Our leadership team turns Relay's ambitious vision for educator preparation into reality every day.
Meet Our People
Our people are the heart of our organization. Relay’s leadership team is a diverse group of individuals committed to Relay's mission of providing all PK-12 students with high-quality education and choice-filled lives, and to translating our bold vision for educator preparation into a powerful impact across the country.
Dr. Mayme HostetterPresident
Dr. Mayme Hostetter assumed the role of President in 2018, having previously served as Relay's National Dean, Dean of Relay NYC, and founding Director of Teaching and Learning in the decade prior. Additionally, Hostetter serves on the board of Deans for Impact, where she was a founding member, as well as on the board of directors at Cents Ability. Before joining Relay in 2008, she conducted reading development research in the Gabrieli Laboratory of M.I.T.'s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Prior to that, she taught English and coached everything at KIPP Academy in the South Bronx and Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts.
Hostetter earned her A.B. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was an Urban Scholars Fellow in the Mind, Brain and Education program. She earned her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Maya WeathertonProvost, Teacher Prep
In her role as Provost, Teacher Preparation, Dr. Weatherton leads Relay and the Teacher Prep team to key institutional milestones, maintaining outstanding institutional performance and recognition, faculty performance and staff experience.
Dr. Weatherton brings her current experience as both a Regional Dean as well as the Dean of Relay Houston to the role. She was also the Director of Teacher Residency for Relay Houston, where she was responsible for teaching and coaching incoming teacher residents.
Before coming to Relay, Dr. Weatherton served as Principal of Foerster Elementary in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). There she dramatically turned around student performance, student and teacher attendance, and teacher morale. She did exemplary work for students in HISD for 16 years, including winning numerous awards for work as a teacher, regional curriculum specialist, assistant principal, and principal in at-risk schools.
Dr. Weatherton graduated from Paul Quinn College, earned her Masters in Educational Administration from Texas Southern University, and is part of the prestigious Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program. Dr. Weatherton recently completed her PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies (HELPS).
Kari FeinbergProvost, Professional Education
In her role as Provost, Professional Education, Kari Feinberg will lead Relay and the Professional Education team to significant institutional goals, delivering outstanding institutional performance and expanding access and institutional recognition.
Ms. Feinberg currently serves as the National Dean of Regional Leadership Programs at Relay. In this role, she leads Relay Leadership's current work and strategic planning efforts to provide network-embedded professional learning, coaching, and support for CAOs, principal managers, and school leaders in the areas of observation and feedback, school culture, and data driven instruction. Before joining Relay in the summer of 2017, she spent ten years with YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas, most recently as the Head of Schools from 2013 to 2017. She has also worked as a school leader and teacher in Baton Rouge, La. and Durham, N.C.
Kari holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Science and graduate degrees in School Leadership and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. She continues to be Houston-based.
Anne McCarleyChief External Affairs Officer
As Relay’s Chief External Affairs Officer, Anne McCarley is responsible for communications, development, marketing, and public affairs at Relay. Before joining Relay, McCarley served in a number of capacities on Teach For America’s national development team, securing over $150 million in philanthropy to support the organization’s growth in scale and impact from 2008-2015. She began her career as an associate at the global investment research firm, Morningstar, Inc.
McCarley earned an M.A. in English from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame.
Peter KauffmanGeneral Counsel
Peter serves as Relay’s General Counsel. Before Relay, Peter was a commercial litigator at Sidley Austin LLP. He began his career as a sixth grade math teacher through Teach for America at the Democracy Prep Public Schools. Peter has served on the Board of Trustees of an elementary school in Harlem, as a Public Leaders Fellow with Leadership for Educational Equity, and as a member of the NYC Bar’s Education and the Law Committee.
Peter received his B.A. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where he was a Student Marshal. He received his J.D. from NYU Law, where he was on NYU Law Review.
Akilah RosadoChief Equity Officer
Akilah Rosado is a lifelong Brooklynite and anti-racist practitioner and educator who approaches interrupting systems of oppression through strategic design and implementation. Recently, Akilah was appointed as Chief Equity Officer at Relay Graduate School of Education, an inaugural role at Relay. Akilah has spent the last 12 years at Bank Street College of Education serving in multiple roles, most recently as Vice President for Governance, Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion. Throughout her career, Akilah has continued to find ways to redesign systems that disrupt systemic oppression by influencing and shifting strategic levers of change.
Before moving into education, Akilah worked for ten years in the New York State Assembly before joining the Public Strategies Group, a boutique consulting firm where she focused on organizational development, change management, and strategic leadership coaching to staff and leaders working in government agencies. These experiences have yielded a skill set that allows Akilah to examine issues of equity within educational and nonprofit organizations through an analysis of systems with a goal of creating more equity institutions.
Akilah is currently a PhD candidate in Urban and Public Policy at Milano, at the New School where she is examining education policy through an intent (policy creation) versus impact (policy implementation) paradigm with the goal of centering the voices of those most adversely impacted by education policy implementation (i.e., zero tolerance policies) with a particular emphasis on Black girls.
Akilah received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Milano, at the New School.
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Nichelle BowesVice Provost, Student Affairs
Dr. Nichelle Bowes is the Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Relay Graduate School of Education where she leads the institution’s efforts to ensure an equitable, inclusive, and academically fulfilling experience for all students. Dr. Bowes has previously served the institution as the Dean of Student Affairs, Associate Dean, and later Dean of Relay’s Newark campus. Her scholarly interests include culturally responsive practices, academic advisement, and the centrality of the student experience at institutions of higher education. Prior to joining Relay, Dr. Bowes held teaching positions at K-12 institutions in urban settings in New Jersey. Her certifications include K- 5 teacher, School Counselor and Principal in the state of New Jersey.
Dr. Bowes earned her BA in Psychology and English from Binghamton University (SUNY), her MA in Counselor Education from Kean University, her Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University, and her Ed. D. from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Education Steering committee of NACADA and chair of its scholarship subcommittee, a member of the Advisory Board of the St. Petersburg Sister Kin-nect Leadership Fellowship, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Warren ChancellorManaging Director, Strategy and Operations, Professional Education
Warren Chancellor is the Managing Director of National Strategy and Operations for Leadership Programs at Relay. In this role, he supervises the events and operations team as they plan and execute 50+ intersessions/conferences per year as well as the partnerships team as they enroll over 1,300 leaders across our eight leadership programs engaging with over 160 unique districts, CMOs, independent charters, and funders each year.
Prior to joining Relay, Warren served as the Managing Director of Events & Operations at Teach For America from 2014-2016, leading the operations team in the planning and execution of the 25th Anniversary Summit that was hosted in Washington D.C. in 2016, attracting more than 15,000 participants from all over the country. He also supported the Executive Vice President as her Chief of Staff in 2013. Warren began his professional career in the classroom teaching high school math in Atlanta Public Schools. After the classroom, Warren had the opportunity to work at Google under their People Operations team as well as the Democratic National Convention Committee planning the 2012 and 2016 conventions.
Warren is a graduate of Morehouse College where he earned a bachelor of science in mathematics. He was born in Charlotte, NC and raised in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Cherise CotaChief Transition Officer
Cherise Cota serves as Relay's Chief Transition Officer. Before joining Relay, Cota served as a senior director of talent initiatives at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, Texas where she led the talent acquisition team, the teacher performance evaluation system, and several other cross-functional initiatives. She began her career as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in the Houston Independent School District and YES Prep, eventually becoming a co-school leader at its East End Campus. She received her B.A. in Spanish at the University of Kansas, and received her M. Ed. From National Louis University.
Christine EisenhauerNational Executive Director of Partnerships
As National Executive Director of Partnerships, Christine Eisenhauer leads Relay’s teacher partnership and strategy team to support PK-12 school partners through robust programmatic offerings. Prior to this, Eisenhauer was the Dean of Relay’s Delaware and DC campuses and managed campus deans across Relay.
Prior to Relay, Eisenhauer was the Managing Director of Academics at KIPP Philadelphia Schools, worked with schools in Wilmington, Delaware, and on staff with Teach For America. Eisenhauer’s first love is math, and she began her teaching career as an 8th grade math and science teacher with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education, and her B.A. from Furman University in Greenville, SC.
Piper EvansManaging Director, Finance
As Relay’s Managing Director of Finance, Piper Evans is responsible for all aspects of financial management and planning at Relay. Prior to Relay, Evans consulted on economic development and sustainability at O-H Community Partners, where she worked with nonprofits, foundations and government agencies to create jobs, develop entrepreneurial communities, and reduce CO2 emissions. Before that, she worked at The Walt Disney Co., in operations planning and analysis, for three years. She also worked at a boutique investment bank, advising parties to corporate bankruptcies, for two years.
Evans earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and she has lived in North Carolina, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
Dr. Rebecca GoodVice Provost, Teacher Preparation
As Vice Provost of Teacher Preparation and Founding Dean of Relay Connecticut, Dr. Good believes that empowering teachers with a rigorous curriculum of practical application, theory, and educational pedagogy grounded in culturally responsive teaching, can have a dynamic impact on PK-12 students. An award-winning educator, Dr. Good started her career as a secondary language arts teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public School district, as a charter corps member of Teach For America. Upon relocating to New Haven, Connecticut in 2006, Dr. Good, inspired by the middle school experiences, spent 9 years teaching and leading at Elm City College Preparatory, 6 of those years as principal. Dr. Good earned her B.A. in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D in Global Education at the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California. Dr. Good serves on multiple educational boards and was appointed by the Connecticut Commissioner of Education to serve on the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council, given her extensive research on the role of state legislators in diversifying the teaching workforce.
Dr. Anne-Marie HoxieVice Provost, Data and Research
Dr. Anne-Marie Hoxie has been with Relay since 2016 where she oversees institutional research, program evaluation, and continuous improvement activities in support of Relay’s commitment to cultivating effective teachers and promoting student outcomes through research-driven methods. Prior to joining Relay, Dr. Hoxie led research and strategic learning for Classroom, Inc., a non-profit ed-tech organization and managed research, evaluation, and data initiatives at the New York City Department of Education and at The After-School Corporation (now ExpandED). She received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Fordham University. Her dissertation research focused on adolescents’ growth experiences in after-school programs.
Rachel InnesManaging Director, Development
As Relay’s Managing Director of Development, Rachel Innes is responsible for defining and executing Relay’s national and campus-specific fundraising strategies. Prior to joining the development team in 2016, Rachel led Relay’s new sites efforts and co-managed the institution’s accreditation activities. Before joining Relay in 2014, Rachel worked in operations at the New York City Department of Education. She began her career as a third grade teacher in the South Bronx as a Teach for America corps member.
Innes earned her MBA with a concentration in Social Enterprise from Columbia University, a MS in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Pace University, and a BA in Government from Georgetown University.
Dr. Ben KlompusManaging Director of Impact and Innovation, Professional Education
In partnership with the Provost of Professional Education, Dr. Klompus provides critical organizational leadership related to developing and executing a vision that leads to meeting or exceeding team and organizational goals in the areas of program impact, program scale, financial sustainability, and participant experience. In addition, Klompus also leads the National Principal Supervisor’s program and serves as an instrumental voice in external relations and thought partnership in an effort to codify and spread the word related to both best practices within Relay Professional Education and among Relay Professional Education’s partners, participants, and alumni. With more than 25 years of experience serving students at the classroom, school, and system level, Klompus has worked extensively at the nexus of data driven network improvement, instructional leadership development, and design thinking.
Dr. Klompus holds his Ed.L.D. and Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in Philosophy from The Colorado College. He and his spouse Janine live in Williamstown, Massachusetts where their five sons keep them busy and smiling.
Dr. Sarah Marder-EppsteinManaging Director of Professional Education, Teacher Programs
As Managing Director of Professional Education, Teacher Programs, Dr. Sarah Marder-Eppstein oversees all aspects of professional learning opportunities for teachers at Relay. Prior to joining professional education, Dr. Marder-Eppstein co-led degree-granting programming for over 1,500 teachers in Relay’s online campus and taught elementary methods and general pedagogy coursework. Dr. Marder-Eppstein also ran the annual Educator Summit conference for six years in partnership with the Character Lab, serving thousands of educators from around the world.
Before joining Relay in 2013, Dr. Marder-Eppstein taught third grade at Achievement First Brownsville in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Marder-Eppstein holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, a Master’s in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education, and a Doctorate in Education from the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California. Her research interests include new teacher retention strategies, culturally responsive teaching, and character development.
Kelly MorrisChief Student Services Officer
As Relay’s Chief Student Services Officer, Kelly Boucher Morris manages the prospective student advisement, admissions, registrar, student financial services, and student support teams. She leads the development of services, systems, and policies critical to providing excellent service and support to students. She previously served as the Managing Director, National Operations at Relay, leading campus operations, guiding student recruitment, and supporting new campus launches. Before joining Relay, Kelly worked as a manager in the Office of School Turnaround at District of Columbia Public Schools. She also served as a special education teacher for the NYC Department of Education, entering the profession through the New York City Teaching Fellows program.
Morris received her B.A. from Smith College, an M.S. in Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities from Brooklyn College, and an M.B.A. from Duke University.
Stephanie NelsonChief Information Officer
As Relay's Chief Information Officer, Stephanie Nelson is responsible for identifying and adapting the technological and knowledge management solutions that will position Relay to be a cutting-edge, efficient and effective graduate school of education. Before joining Relay GSE, Stephanie worked at Uncommon Schools, where she led the efforts to develop the systems and processes to scale the organization's talent recruitment efforts, as well as managed the recruitment and marketing teams. Prior to working at Uncommon Schools, Stephanie worked as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP in the Human Capital practice. While at Deloitte, Stephanie specialized in organization and talent projects for public sector clients. Stephanie began her career as an elementary school teacher at Plummer Elementary School in SE Washington, DC through Teach For America.
Nelson earned her B.A in cultural anthropology from Duke University, her M.A.T from American University, and her M.B.A from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Jesse RectorVice Provost, Regional Leaderships Programs
As Vice Provost of Regional Leadership Programs at Relay, Jesse Rector leads all aspects of training for current and aspiring school leaders. In this role, he teaches courses on instructional leadership and serves as an advisor to the participants in our leadership programs.
Previously, Rector spent sixteen years in Newark, New Jersey, as a high-performing teacher in both the Newark Public Schools and at North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. During his last six years in Newark, Rector led North Star’s Clinton Hill Middle School.
Rector earned an M.A. in organizational leadership from Columbia University and a B.A. from Rutgers University.
Vernon-James RileyVice Provost, National Leadership Programs
Vernon-James Riley is Vice Provost of National School Leader Programs at the Relay Graduate School of Education. In this role, Vernon-James leads the team responsible for the visioning, design, and execution of Relay Leadership Programs’ national programming, including: the National Principal Academy Fellowship (NPAF), National Principal Supervisor Academy (NPSA), Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute (ISLI), and National Instructional Leader Professional Development (ILPD). Collectively, these programs provide a world-class professional development experience to over 500 school leaders annually from 100 PK-12 school districts and charter management organizations across 30 states and the District of Columbia, in turn serving over 45,000 school teachers and 400,000 children. In previous roles at Relay, Vernon-James served as Dean of Leadership Programs and Associate Dean of Regional Support, providing professional development and on-the-ground coaching in the areas of school culture, instructional planning, observation-feedback, data-driven instruction, and strategic planning to instructional superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and instructional coaches in DC Public Schools and Atlanta Public Schools.
Prior to joining Relay, Vernon-James served as Principal at North Star Academy Charter School in Newark, New Jersey, a National Blue Ribbon School and part of the Uncommon Schools network. During his tenure as principal, Vernon-James led the West Side Park Middle School campus to strong academic gains, with all grades outperforming the state average in Math and all grades outperforming the state’s non-economically disadvantaged students in ELA. Vernon-James has also served as a teacher, Dean of Students, and Director of Operations.
Vernon-James received a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of Education at Michigan State University, Ed.M. in Organizational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.M. from Relay Graduate School of Education. He is an alumnus of the Education Pioneers Fellowship and the Leverage Leadership Institute.
Dr. Kaycee SalmaciaVice Provost, Academic Compliance
As Vice Provost of Academic Compliance Dr. Kaycee Salmacia leads Relay’s Regulatory and Accreditation Team which is responsible for safeguarding the legitimacy and quality of Relay programs and credentials. In her 11th year at Relay Dr. Salmacia has previously served as Relay’s Director of Student Growth and Achievement and Executive Director of TeacherSquared. Prior to joining Relay Kaycee served as a sixth grade English Teacher at I.S. 162 in the South Bronx, was a teacher coach across New York City, and served as a Managing Director of Program at Teach For America.
Dr. Salmacia earned her B.A. in Art History from the University of Southern California and her M.A.T. in Teaching from Pace University. She earned her Ed.D. with Distinction in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania where her dissertation research focused on developing outcome-driven, data-literate teachers
Clifford ThomasManaging Director, Public Partnerships
Cliff Thomas is the Managing Director of Policy and Government Affairs, leading the public funding teams, policy strategy, and government affairs work. He has previously served as a high school science teacher, founded and led a high-performing charter middle school, and led the initial national expansion of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation's Fellowship Initiative. He's a passionate amateur paleontologist and (unfortunately) loves the New York Jets.
Kianti Brown WhitneyManaging Director, Marketing and Communications
As Managing Director of Marketing and Communications, Kianti Brown Whitney’s role is to continue to increase brand awareness through creating powerful and compelling content for Relay’s key audiences. Prior to joining Relay, Kianti worked for a charter management organization, a financial institution, and multiple advertising agencies.
Whitney earned her MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Rice University. She has a BA in Communications from the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Therese Zosel-HarperSenior Dean of Collective Campuses
As Senior Dean, Dr. Therese Zosel-Harper oversees all aspects of teacher preparation across our campuses. Prior to serving as Senior Dean, Zosel-Harper was Relay's founding dean in Colorado and was New York's Assistant Dean of Students and an Assistant Professor of Practice. Before joining Relay, Zosel-Harper served as a high school social studies and adolescent literacy teacher at Peace and Diversity Academy in the Bronx, NY. Zosel-Harper earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College. She earned her M.S.T. in Teaching Social Studies at Pace University and her Ph.D. in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Zosel-Harper’s research interests include teacher recruitment, support/development and retention, and teacher evaluation policy.