These are just a few of the like-minded individuals across the nation who share our goal of accelerating innovation and opportunities in education:
Gina Guarino Buli – Chief Executive Officer, Renaissance Academy Charter School
Before serving as Chief Executive Officer, Gina was Upper School Academy Director and lead teacher at Renaissance Academy, after serving as lead teacher at Granville Charter School in Trenton, NJ. The school, founded in 1999, is award winning and currently educates 1000+ students from 21 school districts across Pennsylvania. Renaissance Academy students are provided with a high-quality liberal arts, college preparatory education in grades K-12.
Gina received her Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Bloomsburg university of Pennsylvania and a Masters in School Leadership and Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
Will Cain – Analyst, Contributor, The Blaze
Will Cain is an entrepreneur and highly sought-after TV host and commentator. He produced and directed the docu-series Alise vs. The Mayor. He founded and sold a group of community newspapers in Texas, and was responsible for creating Quince Media, a Latino media company focused on quinceaneras.
He can be seen currently as the host of Real News and Cain and Cupp on The Blaze. A regular CNN contributor, he can be seen often on In the Area with Eliot Spitzer and Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien. Will has appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Fox, and MSNBC.
Will studied at Pepperdine University where he played water polo for four years, before moving on to the University of Texas Law School. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas. He has been happily married to his wife, Kathleen, for 11 years, and they are the proud parents of two sons: Charlie and West.
Andrew Campanella – School Choice Advocate
Andrew owns Campanella Media & Public Affairs, a national, Florida-based media and events strategy firm specializing in education and economic development. Andrew is also president of National School Choice Week, an independent public awareness campaign spotlighting traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online learning, and homeschooling.
Previously, Andrew served as a senior advisor and national director of communications at the Alliance for School Choice, where he authored four editions of the award-winning School Choice Yearbook and developed the communications strategy that helped win Congressional reauthorization of the DC school voucher program. Previously, Andrew served as senior director of teacher recruitment and communications at the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), working to recruit 3,000 talented career-changers to become public school teachers.
Andrew grew up in Southern New Jersey; graduated from American University in Washington, DC; worked for several years in Northern Virginia; and now lives in Walton County, Florida. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Julie Collier – Founder, Executive Director, Parents Advocate League
Julie Collier is a parent, former teacher and long-time proponent of parental choice and responsible public education reform. In 2007, discouraged by the state of the public school system, she created Parents Advocate League, a grassroots, parent-empowerment organization dedicated to student-focused education policy. She wanted to provide a resource and a way to encourage parents to be leaders in their children’s education. In 2011, with great dedication to help all students, she helped found a charter school in Orange County. As Founder and Executive Director of Parents Advocate League, she continues to dedicate herself to empowering parents in an effort help all students achieve academic success.
Colleen Dippel – Founder, Executive Director, Families Empowered
Colleen is a Teach For America alumnus (Houston 1996) who spent three years teaching third through fifth grade in HISD and at KIPP Academy. In 1999, she left teaching to become the Director of District Partnerships for Project ACHIEVE, a private sector education technology start up. In 2001 she became the Director of the KIPP School Leadership Program. There she developed a yearlong training program for school principals in various aspects of school leadership, as well as oversaw the Fisher Fellowship formal evaluation process.
In 2004 she and her husband returned to Houston. She was the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America’s Houston office before joining Aquinas as the Director of Education Initiatives. Colleen founded Families Empowered in 2009 and is the current Executive Director. Families Empowered serves over 40,000 low and middle-income families on Houston area charter school waitlists – they connect families to schools and schools to families. Colleen also serves on the Advisory Board of the Rice Educational Entrepreneurship Program (REEP).
She holds a BA from SUNY Albany and a Masters in Ed Leadership from National Louis University. Colleen is the proud mother of a two active children.
Katie Duffy – Chief Executive Officer, Democracy Prep Public Schools
On July 1, 2013 Katie Duffy became the first Chief Executive Officer of Democracy Prep Public Schools. In this role Ms. Duffy is in charge of the network of K-12 charter schools based in Harlem, New York. She is working to systematize curriculum and culture as well as expand the network to new regions with the help of a multi-million dollar federal Department of Education grant. “At Democracy Prep we believe that growth matters most. If that’s true it’s not about size, it’s about quality. So my job is to continue to push the envelope and at the same time be true to the Democracy Prep DNA,” Duffy said.
Ms. Duffy joined Democracy Prep in its first year and has overseen the growth and management of the network from one school in Harlem to 14 schools in Harlem, the Bronx, Camden, NJ and Washington, DC; from a staff of 10 to a staff of 625; and from 125 scholars to more than 4,400.
Ms. Duffy has been an exceptional leader at Democracy Prep having managed the external affairs team and served as Chief of Staff. In 2011 she led New York State’s first successful public charter school turnaround as executive director of Harlem Prep, which grew from the third percentile citywide to the 96th percentile on the city’s school progress report in just one academic year.
Before arriving at Democracy Prep, Ms. Duffy held leadership positions at Prep for Prep, The Women’s City Club of New York, and Harlem Day Charter School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion from Mount Holyoke College, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The George Washington University, and has completed an executive education program at Columbia Business School.
Wendy Miller – COO, Challenge Charter School
Wendy Miller is the COO & acting Principal for Challenge Charter School (CCS) in Glendale, Arizona. As a National Blue Ribbon School and a CER National Charter School of the Year, CCS has received numerous other local, state, and national recognitions for exceptional academic growth, as well as for civic engagement in the community. Beyond the campus, Wendy maintains an active voice in education reform and policy through grassroots engagement, partnerships with the business community (current President of the GPCC Phoenicians), and by serving on multiple boards and committees including the Task Force on Teacher and Principal Evaluations for Arizona’s Framework for Measuring Educator Effectiveness. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from the W.P. Carey program at Arizona State University including an international studies program. She is passionate about putting each child first, above all other agendas, and about empowering parents through transparency and choice.
We are grateful and honored to partner with the following organizations to advance our collective work.
Children’s Guild, MD
EdChoice Illinois, IL
National Coalition for Parent Choice