Geoffrey Fenelus is the founder and executive director of Promise Prep. Geoffrey has served students in grades K-12 across all education sectors for 10 years. Throughout his career, he has worked as a teacher, dean, assistant principal, and turnaround principal in traditional, independent, and charter schools. Geoffrey worked at one of the highest-performing charter school networks across the country, where he was a school leader and led a turnaround effort of a neighborhood school. He is dedicated to increasing access to high-quality schools for all children and leads Promise Prep in service of that mission. He is a graduate of Relay Graduate School of Education’s National Principals Academy Fellowship and holds a certification in teaching urban adolescents with disabilities from the New York State Department of Education, a master’s degree in education from Long Island University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wheaton College.
Jessica Wodatch is a coach, facilitator, and educational leader with a passion for creating engaging learning environments and growth opportunities for children and adults. Throughout her career, Jessica has nurtured and supported leaders and helped groups of people come together to reach ambitious and meaningful goals. Jessica is the founder of Wodatch Coaching & Consulting and is delighted to partner with her clients on their journeys of growth and discovery.
Jessica is a co-founder and was the long-time Executive Director of Two Rivers Public Charter Schools, a network of high performing, progressive, in-demand schools in Washington, D.C. As Executive Director, Jessica led the expansion of the school to quintuple in size while earning awards for student achievement and staff satisfaction. Jessica has a track record of creating a vision, hiring and developing excellent teams, facilitating collaborative work, leading teams to solve strategic problems, and launching and building new ventures.
Prior to her work at Two Rivers, Jessica served as a school leader at two special education schools and as an education researcher. She began her career as a teacher in the Bronx through Teach for America. She serves on the board of the DC Charter School Alliance, was appointed to the Mayor’s Bullying Prevention Task Force, and has been a guest lecturer at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Jessica is committed to learning, and is delighted to be a 2020 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow.
All of us in education are working to better understand how to make each school, and public education overall, more equitable. For boards, this work can be even harder. Charter school boards bring together people from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, and varying levels of experience grappling with the hard work of addressing the impact of racism, bias, and precedent in schools.
That’s why we created the Equity Institute. The program brings together a cohort of board members from across different DCSC schools to join together in a safe, intentional learning space to dive deeply into matters of equity in governance. During the program, participants work to build their own self-awareness, work together in deep analysis of equity issues, and share toolkits that help board members take action and hold themselves, their peers, and their schools/networks accountable for governing with equity.
Equity Institute participants tell us that they appreciate the opportunity to examine and strengthen institutional policies, practices, and narratives to build more equitable schools. They tell us that the program helped them build knowledge, skills, and perspectives to work collaboratively to address inequities in their own schools. Finally, every participant leaves with an individualized governance equity plan to strengthen governance in areas such as hiring, succession planning, contracting, evaluation, recruitment, academics, and professional development. Read more about us at Edboards.org
Governing for Equity will be meeting at the following dates and times for 22-23 School Year (all ET). Unless noted all meetings are held virtually on Zoom.
- October 12 2pm
- November 15 5pm
- December 13 5pm
- January 25 and 26 (in person at Kauffman Center in Kansas City, MO)
- February 28 5pm
- March 21 5pm
- April 25 5pm
- May 23 5pm
- June (TBD – final presentation of deliverable)