September is a great time for fresh starts, and this fall our team is no exception. It’s thrilling to welcome new folks to the EdNav family and bittersweet to say goodbye to those who are moving on. All together, we are excited about what’s on the horizon, from new faces to new services and more.
We have several big transitions happening on our leadership team this fall and winter:
After five years with EdNavigator, Whitney Henderson, our founding Chief Program Officer, will be shifting her time and energy over to community organizing efforts in her hometown of East St. Louis, IL. We are always in awe of Whitney, and we’re proud to see her take her passion and expertise back home. We can’t wait to support her in those efforts, even from afar. For now, Whitney will be working in a Senior Advisor role, helping us gear up for her full transition in early 2022.
Stepping into the role left by Whitney is no easy task, but our new Chief Program Officer, Shantelle Wright, is truly the right person to take it on. Shantelle comes to us after 15 years as Founder and CEO of Achievement Prep in Washington, DC. Shantelle will be leading all of our program work, overseeing our teams on the ground in Boston, New Orleans, and at the national level, and making sure we’re providing excellent support to families across the country whose lives have been in a constant state of flux from the pandemic, natural disasters, and economic upheaval. We received a huge number of applicants for this role (636, to be exact!), and Shantelle was clearly the one. We’re thrilled to have her on board.
We’re also saying farewell this fall to Ariela Rozman, one of our founding partners and Chief Operating Officer. Ari’s fingerprints are all over EdNavigator, and it’s hard to overstate her impact on our team, our families, and our work. We are grateful for her relentless efforts to build an organization that takes care of its people—both our own employees and our member families. Her move also marks the end of more than 20 years of collaboration with fellow founders Tim and David. Based on her track record of building successful companies, Ari has been asked by Kaya Henderson and her team at Reconstruction to serve as their Interim COO as they grow into another transformational initiative. We are big fans of their work.
Elysa Severinghaus, our Executive Director in Boston, has also decided to transition out of her role later this month. Elysa led a tremendous effort to grow our Boston navigation services from one employer partner to 10. We are deeply appreciative of her bottomless commitment to our member families, to the health and well-being of our team, and to growing our institutional knowledge of the Greater Boston education landscape.
Finally, we are welcoming our first-ever Director of HR: Ava Ivy is joining us part-time, bringing with her broad experience in the non-profit and private sectors and a lengthy military career.
In Navigation news, we also have some exciting changes afoot:
Briana Casey has joined our Boston team as a Navigator. A Massachusetts native, she’s spent the last few years working as a special educator in Los Angeles, and has recently returned to her home state.
After three years on our New Orleans team, Meghan Stroh is now our Lead Navigator, National Support.
Meghan will be leading a great team of 15 new Navigators representing Texas, Maryland, California, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Our national Navigators are educators and parents with expertise in a wide range of areas from special education to social work to college readiness, and they’ve already started performing virtual Education Check-ins with families across the country.
We’re thrilled to welcome our new team members to the family, and grateful for the contributions of those who are moving on. We hope you’ll pop by the EdNavigator Blog over the next month to get to know our newest folks a little better.