director of the League of Innovative Schools at Digital Promise and a respected leader in the field of education reform. The League of Innovative Schools is a coalition of the nation's forward-thinking district leaders, representing more than 3.3 million students. In her current role, she leads and executes the League’s strategic priorities and facilitates collaboration among educators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and thought partners. Previously, Kimberly led the innovation strategy for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFT) and has served in several other similar leadership roles, including Vice President of Product Development for Discovery Education, board chair at Arts and Technology Academy PCS, and board secretary for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). She is also an Aspen Pahara Institute fellow focused on education reform leadership and pioneering initiatives, where she co-founded the Charter Collaborative to support charter leaders of color. She received her MBA from Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
This talented group of professionals shares their expertise and services with the board of directors.
Theodora Brown has been an attorney in private practice since 1994. Her practice specialties include nonprofit law, intellectual property counseling, prosecution, and licensing in the areas of trademark, copyright, trade secret, media and internet law; contract negotiations; and tax-exempt and business law. For the last 30 years, she has represented clients in municipal government, communications, entertainment, sports, book publishing, and technology industries. Ms. Brown was also a founding board member of Friendship Public Charter Schools. She led Capital Village Schools' efforts to become a fully incorporated, tax-exempt organization in the District of Columbia and helps facilitate community connections.
Myron Long was born, raised, and educated in Washington, DC. A teacher for many years, he is now serving his seventh year as the principal of EL Haynes PCS — Middle School. He taught for many years in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and in DC at KIPP DC: AIM Academy, where he received KIPP DC’s Board Award for Outstanding Teaching. He also developed a single-gender classroom model that still exists at KIPP DC: AIM Academy and served as principal of the Saturday School program. Myron spent his first year at EL Haynes as a resident principal in the New Leaders program in 2010 before becoming assistant principal in 2011 and principal in 2013. He graduated from Morgan State University in Maryland with dual degrees in philosophy and political science and received his master’s degree in philosophy, with a concentration in social policy, from American University.
Janine Gomez is currently the Two Rivers Middle School Assistant Principal. Janine holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland — College Park, and another master of education degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill. Janine has been a public school educator since 1992. Prior to joining Two Rivers, she was a school designer for EL Education, Inc., and served as the lower school principal at Capital City Public Charter School, one of EL’s mentor schools. Janine was a teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland), and a teacher and administrator in Durham Public Schools (North Carolina), and she began her own educational consulting company in North Carolina. Janine was awarded the 2011 Elementary Principal of the Year Award by the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools during her tenure at Capital City, and her intensive experience with EL Education and school leadership aided Capital Village Schools in designing our curricular, culture, and operational structures.
Rhonda Humphries is a transformational school leader with more than a decade of service to private, public, and charter schools in the DC and Baltimore areas. Born and raised in DC, she is committed to ensuring equitable educational opportunities for the most marginalized urban students by cultivating safe, culturally responsive, and 21st century classroom environments. Currently serving as an assistant principal, Rhonda has been recognized as a highly effective teacher and leader for her ability to improve student and teacher performance. She has also participated in the New Leaders for New Schools Emerging Leaders Program and has contributed to the Center for Inspired Teaching as a BLISS curriculum designer. Rhonda holds professional certifications in secondary social studies and school administration. She earned a bachelor’s in history and African American history from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in secondary social studies from the University of Maryland — College Park, and a master of arts degree in educational leadership from George Washington University. As a member of Capital Village Schools' Advisory Council, Rhonda's expansive local connections aid the school's efforts to partner fully with the community.
Cidney King is an advocate in the education movement working to ensure all children, particularly students of color from low-income backgrounds, have access to the opportunities that a quality education affords. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2012, she joined the Teach For America corps and taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English in Houston, Texas. During her time in the corps, she pushed her students to surpass the limitations society had set for them and empowered them to become the next change agents in their community. Following that experience, Cidney moved abroad for two years and continued mentoring young minds as a 6th grade math teacher in Abu Dhabi. Today, as the CEO and founder of iFLY Youth, she provides disadvantaged girls access to international travel and leadership development. Cidney is brings her skills and experience in fundraising to bear in community outreach and strategic partnerships and community outreach.
Sean McGrath is a published author, a high school history teacher, and an eight-year veteran of public schools in Washington, D.C. who is passionate about closing the achievement gap and providing each child with an excellent education. Sean was honored by former DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson with a spot on the Chancellor's Teachers Cabinet, as well as lauded by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sean has been a leader within his school buildings and sees schools as ever-changing environments that provide students and staff alike with the excitement of each new day and a new chance to make a difference. Sean relentlessly pursues student improvement and engagement and believes in the ability of education to transform lives and expand minds. His experience forming partnerships with community organizations to provide field experiences, guest speakers, and real-world connections for his students will aid Capital Village Schools' strategic partnership efforts.
Modestine E. Welch-Davis
Modestine E. Welch-Davis holds a master's degree in educational leadership from Trinity Washington University and a bachelor'sdegree in English from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Early in her career, Modestine served as a literature teacher with Friendship Public Charter Schools and an English Language Arts teacher in Prince George’s County public school system. She joined DC Public Schools in 2008 as a middle school English Language Arts teacher; since then, she has served as a program coordinator, K–8 instructional coach, and middle school assistant principal. Modestine was the founding assistant principal of McKinley Middle School, the only 6th–8th grade middle school in Ward 5 at that time. This position gave Modestine experience with school infrastructure, curriculum development, student recruitment, staff hiring and training.
Eileen A. Williams
Eileen A. Williams is a retired administrative officer from Howard University, Washington, DC. She has more than 45 years’ experience as an administrative assistant, executive-level secretary, and administrative officer working with executive-level professionals. The majority of her experience (more than 20 years) has been in college-level education (Howard University) working in the administrative, personnel, budgetary, and supervisory capacities. Mrs. Williams has also been involved in the community for many years, initiating and overseeing projects and community-wide events and teaching classes involving youth and teens.