Melanie Askew

2015 BES Fellow


Melanie Askew brings to The Fellowship a range of teaching and leadership experiences that will guide her as she founds and leads a high-expectations charter school in New Orleans, LA.

In Melanie’s most recent role as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America, she coached 20 first- and second-year elementary teachers, conducting observations, analyzing student data, providing teacher training, and working closely with school leadership to support teachers. Through Teach For America, Melanie taught in Memphis, TN as a founding first-grade charter school teacher. There, she improved 98% of student reading levels by 1.5 years or higher.

Prior to joining Teach For America, Melanie worked in talent recruitment, development, and management with a variety of businesses in Nashville, TN. Melanie received a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development and an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University.

“When students have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment, are held to high standards, and have teachers that are well developed, students can achieve at the highest standards. I am driven to provide all students, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and zip code the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”

Graham Browne

2015 BES Fellow


Graham Browne will draw upon his experience as an education management strategy consultant, and as the leader of an education nonprofit, when he founds and leads a college-preparatory charter school in Queens, NY.

Most recently working with the Bridgespan Group in New York, Graham consulted with local and national foundations, advocacy organizations, and teacher organizations. In this role he supported the development of the advocacy, financial, and organizational strategies for Bridgespan’s clients and researched the role of community engagement in education reform to inform education consulting engagements nationwide.

Before joining Bridgespan, Graham worked as Special Assistant to the Director, and later as Acting Director, for the Education Equality Project (EEP), an education advocacy startup based in New York. With EEP, Graham oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization, managed the organization’s online advocacy presence, and disseminated national and local education policy news to thousands of education professionals. As Acting Director, Graham facilitated the legal, financial, and operational logistics associated with EEP’s successful 2011 merger with Stand for Children.

Graham received a B.A. in Urban Studies, with a focus on urban education, from Brown University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

“The sheer luck by which I arrived at one of the best private high schools in the country underscored the brutal inequity of public education. I decided to commit the rest of my professional career and personal energy to improving our nation’s public education system, especially for young black males in urban areas.”

David Hardin

2015 BES Fellow


David’s own experiences with educational inequity compelled him to join The Fellowship in order to found and lead an excellent charter school for the students of Oakland, CA.

David began working in education when he taught social studies and served as department chair for Atlanta Public Schools. There, 96% of his students scored proficient or above on the state assessment in U.S. History. David most recently served as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America, where he coached 30 teachers to improve their pedagogical practice and developed a national mentoring and programming structure.

David received a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Morehouse College, where he founded a program to mentor local high school students.

“I am driven to do this work because so much of my own experience and outcomes were due to chance, which is unjust. I am firmly committed to creating better educational outcomes for urban students like myself.”

Tori Jackson Hines

2015 BES Fellow


Tori Jackson Hines is ready to found and lead a high-achieving charter school in Atlanta, GA. Tori has served in leadership roles in schools and in the medical research field.

Tori most recently worked with Teach For America as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development, managing 25 teachers in 12 schools throughout Metro Atlanta, and she began her career as a Teach For America Corps member teaching second grade in Los Angeles, CA. After teaching in Los Angeles, Tori served as a mentor teacher in the Summer Teaching Fellows Program with Uncommon Schools. As a founding senior teacher at Professional Preparatory Charter School, she was responsible for training and supporting first-year teachers in grades K-2. In this role, she reviewed lesson plans, conducted observations, held trainings on analyzing and planning from data, and debriefed daily with teachers.

As director of research for a healthcare organization, Tori built the research division from the ground up, managed clinical trials, and developed budgets and contracts.

Tori received a B.A. in Spanish and Community Health from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University, and an M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

“The most important elements of a successful school are data-driven instructional practices, a ‘whatever it takes/no excuses’ mindset, and continuous professional development that grows and refines our practice. Every child deserves the right to determine his own destiny, and I believe setting that path begins in kindergarten.”

Modesto Montero

2015 BES Fellow


Modesto Montero is driven to found and lead a high-performing charter school in Springfield, MA.

Modesto has served in a variety of leadership roles in schools and in the military. He most recently worked with Teach For America as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development in Memphis, TN, where he managed more than 20 teachers in grades K-12, providing them with feedback and targeted professional development. Modesto first arrived in Memphis in 2011, working as a middle school teacher and department chair for English learners, as a Teach For America Corps member. He was then selected to serve as one of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Common Core coaches for middle school English language arts, guiding teachers throughout the state on the transition to the new standards. Modesto has received additional leadership training and experience through his participation in Leadership Memphis.

Modesto has served in the Army Reserves since 2007, where he received the Army Achievement Medal and graduated from Army Basic Combat Training with honors. Modesto received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I was born in Dominican Republic and spent the first ten years of my life living in extreme poverty. At the age of 10, I migrated to the U.S., where I was afforded the opportunity to receive an excellent education. By senior year, it wasn't a question of if I was going to college, but where. Those experiences continue to drive everything I do. I don't just know what is possible – I am living proof.”

Paul Morrissey

2015 BES Fellow


Paul Morrissey’s dedication to his mission is evident in his career trajectory, from teacher, to leader, to school founder. Paul is driven to found and lead a high-expectations charter school for the students of San Antonio, TX.

Paul most recently led school turnaround efforts at the middle and high school levels in Lawrence, MA. He co-led a drop-out prevention program for ninth grade students, designed instructional programming, recruited and hired staff, managed teachers, and designed a new exam high school for the district. Prior to his work in Lawrence, Paul worked with BASIS Charter Schools, teaching and then leading a school in Phoenix, working with the network to develop new schools in other states, and then founding and leading a new BASIS middle school in Washington, DC.

Paul received a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.Phil. in Popular Literature from the University of Dublin.

“I am driven by the knowledge that in every neighborhood in America there are children who want to be pushed harder than their school is willing to push them. Failing urban schools strip the most underserved neighborhoods in our country of the one thing they need more than anything else: a highly educated population.”

Kathryn Mullins

2015 BES Fellow


Kathryn Mullins brings to The Fellowship a range of teaching and leadership experiences that drive her to found and lead a high-achieving charter school in Aurora, CO.

Kathryn worked most recently as founding math teacher and math department lead at a Brooklyn middle school within the Uncommon Schools network. She began her career in education recruiting Corps members for Teach For America, then becoming a Corps member herself in Charlotte, NC, where she taught middle school math, English language arts, and special education.

Simultaneously, Kathryn took on leadership roles with TFA Charlotte, serving as an advisor on Corps member retention and performance, developing fundraising campaigns, and managing special education instructional support for teachers in the region.

Recently, Kathryn served as a Training Academy Director in math instructional rigor for TNTP, and was the recipient of the Sontag Prize in Urban Education Award. Kathryn received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Indiana University and an M.A. in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education.

“While we have started on the path to ensuring all children receive an excellent education, we have miles to go before we offer all students a just and equal education system. I do this work because of those miles. I do this work because little people matter – they become the big people who will lead the next generation.”

Megan Murphy

2015 BES Fellow


Megan Murphy is driven to found and lead an excellent charter school to ensure there are high-quality elementary options for all students in her hometown of Indianapolis, IN.

In her most recent role as Director of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach For America-Indianapolis, Megan managed three coaches on staff who supported Teach For America’s 70 K-5 grade teachers. In this capacity, she led the creation, organization, and execution of the Corps-wide development for over 160 Corps members.

Megan’s commitment to elementary education stemmed from her placement in a first-grade classroom as a Teach For America Corps member in St. Louis. After completing her Corps commitment, Megan taught fifth-grade at her placement school for two more years, gaining instructional and leadership experience in both lower and upper elementary.

Megan received a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity University and an M.Ed. from the University of Missouri.

“My mother told me that if I did well in school, I could grow up to be whatever I wanted. Through my experience working in low‐income communities, I have come to know that every mom wants to make a similar promise to her child, but not every mother can. I am driven to do this work because I know with a rigorous instructional program, anything is possible for all children.”

Ignacio Prado

2015 BES Fellow


Driven to create an environment for students where the achievement gap does not exist, Ignacio Prado will found and lead a college-preparatory charter school in Las Vegas, NV.

Ignacio brings to The Fellowship experience in school leadership and professional development through Teach For America. Ignacio most recently taught English language arts and social studies to elementary students in two Las Vegas schools, where he founded a college-preparatory program for third through fifth graders, doubled the proficiency of the fourth grade cohort, and co-founded an academic after-school program. Each summer, Ignacio has also served on the Teach For America Institute staff as Academic Dean, Corps Member Advisor, and Director of Workshops and Resources, where he planned and facilitated training for new teachers and teacher leaders.

Ignacio received a B.A. in Business Management from San Diego State University and an M.Ed. from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“I am a first-generation American who struggled tremendously in the transition to school when we moved to this country. In a lot of ways, education has meant everything to me. My vision is to create a school with an incredibly strong emphasis on essential subject instruction, with a culture of success and mutual accountability.”

Summer Schneider

2015 BES Fellow


Summer Schneider will use the lessons learned from her teaching, school leadership, and graduate school work to found and lead a high-expectations charter school in South Bronx, NY.

Summer most recently worked for five years with the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago as a high school math teacher, dean of instruction, and summer school principal. Summer began her education career as a Teach For America Corps member teaching middle and high school math in St. Louis, MO, where she also served as department chair. As an adjunct instructor with the Relay Graduate School of Education, Summer facilitated graduate school classes for beginning and veteran high school math teachers.

Summer received a B.S. in Business Economics and Administration from the University of Kentucky and an M.Ed. from the University of Missouri.

“When teachers and staff members are invested in changing the lives of children, then results will follow. I am motivated to continue my work in education because I believe in the power that a school can have in the progress a student makes.”

Emily White

2015 BES Fellow


Emily White is ready to be an excellent leader of an excellent charter school in Atlanta, GA.

Emily was the Founding Assistant Principal of KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School, where she designed and led instruction and curriculum, oversaw professional development, and provided data-based coaching and actionable feedback to teachers. Prior to joining KIPP, Emily was a Manager – and then Director – of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America. As Director, Emily modeled best-practices with managers in classroom observations and teacher coaching conversations, maintained key district and community relationships, and coached Corps members to diagnose needs based on student progress, resulting in a cohort of first-year English teachers “significantly exceeding growth” on Common Core-aligned state assessments.

Emily began her career in education as a Teach For America Corps member teaching high school English in Charlotte, NC. Emily led her class to a 92% overall pass rate on the state writing assessment, positioning her school as the third-highest achieving high school (of 21 high schools) in the district.

Emily received a B.A. in English and Communications from Wake Forest University.

“We believe in our capability to meet and exceed expectations in the present, knowing our behaviors and attitudes must reflect our dreams for the future. My students can meet any expectation I set for them when I set the expectation clearly and with purpose. I know that every student inherently wants to succeed and has dreams for themselves and for the future.”
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