Our Team

DC Prep attracts the best and brightest. Our team is passionate, analytical, energetic, and uncompromising – united in the fervent belief that learning has no limits. As a public Charter Management Organization, DC Prep is a supportive, innovative, and collaborative community that has the flexibility to adapt to the needs and priorities of its staff. Student learning is the primary focus of DC Prep, and all aspects of the organization exist to enable that outcome.

Campus Teams

Every day, DC Prep's elite group of hardworking school leaders and teachers are making a difference in their students' lives. They are the heart and soul of our organization. Get to know our principals and their awesome teams!

Avise Hayes | Principal | Edgewood Elementary Campus Team

Rachel McClam | Principal | Edgewood Middle Campus Team

Maura Englender | Principal | Benning Elementary Campus Team

Erin Waldron | Principal | Benning Middle Campus Team

Tara O'Flaherty | Interim Principal | Anacostia Elementary Campus Team

Sheneil Christian | Founding Resident Principal | Elementary Campus #4

Home Office

DC Prep’s Home Office team establishes, supports, and ultimately oversees each campus as well as the health and stability of the organization – all while striving to support terrific teaching and learning in every classroom.


  • Emily Lawson | Founder and CEO
  • Clarice Ulu | Special Assistant to the CEO
  • Raymond Weeden | Senior Director of Policy and Community Engagement

Academic Support

  • Katie Severn | President and Chief Academic Officer
  • Shaunte Edmonds | Director of Early Childhood and Science
  • Maya Ekus | Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Deborah Hanmer | Senior Director of Student Support
  • Michelle Hess | Director of Special Education
  • Tara O’Flaherty | Senior Director of Elementary Schools; Interim Anacostia Elementary Campus Principal
  • Mary Pendleton | Director of ELA Curriculum
  • Cassie Pergament | Senior Director of Middle School Programming
  • Kelly Ugwu-Oju | Director of Math Curriculum

Finance and Real Estate

  • Kumasi Vines | Senior Director of Finance and Real Estate


  • Laura Maestas | Chief Talent Officer
  • Danielle Bryant | Associate Director of People Operations
  • Rachel Dias | Director of Recruitment
  • Marilyn Edmunds | Associate Director of Recruitment
  • Catherine Nwosu | Director of Extended Learning
  • Suraj Patel | Director of People Operations
  • Mary Frances Smyth | Associate Director of Recruitment

Operations, Data, Technology, and Enrollment

  • Dan Englender | Chief Operating Officer
  • Kalyn Blueitt | Director of Facilities and Business Operations
  • Hilary Dauffenbach-Tabb | Director of Analysis, Data, and Enrollment
  • Dwayne Ford | Technology Associate
  • Emily Johannsen | Director of Operations
  • Alyssa Liguori | Data and Enrollment Associate
  • Emily Swain | Data and Enrollment Associate
  • Sindy Tavarez | Director of Student Recruitment
  • Ricardo Troncoso-Ramirez | Director of Information Technology

Development, Marketing, and Communications

  • Ibby Jeppson | Chief Development Officer
  • Heather Nadolny | Associate Director of Development and Communications


  • Jill Salisbury | Director of PrepNext
  • Janelle Bradley | Associate Director of High School Support
  • Johnleia Lambert | Associate of High School Support
  • Maria Lawson | Senior Associate of High School Support
  • Deandra Smith | Associate Director of Post-Secondary Success
  • Janol Vinson | Senior Associate of High School Support


DC Prep’s School Leaders build a unique and close-knit learning community at each school campus.

  • Sheneil Christian | Founding Resident Principal (Elementary Campus #4)
  • Maura Englender | Principal
  • Avise Hayes | Principal
  • Rachel McClam | Principal
  • Tara O’Flaherty | Interim Principal
  • Erin Waldron | Principal



What Parents are Saying

“We initially chose DC Prep because of its track record with great test scores and teachers. They follow kids through high school and college. We want to cultivate productive citizens and the school we chose has the same philosophy. We're completely committed to the school, and the school to us.”
Erika Harrell, Parent