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EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Jay Altman: Chief Executive Officer
Since 1990, Jay has partnered with like-minded parents and educators to provide quality educational opportunities for students in New Orleans open-admission public schools. He taught in the city for several years before co-founding New Orleans Charter Middle School. He was also a founder of James Lewis Extension School, New Orleans Outreach, New Orleans Summerbridge, and Leading Educators. As director of education for London-based ARK schools from 2005 to 2008, Jay helped develop a British network of academies, charter-like schools in complex urban environments. He also was instrumental in establishing two training programs there –
for aspiring principals of open-admission schools, and
for mid-level school leadership.
Joseph Neary: Chief Operating Officer
Joe moved to Louisiana in 2008 from New York. Prior to working at FirstLine, Joe spent six years as a Bursar at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and seven years in charter business operations for Edison Schools. With over 30 years of professional experience and 14 years working with charter schools, Joe brings his expertise in finance, budgets, legal, contract performance, school operations, federal and state statues and regulation compliance, human resources and grants management to FirstLine Schools.
Sabrina Pence: Chief Academic Officer
Sabrina Pence graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and subsequently joined Teach For America, teaching in Pointe Coupee Parish for four years. During that time, she received her Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University in Educational Administration in 2005. She served as a teacher leader, leading parish-wide professional development and teaching a K-3 alternative teacher certification course through the New Teacher Project. In 2006, she moved overseas to Qatar and worked in educational reform as a science consultant for K-6 schools, training Qatari teachers to implement standards-based science instruction. In 2008, she returned to the U.S. to join New Leaders for New Schools, because of a belief that all students have the right to attend an excellent school. After completing her New Leaders residency at Arthur Ashe, Pence served as Principal of Albert Wicker Literacy Academy, where the school saw unprecedented gains, then returning to Ashe as Vice Principal, because she knew it was home. Sabrina served as the School Co-Director at Arthur Ashe Charter School from 2012-2014 and became FirstLine's Chief Academic Officer in July 2014.
Claudia Barker: Chief Development Officer, FirstLine Schools & Executive Director, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans
A native New Orleanian, Claudia has enjoyed serving the non-profit community for the past 30 years both as an executive and as an independent consultant specializing in programs that benefit youth. From 2004 to 2011 Claudia served as the Executive Director of New Orleans Outreach, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education in New Orleans by bringing community resources and volunteers into the schools. Before this she served as Director of Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YA/YA), Inc., an arts and social service organization that trains urban youth to become professional artists. As Executive Director of Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, Claudia manages FirstLine Schools' nationally known seed-to-table garden and food education programs. As Chief Development Officer for FirstLine Schools, Claudia manages the fundraising, communication and community partnerships strategy for FirstLine.
KEY NETWORK LEADERS
Linda Brown: Director of Family Support Services
Linda matriculated through the Orleans parish public school system. She is a Certified Special Educator and a Licensed Master Social Worker with over 30 years of experience. Linda has served Students With Disabilities since 1996 with the belief that all children can and must be educated. She has worked as a Classroom Teacher, Coordinator, Supervisor, as Director of Special Education for The Street Academy Charter School and various other positions in her area of expertise. As Director of Family Support Services at FirstLine Schools, it is Linda's task to support our parents and families and to achieve positive outcomes for our students through collaboration with School Leaders and Network Teams.
Rebekah Cain: Director of Operations
Rebekah came to FirstLine Schools in 2011 from the local chapter of the American Red Cross, where she was the Manager of Marketing and Communication. Prior to her time with the Red Cross, Rebekah had ten years experience in relationship management: first at the Smithsonian Institution and later at a wholesale tourism company. Rebekah spent over three years as FirstLine's Director of Development and Communication and became the Director of Operations in 2014. Rebekah is responsible for student transportation, food service, custodial services, facilities maintenance and IT services for FirstLine. She volunteered in a leadership capacity for two dog rescue organizations in Washington, DC, Boston and New Orleans over a nine-year period. Rebekah has a Master’s Degree from The George Washington University.
Dominique Harris: Director of Communication & Community Partnerships
Dominique is a New Orleans native and has worked for various non-profit and for profit businesses over the past 10 years in the Marketing/Communications capacities. Her experience in non-profit communications and management began at KIPP: Academy of Opportunity in Los Angeles, Ca. There she served as a founding teacher, as well as the Director of Special Projects and High School Placement. Dominique returned to New Orleans in 2007 to join the education reform movement. Since then, she has further developed her professional resume in corporate communication and community outreach. Prior to joining the FirstLine team, Dominique provided independent consulting services in communication, marketing and brand management for a variety of businesses. She is a proud 3rd generation alumnae of Xavier University Preparatory School and holds a BA from the University of New Orleans. Passionate about highlighting the successes of the network, Dominique is eager to share with you all of the great things that are happening at FirstLine Schools!
Krista Markert: Director of Student Support Services
Krista Markert graduated from Drew University in Madison, NJ. She moved to New Orleans in the spring of 2008. She worked on the west bank of Jefferson Parish as a special education teacher. Later, she served as a Master Teacher through the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) and a special education coordinator. Krista has also worked with Teach for America’s summer institute for the past four summers, delivering professional development and coaching both new teachers and teacher leaders. As the Director of Student Support Services, Krista is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside many wonderful colleagues in pursuit of FirstLine’s mission.
Diana Noble: Director of Talent
Diana first came to New Orleans to attend Tulane University, where she studied Business & Sociology. After college, she j
oined NYC Teaching Fellows and taught 7th grade math in East Harlem, NY. In 2010, she completed her Master of Science in Teaching at Pace University and moved back to New Orleans, where she joined The Save the Children Federation as the Literacy, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Program Specialist for Louisiana and Mississippi. Before coming to FirstLine, she also served as the Louisiana Department of Education's Director of Nonpublic Choice, promoting school choice options for youth throughout the state.
Amanda Cambrice: Director of HR
Originally from Missouri City, Texas, Amanda graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Organizational Management. During her time at Spelman, she was a part of the INROADS program, where her interest in Human Resources was sparked during three HR internships. After graduating in 2004, Amanda worked in HR Employee Services, HR Policy Development/Compliance, and the Recruiting Department at CenterPoint Energy. In 2008, she took a position at Burns & McDonnell Engineering as Senior HR Generalist for the Texas, Oklahoma, and North Carolina offices.
Amanda is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), and a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Amanda first m
oved to New Orleans in May 2015, and joined FirstLine Schools in June 2016.
Angela Herbert: Director of Summer & Extra-Curricular Programming
A New Orleans native, Angela has been in education since 1996. She received her BS in Psychology from Loyola University, and her Masters in Education in Special Education from the University of New Orleans. Angela began her career as a Special Education Teacher in Jefferson Parish, after which she moved to Teaching Responsible Earth Education (TREE) as Earth Educator and Assistant Director. Angela joined New Orleans Outreach in 2006, eventually becoming the Executive Director in 2011. Outreach's model connects schools with community resources to meet the needs of schools and the students. Angegla was integral to Outreach's transition from being an independent non-profit organization to becoming a program of FirstLine Schools. Passionate about giving our scholars learning experiences outside the traditional classroom, Angela is excited to be a part of the FirstLine Family.