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Board of Directors

Marc Fisher

Board Chair

Marc Fisher is a senior editor at The Washington Post, where he has reported and written about education and other subjects for more than two decades. He has taught non-fiction writing at Princeton University, George Washington University and at news organizations around the country. Marc is the author of three books, on the history of American radio, the unification of Germany, and English grammar. He comes to the Inspired Teaching board after six years on the board at Georgetown Day School, where he served on the executive committee. Marc has a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University. He and his wife live in Washington and have two children.

Gay Cioffi

Gay Cioffi has been the Director at the Little Folks School in Washington, DC for the past 36 years.  She has written extensively about early childhood education and the arts.  Her papers on early childhood education have been presented at the Oxford Round Table, Oxford, University, at the National Association of Early Childhood Education Conferences and at the Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.  Her essay, “The Right Place: Nursery School in the Twenty-First Century” was published in the book, Choosing the Right Educational Path for Your Child. She has received two outstanding teacher awards from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.  Ms. Cioffi received her undergraduate degree in Education from Penn State University and Masters in Education from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Gary Cohen

Gary Cohen is a third generation Washington, DC real estate developer. He specializes in urban infill multi-family development in areas such as Capitol Hill, Logan Circle, Shaw, Petworth, Adams Morgan, Mt Vernon, and Palisades. He has been in the industry for 15 years. Prior to entering the real estate profession Gary received a Masters in Elementary Education at Pace University in New York City and taught 5th grade at PS 1 in Lower Manhattan. Gary also served on the Board of KIPP DC from 2005-2007 where he helped oversee the renovation of their second facility in Anacostia. Gary is also involved in Stoddert Soccer where he is a youth coach. He is married with two boys and lives in Chevy Chase, MD.

John Leibovitz (parent member)

John Leibovitz is a Venture Partner at Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm. He has two children at the Inspired Teaching School.  His family lives on Capitol Hill.

Aleta Margolis

Aleta Margolis is Founder and President of Center for Inspired Teaching, a 20 year old Washington, DC-based organization that invests in teachers from recruitment to retirement to ensure schools make the most of children’s innate desire to learn. A third generation Washingtonian, Aleta has taught elementary and middle school in Chicago area public schools, has been a professor of education at American University, and has created and run alternative education programs for DC high school students in the juvenile justice system.

Michael Reed (parent member)

Michael Reed, Treasurer, is a partner at Covington & Burling, LLP, a leading international law firm that provides a wide array of legal services. Michael advises and represents boards of directors on a variety matters, including strategic transactions, corporate governance issues, and legal issues and fiduciary duties in the context of strategic transactions and corporate governance. He has one daughter at the Inspired Teaching School.

Anika Simpson, Vice Chair (parent member)

Anika Simpson teaches philosophy and coordinates the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Morgan State University. She is the parent of two girls who attend the Inspired Teaching School.  She lives in Petworth.

Eshauna Smith (parent member)

Eshauna Smith is the CEO of Urban Alliance, providing leadership in key areas including development, policy and advocacy, communications, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Eshauna worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education where she led the development of Raise DC, the District’s first cradle-to-career partnership focused on improving educational and workforce development outcomes for DC youth from 0-24. Between 2006-2010, Eshauna served as the founding Executive Director of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, a coalition of over 100 youth-serving organizations focused on youth employment, youth homelessness and strengthening out-of-school-time supports. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin.

Deborah Dantzler Williams

Deborah Dantzler Williams, Head of School, serves on the Board in an ex officio capacity.  Deborah is an experienced educator who has taught students in elementary grades through graduate school and has also been senior administrator for area independent schools including Sidwell Friends, Beauvoir, The  National Cathedral Elementary School, and Holton-Arms. She was appointed to Strategic Planning, Diversity and other Committees for independent school Boards of Directors. Deborah was formerly Director of Strategic Partnerships at Center for Inspired Teaching and member of the Founding Group for Inspired Teaching Demonstration School.

Rusty Wilson (parent member)

Rusty Wilson is an attorney and business executive.  He is the co-founder and principal of an information services company with offices in Washington, DC and Shanghai, China.  He was previously a vice president of business development and strategy at AOL, in-house counsel at a telecommunications company, and he practiced law as a real estate attorney at the firm of Hale and Dorr LLP (now Wilmer Hale LLP).  He is a graduate of Yale University and Cornell Law School.  He and his wife live in Washington DC and have two children who attend the Inspired Teaching School.

Laurie Wingate

Laurie Wingate has over 20 years of experience in education. She is the Executive Director of Raise DC, the District of Columbia’s cradle-to-career collective impact partnership. In this position, she is responsible for bringing non-profits, philanthropy, private industry and government together around five key goals in education. Her career began with Teach for America in Oakland, CA where she taught for seven years, followed by three years at Robert Brent Elementary School, a DC Public School. Laurie serves as a founding board member of the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, a public charter school that works to improve instruction, build teacher capacity, and ensure that school makes the most of students’ innate desire to learn. Laurie most recently worked as Director of Strategic Planning and Development at Center for Inspired Teaching where she drove strategic planning efforts and led successful efforts to gain support for expanded programming. She also served as the National Director of Lawyers for Hillary (Hillary Clinton for President) and the Director of the National Lawyers Unity Project (Obama for America). Laurie is the Vice-Chair of the Board of DC Vote.

200 Douglas St., NE | Washington, DC 20002 | p: 202-248-6825 | f: 202-248-6939 | info@inspiredteachingschool.org

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