• Adrinda Kelly

  • Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

  • Adrinda Kelly

    Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

    Adrinda Kelly is a proud New Orleans Public Schools graduate who is
    passionate about equity and inclusion in organizational design. Since 2017
    she has served as Founding Executive Director of Black Education For New
    Orleans (BENOLA), an education nonprofit whose mission is to build the
    capacity of diverse educators and schools to provide a quality education to
    New Orleans children.

    Adrinda has worked in the education field since 2003, first as an
    acquisitions/commissioning editor focused on developing education
    resources for underrepresented students and then as the director of
    communications for a youth empowerment nonprofit serving undocumented
    students and families of color. Immediately prior to BE NOLA, Adrinda was
    the national managing director of staff diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
    strategy at Teach For America and led several initiatives focused on
    strengthening staff and alumni communities of color.

    Adrinda graduated with a B.A. in English from Harvard University and holds
    an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought (Global History) from New York
    University. In 2008 she was a Diversity Studies Fellow at the University of
    Cape Town.

    In her spare time, Adrinda enjoys reading, working out, and spending quality
    wine-down time with her husband, Alix, and their Boxer fur-baby, Muggs.
    Adrinda is passionate about New Harmony’s innovative curriculum,
    commitment to diversity, and important focus on preparing the next generation
    to care for our coasts.

  • Chris Cromwell

  • Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

  • Chris Cromwell

    Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

    Committed to engaging deeply with the vibrant, complex ‘real world’ and the people in it, Chris (he/him/his) has engineered an excitingly varied career with a bright through line: from directing and producing experimental theater, through teaching, all the way to organizational leadership, Chris has helped hundreds of groups of people work toward a common goal with better efficiency, more joy, deeper connection to purpose and meaning, more robust structural support, and greater impact. He was the founding finance and operations lead for Paul Habans Charter School in New Orleans (highest growth school in OPSB in 2019), helped Leading Educators in its national growth plan, and served as the turnaround CFO for the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities and Prime Time Family Reading and Head Start. He holds a BFA in experimental theater from Tisch/NYU and an MBA in organizational leadership from Simon/University of Rochester. In his free time Chris reads about arts practices in challenging times, fly fishes, kayaks, cooks, bakes bread, and builds spreadsheet models for friends in need. Chris is passionate about New Harmony High because it re-centers education in the real world, building skillsets and knowledge around a direly important, wildly complex, and breathtakingly broad problem.

  • David Abdullah

  • Field of Work: Attorney

  • David Abdullah

    Field of Work: Attorney

    I am passionate about New Harmony because I am passionate about education in general. Having several educators in my immediate and extended family, the importance of a good education was instilled in me at a young age. I was taught that a proper education is the foundation for both personal and community growth. That said, it is clear to me that one education model does not fit all. To think otherwise is to ignore our individuality. I am passionate about New Harmony because it will provide an alternative platform that will allow students to learn while engaging in an area that truly interests them. Put plainly, if a child is interested in the subject matter, the learning takes care of itself.

  • Hassan Hassan

  • Field of Work: CEO of 4.0 Schools

  • Hassan Hassan

    Field of Work: CEO of 4.0 Schools

    Originally, from Sudan, Hassan (he/him/his) and his mother immigrated to the United States through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery. He was lucky to meet the age requirement that allowed him to access educational and career opportunities that his three older siblings couldn’t. This experience would later drive his deep commitment to dismantling barriers to social and financial capital. He went on to study electrical engineering and economics at Iowa State University. Prior to taking on the role of CEO, Hassan was 4.0’s Chief Operating Officer where he applied his analytical training to streamline 4.0’s systems, growing into the role after working as a Portfolio Manager and Investment Director. Throughout his tenure at 4.0, the organization has grown rapidly to a community of over 1000 diverse leaders who serve over a million students and families across the country. Previously, Hassan worked as a management consultant at PwC and Education Resource Strategies. He is a Pahara NextGen alumnus, Education Pioneer alumnus, and an alumnus of both 4.0 fellowships.

  • Jacquelyn Gross

  • Field of Work: CPA

  • Jacquelyn Gross

    Field of Work: CPA

    Jackie is a manager in KPMG’s Tax practice and is a licensed CPA in Louisiana. She focuses on tax planning and provides tax consulting and structuring assistance to both domestic and foreign-owned multi-jurisdictional corporations and partnerships. Jackie teaches trainings with KPMG’s Tax Business School at national and local levels, and volunteers with Junior Achievement and KPMG’s Family for Literacy Foundation. She graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with majors in finance and accounting, a minor in legal studies, and spent a semester studying abroad in Melbourne Australia. Jackie is excited about New Harmony’s vision to empower students in their learning. She has seen herself and her seven siblings take various education paths and understands learning occurs in and out of the classroom and in different ways for each student. She’s passionate about helping foster an environment in which our students can succeed.

  • Kelly Ransom

  • Field of Work: Attorney

  • Kelly Ransom

    Field of Work: Attorney

    Attorney with the law firm of Kelly Hart & Pitre in New Orleans, Louisiana. My practice is focused on environmental and oil and gas litigation.

    I am passionate about New Harmony High because I believe that education and community involvement are crucial to addressing the coastal erosion and the associated coastal restoration and preservation issues threatening the communities of South Louisiana.

    Kelly.ransom@kellyhart.com

    504-390-6780 (cell) & 504-522-1812 (office)

  • LaShaunda P. René

  • Field of Work: Development Manager

  • LaShaunda P. René

    Field of Work: Development Manager

    LaShaunda René (LPR) is a non-profit, community development professional based in New Orleans. LPR is a graduate of International Business and French Studies from Dillard University of New Orleans and of Public Administration from Walden University of Minneapolis.

    LaShaunda is the Manager of Business Services and Program Development for TruFund Financial Services, a National Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). A focal-point for her work is growing and sustaining quality programs and services for small, minority and women-owned businesses. She believes that entrepreneurship, supported by capacity building and access to adequate and affordable capital are critical pathways to prosperity and economic development in rural and urban communities.

    LPR loves a good cause and her family, which includes a husband, 3 daughters and a son.  She is a lover of all things natural, travel, art, food, astrology and the unexplored.  In her free time, LaShaunda writes and dreams of a future where all children are born in communities where safety, education and economic security are the rule not the exception.

    LaShaunda is passionate about New Harmony because she is a parent and community member who believes in the schools work to support the concept that learning happens everywhere, that learning looks different for everyone and that all students deserve to access education in ways that are meaningful to them and appropriate for their learning styles and educational needs.

  • Liz Suarez

  • Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

  • Liz Suarez

    Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

    Liz Suarez has been working in education since 2008, first as a teacher, then an instructional coach, and now a Project Director with TNTP. She oversees the planning and implementation of a variety of academic projects with the goal of ensuring all students receive highly effective instruction. Liz began her career as a teacher, where she taught multiple grades and content areas. Since joining TNTP, she has managed partnerships to train and certify teachers through teachNOLA, the Collegiate Academies Teaching Residency, the Lincoln Parish Teaching Residency, and Teach Richland. She has also supported curriculum implementation, district-level strategic planning, and leadership coaching across districts in New Orleans, Shelby County, Plaquemines Parish, Richland Parish, Fayette County and Miami-Dade. Liz also oversees the Good to Great Institute in New Orleans which trains veteran educators across the region to implement instruction aligned with Louisiana’s new college and career-ready standards. Liz graduated from Tulane University in 2008.

    While not in schools, Liz enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, John, daughters Evelyn and Sadie, and pups Rouxie and Rose.

    Liz is passionate about New Harmony because New Orleans’ students need great educational opportunities that expand their horizons and open doors. New Harmony’s will do just that and so much more by engaging the community in the work of protecting and restoring our coast.

  • Michelle Mathew

  • Field of Work: Non-Profit Development

  • Michelle Mathew

    Field of Work: Non-Profit Development
    Michelle is the Development Director at Liberty’s Kitchen, a New Orleans-based workforce development NGO. A South Louisiana native, Michelle left home to study, live and work around the globe for a decade before returning home in 2016. 
    With a background in journalism and health, an opportunity to study in Paris and Cairo led her to earn a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies. Michelle has worked as a baker, consultant and cycling instructor and (having been on the receiving end of many-a-patient mentor) recognizes the power a great teacher can have on a person. Michelle is honored to be a part of New Harmony High School’s story to preserve the state we’re lucky to call home. 
  • Nancy Turner

  • Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

  • Nancy Turner

    Field of Work: Education Non-Profit

    Nancy (she/her/hers) began her career as a high school educator in South Carolina and Louisiana, teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies. Having established excellence in her classrooms, she was invited to become a Mentor Teacher, observing and coaching peers and beginning her work developing other educators. Nancy was the founding Chief of Staff and a primary academic leader of Paul Habans Charter School in New Orleans where she oversaw recruitment and retention, teacher development, academic strategy, and cultivated family and community partnerships. Now a Senior Manager at TNTP, Nancy trains and certifies teachers through teachNOLA and works to ensure teacher diversity better reflects our city’s public-school students through the Black Educator Excellence Cohort. Also at TNTP, she has supported district-level curriculum implementation and school leadership development across Louisiana.

    In her free time, she enjoys being an Aunt, cooking, and spending time
    with her rescue pup. Nancy holds a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Arts in Teaching from The Citadel, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at The George Washington University studying leadership in turnaround schools. Nancy is passionate about New Harmony because students are provided with opportunities to authentically engage and partner with the community while creating and thinking critically on their own. Our coastal ecosystems and communities will certainly benefit from the brilliance of New Harmony’s students.

  • Steve Cochran

  • Field of Work: Coastal Protection and Restoration

  • Steve Cochran

    Field of Work: Coastal Protection and Restoration

    Coastal Protection and Restoration – for people, and for nature.

    I am passionate about New Harmony because I think New Harmony High goes to the heart of what we need – creative, energetic, passionate and educated kids on their way to becoming adults, focused on every aspect of our biggest problem here. With that as a base, how can we not succeed.