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Photo of Susan Shaffer

Susan Shaffer

President and Co-Founder – Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.
Executive Director – Center for Education Equity

Proud and happy grandparent, passionate and seasoned advocate for equity working for the civil rights of all people to achieve social justice. Read More »

Susan has been a nationally recognized expert for more than four decades. Her transformational work in public schools has centered on the development of comprehensive technical assistance for system wide change, training on educational equity and culturally responsive pedagogy and practice, school climate and culture, family, school, and community engagement, and multicultural gender-related issues. Currently, Ms. Shaffer is representing MAEC as a partner with the Chief State School Officers to create a State Consortium on Family Engagement, developing a CoP among seven state teams to develop a Birth to Grade 12 Family Engagement Framework. Ms. Shaffer has published extensively on gender equity, family engagement, civil rights, multicultural education, and disability. Her publications include a co-edited journal, Equity-Centered Capacity Building: Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation, and co-authored book, How to Connect with your iTeen: A Parenting Road Map. Ms. Shaffer serves on several boards, including the National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement (co-founder), School of Education, Bowie State University, MD, the MD Women’s Heritage Center, and Harmony through Education, an international NGO serving the needs of children with disabilities. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her service, leadership, and significant contribution to curricular materials on women. She holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in education from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Charo Basterra

Maria Del Rosario (Charo) Basterra

Vice President - Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.
Deputy Director - Center for Education Equity

Passionate about excellence, equity, and social justice; bilingual and bi-cultural (Peruvian American), enthusiastic photographer, nature and animal lover. Read More »

Charo is an educational psychologist with over 30 years of experience on issues related to educational evaluation, English Learners, family engagement, multicultural education, and early childhood education. At MAEC, Ms. Basterra provides day to day supervision of MAEC’s programmatic and evaluation activities. She also assists the President in overseeing fiscal affairs. In addition, she provides technical assistance to SEAs, LEAs, and schools to promote the academic achievement of English Learners, K-12. Ms. Basterra has edited several books, including Cultural Validity in Assessment: Addressing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity published by Routledge. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian Institution as Manager of Multicultural Programs and at the Organization of American States where she conducted studies on Preschool Education in Latin America. Ms. Basterra holds a B.A. from Catholic University in Lima, Peru and a M.A. in Education from Temple University. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.

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Staff

Kate Farbry

Kate Farbry

Director of Communications – Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.
Assoc. Director of Communications and Technology - Center for Education Equity

DC-area native with two young children and a strong desire to protect the vulnerable members of our planet. Read More »

Kate has over 15 years of experience working in digital communications for non-profit organizations. In her current role, she develops and executes MAEC’s communication strategy and manages dissemination channels, including the websites, newsletters, and social media. With a focus on maximizing engagement and user experience, Kate has a background in both front and back-end website development, print publication design, and email outreach. Prior to joining MAEC, Kate served as the website and outreach specialist with a national nonprofit and as an independent consultant developing websites and communication strategies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Writing from the University of Evansville, IN.

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Carol Gant

Carol Gant

Senior Early Childhood Equity Specialist - Together/Juntos

Carol holds a BS Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University and a Masters of Education from Bowie State University with a concentration in Special Education. Carol completed her doctoral coursework in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Maryland and is ABD. Read More »

Carol works as a part of the Together Juntos team in providing Technical Assistance and Training to assist the state of Maryland Department of Education in their efforts to improve early childhood services and outcomes .Carol has over 20 years’ experience in the field of early childhood special education. After starting her career as an early childhood special education teacher, Carol went on to serve as the Early Head Start and Head Start Special Education Program Coordinator for Johns Hopkins Hospital/ Department of Pediatrics and Educare of Washington DC. She later joined Bowie State University as Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education and Bethany College as Assistant Professor of Special Education.

Carol joined The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) in 2013 where she served as a Regional Field Specialist in the Migrant and Seasonal Program Branch of the Federal Office of Head Start Head and transitioned to the same position at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning (NCECDTL) in 2015 when the contract shifted from the University of Washington to Zero to Three. Carol’s primary responsibilities were to support the Office of Head Start (OHS) staff in improving their efforts to put research-based concepts into everyday practice in Head Start programs, to deliver  training and technical assistance,  provide consultation on using data collection and analysis to make changes that improve child outcomes in support of school readiness and to provide oversight of grantees to assess program performance to ensure federal school readiness requirements were met.

Carol holds a BS Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University and a Masters of Education from Bowie State University with a concentration in Special Education. Carol completed her doctoral coursework in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Maryland and is ABD.

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Nada Mousa

Nada Mousa

Program and Research Assistant - Center for Education Equity

An Egyptian-born, American raised social advocate with a passion for justice, politics, and a good old fashion joke. Read More »

Nada has half a decade years of experience working with non-profits across multiple issue areas. In her current role, she assists in analyzing, coding, and reporting on information for various MAEC projects. With a focus on developing efficient means of evolution and research, Nada has a background in both software management and academically rigorous research. Prior to joining MAEC, Nada served as a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tank and Civil Society Program. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International relations, Economics, and Philosophy from American University.

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Michelle Nutter

Michelle Gwinn Nutter

State Equity Coordinator – Center for Education Equity

Passionate civil rights advocate and dedicated educator who is committed to helping create and maintain safe, respectful learning environments for all students. Read More »

Michelle has over 25 years of experience as a teacher, Civil Rights Investigator, and trainer specializing in the reduction of hate crimes, school-based harassment, bullying, racial tension, prejudice, and gangs. As MAEC’s Pennsylvania State Equity Coordinator and the Center’s Safe Schools Manager, Michelle is responsible for multiple statewide initiatives aimed at improving school safety and reducing youth violence. She is a certified trainer for: Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Partners Against Hate, Lifelines, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. She has a B.A. in English Education from Messiah College and an M.S. in Education Law from Nova Southeastern University. Michelle is a graduate of the National Institute Against Hate Crimes and Terrorism, the Anti-Defamation League’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, and the FBI’s Citizen Academy.

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Mariela Puentes

Mariela Puentes

Program Associate

First generation college graduate who is passionate about educational equity. Washington, D.C., is the most recent of Mariela’s East Coast stops. She was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and grew up in Pomona, California. Read More »

Mariela serves as the State Family Engagement Center Program Associate for Maryland and Pennsylvania. She has been working in education both at schools and in nonprofits since 2012. Prior to joining MAEC, Mariela held several roles at a public charter school in Washington, D.C., which involved hiring teachers and staff, directing the school’s summer program, and providing training on behavior intervention strategies. Before then, she managed a middle school enrichment program for an educational nonprofit in New York City. Mariela holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, where she was also a Donovan Scholar with a focus on urban education, and a B.A. in Educational Psychology from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

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Kathleen Pulupa

Kathleen Pulupa

Communications and Administrative Coordinator - Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.

DC native with experience in communications in both the non-profit and for profit sector, lover of yoga and farmers markets. Read More »

Kathleen has over 10 years of experience working with communications in both the profit and non-profit sectors. Kathleen currently is MAEC’s communications and administrative coordinator and assists the CEO and works with the Associate Director of Communications in managing the websites, social media, e-newsletters, and designs layouts for print publications. Prior to joining MAEC, she worked in the travel industry and as a communications consultant. She earned her degree in Communications at Marymount University, VA and graduate degree in Public Communications at American University, DC.

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Kasia Razynska

Kasia Razynska

Associate Director of Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

Kasia Razynska was born in Gdansk, Poland. She graduated from The Harvard Graduate School Of Education with a degree in International Education Policy with a focus on quantitative research methods. She has 18 years of experience in the education sector and 7 years of continuous experience working on projects requiring evaluation, research design, statistical programming and data management. Read More »

Kasia Razynska was born in Gdansk, Poland. She graduated from The Harvard Graduate School Of Education with a degree in International Education Policy with a focus on quantitative research methods. She has 18 years of experience in the education sector and 7 years of continuous experience working on projects requiring evaluation, research design, statistical programming and data management. Prior to joining MAEC she worked for ICF where she served on the internal evaluation team for the Capacity Building Center for States funded through the Children’s Bureau. She is also played an integral role with the Regional Education Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (REL MA). As the REL MA Maryland State Coordinator, she used her understanding education policy and knowledge of the state to ensure that Maryland’s needs are well represented in REL activities. In her role as Coordinator of the REL Mid-Atlantic Longitudinal Data Use Research Alliance (LDURA), she advised stakeholders on implementing new data processes. She has also worked with the Puerto Rico Department of Education on numerous research and technical assistance projects and is fluent in Spanish.  In her spare time Kasia teaches English to kids in China through an internet platform.  Having moved to the U.S. from Poland at the age of 14, she is deeply passionate about ensuring access to education for all children, especially English Learners and immigrants.

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Karmen Rouland

Karmen Rouland

Associate Director of Technical Assistance & Training - Center for Education Equity

Born and raised in Petersburg, VA. As a wife and mother of small children, I am most passionate about ensuring that our schools meet the needs of all students. Through teaching, advocacy work, and research, I fight for social justice and to end inequity in education. Read More »

Karmen Rouland oversees CEE’s technical assistance portfolio. Prior to joining CEE, Karmen worked at the intersection of education policy and data at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) providing various approaches to problem-solving educational and policy issues facing DC educators and youth. Karmen has over 10 years of experience conducting research on education equity and serving as a youth mentor. Since 2006, Karmen continues to teach undergraduate and graduate-level education courses for pre-service and in-service teachers.  Karmen holds a B.S. in Psychology from Howard University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Karmen is a proud board member of Girls Prep, Inc. and is a Commissioner with the Montgomery County Maryland Commission for Women.

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Phoebe Schlanger

Phoebe Schlanger

Senior Editor and Finance Manager – Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.

Former New Yorker and unabashed grammar geek, passionate about the beauty of words and their power to affect change, and recently acquired an admiration of numbers. Read More »

Phoebe has over 20 years experience as a lawyer, writer, editor, and budget manager. At MAEC, she divides her time between finance and editing. Under finance, she manages contracts, grants, budgets, A/P and A/R. She writes and edits publications, including grant proposals. Prior to joining MAEC, she was an attorney and a managing editor. Phoebe has served on several non-profit boards, and is currently the President of the Board of the non-profit Kids’ Corner Day Care Center in Washington, D.C. Phoebe has a B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.

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Heather Tomlinson

Senior Specialist for Early Childhood and Family Engagement

eather Tomlinson has more than two decades of experience in research, policy, non-profit and international development work focusing on education, young children and families. She has published extensively, with a particular focus on low-income and marginalized populations: She is co-author of two books, including The Early Years Matter: Education, Care and the Well-Being of Young Children, Birth to 8, an invited editorial board member of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education, author of several chapters in NAEYC’s flagship series on developmentally appropriate practice and numerous policy reports and scholarly journal articles. Read More »

Heather Tomlinson has more than two decades of experience in research, policy, non-profit and international development work focusing on education, young children and families. She has published extensively, with a particular focus on low-income and marginalized populations: She is co-author of two books, including The Early Years Matter: Education, Care and the Well-Being of Young Children, Birth to 8, an invited editorial board member of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education, author of several chapters in NAEYC’s flagship series on developmentally appropriate practice and numerous policy reports and scholarly journal articles. She has worked for The World Bank, UNICEF, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the office of Senator Edward Kennedy, NIH and Research Triangle Institute, and most recently served as Co-founder and Executive Director for Roshan Learning Center and YICF, a non-profit serving refugees and Indonesians living in poverty. She has PhD and Master’s degrees from The University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.  Heather recently moved back to her hometown near Washington, DC, where she lives with her family and loves having renewed access to public libraries, sidewalks, bike and walking trails and extended family.

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Daryl Williams

Senior Education Equity Specialist

Daryl returns to MAEC as Senior Education Equity Specialist, providing technical assistance and professional development training to schools and school districts to ensure that students are given access to an equitable education regardless of race, gender, national origin (English Learners), sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religious beliefs.  Read More »

Daryl returns to MAEC as Senior Education Equity Specialist, providing technical assistance and professional development training to schools and school districts to ensure that students are given access to an equitable education regardless of race, gender, national origin (English Learners), sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religious beliefs. Daryl has an extensive background in education working with special populations and students most at risk of academic failure.  His years of educational service included roles as a classroom teacher, school administrator, director of Title I federal programs, state specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education, and as education coordinator with the department of social services. Previously, he served as Director of Race at MAEC. Prior to retiring from public education, he served as Associate Superintendent of Student Services. He continues to serve as faculty supervisor in teacher education for online master’s degree students with the University of Phoenix. Daryl holds a B.A. in Music Education from Shaw University; a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University; and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

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