Our Team

Our Team

The success of any organization’s mission is directly related to the quality of the people it recruits. At Achievement Prep, we work hard to get the right people “on the bus.” The Achievement Prep team is made up of the best, brightest, and most passionate in education. Working from a common mission and committed to shared goals, the Achievement Prep team works relentlessly to close the achievement gap for our scholars. We are non-negotiable in our beliefs, yet we are always striving to improve who we are and what we do. Together we do “three-generational work,” knowing if we change the lives of our scholars, we change the lives of their parents and the lives of their future children.

Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Campus Leadership

Wahler Place Elementary School
Jake Lappi, Interim Principal, Wahler Place Elementary School

Jake Lappi:
Jake Lappi is currently the Interim Principal of the Elementary School.  Upon placement of the Principal, Jake will return to his role as Director of Academic Support where he’ll provide support to instructional leaders and teachers across the network, ensuring that scholars are showing high levels of growth, no matter where they are starting. By providing resources, guidance, and coaching for interventions, Jake helps campus-based teams ensure that 100% of Achievement Prep Scholars are on strong, upward academic trajectories.

Prior to taking on the role as Director of Academic Support, Jake served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal with experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Jake holds a BA in English from Clemson University. He is currently pursuing his Executive Masters in Leadership at Georgetown University.

Charles Atkinson, Dean of Solutions, Wahler Place Elementary School

Charles Atkinson:Charles Atkinson joined the Achievement Prep family July 2017 as the Dean of Solutions for the Elementary School.  Prior to Joining the Achievement Prep family he served as the Dean of Students with Friendship Public Charter Schools for the past 7 years.  Mr. Atkinson remains committed to educating our At Risk / Disadvantaged youth and their families.  Mr. Atkinson also has a background in Counseling, Case Management and Juvenile Justice.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He also received his Master’s Degree in Education Management from Strayer University.

Tony Gallemore, Dean of Solutions, Wahler Place Elementary School

Tony Gallemore: Tony joined Achievement Prep in June 2016 and currently serves as the Dean of Solutions at the Wahler Place Elementary School. Tony has dedicated his life to educating and empowering scholars in underserved communities and is passionate about the power of education. Prior to joining the Achievement Prep family, Tony served three years teaching scholars with emotional disorders in grades K-12, while also serving as a school leader and Behavior Management coach in both charter and special education schools. Tony holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Virginia State University and a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Psychology from Trinity University.

Enjoli Gonzalez, Scholar Support Coordinator, Wahler Place Elementary School

Enjoli Gonzalez: Miss Gonzalez joined Achievement Prep as a Scholar Support Coordinator in July 2017.  She assists in developing and implementing Special Education strategies, instruction, and goals to ensure all Star Scholars make college-ready growth.  Her commitment to growing and learning in urban education is unmatched.  Miss Gonzalez  came to Achievement Prep with a background in Special Education, serving as a Special Educator and SPED Department Chair in Rochester, New York and Prince Georges’ County Public Schools in Maryland.  Miss Gonzalez received a B.S. in Childhood Education from the State University of New York College at Geneseo and an M.S. in Special Education from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, New York).

Sarah Valverde, Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, Wahler Place Elementary School

Sarah Valverde: Sarah has always been passionate about serving under-served communities. Her passion for education in high-need communities began in Baltimore City as the After-school Program Coordinator for an elementary school. Sarah launched her teaching career with DC Public Schools as a DC Teaching Fellow with The New Teacher Project. She has had the pleasure of teaching 5th grade for 5 years, served as a Math Teacher Specialist and as an Assistant School Leader prior to becoming the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction with Achievement Prep. Sarah received her B.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and her M. Ed in Supervision and Administration from The University of Houston.

Wahler Place Middle School Campus
Erica Harrell, Principal, Wahler Place Middle School

Erica Harrell: Erica joined Achievement Prep in 2012 and currently serves as the Principal of the Wahler Place Middle School Campus. As Teach For America alumna, she taught 2nd and 4th grade special education and 5th grade general education for three years at her placement school in Atlanta, Georgia. While working in Atlanta, Erica held several positions with TFA’s Atlanta office and Summer Institute, including Operations Coordinator, Summer Program Coordinator, Content Leader, Interviewer, Corps Member Advisor, and School Director. After teaching in Atlanta, Erica moved back to the D.C. area and began work at Achievement Prep, where she taught 5th grade math. Erica was a founding Co-Director of Academic Achievement and a Dean of Curriculum of Instruction at the Elementary School before returning to the Middle School. Upon her return to the middle school she served as the Dean of Curriculum & Instruction. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland – College Park in Communications and Sociology and a Masters of Education in Instructional School Leadership from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Robert Allen, Dean of Solutions, Wahler Place Middle School

Robert Allen: Robert Allen is a founding member of Achievement Prep and currently serves as the Dean of Solutions at the Middle School. He is a seasoned educator and has worked in multiple states along the Northeastern seaboard. Robert is an influential leader with a social-work background and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Metropolitan College and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from St. Johns University. In addition, Robert holds a Professional Degree in Administration and School District Leadership from St. Johns University.

Yolanda Barber, Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, Wahler Place Middle School

Yolanda Barber: Yolanda Barber is a career educator with experience as a middle school math teacher, an instructional coach, and as a Master Educator for DC Public Schools evaluating and supporting secondary math teachers. Yolanda began her career with Baltimore City Schools through the Baltimore City Teaching Residency, and has consistently committed herself to educating the whole child, particularly those in under-resourced urban areas. After six years in the classroom, Yolanda shifted her focus to teacher proficiency, hoping to impact educators in the same manner she did children. Prior to joining Achievement Prep, Yolanda’s work has included conducting classroom observations, providing targeted professional development, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative assessment data in order to build teacher capacity and positively influence student achievement.

Yolanda holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Howard University, and a Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching degree with a specialization in STEM from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Cyrkle Lomax, Scholar Support Coordinator, Wahler Place Middle School

Cyrkle Lomax: In her role as Scholar Support Coordinator for the Middle School Campus, Cyrkle facilitates the special education processes that are necessary to maximize the growth potential of scholars with exceptional learning needs to include evaluating special education programs, training scholar support teaching staff and dedicated aides, and overseeing the development and application of individualized education programs (IEPs). Cyrkle joins the Achievement Prep community after serving as a Special Education ELA teacher and Special Education Chair in another school district. She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Towson University and a Masters of Leadership in Teaching with dual certification in Special Education and Secondary English from the Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Robin Walls Couch, Reading Specialist, Wahler Place Middle School

Robin Walls Couch: Robin has proudly served the scholars at Achievement Prep as a Reading Specialist for 5 years. As a native Washingtonian, she has dedicated her career to meeting the needs of those in underserved communities. She brings an array of experience, from ELA teacher, Literacy Coach, Director of Curriculum and Instruction and currently, as a Reading Specialist. She is passionate about facilitating learning and carrying out the mission of APA so that scholars have the tools to take on the world!

Network Office

Shantelle Wright, Founder and CEO

SDW headshot 2Shantelle Wright:
Shantelle founded Achievement Prep in 2007 as a Building Excellent Schools Fellow and has led the school to be one of the top performing schools in DC since its inception. Shantelle is a well-respected school leader and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work in urban education. Prior to founding Achievement Prep, Shantelle practiced commercial real estate law for several years at a large, well-respected Washington, D.C. law firm. She is a proud “Hamptonian” and obtained her B.A. in Sociology from Hampton University. Shantelle is also a licensed attorney, having received a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University School of Law.

Susan Cannon, Chief Academic Officer

Susan Cannon: Susan is the Chief Academic Officer of Achievement Prep. She joined Achievement Prep during the 2008 planning year as the founding Director of Academic Achievement. Since that time, Susan has worked to develop and oversee the academic program of the school. She has more than ten years of experience teaching and leading in both traditional public schools and public charter schools located in Wards 7 & 8 in Washington, DC. Susan holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Management from George Washington University. She is also a graduate of Princeton Alumni Corps’ Emerging Leaders program.

Nikki Diamantes, Chief of Staff

Nikki Diamantes: As Chief of Staff, Nikki serves as a key leader for strategic initiatives with a focus on longer-term innovation and transformation. In addition to leading strategic expansion to increase the number of high-quality seats in Ward 8, she focuses internally to meet the challenges of scale – assessing and revising current processes and procedures, maintaining a strong organizational culture, refining systems for increasing scale, and developing the strategy needed to consistently deliver excellence.

Before her time at Achievement Prep, Nikki held several positions in education and non-profit organizations, including Leading Educators where she served as Vice President of Strategic Growth and the Recovery School District where she served as the Chief of Staff.   

Nikki received a Masters in Educational Leadership from the Broad Residency in Urban Education, a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from George Mason University.

Valerie Evans, Chief Talent Officer

Valerie Evans: Valerie was a founding board member at Achievement Prep and was influential in developing the flagship campus’ charter application. In her role as Chief Talent Officer, she oversees talent acquisition and development and creates talent systems to engage applicants and current staff. She also manages career pathways within the organization, and leads organizational development as well as professional development efforts. Before her time at Achievement Prep, Valerie held several positions in education and non-profit organizations, including Education Pioneers, where she was the National Director of Curriculum Development & Training, as well as the DC Metro Area Program Director. Valerie earned a B.A. from Spelman College and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Greg Gaines, Chief Operating Officer

Greg Gaines: As Chief Operating Officer, Greg oversees operations on both the school and the network level, developing strategic plans for organizational growth and building systems to increase efficiency and efficacy. Prior to joining the Achievement Prep team, Greg served as Director of Budget Operations at another DC charter network and as a regional manager in the Washington DC Department of Parks and Recreation. He earned his B.S. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s of Public Policy from George Washington University. Greg was also an Associate Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research.

Steaven Hamlin, Director of Scholar Support

Steaven Hamlin: As Achievement Prep’s Director of Scholar Support, Steaven Hamlin develops and coordinates Special Education strategies, instruction, and goals to ensure all Star Scholars make college-ready growth. Steaven came to Achievement Prep with a background in Special Education, having worked as a Special Education Teacher and a Special Education Coordinator. Most recently, he served as the Director of Scholar Support Services for another DC charter school network. Steaven received his B.S. in Biology and Education from Virginia State University.

Danielle Johnson, Director of Impact

Danielle Johnson: As Director of Impact, Danielle Johnson oversees data, assessment and compliance as a member of the Achievement Prep Network Academic Team.  Danielle is best described as an intelligent woman with an outstanding history in the education with special interest in providing a world-class educational experience for all young people.  Danielle received her Bachelors Degree in Urban Arts Productions with a concentration in Arts Education from Coppin State University in 2004, and her Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Educational Leadership & School Turnaround from Nyack College in 2010.  Danielle has 15 years of educational experience and currently holds certifications in Middle School English and School Leadership.

Danielle is no stranger to the Achievement Prep family and has previously held positions as the Families and Community Coordinator and the Director of Outreach, in prior tenures with Achievement Prep.  Prior to her return to the Achievement Prep family in 2017, Danielle held key instructional leadership roles at two other Charter Networks.

Jake Lappi, Director of Academic Support

Jake Lappi: 
As the Director of Academic Support, Jake provides support to instructional leaders and teachers across the network to ensure that scholars are showing high levels of growth, no matter where they are starting. By providing resources, guidance, and coaching for interventions, Jake helps campus-based teams ensure that 100% of Achievement Prep Scholars are on strong, upward academic trajectories.

Prior to taking on the role as Director of Academic Support, Jake served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal with experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Jake holds a BA in English from Clemson University. He is currently pursuing his Executive Masters in Leadership at Georgetown University.

Rob Murphy, Managing Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Rob Murphy: As the Managing Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Rob is responsible for the overall academic performance of all schools. He oversees the academic program including curriculum, instruction, assessment, student learning and professional learning.   He helps both teachers and leaders develop a deep understanding of the written curriculum, assessment tools, effective instructional practices and student data. Rob collaborates closely with the instructional leaders across the organization to continually improve teacher practice and increase student achievement. He works to ensure that every scholar is taught by a highly effective teacher.

Before joining Achievement Prep, Rob served as a classroom teacher for 15 years. As a teacher, Rob was the recipient of the Agnes Myer Award for Excellence in Education presented by The Washington Post and was a nominee for Virginia Teacher of the Year. Since moving into a leadership role, he has worked as an instructional coach and as a leader at both the school and network level.

Rob holds a BS in Secondary Education and a BA in History from the University of Scranton. He received master’s degrees in Linguistics & Bilingual Education from Georgetown University and School Leadership & Supervision from George Mason University. He is also a certified reading specialist.

Charlene Roach-Glymph, Chief Special Education Officer

Charlene Roach-Glymph: In her role as the Chief Special Education Officer, Charlene leads the Scholar Support Department, focusing specifically on improving educational outcomes and college readiness for students with disabilities. She has more than 20 years experience as a leader-educator in both traditional and public charter schools in the District of Columbia. Before joining the Achievement Prep Academy Network Office team Charlene served in senior leadership roles at two other charter school districts in the area of Student Support Services and as the Training and Technical Assistance Specialist– Least Restrictive Environment for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Charlene holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Special Education from the University of the District of Columbia. She has her Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Howard University.

Tanya Tilghman, Director of Special Projects

Tanya Tilghman: Tanya Tilghman joined Achievement Prep in October of 2010. She currently serves as the Director of Special Projects, in which she oversees various network-wide initiatives for the organization. She works closely with the Founder & CEO, and school leadership to develop and oversee systems for all non-instructional activity to include school meal program management, facilities and maintenance contract management, and execution of various strategic plan initiatives. Prior to her current role, Mrs. Tilghman served as a campus-based Dean of Operations, as well as the Assistant to the Founder & Head of School. Before joining Achievement Prep, Mrs. Tilghman held various positions throughout the public and private sector of education in the state of Maryland. She holds a degree in Business Administration.

Tamiko Singleton, Special Assistant to the CEO

Tamiko Singleton: Tamiko joined Achievement Prep in May 2016 as the Special Assistant to the CEO. She assists with the management of the day-to-day affairs of the CEO’s office and maintains the systems of the network that are under the direct supervision of the CEO. Tamiko received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and has nearly 10 years of experience working as a direct service provider in both school and community-based organizations. Tamiko is passionate about educating young people and helping them reach their full potential. She loves to travel and spend time with family, friends and her dog, Coco.

Rochelle Wilson, Director of Climate and Culture

Rochelle Wilson: Rochelle Wilson is the Director of Culture & Climate. As a native Washingtonian, Mrs. Wilson is the proud graduate of DC Public Schools. She has been married for 11 years and is the proud mother of 5 wonderful children. Because of her commitment to public education, she has spent the last 21 years supporting DC Public Schools, DC Public Charter Schools and most recently the State (OSSE). Mrs. Wilson believes that all students can succeed. Over the years, she has served in a number of roles including, teacher, instructional coach, reading specialist, early childhood coordinator, operations specialist, principal, school improvement consultant and state director. Throughout Mrs. Wilson’s tenure, she has been recognized and has received honors such as Finalist for the Cafritz Award for Distinguished DC Government Employees, Sallie Mae Outstanding First Year Teacher and Carnegie Academy of Science Education Fellow. Mrs. Wilson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from The George Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Nyack College.

Board of Trustees

Taimarie Adams, Secretary, Director, Government Relations at Service Year Alliance

Taimarie Adams serves as Director, Government Relations at Service Year Alliance. She has more than seven years of legislative affairs experience managing education policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Taimarie worked with the Association of Community College Trustees, an organization that promotes high-quality and affordable higher education, student success, and the opportunity for all individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency.  Taimarie is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Jason E. Andrean, Chair, President and Relationship Manager at Capital One Commercial Bank

Jason E. Andrean is a Vice President and Relationship Manager at Capital One Commercial Bank.  With more than 11 years of retail and commercial banking experience, Jason brings a strong background of financial analysis and management to the board.  Jason’s community involvement and leadership include serving on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, where he is the past president of the DC Region.  Currently he serves on the board of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust, DFER DC Advisory Board, and is the vice chair of Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Social Responsibility Council.  Jason graduated from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University where he studied leadership and change management.

Patricia Grant, Trustee, Dean, Undergraduate Programs at Georgetown University

Patricia Grant is the dean for the Undergraduate Programs at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. At Georgetown McDonough, she has revamped the undergraduate advising structure; expanded career trek opportunities; laid the groundwork for a young alumni advisory group; contributed to curricular innovations such as an entrepreneurship fellows program and first-year seminar program; and created two diversity and inclusion initiatives for incoming students, including one that partners with PwC.

Grant joined Georgetown McDonough in 2010 with more than 15 years of experience in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education program administration. She has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania, the College of New Jersey, Temple University, and Georgetown. Additionally, she worked in the Office of Executive Education at Penn to develop and launch six master’s and doctoral programs.

She holds an Ed.D. and M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. from Cornell University.

John B. Mahaffie, Trustee, Co-founder and Principal at Leading Futurists LLC

John Mahaffie is a futurist who helps organizations interpret and respond to change they face, and to discover paths forward. He brings his clients two essential capabilities: a comprehensive knowledge of the future, and skill and experience at designing and leading processes to explore change and opportunity. John writes, speaks, and consults on topics including future consumers, work and worklife, science and technology, education, global economic change, and the environment. Since 1987 he has served dozens of Fortune 500 companies along with trade and professional associations, government agencies, and non-profits. John is a co-founder and past Board Chair of the Association of Professional Futurists. He has also served on the boards of the Northwest Washington Little League, the Urban Baseball Foundation, and the Edmund Burke School. Born and raised in Maryland, he has been a DC resident since 1983.

Barbara Nophlin, Vice Chair, Education Consultant at Friendship Public Charter School Network

Barbara Nophlin is a long-time advocate of public education, she has been active in both Washington, DC public charter schools and traditional schools.  Currently an education consultant, she has worked as a principal, assistant principal, early childhood coordinator and instructional support specialist. Ms. Nophlin was the second head of school for Paul Public Charter School (formerly Paul JHS, a DCPS school), the city’s only conversion charter school.  She was principal at Community Academy Public Charter School and Amidon Elementary School (a DCPS school).  Ms. Nophlin was also the director of policy research and analysis in the former Washington, DC State Education Office.  Currently she coaches new principals for the Friendship Public Charter School network. Ms. Nophlin received her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education from the District of Columbia Teachers College and her Master of Education from Trinity College.

Stephanie Oliveras, Trustee, Senior Relationship Manager at Bank of America/Senior Vice President

Stephanie Oliveras is a Senior Relationship Manager at Bank of America where she has worked in Community Development Banking for over 10 years.   Stephanie has successfully worked in the Northeast, based in both Boston and NYC, and the West Coast.  Most recently, she has relocated to Washington D.C. to lead the Bank’s charter school financing efforts nationally.  Ms. Oliveras holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a dual concentration in accounting and finance from Boston University.  Stephanie is an active member of her community and regularly provides mentorship as well as lessons in financial literacy.

Kenneth Ward, Executive Director, College Bound Inc.

Mr. Ward is a native North Carolinian, born in Halifax County; home of the Halifax Resolves, which is the precursor of the Declaration of Independence. After graduating as valedictorian of his senior class at Enfield High, he matriculated at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on a Pogue Scholarship. After relocating to Washington DC, Mr. Ward obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Trinity College and has worked at the Library of Congress, Charles Young (5th Grade), Harriet Tubman (Summer School Principal), and Paul Public Charter School. Mr. Ward has been a part of the College Bound Organization for the past 20 years serving as the site coordinator at the Gonzaga and Beacon House sites before being selected as the Executive Director of College Bound.

Ursula Wright, Trustee, Managing Director, Education & Youth Practice at FSG

Ursula Wright is a founding trustee of Achievement Prep.  She currently co-leads the Education & Youth practice at FSG, a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social change. Through its combination of customized services, powerful ideas, and learning communities, FSG helps foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate impact.  Ursula’s immediate past position was with the Obama Administration where she served as the Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to her government service, Ursula was an executive at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the quality growth of the charter school movement.  Before transitioning to the not-for-profit sector, Ursula developed functional competencies in strategy, operations, finance, and marketing at some of the nation’s most recognized private sector firms. Ursula earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She has also completed executive education coursework at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.