Meet the National Summer School Initiative team dedicated to helping districts, charter, and independent schools across the nation to deliver uncommonly engaging and exceptionally effective instruction.

Elizabeth Beugg

Elizabeth is NSSI's marketing associate. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a background in media, entertainment, and creative writing. Elizabeth spent three years with CityStep, an arts-oriented mentorship program which partners with West and South Philadelphia public schools. She worked alongside a team of mentors to develop and execute creative curriculums at K-12 schools including KIPP Philadelphia, Comegys Elementary, and Jackson Middle School. Elizabeth has also worked for the Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate, Disney, Netflix, and Tom Ford. She was the editor-in-chief of Penn’s satire publication “Under the Button,” where she managed a staff of 45 writers, videographers, and designers. Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in fine art and English.

Ellie Bridges

Ellie is the director of ELA at NSSI. She spent the first fourteen years of her career teaching History, ELA, and reading intervention at Achievement First Bushwick Middle School in Brooklyn. In addition to Ellie's teaching responsibilities, she served as grade-level chair, department chair, curriculum writer, and coach. In 2022, Ellie's students posted the highest percent proficient on the New York Common Core English Language Arts exam in the network. Ellie was named a Stage 5 Master Teacher, the network’s highest distinction, awarded for student achievement, student character development, quality of instruction and planning, and contribution to team achievement. Ellie currently works as a special education coordinator supporting and advocating for over 100 students with IEPs. Ellie earned her B.A. in developmental psychology at George Washington University and an M.A. from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Keri Hubbard

Keri is NSSI's chief of program. After teaching high school math in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Teach for America corps member, Keri joined the Achievement First charter school network. Teaching seventh-grade math and eighth-grade algebra at the network in Brooklyn, she led her students for two consecutive years to 100 percent proficiency on the New York State exam, with 97 percent of eighth-graders passing the Algebra Regents exam. Later, she joined KIPP in Austin, teaching sixth-grade reading, and rose to become assistant principal and director of curriculum and professional development. Currently, Keri is the math program lead at NSSI, supporting an incredible team of teachers, PD leads and curriculum developers tasked with providing rigorous, math instruction to students across the country.  Keri holds a B.A. in economics and sociology from Duke University.

Cheryl Kelley-Henderson

Cheryl is the associate director of ELA at NSSI. She began her career as a music educator, teaching in elementary schools in Miami and at Miami Dade Community College where she was an adjunct professor. While earning her PhD in educational leadership and music education in Memphis, Cheryl joined KIPP Memphis Collegiate Elementary, where she chaired the enrichment department and taught literacy and music. At KMCE she was the school’s assistant principal and ELA instructional coach for 5 years. Cheryl also served as a leadership coach for the KIPP School Leadership program and an ELA literacy curriculum coach for the KIPP Foundation Teaching and Learning Team. Cheryl earned a B.A. in choral music education and vocal performance from Philander Smith College, an M.Ed. from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis.

Maddy Levine

Maddy is the director of operations at NSSI responsible for managing all of the operations and communications for the program. Maddy was most recently the senior manager of community partnerships & outreach at Girls Who Code, where she worked to foster strong partnerships with school districts, library networks, and community-based organizations so that every girl has the opportunity to gain the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Previously, Maddy served as an assistant principal at Success Academy Charter Schools, where she managed instruction and teacher development in science, math, and literacy for grades K-4—achieving results in the top 1% of all New York state public schools. She first became passionate about education while serving as an AmeriCorps member in an urban education fellowship program in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddy received her BS in Psychology and History from Union College and holds a Women in Leadership Certification from Cornell. 

Doug McCurry

Doug is a senior advisor at NSSI. He is the former co-CEO and superintendent of Achievement First, which operates a network of 40 public charter schools educating 14,000 students in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT; Brooklyn, NY; and Providence, RI. Achievement First is consistently one of the highest performing charter networks in New York City. Prior to co-founding Achievement First in 2003, Doug was one of the founders of Amistad Academy and served as the school’s instructional leader for three years. Achievement First Amistad High is ranked the number one high school in Connecticut.

Marla Ross

Marla is the operations manager at NSSI. She began her career in education teaching English to university students in Bogotá, Colombia through a Fulbright fellowship. Marla then recruited and supported students with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit which connects some of the most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities. While in college, she served as the director of Troy Camp at USC, a student-led nonprofit offering after-school programming and a free, week-long summer camp to K-12 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in cognitive science and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from the University of Southern California. 

Jessica Wagner

Jessica is the associate director of operations at NSSI. Most recently, Jessica was the director of special projects at PAVE Schools. Prior to that she spent five years as the director of talent acquisition at PAVE, where she was responsible for facilitating the full recruitment process across four programs annually. She began her career in school operations as a founding special projects coordinator at Uncommon Schools, and was subsequently the founding operations manager at PAVE Academy Charter School and a network operations manager at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City. Jessica graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from Trinity College (CT) in educational studies and anthropology and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

Steven Wilson

Steven is the CEO of NSSI and a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. He founded and led Ascend Learning, a charter school network in Brooklyn which offers a tuition-free liberal arts education in a warm and supportive setting to 5,500 students. Funded entirely at district spending levels, Ascend reversed the achievement gap on Common Core assessments. As special assistant for strategic planning for Massachusetts Governor William Weld, Steven helped shape the state’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act that made Massachusetts schools the highest performing in the country and gave rise to the Boston charter school sector.

© National Summer School Initiative 2024