Accountable to our authorizer, our families, and our students.
Marty Linsky is co-founder and principal of Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA), a global leadership development firm. He has had extensive experience as a consultant, facilitator, teacher, and trainer in leadership with a wide range of public- and private-sector clients in the U.S. and abroad. His most recent book is The Practice of Adaptive Leadership (Harvard Business Press 2009), co-authored with Ronald Heifetz, with whom he co-founded CLA, and Alexander Grashow, CLA’s managing director. He is also the co-author, with Heifetz, of the best-selling Leadership on the Line.
Linsky is a faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he has been since 1979, except for three years in the early 1990s when he served as chief secretary and counsel to then-Massachusetts Governor William Weld. He joined Harvard’s faculty after careers in politics and journalism, having served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, an assistant Massachusetts attorney general, a reporter and editorial writer at The Boston Globe, and the editor of the alternative weekly, The Real Paper.
Linsky is a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School.
Margaret Anadu is a managing director in the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, where she makes game-changing investments in underserved communities throughout the metropolitan area. Anadu has sparked the creation and preservation of thousands of units of affordable housing, and has brought schools, health care facilities, food markets, and other vital community resources to those who need them most. Anadu was instrumental in structuring the financing that allowed for the enormously successful redevelopment of the Loew’s Pitkin Theater in Brownsville – now proudly serving as the home of Brownsville Ascend Lower and Middle Schools, and Brooklyn Ascend High School.
Anadu is a graduate of Harvard College, and resides in Brooklyn.
Rick Arroyo served as chief financial officer of Citibank, N.A., prior to his retirement in 2016. Throughout his 38-year tenure with Citigroup, Arroyo served in a variety of strategic management leadership and support roles across a number of Citigroup’s businesses. Prior to joining Citigroup, Arroyo worked as an auditor with Coopers & Lybrand and with Sun Chemical’s European Audit Group. He has also held an instructional position at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. Arroyo holds a wealth of board and committee experience; he currently serves as an independent director of Morgan Stanley Bank in the Audit and Risk Committees, and was previously on the board of Department Stores National Bank. Arroyo is a graduate of Manhattan College, New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Julia Bator is the former executive director of the Robertson Foundation. She was previously the chief executive officer of The Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit arm of the New York City Department of Education, which connects private sector resources to the nation’s largest public school system. Before her appointment to The Fund in 2011, Bator worked at Highbridge Capital Management, where she served as chief of staff, managing external affairs for the chief executive officer. Her experience also includes working for the Heckscher Foundation for Children and a number of public-private partnerships such as the Fund for Public Advocacy, City Parks Foundation, and the Chancellor’s Literacy Campaign under NYC Schools Chancellor Rudolph Crew. Bator has also been a public school teacher and served on the executive staff of The White House from 1994 to 1996. She is a graduate of Yale University and holds a master’s degree in education.
Matthew Clark is marketing director for the global strategy practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and a member of the practice’s leadership team. Prior to joining BCG, Clark was an independent marketing, research and development, and editorial advisor to several consulting firms working in the areas of strategy, innovation, corporate social responsibility, and nonprofit management. Previously, he was vice president of global relationship marketing at Mercer Management Consulting. In addition, he played a central role in idea development and served as chairman of the editorial board of the Mercer Management Journal.
Clark is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
Jon Rosenberg is the president and chief executive officer of the Hebrew Charter School Center, a network of dual-language charter schools that teach modern Hebrew, emphasize service-learning and global citizenship, and recruit and enroll racially and socioeconomically diverse groups of students. Previously Rosenberg was executive director of Reinventing Options for Adolescents Deserving Success (ROADS) Charter High Schools in New York City, a charter organization that serves a unique population: over-age, under-credited students at risk of not finishing high school. Before leading this new charter network, he was CEO of Repair the World, whose mission is to make service a defining part of American Jewish life.
Formerly, Rosenberg served as executive director of Roads to Success, a career, college, and life skills readiness program for students in grades 7-12. His previous work experience includes serving as associate general counsel and then deputy general counsel at Edison Schools, as a senior attorney with the U. S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as a project director and assistant camp director at The Children’s Aid Society, as an adjunct faculty member of Teachers College and Columbia Law School, and as the former chair of the Education Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
Rosenberg is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School.
Steven F. Wilson
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer and Founder Steven F. Wilson has been a driving force in the education reform sector since its inception. Wilson is the former CEO of Advantage Schools, an urban school management company that enrolled nearly 10,000 students, was an executive vice president of Edison Schools, and is a past board president of Building Excellent Schools, a national training program for aspiring charter school founders. Previously, he was a senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. As special assistant for strategic planning for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, he helped shape the state’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that made Massachusetts schools the highest performing in the country. Prior to joining the administration, he was co-executive director of the Pioneer Institute, where he drove the development and passage of the Massachusetts charter school law. He is the author of two books: “Learning on the Job: When Business Takes on Public Schools” and “Reinventing the Schools: A Radical Plan for Boston.” He is a Pahara-Aspen fellow and a graduate of Harvard University.
Kwaku Andoh is a partner at Cohen & Gresser LLP. His practice focuses on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, joint ventures, and other corporate transactions, as well as general corporate counseling. Prior to joing Cohen & Gresser, Andoh was managing director and associate general counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he advised on over $10 billion in mergers and acquisitions transactions, investments in FinTech startups, and venture capitla transactions for all JPMorgan Chase lines of business worldwide. Andoh began his career with the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York, where he practiced for seven years, focusing primarily on international financings, private placements and mergers and acquisitions for a diverse group of clients. Andoh received a bachelor of arts degree in economics, cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1986 and a master of arts degree in economics from Boston University in 1989. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1992, where he served on the Stanford Law Review as a notes editor. He is the author of a note entitled Countervailing Duties in a Not Quite Perfect World: An Economic Analysis, Note, 44 Stanford Law Review 1515 (1992), for which he received the Irving H. Hellman, Jr. Award for the outstanding student note published by the Stanford Law Review in 1992.
Board Treasurer Shelly Cleary is a senior vice president at Community Development Trust (CDT), a community development real estate investment trust. At CDT, Cleary developed, secured funding for, and leads their Charter School Lending Program, where she is responsible for the marketing and structuring of all charter school project transactions. Prior to this role, Cleary served as senior vice president for underwriting at CDT, where, during her fiften-year tenure, she originated over $200 million of affordable multifamily housing debt through her various roles within CDT’s Debt Group. Prior to joinign CDT, Cleary held positions in housing finance at the National Equity Fund, a syndicator of federal low income housing tax credits, and at the Community Preservation Corporation, a regional construction lender that specializees in affordable housing. She began her career in the education department at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Cleary holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Virginia and a master’s of public administration from the Humphrey Institute of Public Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Board Secretary Amanda Craft is the senior director of recruitment for Uncommon Schools, where she oversees the recruitment of leaders, teachers, and administrative staff for Uncommon’s 53 schools and home office. Prior to joining Uncommon, Amanda worked at Bridgewater Associates—an investment company that oversees over $150 billion in investments for charitable foundations, university endowments, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds— working with the founder, CEO, and management committee to fill the organization’s most senior openings, and to create a series of recruitment technology tools to systemize strong recruitment practices. She began her career at Teach For America where she held a number of recruiting, data, and talent strategy positions at both their summer training institute and in their national office. In these positions she used data and technology to improve diversity, engagement, and performance of Teach For America staff members. Amanda has served Ascend’s schools board since 2011 and is an active member of her faith community. She holds a bachelor of arts in Russian literature from Columbia University.
Board Chair Stephanie Mauterstock is the vice president of Tugboat Education, where she provides consulting services related to school founding and start-up; strategy and business plan development; finance and funding; human resources and talent development; grants; and accountability for charter schools, authorizers, school districts, and education non-profits. Mauterstock was previously chief operating officer for Students for Education Reform, an organization developing college students into grassroots organizers who fight for educational justice in their communities. Earlier, Mauterstock was chief operating officer at Manhattan Charter School. Having inherited a failing school, she managed its turnaround and growth; wrote the school’s renewal application; and secured full, five-year charter renewal for the school. She previously worked for Edison Schools, where she served as a grants compliance manager and later as a strategy and market research analyst. Mauterstock began her career as a program officer at the Institute of International Education. A graduate of Tufts University, she has also studied in Paris and the Yunnan Province of China.
Board Vice Chair Kathleen Quirk is chief of staff at The Partnership for Inner-City Education (Partnership Schools), a network of six urban Catholic elementary schools in Harlem and the south Bronx. She was formerly chief operating officer of Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA), where she focused on management operations and refining CLA’s business development strategies to meet clients’ needs. Prior to joining CLA, Quirk worked for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) as special assistant to chancellor Joel Klein and later as associate director of knowledge management. In these roles, she managed the 2006-2007 district-wide winning application for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and also worked closely with NYCDOE’s governing body, the Panel for Education Policy. She previously held positions at the University of California Berkeley in student affairs and served as a Jesuit/AmeriCorps volunteer in an elementary school in West Oakland, California. Quirk holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor’s in English from the College of the Holy Cross. Quirk was a New York City Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and has been an active member of the New York City Coro Leadership Center, and an onsite support staff member for a volunteer community in Bedford Stuyvesant.
Architect Christine Schlendorf is a principal at Perkins Eastman with more than 20 years of experience in creating beautiful and innovative educational spaces. She has been responsible for numerous public and private school projects in the United States and overseas, including Mott Haven Campus in the Bronx, a 2,200-student campus containing two high schools, one intermediate school, one charter school, and a performing arts center. Prior to joining Perkins Eastman, Schlendorf was an architect with the firm Louise A. Agnes AIA of Northport, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture at Syracuse University.
Nadine Sylvester joined Ascend’s board of trustees in July 2018. Sylvester is the director of internship services and employment placement at Year Up, a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged young adults attain higher education and succeed in their professional lives. In her role, Sylvester oversees internship and employment placements and leads Year Up’s alumni engagement strategy; for this work, she has been named an American Express Emerging Leader in 2016. Previously, Sylvester worked as a program coordinator for Cypress Hills Local Development Corp, through which she provided counseling and crisis management services to at-risk youth seeking to complete high school or GED programs. A native of Central Brooklyn, Sylvester is an active leader in her community, serving as a team leader for New York City’s largest volunteering network, New York Cares, and as a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 17. Sylvester holds a bachelor’s degree in history and social work from New York University and a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. She is the proud parent of an Ascend student.
Rev. Oral Walcott is a community leader and insurance specialist currently serving as a licensed agent at New York Life Insurance Company. Prior to joining New York Life, Rev. Walcott served for 12 years at the Beulah Church of the Nazarene as Sunday school teacher, youth pastor, pastor of discipleship and special events, and executive pastor. He has 13 years’ experience as a claims professional at a leading insurance company in Barbados. In 2010, Rev. Walcott was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene and serves as secretary of the board of ministries of the New York district. Rev. Walcott serves on the board of directors of Healing for the Soul Ministries, and as secretary and director of Project CHANGE, a rehabilitative program designed for inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison in Barbados. He was one of the chief architects of the program and co-authored Project CHANGE’s handbooks and curriculum. Rev. Walcott received a Diploma in Management Studies, in human resources management from Nazarene Bible College and Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in business, management, and economics from SUNY Empire State College; a master of science in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac University; and a professional insurance designation CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter). Rev. Walcott and his wife Nicole are the proud parents of two Brownsville Ascend students.
2018-19 meeting schedule
Meetings of Ascend’s Board of Trustees and its committees are open to the public and held in accordance with the New York State Open Meetings Law; members of the public are encouraged to attend. Meeting dates, times, and locations are subject to change, so check back for the most current information. All meetings begin at 6:30 pm unless otherwise noted. Click a meeting date to view the board package and minutes from the meeting. To access notices, agendas, and minutes from meetings held prior to July 2018, please contact the Board of Trustees at (347) 464-7600 ext. 1124.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The December meeting of the board was canceled. It has been rescheduled for Monday, January 7 at 5:00 pm. Please see below for further details.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Ascend Learning, 205 Rockaway Parkway, Sixth Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11212
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Location to be determined
2018-19 committee meeting schedule
All meetings will be held at Ascend Learning, 205 Rockaway Parkway, Brooklyn, beginning at 5:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Trustees may join meetings via videoconference. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact the Board of Trustees at (347) 464-7600 ext. 1124.
- Monday, September 10, 2018
- Monday, October 29, 2018
- Monday, November 26, 2018
- Monday, January 14, 2019
- Monday, February 25, 2019
- Monday, April 29, 2019
- Friday, June 28, 2019
All meetings will be held at Ascend Learning, 205 Rockaway Parkway, Brooklyn, beginning at 4:30 pm unless otherwise noted. Trustees may join meetings via videoconference. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact the Board of Trustees at (347) 464-7600 ext. 1124.
- Tuesday, August 14, 2018
- Tuesday, October 9, 2018
- Thursday, December 6, 2018
- Wednesday, February 6, 2019
- Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm
- Monday, April 8, 2019
- Wednesday, May 8, 2019
- Wednesday, June 5, 2019
All meetings will be held at Ascend Learning, 205 Rockaway Parkway, Brooklyn. Trustees may join meetings via videoconference. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact the Board of Trustees at (347) 464-7600 ext. 1124
- Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm