Founder & Executive Director, Maurice Thomas is a native of Milwaukee born and raised on the city's north side. Mr. Thomas is a graduate of Rufus King High School and the University of Wisconsin - Madison. At the University of Wisconsin – Madison, he earned degrees in Political Science, Theatre, and a certificate in Women’s Studies. As a 2008 Teach For America corps member, Mr. Thomas taught 11th grade history in Atlanta, GA. He worked relentlessly with faculty members, families, and students to lead many of his high school juniors and seniors to be the first in their family to attend college. In 2010, Mr. Thomas was selected as the national Teach For America Teacher of the Year. From August 2011 to July 2014, Mr. Thomas worked as the Executive Director of Teach For America – Milwaukee. He recently completed the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship culminating in the charter approval of Milwaukee Excellence.
Chief Academic Office & Assistant Principal, Rodney Lynk holds a BS in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his MBA in Education Leadership from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Mr. Lynk taught high school algebra for two years, and fifth grade math for two years before joining our team. Mr. Lynk is a former principal in Milwaukee. Mr. Lynk was born and raised in Milwaukee and is a proud Green Bay Packers fan.
Operations Manager, Anna Schopp holds her BS in Sport Management from Lubbock Christian University. She received her MS in Sport Management & Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee in 2015. Anna was born in Bremen, Germany. Raised by a single mother, she saw first hand the value of hard work and determination. From as far back she can remember her mother pushed her to excel in sports and in the classroom. Having lived and studied in Africa as a teenager, Anna has a wide breadth of educational experience on three continents.
Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, Lyndee Belanger holds a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received her MBA in Education Leadership from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Miss Belanger taught middle school language arts for six years and has been a school administrator, curriculum and assessment coordinator, and teacher coach for five years in the city of Milwaukee. In 2010, Miss Belanger was selected as the Wisconsin Charter School Association’s Teacher of the Year. She is currently a Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship in Education Leadership with a goal to address the nation’s educational achievement gaps.
Dean of Students, Hanna Jadin is a four-year veteran of Milwaukee schools with a deep passion for building a joyful and rigorous classroom. As a middle school grade level lead, Hanna led 160 students, in grades five through eight, fostering a strong culture of achievement, extremely high expectations and positive character development school-wide. Hanna grew up in Green Bay, WI (Go Pack Go!) and moved to Milwaukee seven years and now considers it home. She graduated with a BA in Elementary/Middle School Urban Education from Concordia University Wisconsin
Director, Growth Strategy & Development, Joseph Gallagher has two years of experience working with students of all ability levels in Milwaukee Public Schools. He successfully advocated for his 20 students in a self-contained special education classroom to receive instruction alongside their peers in the general education setting. He coordinated Advanced Placement courses for high school students, providing all with the opportunity to earn college credits. Originally from Barrington, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago, Joseph graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship, Environmental Studies, and Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He went on to earn his MA in Urban Special Education from Cardinal Stritch University.
Student Supports Coordinator, Amber Woodbury was born and raised in Madison, WI. She is a 2012 Teach For America corps member from the Tulsa, Oklahoma region. Ms. Woodbury has worked in special education for the past six years. Before joining Milwaukee Excellence, Ms. Woodbury served as a special education teacher on Milwaukee's south side. Ms. Woodbury holds a BA in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Sixth & Seventh Grade Teacher, Liz Yates is a recent graduate of New York University and is a 2016 Teach for America Corps Member. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Yates pursued a BA in Education and Child Psychology after working as a teaching assistant in special education and early childhood classrooms. While studying at NYU, she led two spring break volunteer trips and worked as a theater teacher in a middle school after school program.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Jaya Robinson is a recent graduate of Marquette University and is a 2016 Teach For America Corps Member. She is a Chicago South Side native and has spent her undergraduate years as an avid volunteer with several different Milwaukee organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and PeppNation Sports Leadership Camps. She received her BA in Advertising and Entrepreneurship from Marquette.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Malicia Holifield was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Riverside University High School she attended Jackson State University, a Historically Black College & University in Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated cum laude with a BS in Elementary Education & holds a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Cardinal Stritch University. She is currently the vice president for the Milwaukee Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University. Her dedication to her students and willingness to make school a fun learning environment is exhibited through her participation in the creation of a girls empowerment group and coaching cheerleading.
Sixth & Seventh Grade Teacher, Daniel Deuel is a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound, and is a 2016 Teach For America Corps Member. Originally from Oakland, California, Mr. Deuel pursued a BS in Exercise Science during his time at Puget Sound, while serving as a peer tutor and the on-campus Center for Writing, learning, and teaching. Mr. Deuel was also the captain of the men’s tennis team, and a UEC research grant award winner, the latter of which he used to help find his own research project this past summer.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Serina Jamison is a native of Milwaukee, born and raised in the city’s north side. Ms. Jamison is a graduate of Rufus King High School, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Marquette University. At the University of Minnesota, she earned a Bachelors degree in English and a minor in African and African American Studies. She earned her Master’s in Education at the University of Marquette. As a 2014 Teach for America corps member, Ms. Jamison taught high school English in Milwaukee, WI for two years. She recently completed a year teaching high school English in a charter school in Houston, TX.
Sixth Grade Teacher, LaTasha Ellis was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Rufus King High School she attended Marquette University graduating with a BA in English. Ms. Ellis has taught fifth through eighth grade. She strives to teach her students character, build their confidence and give them a platform through public speaking. Her strong work ethic and ability influence others make her an effective teacher.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Andrew Faber was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Sussex Hamilton High School he attended Concordia University Wisconsin where he played football and participated in track and field. He uses his knowledge of sports to coach football, basketball, baseball, and track and field throughout the year. He is a third year teacher of Milwaukee where he has led two years of 7th & 8th grade students to school record breaking achievements on the ActAspire exam. Mr. Faber is the first in his family to graduate from college. He graduated with a BA in Middle School Education and Mathematics from Concordia University Wisconsin.
Sixth Grade Teacher, Tyrone Moore Jr. is a 2017 Teach for America Corp Member. He holds a BS in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Mr. Moore played basketball all fours years and track & field for one year as a Division III athlete. Mr. Moore was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. He has been working with kids since I was fifteen which is what has inspired him to teach. This experience has helped him develop a true passion to teach and lead kids in a positive way.
Sixth Grade Teacher, Taylor Staples is a 2017 Teach for America Corp Member. She was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but is thrilled to start a new chapter in Milwaukee. In 2014, she earned a BA in Communication Studies and Music Minor from Northern Kentucky University. She has spent the last two years working in various roles at a national nonprofit for theatre education and as a teaching assistant for an after school theatre program for middle school students.
Sixth Grade Teacher, Ryan Jones was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Pius XI he attended University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He also has a Masters of Arts of Education from Mount Mary University. He has six years of experience teaching in the city of Milwaukee and is dedicated to the success of his students.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Marcus Lynk is a native of Milwaukee, WI. Before joining our team Mr. Lynk worked as a 5th grade teacher in San, Jose California. Mr. Lynk is passionate about special education and physical education.