Cooper Conway is a soon-to-be graduate of Boise State University Honors College, where he is earning his Bachelor of Science in political science with an emphasis on American government and public policy. He is currently a contributor, commentator and speaker at Young Voices, focusing on education reform. Cooper’s writings have appeared in local, state and national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Examiner and the Detroit News. Cooper has also appeared on various radio shows, podcasts and television shows, such as The Young Turks’ Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey. Previously, Cooper has been an intern for the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, where he provided research for the Ed Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and the AEIdeas Blog.
Ashley Eden is the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for New Meridian. Charged with engaging federal, state and local stakeholders, leading a policy agenda and managing funding goals, Ashley works to expand equity in education through high-quality assessment.
Prior to New Meridian, Ashley worked in one of the most rigorous proving grounds in the country: the US Senate, where she spent years working on—often writing—provisions in some of the most important education bills passed in the last decade. During that time, she worked for Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Diane Feinstein of California, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Ashley worked closely with advocates and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft the accountability and assessment requirements that were signed into law with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Following the passage of ESSA, she moved to New Mexico to take on the task of writing the state’s education plan, one of the first in the nation to be approved by the US Department of Education and widely recognized as one of the best plans in the country.
Ashley served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary of School Transformation at the New Mexico Public Education Agency before joining New Meridian in 2019. Throughout all her roles, the mission to improve the quality of our country’s education system for all students has been Ashley’s primary motivation.
Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson and recently moved back to her hometown in Texas.
Chantelle J. Edwards (Cj) is the CEO of Undone Unbound Restored as well as an international podcast host discussing a wide range of parenting issues. An advocate for parental and community choice and empowerment in the Hoosier state, Cj previously held roles at 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and as an outreach and advocacy coordinator at the Institute for Quality Education, one of the state’s leading education reform organizations, where she frequently testified before the state legislature and participated in a variety of advocacy campaigns.
Cj is a business owner and an entrepreneur, an active member of the Urban Act Academy community, and a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Cj is passionate about empowering women and women’s issues and is a member of the Women Like Us Foundation.
Cj is a graduate of Indiana State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Communications, and is the proud mother of Emory Michael (7), Cadence (5) and Lance (3). She resides in Indianapolis, IN, with her husband, Emory, a National Voices alumnus from Cohort I.
Jared R. Francis serves as DREAM Charter High School’s Founding Principal and Managing Director of Leadership Development. As Founding Principal, he focused the school on developing highly-skilled, critically conscious and powerfully literate young people, and together with his founding team, has built DCHS on these principles from the ground up. Last spring, DCHS graduated 100% of its founding senior class, who matriculated to selective colleges across the country.
In his recently expanded role as Managing Director of Leadership Development, Jared leads the formalization of DREAM’s leadership pipeline programs and builds a vision for the training and development of their next generation leaders.
Jared began his career working in afterschool programs and later co-founded a secondary school in Brooklyn, where he served as a teacher and leader. Prior to joining the team at DREAM, Jared worked as the Assistant Principal at a turnaround charter school in Brooklyn. Jared holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from New York University. He was recently selected to be a part of the National Fellowship for Black and Latino Male Educators, and previously was an inaugural participant in TNTP’s NY Charter PLUS program. He is a graduate of the State University of New York, Empire State College, where he studied American Politics.
Jared was raised in East Harlem, the current home of DREAM Charter High School, and is a product of New York City public schools. He still resides in NYC, and in his spare time, enjoys photography, reading and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.
Aditi Goel is the Founder of P16 Partners, a social impact consulting firm, where she leverages her multisector, multidisciplinary experience and expertise to provide strategic advisory services to education, nonprofit, philanthropic and edtech clients.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, CA as the only child of Indian immigrant parents, Aditi attended some of California’s best public schools and learned at a young age how high-quality learning experiences can transform future opportunities. Aditi began her career as a Teach for America teacher. She worked at the Northwestern University School of Education before joining WestEd as part of the Regional Education Laboratory, providing data-driven research and policy recommendations to national and state leaders. She led the education portfolio at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, where she built coalitions to advocate for policy change, designed events to convene multiple sectors around public education and developed cross-sector partnerships to advance educational opportunities for California youth.
Aditi was then recruited to Google to design, launch and lead a national computer science initiative for underrepresented students called Code Next. Code Next works with middle and high school students, educators and families in Oakland, CA; Brooklyn, NY; and Harlem, NY, as well as virtually, through Code Next Connect to “cultivate the next generation of Black, Latinx and Native tech leaders.”
An active community member, Aditi serves as a Board Member for Girls Leadership (National Board), the Los Altos Education Foundation and Elevate Teaching. She has also been named as a 2021 Woman of Influence and a 2020 Top Executive in Nonprofit & Education, and received the 2019 Silicon Valley Community Impact Award.
Aditi attended University of California Berkeley and earned a BA in Philosophy with a minor in South Asian Studies. She earned a master’s degree in Education Policy & Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Pooneet, and their daughters, Ananya (14) and Amisha (11).
Daiana Lambrecht is Rocketship’s Senior Director of Parent Leadership and Advocacy, member of the DEI Council and part of the Network Executive Team. As Senior Director, she leads community engagement and advocacy nationally and supports regions to develop and execute strategies that align to our values. In addition, Daiana leads and supports the organization’s parent organizing and education advocacy across all regions. She served as an Education Organizer in San Jose with Rocketship for two years before leaving in 2016 to earn her master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since then, Daiana has returned to Rocketship.
Daiana also serves as coach for public narrative and assists with organizing workshops with Marshall Ganz and the Leading Change Network, and is Leadership Coach & Strategist with Comunidad Connects. She previously worked as a Coalition Organizer Lead with Achieve Hartford!, a program manager for Teach for China and bilingual 5th grade teacher in San Antonio Independent School District as a Teach for America Corps Member. Daiana earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Asian Studies from Penn State University.
Most importantly, she is the proud daughter of an immigrant mother and father. Growing up in an undocumented family, the transition from Argentina to Venice, Florida created many barriers for Daiana and her family. These experiences and her social justice upbringing continue to inspire her fight for education and other opportunities for immigrants and other communities of color in the US. Currently, she lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two dogs, where she enjoys evening walks, tubing in TX rivers, Argentine barbecues and eating Dulce de Leche ice cream.
Dayson Pasión is an educator and advocate dedicated to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments, where all students feel heard and seen and are equipped with the necessary tools and skills to define success for themselves.
Pasión graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in biology. During his undergraduate tenure, Pasión also enrolled in the UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching program. During his professional time with the Alamance-Burlington School System, Pasión served the community as a science teacher, STEM educator and coordinator, instructional technology facilitator and academic coach. During his time as a STEM educator in the district, Dayson was recognized as Teacher of the Year at his school, and was a finalist for the district’s Teacher of the Year. He later served as an equity specialist in the Office of Equity and Inclusion for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Dayson currently serves as the Teacher Advisor in the Office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Dayson also serves on the board of Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition (ISLA NC), is a member of Elon University’s School of Education Advisory Board for Middle Grades and is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Alamance Teacher Leadership Academy. Dayson also remains an active alumnus of the Kenan Fellows Program for Educational Leadership. He is currently a graduate student in the Education Policy and Leadership program at the American University School of Education.
Dayson resides in North Carolina with his wife, Jessica.
Travis Pillow is director of state communications at the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), where he works to elevate student-centered policies and leaders who champion them.
He started his career blogging and tweeting his way into Florida’s capital press corps. He developed a passion for education policy and joined Step Up For Students, the Florida nonprofit that administers the nation’s largest private school choice and education savings account programs. He then joined the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research organization at Arizona State University which worked to lead the national conversation about school systems’ response to Covid-19, and the innovations that arose during the pandemic.
A one-time “square peg” who spent many of his high school days skipping or suspended, Travis found an unconventional path to the University of Florida. He now hopes to inform efforts to build an education system where every child finds grace, opportunities to nurture their peculiar talents and adults who believe in their potential.
He lives with his wife and daughter in Central Florida, where they grew up. An ardent Floridaphile, he enjoys taking long walks, baking cakes and learning obscure facts about the Sunshine State.
Kate Wisniewski is Director of Programs for The Miles Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas. She designed, and now manages, the group’s Quality School Options Initiative, which is guided by the principle that every child deserves equitable access to an excellent education.
Prior to joining The Miles Foundation in October 2017, Ms. Wisniewski served as Vice President of Development at Dallas Afterschool. In this role, she helped guide the organization in the advancement of its Program Quality Initiative, partnering with local agencies and community leaders to help facilitate utilization of best practices, measure community-wide progress and increase access to quality programs for children most in need. Prior to her work at Dallas Afterschool, Ms. Wisniewski spent seven years working across the education continuum, deepening community engagement and advancing student outcomes through the execution of strategic initiatives for the University of Dallas and Great Hearts Academies charter school network. She began her career launching the inaugural programming for the University of Oklahoma’s flagship abroad campus in Arezzo, Italy, while moonlighting as a singer-songwriter. She holds a deep belief that what people have in common is much stronger than what divides them – a philosophy that has guided and fueled her roles as an education advocate, musician, wife and mother.
Ms. Wisniewski graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma and earned her MBA from the University of Dallas. She has had the privilege to serve as a Leadership ISD fellow in Dallas, Texas, and a Peabody Institute Summer Fellow with a focus in Higher Education Management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from New England, she currently resides in Colleyville, Texas with her husband, Michael, and two boys, Jack and Will.
Cris Gulacy-Worrel is the Vice President of Advocacy and Development for Oakmont Education, an organization fully dedicated to career-technical education re-engagement for students who dropped out of high school. Cris has extensive experience in charter schools, as well as educational policy, finance, development, facilities, advocacy and administration. She worked in various capacities in the education sector, including at the Ohio Department of Education, where she specialized in charter school funding, education policy and legislation.
Cris brings a unique lens to her work and that’s a result of her own experiences and proximity to the issues that the communities and students she serves face every day. Her own personal story is why her purpose will always be aligned with historically excluded students and families, and she will ensure that they have access to diverse options that work for them and their unique life situations. Cris holds a deep desire to work on influencing and impacting change within the education sector through both policy and public/private partnerships that center communities and families at all times. She dedicated her life to furthering access to options that work best for historically excluded people and communities. She knows that without centering students, families and communities, there is no long-lasting impact, autonomy or ownership for the community, thus no success for anyone.
She is a lifelong resident of Ohio and has lived in the Columbus, Ohio area since 1998. She is a proud first-generation Cuban-American and also a first-generation college student and graduate, holding an MPA from Northwestern University. She lives in Powell, Ohio with her partner and three sons who span in age from middle school to college. In her “spare time,” Cris enjoys traveling with her family, watching Formula 1 racing, hiking and spending time with any cat that will give her attention.