LEAP Team

Collaboration and connection are central to our mission. If you have a question, idea or comment, we are here to listen.

Phyllis Lockett has been dedicated to transforming education in the U.S. for more than a decade. She is currently the founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations, an organization headquartered in Chicago that connects innovation and education to transform how students learn. LEAP works directly with educators and innovators across the country to pilot, research and scale personalized learning technologies and innovative practices across classrooms and outside learning environments.

Before starting LEAP, Phyllis was a driving force behind Chicago’s charter movement. As founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, she helped raise more than $70 million to support opening 80 new public schools. Her work more than tripled the number of charter schools and drove Chicago’s first magnet school replication. She previously served as executive director of the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), a pro bono consulting firm for government agencies, helping to shape the Chicago Transit Authority’s $2.8 billion capital improvement program and the Chicago Housing Authority’s 10-year, $1.5 billion Plan for Transformation. She also held marketing, sales and business development roles with Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Kraft Foods and General Mills.

Currently, Phyllis is a board member of ASCD, an independent director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and serves as a board member on several civic organizations including The Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network and the Adler Planetarium. She is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Phyllis and LEAP have been recognized through several awards, including the Chicago Innovation Awards 2016 Social Innovation Award, and the ASU+GSV 2018 Innovator of Color Award. She earned a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

Emily Bader
Senior Director, Marketing Communications

A seasoned brand storyteller and word-of-mouth sparker, Emily gathers, shapes and communicates the inspiring stories of LEAP Innovations.

Marianne Bakia
Senior Director of Research and Evaluation

Having studied education innovations for 25 years, Marianne specializes in mixed-method evaluations of online and blended learning. She leads LEAP's Research and Evaluation team, which seeks to understand how best to help all students reach their full potential.

Jessica Bee
Events Marketing Manager

Jessica has spent the last decade marrying her PR skills with a passion for transforming the learning experience for Chicago's youth. As LEAP's Events Manager, she executes experiences that connect the broader education community to learning innovation.

Al Bertani
Senior Advisor

Al has a broad range experience in both K-12 and higher education. He has focused on leadership development, 21st century learning, system-level innovation, and professional learning design – his major focus with LEAP Innovations.

John Boumgarden
Personalized Learning Manager

John spent ten years as an educator working with a variety of public, charter, and independent schools throughout the east coast. At LEAP, John works with high schools to implement personalized learning practices to help prepare students for post secondary success.

Elaina Boytor
Research Analyst

Elaina has served as a Learning Experience Researcher at Chicago's Digital Youth Network. At LEAP, she mines for insights about how personalized learning makes education equitable and accessible.

Kelly Christopher
Development Director

Kelly has vast education experience in fundraising, program development and management, and experiential learning. A founding member of LEAP, she builds partnerships to ensure that LEAP has the support to push the boundaries of education.

Courtney Crary
Administrative Coordinator

Courtney's professional experience spans the Shedd Aquarium, Guaranteed Rate, and Chicago's theater community. At LEAP, she curates a fantastic culture by supporting internal administrative functioning and events.

Annie Dillon
Professional Learning Coordinator

As a former teacher and instructional coach, Annie has benefited from LEAP at the school level, witnessing its positive impact first hand. At LEAP, she now supports the professional learning design and facilitation.

Kristin Eng
Personalized Learning Manager

Kristin is a former Chicago Public Schools educator and administrator, who partnered with LEAP to ensure students reached their full potential at her school. At LEAP, she works to create change via our programming team.

Erin Figula
Director of Professional Learning

A former Chicago Public Schools instructional leader, Erin has experienced the transformational power of personalized learning with her students. At LEAP she helps educators create innovative teaching and learning models in their own classrooms and schools.

Jordan Gutterman
Research Analyst

Jordan has a rich background serving as an organizer of political campaigns. At LEAP, he works on research and data collection efforts to help schools and partners identify how best to support students and teachers in the transformation to personalized learning.

Anne-Michele Harrington
Chief Marketing Officer

Anne-Michele is a Brand Strategist and Brand Builder passionate about improving access to educational opportunities. Her focus is powerfully shaping, evolving and sharing the LEAP brand.

Jeneen Hatoum
Director of Programs

Jeneen brings a wealth of experience successfully leading instructional and leadership improvements at both the school and district levels. At LEAP, she continues a focused journey of innovation and equity in education.

Joseph Hemingway
Product Development Associate

Joseph is an innovator with experience across private, public and social sectors to advance learning environments, programs and products. With passion for equity-centered innovation, he supports LEAP's development and scaling of transformative tools.

Beth Herbert
Chief of Staff

Beth brings more than ten years of experience building new initiatives. She helped to launch Science in Society, Northwestern University’s office for science outreach and public engagement. A founding LEAP member, Beth has led work across the organization, from ecosystem-building, to communications, and now as Chief of Staff.

Kristen Howell
Director of Growth and Partnerships

Having been a teacher, coach and district leader in San Francisco's Unified School District, Kristen has helped advance innovative teaching and learning models. At LEAP, she now helps grow programs and partnerships with schools and districts.

Amy Huang
Senior Director of Programs

Amy has taught high school science, consulted Fortune 500 clients and managed a portfolio of schools. As LEAP's Programs Team lead, she ensures strategic alignment and resource-management, empowering her team to lead transformative impact.

Jilliam Joe
Measurement Associate

Jilliam has dedicated her career to measuring effective teaching practices. At LEAP, she provides psychometric leadership for LEAP's personalized-learning instructional and leadership competencies, and certification initiative.

Brian Johnson
Senior Manager of School Supports

Brian spent ten years as a science teacher and school principal at the innovative Summit Public Schools in California. At LEAP, he loves helping school teams figure out how to best meet the needs of their students with personalized learning.

Silvia Kosovich
Administrative Services Manager

Silvia has over 20 years of experience in senior executive administrative and office management roles, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at LEAP. As a founding member of LEAP, she is dedicated to creating opportunity for every student.

Ashley Lavore
Development Manager

Ashley's experience includes management of Lurie Children's third-party fundraising program, Circle of Friends. At LEAP, Ashley's work is fueled by providing children with the resources necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing world.

Chris Liang-Vergara
Chief, Learning Innovation

Chris brings experience teaching at all levels and types of K-12 schools in multiple countries, and advising the U.S. Department of Education, to support LEAP's innovation. He has supported school implementation and design and overseen the development of the LEAP Learning Framework.

Susan Liu
Edtech Programs Manager

Susan previously worked in financial services at Citi in New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong. At LEAP, she contributes her business experience to the education field by tackling the challenge of scaling meaningful K-12 experiences for students.

Alex Madda
Survey Administrator

Alex has an arts administration background, most recently in development for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She incorporates her experience as a theatre maker and improviser to LEAP's survey and research development.

Kelsey C. Melvin
Programs Coordinator

Kelsey C. Melvin is a lifelong coordinator, collaborator, communicator, and creator who made her way to LEAP by way of the nonprofit theatre sector. She utilizes her multifaceted skillset and experience to support the Programs team.

Daniel Molefe
Research Analyst

Daniel is a statistician, who's an expert in turning data into actionable insights, and whose work spans a wide variety of industries. At LEAP, Daniel applies his expertise to support LEAP’s mission of personalizing education.

Liana Mora
Digital Marketing Manager

Liana has a background in digital multicultural communication, and joined LEAP to elevate the voices of people transforming education in and out of the classroom. She believes in using social media for social good.

Kim Morris Lee
Director of Talent

As a People Strategist, who spent many years in management consulting, Kim has a passion for partnering with organizations to build healthy, productive work environments. At LEAP, Kim is focused on building a high performing team and great culture.

Jannette Moya
Personalized Learning Manager

Jannette is a former CPS educator, who worked with LEAP to create unique learning experiences to reach students of diverse cultural backgrounds. At LEAP, she continues to work with educators to ensure that all students have the tools necessary to succeed.

Lynnycesa Perry
Personalized Learning Manager

With over 13 years of experience as a teacher, IB coordinator and assistant principal in Chicago, Lynnycesa has witnessed first hand the positive impact Personalized Learning brings to Chicagoland students. At LEAP, she works with school teams to ensure that instruction is innovative, rigorous and equitable in classrooms.

Amy Peterson
Senior Manager of Professional Learning

Amy comes to LEAP with 15 years of teaching experience both in Chicago Public Schools and the Archdiocese; including, three years as a K-12 instructional coach. At LEAP, Amy works with the professional learning team to create and facilitate personalized learning development for teachers.

Jessica Rabie
Senior Manager, Strategy & New Ventures

Jessica has spent her career working at the intersection of for-profit and non-profit organizations, most recently as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group. At LEAP, she uses that experience to help scale the impact of our work.

Courtney Reilly
Director of Special Projects

Courtney spent 10+ years advising for-profit firms on strategy, operations, financing, and acquisitions. A passion for equal access to opportunity brought her to LEAP, where she focuses on making proven LEAP tools available nationwide.

Connie Scalzetti
Personalized Learning Manager

Connie is a former middle school teacher and instructional coach, who transformed learning experiences for her students and teachers with LEAP. At LEAP, Connie works with teachers to create learning experiences that are relevant, rigorous and engaging.

Jen Stack
Professional Learning Manager

Jen brings 15 years of passionate experience in instructional coaching, evaluating instructional practice and teaching. She works with the LEAP professional learning team to ensure educators are supported and empowered to innovate in their classrooms.

Kevin Sun
Data, Knowledge, & Insights Manager

Passionate about critical pedagogy and counter-narratives in history, Kevin has experience as an educator with the Hawai’i Department of Education. At LEAP, Kevin works with teams to streamline data indicators into actionable insights.

Barbara Uher Vijuk
Director of Administration

Barbara has over 20 years' experience directing the business functions of nonprofit organizations, many in the education space. Her three school-aged children have taught her the importance of LEAP's work.

Karlyn Wilkins
Chief Development Officer

Karlyn brings extensive fundraising leadership and management experience to LEAP from the healthcare and higher education sectors. In her role – and as a life-long learner and mom of three – she's laser focused on empowering LEAP to fulfill its vision of transforming education models to enable every learner to succeed.

Jake Williams
Manager of Data & Research

Jake brings six years of teaching experience at the elementary and high school levels. He serves as Manager of Data & Research at LEAP, overseeing data and analytics systems, and measuring program impact.

Jaya Yoo
Chief of Product

Jaya is a passionate product designer with deep experience in creating curricula for K-12 students and adult learners. She is excited to lead the development of customer-centric solutions with the LEAP team.