Board of Directors and Staff

Published by

Network for Public Education
Board of Directors

President:
Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a co-founder of the Network for Public Education. She is a historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University. She has written ten books and edited another 14. She is a graduate of the Houston public schools, Wellesley College (BA), Columbia University (Ph.D. in history of American education), and holds ten honorary doctorates. In 2011, she received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award from the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences for her careful use of data and research to advance the common good. She blogs at dianeravitch.net. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Secretary:
Anthony Cody

Anthony Cody is a co-founder of the Network for Public Education. He worked for 24 years in the Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high-needs middle school.

A National Board certified teacher, he now leads workshops with teachers on Project Based Learning. He has a nationally recognized education blog, Living in Dialogue, and he is the author of The Educator And The Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges The Gates Foundation. He is the co-founder of the Network for Public Education.

Treasurer:
Phyllis Bushh

Phyllis Bush is a retired English teacher and a concerned grandparent. She is the founder of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education which informs taxpayers and concerned citizens about the impact of the unsound education reform policies and laws being passed and the increasing privatization of public schools.

She is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A. in English), and has a master’s degree from the University of Saint Francis in Education and Counseling. She taught for 32 years in the public schools in Illinois and Indiana.

Director:
Leonie Haimson

Leonie Haimson is Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a non-profit advocacy group working for smaller class sizes in NYC and the nation as a whole. She is also a co-founder of Parents Across America, a national grassroots group that supports progressive and proven education reforms.

She is a graduate of Harvard University, worked at the Educational Priorities Panel, and founded Class Size Matters in 2000. She regularly speaks before parent, advocacy, and government groups, writes opinion pieces and blogs, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News and on national radio shows.

Director:
James Harvey

James Harvey  is the executive director of the National Superintendents Roundtable. The Roundtable is dedicated to progressive leadership in support of just and humane schools.

A native of Ireland, Harvey attended elementary and secondary schools in Ireland and London and completed his high school education at a public school in Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of dozens of articles and five books on education and education policy. He served in the Carter administration as an education lobbyist and on the staff of the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Director:
Denisha Jones

Denisha Jones is the Director of Teacher Education and an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Trinity Washington University. Dr. Jones was a kindergarten teacher and a preschool director before spending the last 14 years in teacher education.

Determined to be a more effective advocate in the fight against school privatization, she began law school and graduated with her J.D. She has been a board member of the Badass Teachers Association, the chair of the National Advisory Board for the Public Education Defense Fund and she serves on the advisory board of Defending the Early Years.

Director:
Lavelle Jones

Lavelle Jones was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey where she attended public schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. She is retired from the New Jersey Bar.

Lavelle worked for Colgate-Palmolive Company where she developed the company’s minority and women-owned business program, created global strategies for professional services and led global teams. The National Network Journal listed Lavelle as one of the most influential black women in business. She was also a two-time recipient of the Harlem YMCA Black Achievers in Industry award.

Since her retirement, Lavelle has applied her skills, as a volunteer, in support of her favorite causes: the well-being of older Americans, the education and safety of children and the preservation of wildlife. She joined AARP as a volunteer in 2007 and currently serves as AARP New Jersey State President. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Allen-Shaw Foundation, a private charity devoted to the education of children in the nation of Jamaica. Since 2014, Lavelle has served NPE as the volunteer national conference coordinator. In this role, she works directly with the Executive Director and Board members to create conferences that celebrate and support the efforts of education activists.

Director:
Roxana Marachi

Roxana Marachi is Education Chair of the San José / Silicon Valley NAACP and an Associate Professor of Education at San José State University where she teaches courses in Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership. She received her PhD in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2003, where she studied the impacts of learning environments on student motivation and behavior in schools.  

Marachi served as co-chair of the Safe Schools and Communities Subcommittee of the American Educational Research Association from 2009–2012, and is currently investigating research-to-practice gaps in the implementation of policies related to high-stakes testing, privatization, and the technologization of teaching and learning.  

Marachi was the recipient of the 2015 Justice Award from Californians for Justice and the 2015 Freedom Fighter Award from the San José / Silicon Valley NAACP, and is actively involved in local, state, and national efforts to strengthen and protect public education.

Director:
Susan Ochshorn

Susan Ochshorn is a writer, policy analyst, and a leading activist for the whole child. She works to integrate early childhood into the education reform conversation and to catalyze social change.

A former journalist, with a master’s degree in early childhood education and public policy from Bank Street College of Education, she has written for CNN Opinion, the Los Angeles Times, Education Week, and other publications. Susan blogs at ECE Policy Matters and at the Huffington Post, and is the author of Squandering America’s Future – Why ECE Policy Matters for Equality, Our Economy and Our Children.  

She’s working on a book about play as the foundation for democracy and civil society.

Director:
Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He also serves as the California NAACP Education Chair. 

His current research includes quantitatively and qualitatively examining how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and market reforms impact urban minority students. Julian’s research interests also include issues of access, diversity, and equity in higher education. Julian blogs at Cloaking Inequity, consistently rated one of the top 50 education websites in the world by Teach100.

Director:
Yohuru Williams

Yohuru Williams is Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. He received his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1998. Yohuru is the author of several books including Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2006) and Teaching beyond the Textbook: Six Investigative Strategies (Corwin Press, 2008). He served as an advisor on the popular civil rights reader, Putting the Movement Back into teaching Civil Rights. Dr. Williams has appeared on a variety of local and national radio and television programs. He blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and is a regular contributor to the LA Progressive. 

His scholarly articles have appeared in the American Bar Association’s Insights on Law and Society, The Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Studies, Pennsylvania History, Delaware History, and the Black History Bulletin.

Staff

Executive Director:
Carol Corbett Burris

Carol Burris served as principal of South Side High School in the Rockville Centre School District in NY from 2000-2015. Carol received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her dissertation on equitable practices in mathematics instruction received the 2003 National Association of Secondary Schools’ Principals Middle LevelDissertation of the Year Award. 

In 2010, she was recognized by The School Administrators Association of New York State as the Outstanding Educator of the Year, and in 2013 she was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as the New York State High School Principal of the Year.  Carol serves as a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center and is the co-director of its Schools of Opportunity program.  She authored three books on educational equity. Articles that she has authored or co-authored have appeared in Educational Leadership, The Kappan, the American Educational Research Journal, Theory into Practice, The School Administrator and EdWeek.

Contact Carol at cburris@networkforpubliceducation.org.

Communications Director:
Darcie Cimarusti 

Darcie Cimarusti is the president of the Highland Park Board of Education in New Jersey. Darcie was elected in 2013 and became the president of the board in January of 2016. She was re-elected to a second term in November of that same year.

Prior to being elected Darcie spent several years engaged in education advocacy work both at the local level and statewide as a volunteer organizer for Save Our Schools New Jersey. Darcie remains active on the state level both as a board member and as a parent advocate. Darcie also writes the education blog Mother Crusader, which was named one of the top 10 education blogs in the state by NJ Spotlight.

Contact Darcie at dcimarusti@networkforpubliceducation.org

Grassroots Liaison: Marla Kilfoyle

Marla Kilfoyle was a public school teacher for 30 years who taught in rural, urban, and suburban communities. A National Board Certified Teacher, Marla was the first educator to be honored as a Finkelstein Memorial Lecturer at Adelphi University because of her commitment to advocacy for public education. Marla also co-authored an Amicus Brief filed in the Supreme Court for Friedrichs vs. CTA and was honored by the NYS Assembly in 2012 as a Woman of Distinction.

She served as the Executive Director of The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) from 2013-2018 and she was on the Steering Committee for the New York State Allies for Public Education from 2014-2018. Throughout her teaching career in the Oceanside, New York School District she held many elected positions in her union.