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.



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.


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

  • Neema Desai | Principal
  • Maura Englender | Principal
  • Avise Hayes | Principal
  • Rachel McClam | Principal
  • Erin Waldron | Principal


  • Emily Lawson | Founder and CEO
  • Raymond Weeden | Senior Director of Policy and Community Engagement

Academic Support

  • Michelle Hess | Senior Director of Student Support
  • Tara O’Flaherty | Senior Director of Schools
  • Cassie Pergament | Senior Director of Programs
  • Katie Severn | President and Chief Academic Officer


  • Laura Maestas | Chief Talent Officer
  • Catherine Nwosu | Director of Extended Learning

Finance and Real Estate

  • Kumasi Vines | Senior Director of Finance and Real Estate

Operations, Data, Technology, and Enrollment

  • Dan Englender | Chief Operating Officer
  • Emily Johannsen | Senior Director of Operations
  • Sindy Tavarez | Director of Student Recruitment

Development, Marketing, and Communications

  • Ibby Jeppson | Chief Development Officer


  • Jill Salisbury | Director of PrepNext



What Parents are Saying

“Our family chose DC Prep because of its balanced focus on academic rigor and character development. Having DC Prep as an option ensures that my children learn personal responsibility and are exposed to the highest academic performance standards. The results speak for themselves. Families should not need to leave the city or pay for private school in order to give their children a high-quality education.”
Tearsa Coates, Parent and Board Member