Cassie Ewing Front Office Staff
Ms. Ewing is a Massachusetts native who started out as an intern at Phoenix Springfield in the spring of 2014. She is entering the senior year of her undergraduate degree in Operations Management and Business Administration from Bay Path University. She is passionate about helping young people realize their potential by assisting Phoeniux in giving them the tools to do this. It has given her great joy in seeing Phoenix Springfield evolve from early on into what it is today. Ms. Ewing enjoys taking day trips around New England on the weekends. She resides in Wilbraham with her family.
Calvin Johnson Director of Operations
Geoffrey M. Schmidt Director of School Culture
Geoffrey joins the Phoenix Springfield founding team after recently completing his Masters of Education Leadership at the Urban Principal Academy at Lehigh University (UPAL). Geoffrey began his teaching career, through New York City Teaching Fellows, as an English Teacher at Passages Academy, serving the incarcerated youth of the city. He also taught at Innovation Diploma Plus, and ROADS Charter High School, in Brooklyn. He is currently co-authoring a book on Guided Inquiry for High School Humanities. Geoffrey and his wife, Ybi, are thrilled to be welcomed to the Springfield Community, where they plan to live, work, and explore.
Gustavo Acosta Manager of Student Recruitment & Retention
Mr. Acosta comes to Phoenix with over twenty five years of experience working with youth in alternative educational and leadership programs in community and school-based settings in New York, Holyoke and Springfield. He has a M.S.in Management and Leadership of Non-Profit Organizations from the School of Human Services of Springfield College. Mr. Acosta is enthusiastic about joining our Student Support Team to provide relentless support and meaningful learning opportunities to our scholars. Mr. Acosta lives with his wife and daughter in Holyoke, MA.
Kelly Bragan Litte Scholars Director
Ms. Bragan resides in Lynn, where she was born and raised. Always having an interest in children, Ms. Bragan decided to take her passion further and earned a degree in Early Child Development. She enjoys helping teach little ones the essential needs that they require to operate in the world we live in today. Many of life’s skills are taught as early as infancy and continue to develop as children grow.
Jazmin Figueroa Manager of Recruitment
Ms. Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico but raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She attended Suffolk University and majored in Biology. She joined the Phoenix community first as an AmeriCorps Fellow, helping her students pass the MCAS exam, and moved into the role of Recruitment Manager this year. She loves being a positive role model and encourages kids to follow their dreams. She also has a twin brother.
Yusef Id-Deen Manager of Retention and Student Support
Mr. Id-Deen currently serves as the Manager of Retention and Student Support for Phoenix Springfield. Prior to his work at Phoenix, Mr. Id-Deen worked for Springfield Girl’s Club Family Center as a supervisor from 2005-2006. After completing his MSW degree from the University of Connecticut from 2006-2008, Mr. Id-Deen worked for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. In 2010 he was given the opportunity to start Roca in Springfield, MA, where he acted as Assistant Director from 2010-2013.
Bruce Hoffman School Nurse
Bruce Hoffman is a critical care nurse, paramedic and current graduate student. Bruce’s professional background is comprised of practice, consultation and education in areas of critical care (ICU, ER, Cardiology, and Flight) in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland, most notably the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University. He is a frequent and national lecturer for a host of Emergency Medical Services and Critical Care continuing education programs, such as CCEMTP. He remains a member of his hometown ambulance service where he has served in a variety of administrative and operational roles. Bruce joined Phoenix Charter Academy – Springfield during their opening year and provided health assistance, medical oversight, regulatory compliance and curriculum development – and is loving every minute of it. In his spare time, Bruce enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie, traveling, hiking and biking.
Marc Lewis Academic Support Teacher
Mr. Lewis is from Hamden, Connecticut and is passionate about education reform. He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science with a minor in Education Studies from American University in Washington D.C.. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University. Mr. Lewis acknowledges the importance of having a post secondary plan and is looking forward to helping his students develop their own. Mr. Lewis resides in downtown Springfield and enjoys archery, attending concerts, and heading back down to Connecticut to spend time with family and friends.
Emily Shankle Academic Support Teacher
Ms. Shankle grew up in western Washington State. She earned her undergraduate degree in English and History from Colby College in Waterville Maine. She earned her Masters in special Education at UMass Amherst. Ms. Shankle lives in Amherst with a very opinionated cat.
AmeriCorps Fellows Program