NACSA Names a Dozen Prominent Authorizing Professionals to Leaders Program

NACSA Names a Dozen Prominent Authorizing Professionals to Leaders Program

Today, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) announced the selection of the fifth cohort of its NACSA Leaders Program, a highly-selective and rigorous program providing leadership, management and authorizing training to current and upcoming leaders of charter school authorizing offices.

This year’s cohort consists of current authorizing professionals from nine states and the District of Columbia. Collectively, the group represents authorizing offices that oversee approximately seven percent of the nation’s charter schools (478 charter schools). Each brings a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences, including former teachers, principals, lawyers, and policy experts.

“It takes a unique set of skills to do what authorizers must do every day: balancing how to create great schools while protecting the interests of students and taxpayers,” said Kasey Miller, Vice President of Talent and Engagement at NACSA. “We are excited to bring this talented, passionate group together and watch them learn and grow into leaders that can have a positive impact on our education landscape.”

The 5th NACSA Leaders Program cohort includes:

  • David Frank, Director of Charter Policy and Analytics, New York City Department of Education
  • Rich Haglund, General Counsel/COO, Achievement School District Tennessee
  • Lauren Iannuccilli, Manager, Accountability, Charter School Office, School District of Philadelphia
  • Shenita Johnson, Deputy Director, Illinois State Charter School Commission
  • Gerry Kettenbach, Charter School Liaison, Southeast Missouri State University and University of Missouri – Columbia
  • Corey Northrop, Director for New School Development and Administration, Central Michigan University
  • Sean Perkins, Executive Director of Portfolio Management, Orleans Parish School Board
  • Katie Poulos, Director, Options for Parents, New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Aarti Sharma, Charter Schools Division Director, Georgia Department of Education
  • Lori Sommer, Assistant Director for Charter School Compliance, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Carol Swann, Coordinator of Charter Schools, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Rashida Young, Senior Manager Equity and Fidelity Team, DC Public Charter School Board

The NACSA Leaders Program is the nation’s only professional development opportunity for current and upcoming leaders in charter school authorizing offices. The seven-month program combines intensive in-person sessions, online resources, ongoing virtual dialogue, and coaching designed to assist participants working to make a positive difference in their own offices and across the charter sector. It also addresses the skills essential to becoming a premier authorizer, such as executive leadership and management, data-driven decision making, and performance-based accountability.

Alumni of the NACSA Leaders Program have graduated on to serve in leadership roles at the local and state level, including State Superintendents, Directors at State Departments of Education, and Executive Directors of chartering offices within local school districts, among others.

“Our alumni from the past four cohorts have set a high bar, but we can’t wait to see where this group takes us,” Miller concluded.


About the NACSA Leaders Program

The success of the charter school sector depends on having strong authorizers capable of managing a portfolio of high-performing schools and ensuring that every charter school provides an outstanding education to its students. In 2012, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) launched its Leaders Program to assist in strengthening the skills and advancing the profession of those entrusted with approving, monitoring, and renewing charter schools.


The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is an independent voice for effective charter school policy and thoughtful charter authorizing practices that lead to more great public schools. Our research, policy, and consultation work advances excellence and accountability in the charter school sector. With authorizers and other partners, we have built the gold standard for charter school authorizing. Through smart charter school growth, these authorizers will give hundreds of thousands of children an opportunity for a better education each year. More at


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