Our Team: 

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.

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.

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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

Student Supports Coordinator, 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.

Sixth 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.

Sixth 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.

Sixth Grade Teacher, Alexandra Sanchez has two years of experience teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools. She co-taught in math classes for both years in a MPS High School while managing a special education caseload of 21 students and planning school wide events for students throughout the year. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, but has found a deep love for working with the students in Milwaukee. Ms. Sanchez received her BA in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon and her MA in Urban Special Education from Cardinal Stritch University.  

Sixth 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 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.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
— Gandhi