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 Hostetter
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. Mayme Hostetter
Jessica Smith is Relay’s Chief Operations Officer. She is a culture and change leader who believes in creating radical spaces of belonging. Jessica spent the last six years at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, most recently as the Vice President of Employee Relations & Engagement.
In that role, Jessica built Alliance’s first employee relations and engagement team and systems, started the organization’s first DEI working group, and created and led Alliance’s organizational strategy of becoming an anti-racist and pro-Black public charter school network.
Prior to Alliance, Jessica worked for Atlanta Public Schools leading employee relations work and advising management on the handling of employee relations and human resource matters while ensuring compliance with laws, policies, and regulations. Jessica began her career advising senior school system administrators and board members on labor and employment matters. Her experience has allowed Jessica to hone in on her skills of building strong people-centered systems that are grounded in equity and belonging. Jessica earned a B.A. from the University of Miami, and a J.D. from Emory University.
Dr. Maya Weatherton
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).
Dr. Maya Weatherton
Dr. Shavonne Gibson
In her role as Chief Professional Learning Officer, Dr. Shavonne Gibson leads the Professional Education team at Relay.
Prior to this role, Shavonne was the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, DC. Shavonne had oversight of training and technical assistance for educators, educator quality and effectiveness, including educator licensure and approval of teacher preparation programs, English learner education policy, and educator awards. Shavonne is a career educator having held roles ranging from teacher, assistant principal, principal, and managing director of schools/principal supervisor in New York City and Washington, DC schools.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rochester, a master’s degree in Secondary Education-Social Studies from Long Island University, second master’s degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University, and her doctorate in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University. Shavonne lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Shavonne Gibson
Akilah Rosado is a proud Brooklynite, anti-racist scholar, practitioner, and educator. Her scholarly interests are Black women’s leadership and development in organizations and the strategic use of trauma-informed principles to develop equity-centered organizations.
As Relay’s Chief Transformation Officer, Akilah is tasked with strategically transforming systems and structures through an equitable and inclusive context but supporting strategic planning and implementation and stewarding the development and engagement of Relay’s formal and informal leadership. Before taking on this role, Akilah served as Relay’s inaugural Chief Equity Officer and spent 12 years at Bank Street College of Education in multiple leadership roles. 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 spent ten years in the New York State Assembly. After the Assembly, she joined the Public Strategies Group. At this boutique consulting firm, she focused on organizational development, change management, leadership coaching and development, and strategic planning and implementation. These experiences yielded a skill set that allowed Akilah to examine issues of equity within educational and nonprofit organizations through an analysis of systems to create more equity institutions.
Akilah is a doctoral candidate at Fielding Graduate University, where she producing scholarship on the role of adversity on Black women chief diversity officers’ leadership development. Akilah holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Organizational Management, a Master of Philosophy in Urban and Public Policy at Milano, the New School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from SUNY Purchase. Akilah lives with her daughter in Brooklyn, NY, and is committed to creating liberated spaces.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Anne McCarley is responsible for the institution’s strategy and revenue through the leadership of teams charged with partnerships, development, government affairs, marketing and communications. 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.
Derek Richey is Relay’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, responsible for both the overall financial operations and stewardship as well as ensuring resources are planned for and optimized toward organizational goals, strategies, and priorities.
Derek deeply believes in the power of education and equity to transform lives. Prior to joining Relay, he spent 15 years working in roles aligned with Relay’s vision and mission. Beginning as a school board member in Kansas City, MO to his most recent Chief Financial Officer role with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, his professional focus and passion has centered on improving student achievement with a specific “true north” of ensuring equity of access, opportunity, and outcomes for students from historically marginalized communities.
Derek has a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and master’s degrees in business administration and education leadership from London Business School and the University of Missouri, respectively. He also participated in the Broad Foundation’s two-year Broad Residency in Urban Leadership program.
Senior Leadership Team
Meredith Anderson is the Vice President of Regional Leadership Partnerships on Relay GSE’s Professional Education Team. In this role she leads the strategy for the growth and development of new and existing partnerships as well as coaches and manages a team of Partners and Associate Partners who work with leaders all across the country to contextualize and implement research-based best practices of instructional leadership in service of ensuring equitable, high outcomes for all students.
Prior to joining Relay, Meredith was a long-time New York City public school teacher, coach and leader. Meredith founded Excellence Girls Middle Academy, an all girls middle school in Brooklyn, which was awarded the National Blue Ribbon in 2016 for its focus on literacy education and female empowerment.
Meredith is a 2006 Teach For America alumna. She has a dual degree in Biology and Political Science from Lehigh University and a Masters in the Science of Teaching from Pace University. She is a proud member of the Leverage Leadership Institute. Meredith currently lives in New Jersey with her partner and two daughters.
Dr. Nichelle Bowes
Dr. Nichelle Bowes is the Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Services 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.
Dr. Nichelle Bowes
Dr. Tanisha Bynum
As Vice President, Professional Education Operations, Dr. Tanisha Bynum is responsible for the effective and efficient operations of the Professional Education team, providing strategic advice to improve partnerships, operations, and budget strategy.
For 20 years Tanisha has dedicated her career to improving the lives of others: ensuring the effective preparation and performance of educators; monitoring and providing technical assistance to nonpublic schools and institutions of higher education; and developing, designing, and overseeing the administration of federal and local grant programs - which involved establishing systems, policies and procedures to maximize efficiency and standardize operations across teams and within programs. Through her leadership, Tanisha has coached teams to ambitious results, garnering one agency national attention through the administration of one of their federal programs.
At heart, Tanisha is an educator, believing in the importance of knowledge and the power it has when shared effectively. Tanisha holds a BA and MA in Psychology, from The George Washington and American Universities, respectively, and a doctorate in Education Administration and Policy from The George Washington University.
Dr. Tanisha Bynum
As the Vice President of Legal at Relay Graduate School of Education, Jose Castro brings a wealth of experience in legal analysis, contract negotiation, and risk management. His role is integral to ensuring that Relay's operations are aligned with legal standards, thereby supporting the institution's educational objectives.
Prior to his current role, Jose honed his legal expertise in various capacities, focusing on areas such as contract law and data protection. His experience encompasses a range of legal and operational leadership positions, where he demonstrated a strong commitment to legal precision and strategic decision-making.
His educational background includes a Juris Doctor from Fordham University and a Master’s in Education Policy & Management from Harvard University. As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Jose has a deep understanding of privacy regulations and their impact on educational institutions.
Outside of his professional life, Jose is passionate about promoting educational equity and enjoys engaging with the vibrant cultural offerings of New York City. Jose is also passionate about animal care and animal rights, promoting stronger legislature for animal protection.
Dr. Rebecca Good
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. Rebecca Good
In her role as Vice President of Academic Compliance, Jessica serves Relay Graduate School of Education by providing leadership in the realms of accreditation, assessment, state authorization and regulation, federal requirements, and certification oversight. Jessica began her tenure at Relay in 2022, bringing almost 20 years of experience at hybrid and online higher education institutions.
Jessica’s past experiences in higher education leadership focused on accreditation, assessment, data analytics and data-driven decision-making, strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, academic operations, student support services, fiscal oversight, resource allocation, and interpersonal communications within institutional cultures centered around diversity, inclusion, transparency, and excellence through continuous improvement. Additionally, Jessica served as faculty member providing adult learners with the skills and resources needed to support them as they achieve their academic and professional goals.
Jessica earned her BBA in Accounting from Benedictine University, and earned a Master of Education, with a specialization in Leadership in Higher Education from Northcentral University. Jessica continued her education at Northcentral University through pursuing a Ph.D. In Education, and Jessica is currently writing her dissertation. Jessica’s professional interests include graduate education pedagogy, policy, and process and creating new pathways to support adult learner success.
As Relay’s Vice President 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 Klompus
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. Ben Klompus
Cindy Luk currently serves as Vice President, Talent Acquisition on Relay’s Talent Team, responsible for spearheading the strategies and processes to ensure our teams have mission-aligned and impactful talent to propel Relay’s vision forward. She enjoys working collaboratively with hiring managers to build their teams and helping candidates feel prepared and excited for their next career move at Relay GSE. By doing so, the talent acquisition team plays a critical role in bringing humanity into the workplace, fostering an environment of radical joy & belonging, where individuals are appreciated for who they are, beyond their professional roles.
Prior to talent acquisition, Cindy was a high school science teacher in Camden, NJ. Afterwards, Cindy transitioned into a role as a recruiter and eventually became the Director of the Talent Acquisition team at Democracy Prep Public School, a multi-state Charter Management Organization. In this position, she led the strategy for the recruitment of staff for founding, established, and turnaround schools across multiple states. Aside from education, she also was part of the Oscar Health technical recruiting team as one of their first product management & design and data science recruiters during a period of hypergrowth as a unicorn startup.
Cindy holds a Bachelors of Arts in Neuroscience & Behavior from Columbia University and a SHRM-CP. In her spare time, she finds joy spending time with her family and pets.
Dr. Sarah Marder-Eppstein
As Vice President, Teacher Professional Education, 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.
Dr. Sarah Marder-Eppstein
Nancy Olisma currently serves as the Vice President, Human Resources on Relay's Talent Team. In this role, she oversees HR compliance and works towards actualizing the team's vision of bringing humanity into the workplace, fostering an environment of radical joy and belonging, where individuals are appreciated for who they are, beyond their professional roles. Prior to her role at Relay, Nancy worked in various HR and operations roles at Explore Exceed Charter Schools and the charter management office of Ascend Public Charter Schools. Before venturing into the education sector, Nancy held various administrative and production positions at CBS Sports. During her time there, she managed an internship program for undergraduate students nationwide.
As a first-generation college graduate, Nancy passionately believes in the transformative power of education as a great equalizer. She is dedicated to ensuring students who share her background have access to opportunities that align with their individual pathways of choice. Nancy holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from CUNY Hunter College.
Outside of her professional endeavors, Nancy is an avid runner, often spotted running throughout the boroughs of New York City in her spare time.
Dr. Eneida Padró
Dr. Eneida Padró is Vice President of National Leadership Programs at Relay GSE leading the team responsible for the vision, design, and execution of national school leadership programming. This includes the National Principal Academy Fellowship (NPAF), the National Principal Supervisor Academy (NPSA), the Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute (ISLI), the Leverage Leadership Institute (LLI) and the national Instructional Leader Professional Development (ILPD). In previous roles at Relay, Eneida served as Associate Dean of Regional Support providing on-the-ground coaching and delivering professional development to school and system-level leaders.
Eneida has worked in education for over eighteen years, primarily serving communities in Dallas-Fort Worth while delivering professional development across the country and internationally. Prior to joining Relay, she was an Executive Director in Fort Worth ISD supervising a group of PK-12 school principals in the development of equity literacy, instructional, culture and leadership systems. Dr. Padró has also served as a leadership development coach and program manager in the non-profit sector. She engaged in turnaround work as a former school principal in Dallas ISD, with student progress ranking in the top 5.6% in the district and state.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. She is an alumna of the Leverage Leadership Institute Fellowship. Eneida resides in Dallas, TX, and enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband.
Dr. Eneida Padró
As Relay’s Vice President of Information Technology, Avi Popovich oversees the technology team. Avi has extensive experience in IT with over 15 years of IT leadership, across multiple industries. Prior to joining Relay, he was the Chief Information Officer and Information Security Officer of Tri-State Memorial Hospital as well as a member of their Executive Team. Avi directed key technology initiatives, including large scale EHR system projects, technology infrastructure, cybersecurity, and cloud compute adoption. Under his leadership the hospital was awarded a top technology ranking (CHIME) for several years running. He also led the expansion of a new IT team that supported Tri-State hospital’s extensive growth in recent years.
Avi holds a master’s degree in Information Technology Management – with specialization in Project Management from Southern Cross University. Avi’s technical expertise allows him to take a hands-on approach to problem solving and leading. His diverse work experience spans across multiple countries and three different continents.
As Relay’s Vice President, Data and Research, Dr. Daniel Stuckey leads efforts to facilitate program improvements through rigorous research and data-driven decision-making.
Before joining Relay in 2017, Dr. Stuckey was a teacher and school administrator in NYC and DC. Dr. Stuckey holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in the Art of Teaching from American University, and a BA in English from Tufts University. His research focuses on teacher development and the teaching workforce.
Cliff Thomas is the Vice President, Policy & 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 Whitney
As Vice President 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.
Kianti Brown Whitney
Dr. Therese Zosel-Harper
As Vice Provost, Collective Campuses, Therese Zosel-Harper oversees all aspects of teacher preparation across our campuses. Prior to her current role, 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. Her research interests include teacher recruitment, support/development and retention, and teacher evaluation policy.
Dr. Therese Zosel-Harper
- Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay Graduate School of Education (ex officio)
- Norman Atkins, President, Together Education; Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Relay Graduate School of Education
- Donnell J. Butler, Founder & President, Opportunity College
- Aimée Eubanks Davis, Founder & CEO, Braven
- Alex Hernandez, President, Champlain College
- Dave Levin, Co-founder, KIPP
- Larry Robbins, Founder & CEO, Glenview Capital Management
- David Steiner, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Institute for Education Policy
- Dacia Toll, Co-Founder and CEO, Stepmojo