Staff & Steering Committee
Ashley Renick is the Director of Equity and Outreach at Enroll Oakland Charters. Ashley began her career in education as a Head Start teacher in San Francisco, and since then she’s been working to ensure that families have access to high-quality public educational options. Prior to joining Enroll Oakland Charters, Ashley was the Senior Associate Director of External Relations at Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that serves 16,000 students across 49 schools in NY, NJ and MA. Ashley also served as a Special Projects Coordinator for Uncommon’s Brooklyn schools, where she managed school governance and regional student recruitment efforts. In addition to her work at Uncommon Schools, Ashley was the Associate Director of Planning at the NYC Department of Education, where she worked to increase access to higher performing public schools through the public siting of charter schools. Ashley earned her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from Bucknell University, and her M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University. Ashley recently relocated from NYC and resides in Oakland.
Luis Rodriguez is the Executive Director with Enroll Oakland Charters. After more than a decade of experience in management and technology consulting, Luis transitioned from the private to the public sector through the Broad Residency in Urban Education program. Prior to joining Enroll Oakland Charters, Luis was a partner at The Learning Accelerator, a non-profit focused on accelerating the implementation of high-quality blended learning in public schools. Luis also served as the Director of the Office of Digital Learning for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he was responsible for improving digital literacy and capacity across the state. While at the state department, he also helped implement an educator effectiveness framework and served as a technology advisor on several Race to the Top initiatives. As a result of his efforts in Massachusetts, Luis was awarded the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. Luis earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University, his M.S. in strategy from the University of Texas Dallas Jindal School of Management, and his M.A.Ed in Educational Leadership from The Broad Center.
Nahdxyeli Valdez is the Project Manager of Operations at Enroll Oakland Charters. She has a strong interest in helping families and has served as an AmeriCorps member at a family resource center in conjunction with the Child Abuse Prevention Center in the Sacramento Area. Nahdxyeli received her B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley. She recently moved to Oakland and looks forward to continuing helping families through EOC’s mission of empowering families to explore and apply to their public school options.
ROCHELLE (SHELLEY) BENNING
Shelley is a co-founder and the board chair of East Bay Innovation Academy. A business leader with 20+ years of experience in Audit, Risk, Compliance, and Finance, Shelley currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Executive Director – Office of the Chief Technology Risk Officer for Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed healthcare organization in the United States. Previously she worked as a Director of Internal Audit for Charles Schwab & Co and the Operations Finance Director for Levi Strauss Europe Middle East and Africa. Shelley was a 2010 participant in the Aspen Institute – NewSchools Fellowship program, “The Aspen Seminar on Leadership, Values, and The Good Society”. In 2012 she completed Harvard Business School’s High Potential Leadership Program, and began coursework to attain Stanford University’s Advanced Project Management certification. She has an MBA and BS degrees from San Francisco State University, and holds Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Project Management Professional (PMP) professional certifications. Shelley lives in Oakland with her husband and two sons.
David (Mr. C) is Urban Montessori’s Head of School. He is beyond excited to return to UMCS for his third year. The first of his family to attend college, David earned a Political Science degree from UC San Diego. His early career was in global logistics with a firm that advised leading technology companies. Then he began pursuit of his true calling, public education. David completed his Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science from San Francisco State in 2002, and obtained a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Cal State University East Bay in 2009. He taught and then became Principal at Unity High School, another Oakland charter school. David has also worked closely with the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) and the Charter School Development Center (CSDC), providing both leadership development and political advocacy for charter leaders and organizations across the state.
MARGARET (MAGGIE) CROUSHORE
Maggie currently serves as the Manager of Communications and Partnerships in the Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Her primary focus is on communications and building strategic partnerships to ensure that the cradle to career movement, the Oakland Promise, reaches its goal of tripling the number of college graduates from Oakland within a decade. Previously, Maggie created KidFit Academy, a program promoting health, enhancing achievement, and improving school culture through purposeful fitness education. She was also the founding fitness instructor at East Bay Innovation Academy in Oakland, where she created and implemented a holistic wellness curriculum. Maggie began her career teaching middle school literacy in Washington, DC through Teach for America, teaching at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy and KIPPDC: KEY Academy. Maggie holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a Masters of Teaching from American University, and a Masters of Public Policy—focusing on education and nonprofit leadership—from the University of Maryland. While completing her MPP, Maggie was a Philanthropy Fellow at the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and an Urban Leaders Fellow working for Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston.
Elise will be Director of Data and Evaluation at KIPP Bay Area Schools this fall. During her past role as Director of Technology, she has focused on shaping KIPP’s technology infrastructure, policies and systems to create an environment of reliability, efficiency and collaboration. Prior to joining KIPP, Elise ran Product Development and Marketing for a San Francisco-based educational game and toy publisher. She received her MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and her bachelor’s from Georgetown University. Elise lives in San Francisco with her husband and her three children and has gone through the process of enrolling in public school with SFUSD.
ABIGAIL (ABBY) KELLY
Abby is the Enrollment Manager for Envision Education. She has a strong knowledge of school choice and enrollment systems in different parts of the Bay Area and is fully committed to increasing equity through access to quality education. In her time at Envision, she has introduced new enrollment outreach events and materials to increase transparency and awareness of Envision’s application and lottery process. In the last year, she collaborated with both district and charter schools to organize over 30 enrollment events for families. She also spearheaded the digitization of Envision’s application, lottery and registration for all the CMO’s schools in San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward. In this process, Abigail has partnered with SchoolMint and school-site teams to ensure that the network-wide system meets the needs of individual schools, applicant families, and the CMO. She looking forward to working with other Oakland charter schools to improve and streamline enrollment across charters in the city and increase transparency and access to quality education for all Oakland families.
Matthew Nelson is president of GreatSchools, an Oakland-based national nonprofit that empowers parents to unlock educational opportunities for their children. He leads all aspects of the organization’s work providing information to help parents find the best school, support learning, and advocate for quality schools. Matthew began his career in education at Aspire Public Schools, where he served as a home-office operations leader supporting data systems, marketing communications, new school startups and charter renewals. Previously, Matthew spent several years at Tides providing services and infrastructure to small and mid-size nonprofits. Early in his career, Matthew co-founded Organic, a digital communications agency, and was the founding production manager of Wired magazine’s online venture, HotWired. He serves on the board of directors for East Bay Agency for Children. Matthew lives in Oakland with his wife and two teenage daughters.
Anne Okahara is the Bay Area Regional Director of Operations for Aspire Public Schools. She has worked toward educational justice for twenty years, involved with research and data, program management, family and community engagement, and business operations. Prior to entering the field of education, she was an activist with Bay Area nonprofits focusing on social justice issues such as immigrant rights, employment rights, and preventing and ending domestic violence. Anne holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and school business management certification from the University of Southern California and the California Association of School Business Officials.
Maya Woods-Cadiz is CEO/Superintendent of American Indian Model Schools, the top performing CMO in Oakland, CA. She is a fifth generation “Oaklander,” and the product of both independent and public schools. An educator with 20+ years of experience in public, independent, and charter schools, Maya understands the importance of giving parents a choice when it comes to educating their children. Her educational pedigree consists of a Masters of Education from UC Berkeley, a Superintendent Certificate from the Association of California Schools Administrators, an Administrator Credential, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Hayward (East Bay). She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the field of Transformational Leadership. Maya and her husband feel blessed to have been able to have options when educating their own children.