Beth Anderson, Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Beth began her journey transforming students’ academic futures like many Phoenix teachers – as a corps member for Teach for America in downtown Los Angeles. While teaching bilingual kindergartners, Beth developed a relentless determination to serve these young English language learners – as well as many of their teenage mothers and fathers. Now more than 20 years later, Beth and her team have opened doors of educational opportunity for older student populations and other disenfranchised, under-served young people in Massachusetts.
Since the launch of Phoenix Charter Academy in 2006, Beth has galvanized over 150 game-changing educators to serve 500 older, disconnected students across three schools. In the next five years, Beth and her team envision further expansion to Massachusetts Gateway Cities, in an effort to provide irrefutable evidence that all young people are capable of reaching high academic standards. Under Beth’s leadership, Phoenix schools have empowered over 200 graduates – the majority of whom were never expected to graduate – to receive not only a high school diploma, but a college education. With a focus on data-driven instruction and adoption of best practices from top-performing charters, Beth has led Phoenix students to achieve extraordinary academic growth, consistently out-performing students from each sending district on state exams.
She is an alumna of Brandeis University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In each facet of her professional life, she advocates for educational equity for all young people. She previously served on Governor Charlie Baker’s transition team, as the Co-Chair of the Education Advisory Committee. She was recently elected the President of the Massachusetts Public Charter School Association’s board and also serves on the advisory boards of MassDevelopment, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, and Greater Boston Teach For America Alumni.
Jennifer Clammer Chief of Partnerships & Student Support
Jennifer brings to Phoenix extensive experience in entrepreneurial, national non-profits. Passionate about helping organizations move from big ideas to execution and she is an innovative strategist and implementer. Jennifer has served in a number of leadership roles including Chief Operating Officer at Peace First and National Director of Technical Assistance at YouthBuild USA. Jennifer started her career in youth work in New York City and then at Roca, Inc in Chelsea, MA and continues to be passionate about issues of access, equity and justice, particularly for youth and young adults. She holds a Master’s Degree in School Psychology from New York University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Lisa Gifford Director of Special Education and English Language Development
Lisa’s experiences as an educator began 30 years ago after she graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology and began her career as a 3rd grade teacher in New Hampshire. Loving education and the children, and wanting to help the most needy children, she later furthered her own education, completing a Master’s Degree in Special Education at Boston College. Additionally, she has taken graduate courses that assisted her in receiving her Administrator’s license in Special Education, and further, Administrative Endorsement for English Language Learners. Throughout her professional experiences, Lisa has worked as a general education teacher, a special education teacher, and an administrator. She has worked with students with disabilities and with students from many countries, cultures, and with languages other than English. Lisa’s experiences extend from elementary, to middle, and to high school levels throughout the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Hawaii.
Being a member of the Phoenix family and working with our amazing scholars and staff bring Lisa joy every day. Compassionate, caring, and generous, Phoenix staff and scholars and their accomplishments shine throughout our schools.
Joni Roberson Factor Managing Director of Human Capital & Talent
Andrew Heaton, Accountant
Andrew brings to Phoenix a variety of hands-on experiences in Accounting and Management in industry and public service and education administration. Andrew is a CPA and a graduate of Iona College in New York where he earned a BBA in Accounting and an MBA in Management Systems.
Cassie Janusz Manager of Talent
Originally from Norton, Massachusetts, Cassie attended and graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Cassie started her career in education in 2012 as a Teach for America corps member in Rhode Island. After teaching first and second graders at a Charter school in Rhode Island, Cassie transitioned into a role as a recruiter for TFA. Working with Phoenix’s Talent Team, Cassie loves combining her past experiences as an educator and a recruiter, while working with and supporting students in her home state.
Liz Murray Chief Academic Officer
Liz brings sixteen years of experience in urban education as a teacher, principal, and system level leader to the role of Chief Academic Officer. Liz is passionate about building school environments with highly engaging learning opportunities and positive culture for all students, teaching and learning, and leadership development. Prior to joining the Phoenix team, Liz taught fifth and sixth grade Humanities in Boston and from 2002-2014, served as a middle school Humanities teacher, middle school principal, and as the K-12 Director of Leadership and Professional Development at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Somerville and Cambridge.
Liz is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and the Principal Residency Network through the Center for Collaborative Education and Northeastern University .
Sara di Bonaventura Ofosu-Amaah Chief Operating Officer
Sara brings a decade of experience in education reform, with a particular passion for building high accountability, replicable educational environments that help disconnected young people realize their academic and personal potential. Prior to joining the Phoenix team, Sara held a variety of roles in the education space; she has taught students with severe emotional and behavioral challenges in the alternative education district of NYC public schools, served as the Director of Student Support at Charlestown High School, and most recently was the Special Assistant to the Headmaster at Boston Arts Academy.
Sara is an alumna of Harvard College, Pace University School of Education, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She serves as a Trustee of Deerfield Academy and is the President of the school’s Alumni Association. Sara lives in Boston with her husband and daughter.
Kari Schuler Director of Assessments & Math Curriculum
After graduating from Georgetown University, Kari joined Teach for America as a math and science teacher in the Mississippi Delta. Eager to balance her experience with education in a rural, district environment, she taught math at a Connecticut-based Achievement First high school. Kari then transitioned from a role in direct instruction to The Achievement Network, where her work around assessments and schedules of assessed standards were utilized by over 180 schools and 50,000 students annually. Kari loves being a member of the Phoenix team and supporting school leaders, teachers, and scholars across the network.
Lauren Sadler AmeriCorps Program Manager
After graduating from American University with a BA in philosophy, Lauren served a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Washington DC, where she started and supported youth robotics clubs and teams in DC district and charter schools. Inspired by this experience, Lauren went on to get a Master’s degree in Education Policy from the University of Washington. Always striving to create access to quality educational opportunities for all youth, Lauren is excited to be joining such an innovative and passionate organization–and delighted to return to AmeriCorps as a program manager!
Amber Sinicrope Manager of Development & Marketing
Amber came to Phoenix from the museum field, previously serving as the Curatorial Associate in the Architecture & Design department of the MIT Museum. While receiving her B.A. in Art History at Smith College, Amber focused her studies on exploring how museums and arts institutions can be agents for social change. After five years studying and working in arts field, Amber began the quest for a social justice organization that directly targeted inequality. Now a member of the Phoenix CMO team for over two years, Amber loves the challenge of synthesizing and communicating Phoenix’s mission, inspiring scholars and game-changing schools to a myriad of constituents, audiences and potential partners.
Valerie Taubes Director of Operations & Strategic Initiatives
Entering her 6th year at Phoenix, Valerie Taubes is excited to be returning to the Network team as the new Director of Strategic Initiatives, where she will be focused on planning, growth and codification. Originally a two-year member of the Phoenix AmeriCorps Fellowship in Chelsea, Valerie has also served as the Network Data Manager and Lawrence’s AmeriCorps Program Manager. Valerie first became interested in education after working in a Danish pre-school and American elementary school and over her years at Phoenix has developed a deep commitment to urban education.
Valerie earned her B.A. in psychology at Franklin & Marshall College and she is currently an Analyst Fellow with Education Pioneers.
Ann Whitney Network Director of Curriculum & Instruction
With Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History from the University of Maryland and a master’s in Education & Literacy Instruction from Simmons College, Ann Whitney brings a passion and aptitude for coaching teachers and improving literacy results as Phoenix’s first Network Director of Curriculum & Instruction. Beginning her career as a Social Studies teacher in Boston Public Schools, Ann then spent seven years teaching English and leading teachers at Prospect Hill Academy. Serving as PHA’s instructional coach and literacy coordinator, Ann’s passion for helping teachers improve literacy results, eventually took her to North Carolina where she served as a Buncombe County Schools teacher then Middle School Literacy Coach for three years, before returning to Massachusetts this fall.
Trevor Wissink-Adams Managing Director Development
Working as an intern at the Public Defender Service in Washington D.C., Trevor became passionate about criminal justice reform and the importance of a great education. He started his career as a Teach for America corps member in Oakland, CA teaching 7th grade English. After earning his Masters of Education Policy and Management at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Trevor became the founding Director of Operations at KIPP Academy Boston.
Trevor is an alumnus of George Washington University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He serves on the Teach for America Massachusetts’ alumni board, loves to play basketball, and explore the outdoors.
Sara Yuen Managing Director of AmeriCorps & Compliance
Sara discovered her passion for education while teaching part-time United States citizenship evening classes to the immigrant community in Chelsea, Massachusetts. She then decided to transition from her career as a corporate and securities paralegal to the education sector, and she began to gain further experience as an AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow serving at Hyde Square Task Force in Jamaica Plain. Serving as an AmeriCorps member, Sara created and managed an after school tutoring program for high school youth enrolled in the Boston Public Schools. Her service with the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship launched Sara’s career in education and she went on to teach at Excel Academy Charter School in Chelsea, Massachusetts and UP Academy Leonard in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Phoenix, she was a Program Director for a nonprofit in Framingham.
Sara is an alumna of Boston University and Northeastern University. She loves seeing Phoenix scholars overcome obstacles and achieve success. She is passionate about ensuring that the Phoenix AmeriCorps Fellowship program is an invaluable experience to scholars and AmeriCorps members alike.
Bob Zager Managing Director of Finance & HR
Bob joins Phoenix following an engagement with the Connecticut State Department of Education, where his Mass Insight Education team partnered with school, district, and state leaders to build and implement budget and accountability tools to transform low-performing schools across the state. Previously, Bob was an Education Pioneers Fellow at the New York City Department of Education, where he managed school turnaround human resource data and developed programming to improve performance management. Bob has also managed a college savings research initiative called SEED for Oklahoma Kids, and advocated on Capitol Hill on behalf of students, teachers, and administrators for the Association for Career and Technical Education.
Bob earned a B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. While completing his M.B.A., Bob co-chaired the Yale SOM Education Leadership Conference. He enjoys triathlons, exploring the outdoors, and serving as a Big Brother mentor to a local 6th grader.