If we are successful, a school (or system of schools) will be a healthy, stable, safe environment for all students, allowing them to achieve at the highest levels.
We believe this ultimately depends on creating an equitable and inclusive environment for staff.
Creating this environment requires the recruitment and retention of high quality, diverse people who experience consistent talent processes and systems of accountability and support.
The mission of EdFuel is to empower education organizations to effectively recruit and retain diverse and high quality staff through comprehensive and equitable talent management systems.
What We Do
We’re all about the people. EdFuel is a national nonprofit that helps education organizations recruit and retain top talent at all levels.
EdFuel supports single site schools, charter networks, traditional districts, and education nonprofits with talent management needs of all types. On the systematic side, we design the tools and processes that education organizations need to implement strong, equitable and inclusive talent management systems. Our work spans all aspects of the talent cycle and we have extensive experience in the following areas: competency mapping, recruitment, hiring, onboarding, professional development, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, succession planning, and holistic organizational culture.
But we know that systems are only part of the solution. Much of the challenge is adaptive: the ability of organizational leaders to effectively implement talent management systems with consistency, fidelity, and in a way that preserves strong internal culture. EdFuel designs tailored training and support systems that build the capacity of the organization to sustain strong talent practices without us.
"EdFuel has been an important partner to Yu Ying. Over the past year, we've worked closely to enhance the school's organizational capacity and develop strategies to retain our talented employees. Thank you, EdFuel!"
- Cheri Harrington, Chief Operating Officer, Washington Yu Ying
How We Operate
We meet you where you are
We take pride in our nimble nature and ability to design adaptive solutions tailored to meet partner needs.
We make best-practice practical
We source and conduct research as the foundation of our work, yet balance it with a dose of practicality to meet real-world needs.
We have a bias toward action
Because time is precious, we take an applied approach to design, valuing responsiveness and getting things done.
We offer accessible price points
Because top talent shouldn’t be a luxury, we take a streamlined, affordable approach to delivering high-quality products.
We ask difficult questions
Because we believe diversity, equity and inclusion are talent imperatives, we will directly address areas where bias is or has the potential to be at play.
Meet the Team
Tammy joined EdFuel in March of 2023 because she believes that high-performing equity-driven leaders and intentional end to end talent systems are cornerstones of high achieving schools.
Prior to joining EdFuel, Tammy served 7 years as a School Leader with the KIPP Network in St. Louis, Missouri, and Houston, Texas. She led high-performing teams of instructional leaders to greatly improve student achievement in math and reading as measured by state assessments and nationally normed assessments. Additionally, she worked with school culture leaders to build intentional systems and rituals that created safe and brave spaces for students. She also served as a member of the network’s School Leader Advisor Committee and the Leading for Racial Equity Cohort to support, influence and shape equity and talent initiatives across the KIPP Network.
Before joining KIPP, Tammy served in several roles in education including 9 years as a teacher in grades ranging from Pre-K to 8th grade. She also served as a Teacher Development Coach with Education Pioneers and a Director of Curriculum and Assessment with a single-site charter school. Tammy holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Learning from the University of Memphis and a Masters's Degree in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A&M University.
When Tammy is not working to ensure equitable learning outcomes for students, she enjoys cycling, jogging, and spending time with her nephew.
Upon returning to the states, Mindy worked as a founding member of the alumni team at Teach For America, building partnerships and supporting TFA alumni in teacher and school leadership, policy and advocacy, and general leadership development in New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia. Before coming to EdFuel, Mindy has spent the last decade building and implementing inclusive and equitable processes and systems as a founding member of the Talent, Learning, and Culture team at Leadership For Educational Equity and as a consultant and coach specializing in performance management, employee relations, DEI, learning & development, culture building, and management capacity building for educational nonprofits and institutions.
In her spare time, Mindy has been heavily involved as a board and academic committee member of Foundation Academies, a high-achieving charter school in Trenton, NJ, and a board member of an arts and youth development nonprofit in Philadelphia. Additionally, she is the proud mama of a 7th and 10th grader in Philadelphia public schools, and partner to a Philly public school assistant principal. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Hunter College School of Social Work in NYC, and is a longtime fighter for educational equity, and a human-centered, impact-driven practitioner.
Cortney joined EdFuel in April 2018 because she believes that well-trained teachers and support staff, result in better-prepared students.
Cortney started her career as a high school social studies teacher in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
As a teacher, Cortney discovered her passion for ensuring that all students had access to a quality education and extracurricular experiences. After leaving the classroom, Cortney pursued her MPA with a focus in nonprofit management at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to joining EdFuel, Cortney served as a program coordinator for a nonprofit organization that supported children with an incarcerated parent or loved one. In this role, she was responsible for curriculum creation and implementation, special event planning, data analysis and collection, and management of volunteers and interns.
Cortney currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two sons.
Melany joined EdFuel in May 2021 because she believes talent is a lever for educational equity and should ultimately level the playing field for those marginalized.
Prior to beginning an education career, Melany conducted opportunity gap research at the University of Delaware and educational psychology research regarding stereotype threat in minority families at the University of Michigan. Her research findings compelled her to combat the opportunity gap as an educator. Melany served as an elementary teacher in New Castle, Delaware while pursuing her Master of Arts in Teaching at Johns Hopkins University. As a teacher, Melany used her background in research and data to customize a response to intervention strategy, which resulted in record proficiency rates on student’s end-of-year assessments.
Melany later served as the Coordinator for Teacher Selection and Analytics at DC Public Schools where she used data to inform the District’s national strategy for teacher recruitment and selection. There she performed data analysis into how well the teacher candidate evaluation system predicted teacher’s future performance on end-of-year IMPACT evaluations. She also served as a Strategic Enrollment Initiatives Specialist for DC Public Schools, managing enrollment operations for a third of the District’s schools.
Melany graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Black American Studies. She currently lives in Delaware.
Kerri-Ann Nesbeth joined EdFuel in April 2018 because she believes that increasing access to quality education, regardless of someone's socioeconomic status or zip code, begins with building capacity in educational leaders.
Kerri-Ann started her career in municipal government. She then entered the private sector and worked in corporate social responsibility, which led her to philanthropy. She previously worked at the Clinton Foundation, overseeing operations and logistics for President Bill Clinton’s annual conference, which focused on bolstering the U.S. economy through job creation.
Soon after, she recognized one of the common denominators to unlocking opportunity was receiving a quality education. This realization facilitated her desire to have a more direct impact on education reform, and she transitioned to work at Achievement First Public Charter Schools in Brooklyn, New York. Kerri-Ann launched the organization's first-ever talent management tool that aggregated the most pertinent talent metrics to inform organizational health across over 30 schools in the network. In addition, she played a crucial role in their diversity recruitment efforts and successfully identified new strategies to bolster the diversity of teacher and school leader hires.
Kerri-Ann graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Management and minors in History and African American Studies. She currently lives in South Florida and serves as Vice Chair of Broward County's Racial Equity Task Force. She is passionate about operations and systems, loves traveling, watching TV, and spending time with her family.
Rachel Nozari joined EdFuel in August 2021 because she firmly believes in the power of diverse teams to catalyze real change, so all students have access to an excellent and equitable education. She is personally and professionally driven to build individual and organizational capacity to ensure all leaders can realize their full potential and all teams can operate at their best.
Rachel began her professional career teaching first and second grade in Hartford, Connecticut where she was reminded every day how naturally creative, resourceful, and collaborative people are, even from the youngest age. Rachel spent the last 8 years working at Teach For America. While at TFA she coached K-12 educators across 5 cities to build culturally responsive classrooms that resulted in holistic growth for students. As a Director of Leadership and Learning, she used liberatory design methods to design and roll out a region-wide theory of leadership development. In her most recent role, she focused on strategy, talent, operations, and learning work where she led a regional transition to a more agile and inclusive learning organization.
Rachel is passionate about innovation and human-centered design grounded in equity. She holds a BA in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, a Masters in Education from the University of Saint Joseph, and is currently working on her Professional Coaching Certification through the CoActive Training Institute so she can better support all leaders. She currently lives in New Haven, CT with her husband and enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.
Angela joined EdFuel because she believes that when talent, at all levels, is identified, supported, and developed, students will achieve transformational outcomes that put them on path to realizing their life’s ambitions.
Angela’s career in education began as a middle school social studies, math, and reading teacher in New Orleans, LA. After teaching, Angela joined the staff at the Emory University Center for Science Education where she designed professional development experiences for STEM teachers and managed a multi-dimensional partnership that focused on summer research experiences for students and teachers as well as career exploration and college readiness programs for students. Angela also served on staff at the New Teacher Program where she launched a teaching fellows program for school districts in southwest Georgia. Prior to joining the EdFuel team, Angela worked at Teach For America (TFA) for eleven years on the Metro Atlanta regional team serving as the Managing Director of District Partnerships and Corps Member Onboarding. In this role, she supported principals and school districts to ensure strong results in the talent life cycle process for TFA corps members and alumni. Since January 2018, Angela serves as a member of the Board of Education for Marietta City Schools representing Ward 5.
Angela holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. She holds the Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP) and Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She lives in Marietta, Georgia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending professional football games, and traveling.
Ryan joined EdFuel because he believes in the power and potential of people. He believes diverse talent, supported by a culture in which all leaders can authentically thrive, is pivotal to ensuring staff and students have the opportunities they deserve and are able to live the full lives of their choosing.
Ryan’s career began as a high school science educator with Teach For America and DC Public Schools. After four years of teaching, including two as a founding member of a charter school, Ryan joined the Teach For America staff as he’s passionate about ensuring all students receive the excellent education they deserve.
For the past twelve years, he has coached teachers/school leaders, managed teams/projects, and has led program-wide initiatives across the country with TFA. Most recently, Ryan served as the Senior Managing Director of TFA’s national staff experience team, charged with ensuring all aspects of the talent life cycle were built into TFA’s Pre-Service teacher training program. In this role, Ryan (and team) created the talent infrastructure to support over 700 full-time and seasonal staff members in leading TFA’s summer teacher training program for over 2500 new teachers.
Ryan holds a BS in Chemistry from Davidson College and a MAT from American University. He lives in Minnesota with his husband and daughter. Ryan enjoys spending quality time with his family, anything musically related and indulging in the best that TV has to offer.
Ashleigh joined EdFuel in July 2021 because she believes that people are the key factor to student success and that students should have strong leaders, teachers, and non-instructional staff supporting them.
Prior to her work at EdFuel, Ashleigh managed end-to-end school leader and network-level recruitment at Democracy Prep Public Schools. In her work with the organization, she planned and executed leadership interview rounds with a focus on improving the equity and inclusivity of the hiring process, oversaw the creation and implementation of structured interview processes for network-level roles that would reduce hiring biases, and facilitated the outreach and selection of mission-driven, high potential teacher candidates for the Teaching Residency Program.
Ashleigh began her career in education as a founding seventh-grade English Language Arts teacher in Baltimore, MD. She also taught middle and high school English in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BA in English from Kenyon College, a Master of Arts in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Arts in Education Policy Studies from The George Washington University.
Ashleigh currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband where she enjoys reading, running, and exploring the region.
Nicole joined EdFuel in June 2021 because she believes people are one of the most important factors in ensuring that every child has an education that prepares them for life.
After earning her Masters’ Degree in Education Policy from Vanderbilt University, she spent nearly six years at the Tennessee Department of Education. During her time there, she supported year one of statewide teacher evaluation implementation as well as curriculum and instruction, supporting teachers and leaders in the transition to more rigorous standards and assessments. She led selection and performance management for hundreds of facilitators of statewide training for tens of thousands of educators each summer and thousands of school leaders over the years. Following her time at TDOE, Nicole was a founding team member at Instruction Partners, an education non-profit, where she launched the organization’s teacher professional development work before turning her focus to internal learning and development and talent management more broadly. She led hiring, onboarding, performance management, and employee engagement, growing the organization from 20 to 75 employees over two years while increasing the team’s diversity and improving the overall employee experience.
Nicole started her career in education as an elementary teacher in rural North Carolina and still describes herself as an educator at heart. She is passionate about supporting others to be their best across roles in the education field. She will describe herself as a bit of a nerd - loves designing processes and making data tell a story that drives action.
Nicole currently lives in Cary, NC with her husband and two children. Nicole enjoys reading, crafting and hiking, biking, and running (really anything to spend time outside!).
Marguerite joined EdFuel in September 2022, because she believes every leader deserves the support they need to make a positive impact and few places have bigger impacts than schools.
Marguerite volunteered and interned in schools before starting her career in banking. Her passion for education and impact still came through, eventually leading her to pivot from Underwriting to Learning & Development and then Talent Transformation. Her career came full circle when she joined EdFuel to bring her Talent experience back to schools as a Director, Talent Management.
Outside work, you can find Marguerite baking Great British Bake Off recipes with her husband, hiking the Colorado mountains, or ticking off locales on her latest travel challenge.
Saima joined EdFuel in May 2021 because she believes that talent is a key lever for building strong and diverse school teams to ensure all students receive a quality education.
Prior to joining EdFuel, Saima led talent and HR initiatives for FirstLine Schools for ten years. Key initiatives that Saima worked on include: the development and implementation of the teacher career pathway and compensation system, performance evaluation systems for teachers and non-instructional staff, employee surveys, and the recruitment and selection of teachers, school leaders and non-instructional staff. Saima led the implementation and evolution of performance management systems and dashboards enabling school leaders to have real-time data on coaching and feedback given to teachers. She also oversaw the development of the HR department and streamlined and improved FirstLine’s personnel policies, employee onboarding and benefits management systems.
Before working at FirstLine, Saima worked at The New Teacher Project, supporting the recruitment of Teaching Fellows in Shreveport, LA. She also spent several years working in international development in both Washington DCand Pakistan prior to focusing on the education sector. Saima holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s in Public Policy from The George Washington University. She currently lives in Miami with her husband.
Saima is an aspiring runner who enjoys watching international dramas, picking up new languages, and spending time in the great outdoors.
Meet the Board
Chief Executive Officer, KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools EdFuel Board Chair
Jessica Cunningham Akoto joined KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools as the Chief Executive Officer in June 2018. Jessica started her career as a 4th-grade teacher in D.C. Public Schools. She later transitioned to KIPP as a sixth-grade math teacher at the region’s flagship school: KEY Academy. Jessica founded KIPP DC’s third middle school, WILL Academy, and served as the school’s principal for four years. She then served as a Chief Academic Officer for two years before deciding to return to school leadership in 2012 as the principal of KIPP DC’s high school, KIPP DC College Prep. Most recently, she worked as the KIPP Foundation’s Executive in Residence, where she provided critical on-site support to KIPP regional leaders to identify and execute the steps needed to produce superior results and healthy growth.
Jessica earned a B.S. in African American History from Florida A&M University and a Masters in Elementary Education from American University. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a 2015 Milken Educator Award winner. Most recently, Jessica was named a 2020 Minority Business Leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Jessica currently sits on the board of directors of EdFuel and the KIPP Foundation. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and exploring Philadelphia’s best restaurants.
Emmile Brack is an independent consultant that partners with K-12 public school systems and education-focused non-profit organizations to hone its collective ability to understand, identify and address inequities impacting students, families and schools and engage in inquiries and discussions to identify ways to improve how they serve all students. She has helped organizations revamp their theories of change, core values and strategic plans as well as analyze their data and operational processes, using a more intentional equity lens. Before striking out on her own, Emmile was Vice President of Operations for Schoolzilla, a public-benefit corporation that creates data tools for school leaders, leading organizational efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to Schoolzilla, Emmile worked at Aspire Public Schools for 7 years, serving as Chief of Staff and Vice President of Operations for the last 3 years of her tenure. As Chief of Staff, she led the work, in partnership with the National Equity Project, to build shared language and understanding around racial inequities amongst school and central office leaders. In her Operations leadership role, she managed the IT, Data and Applications, Strategy and Growth and School Operations Support teams. Before making the shift into education, Emmile worked as a finance and operations consultant. Emmile earned her MBA from The George Washington University and her bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University.
Chief Operating Officer , Samvid Ventures
Laura is the COO of the Desai Sethi Foundation/Samvid Ventures, a private operating foundation focused on education and entrepreneurship. Laura is a nationally recognized expert frequently cited in national press on helping social impact organizations get better as they get better. Prior to SV, Laura was Chief Talent Officer at Mastery Charter Schools, Chief of Staff of Achievement First, Managing Director of New Sector Alliance, a management consultant at Bridgespan, and a leader in the national office of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Laura graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and won their annual Women’s Leadership Award. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School where she was a William Randolph Hearst Scholar, and an Masters of Education through the Broad Residency in Urban Schools. She has previously served on the boards of Riders Alliance and The Guidance Center. Laura lives in New York City with her family and more books than she could ever read.
Chief Learning Officer
Freddy Gonzalez leads the Teaching, Learning and KIPP School Leadership Programs team with the overall goal of students across the country being empowered to lead choice-filled lives. The team he supports create and improve curriculum and assessment for the KIPP Network while also working alongside KIPP network’s leaders to facilitate opportunities for professional growth and development.
Before joining the KIPP Foundation, Freddy worked at KIPP Austin College Prep where he taught language arts, social studies, writing, and served as the eighth grade level chair. He went on to become the assistant principal at KACP, and finally served as principal for seven years after completing KSLP’s program for successor leaders. Under his leadership, the school earned Recognized or Exemplary ratings every year and earned distinctions in all possible categories such as achievement in reading/ELA, achievement in math, and top 25% student progress.
Formerly, Freddy was the lead college counselor for the Settlement College Reading Program in New York City. Freddy earned his M.Ed. from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and a B.A. from Brown University.
Founding Partner, Ampersand Education EdFuel Board Vice Chair/Treasurer
Kristoffer is a Founding Partner of Ampersand Education, where he leads Ampersand's Growth Strategy team and supports and advises clients on all aspects of their growth strategy. Kristoffer brings 15 years of experience to the team and has expertise in all stages of growth, leading projects ranging from new site identification and market analyses, to fundraising, marketing and communications, and launch support.
Kristoffer has led teams to launch over 100 schools, raise over $50M, and pass charter legislation improvements in several jurisdictions. He’s handled growth and development for established organizations, as well as organizations in the start-up phase, with an end goal of increasing their impact for kids. Kristoffer began his career in education as a high school English teacher and leveraged this deep knowledge of schools to develop growth strategies for Rocketship Education, KIPP Austin Public Schools, and the KIPP Foundation.
Kristoffer holds degrees from Oregon State University and Emerson College, and lives with his family in Oakland, California. After avidly cheering on the Cubs’ recent achievements, he has high hopes that the Chicago Bears will be the next team to win it all.
Mitchell Hopson is a strategic financial and business operations professional with nearly two decades of work experience focusing on strategic planning and reporting, financial controls and compliance, staff coaching and mentoring, and cash and risk management
gained from working with both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Mitchell has held financial leadership positions with prominent nationwide non-profit organizations, where he set the long-term vision and direction for the Finance teams. In these roles, he was also responsible for reporting key financial and operating results, risks,
opportunities, and metrics to the executive team and board. In other financial roles with start-up and established companies, Mitchell has successfully managed R&D, Sales, Marketing, and Technology departmental operating and capital expense budgets, resource requirements, and variance analyses.
He has also created financial models for M&A, investment, and pricing initiatives. Mitchell holds a BA in Business Administration and MBA in Finance from Florida A&M University and MS in International Affairs from Georgetown University. Mitchell is an active
community member serving on various volunteer boards and organizations, as well as participating in youth sports and activities. In 2020, he received the prestigious “Citizen of The Year” award from the local chamber of commerce.
Meet our Funders
We feel fortunate to have been supported by a number of national and local funding organizations. Current and past funders include the following organizations