Amanda Aragon, New Mexico
Amanda joined the 50CAN fellowship from the New Mexico Public Education Department as the director of strategic outreach. Prior to that, she spent six years in the energy sector at ConocoPhillips as the director of stakeholder relations. After completing her fellowship, Amanda launched NewMexicoKidsCAN in January 2018.
Atnre Alleyne, Delaware
Atnre joined the 50CAN Fellowship from the Delaware Department of Education, where he led policy and research efforts on teacher and leader effectiveness with the Strategic Data Project of Harvard University. During his fellowship year, Atnre worked with community organizations, students and parents to build a local campaign, launching DelawareCAN in January 2017.
Raymond Allmon, Louisiana
Raymond joined the 50CAN fellowship after pioneering Stand for Children’s Louisiana parent organizing efforts. Throughout the fellowship, he worked with leaders across the state and built up his understanding of the broader set of advocacy tactics that could be used to move Louisiana forward. After completing the fellowship, Raymond co-founded Boys Prep Catalyst School in Baton Rouge and joined Leadership for Educational Equity as Regional Director of Louisiana.
Eva Colen, Virginia
Eva joined the 50CAN fellowship after serving as Teach For America’s managing director of community engagement in Richmond and as state director for recruitment in Virginia. During the fellowship, Eva engaged a mayoral coalition to bring education issues to the election season in Richmond. After her fellowship year concluded, Eva launched Virginia Excels, an affiliate of the 50CAN network.
Nina Gilbert, Georgia
Prior to joining the 50CAN fellowship, Nina founded Ivy Preparatory Academy, Georgia’s first single-gender charter school. During her fellowship, Nina’s listening tour and research connected her with community leaders focused on transforming and strengthening Georgia’s lowest-performing public schools. After completing the fellowship, Nina founded EdCollab Atlanta as Chief Visionary Officer. At EdCollab, Nina uses collaboration to fuel student success with accelerated academic achievement, innovation and social change.
Elliot Haspel, San Francisco
Elliot joined the 50CAN fellowship after serving at Leadership for Educational Equity because he believed that there was more that needed to be done in the Bay Area to move education reform forward. Throughout the fellowship, Elliot explored the barriers to greater progress and concluded that one of the greatest needs was more C4 activity in key communities to break through the status quo. After the fellowship, Elliot took on the role of Director of Advocacy & Engagement for Education Matters. He now serves as a policy analyst at the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.
Jumoke Hinton, Oakland
Jumoke joined the 50CAN fellowship after serving as the director of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education. Through the fellowship, Jumoke determined a strategic plan to strengthen Oakland’s demand for equitable practices in classrooms. Jumoke completed the fellowship in September 2016 with a policy campaign to ensure equitable outcomes for students who are racially, economically and linguistically diverse in Oakland. In November 2016, she was re-elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education in District 3.
Tish Johnson, New Jersey
Tish joined the 50CAN fellowship with over 15 years of combined financial, government, legal and corporate experience. Over the course of her fellowship, Tish developed and executed an advocacy strategy around PARCC in an effort to protect high standards and change the narrative around rigorous assessments in the Garden State. At the conclusion of her fellowship, Tish transitioned to the coalition WeRaiseNJ, where she serves full-time as the coalition manager.
Arash Kamiar, Florida
Arash joined the 50CAN Fellowship after serving as partner and publishing manager for six years at MetroJacksonville.com. Through his work on the fellowship, Arash created a plan to convene charter schools serving large populations of students qualifying for Title I funding. After completing the fellowship, Arash accepted the role of director of communications at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.
Brent Kent, Indiana
Brent joined the 50CAN fellowship after serving as executive director of StudentsFirst Indiana. During the fellowship, Brent used his training to examine how advocacy can improve policy across the state and focused his listening tour on identifying the biggest gaps. After completing the fellowship, Brent was named the CEO of Connected by 25 in Indianapolis. At Connected by 25, Brent works to provide the financial, educational and social support to assist youth transitioning from the Indiana foster care system into the community.
Takashi Ohno, Hawaii
Takashi joined the 50CAN fellowship in 2016 as a Teach For America alumni and elected State Representative in the Hawaii State Legislature. During the fellowship, Takashi engaged stakeholders across the Aloha State to define key areas that a Hawaii advocacy organization needed to address. At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Takashi established the foundation for a CAN in Hawaii. Takashi will continue to serve as a partner to 50CAN and as a State Representative.
Martín Pérez Jr., Arizona
Martín joined the 50CAN fellowship most recently from his position as a fifth-grade team leader at a low-income school in the Alhambra School District. Throughout the fellowship, Martín developed a strong advocacy skillset to bring back into the classroom for his students. After completing the fellowship, Martín was thrilled to accept the position of Assistant Principal of Operations and Academic Services at Academia del Pueblo.
Seth Saavedra, New Mexico
Seth joined 50CAN most recently from the NACA Inspired Schools Network, where he served as director of talent and advancement. Prior to that, Seth spent eight years with Teach For America, serving first as a corps member and teacher at Bridgeport Public Schools before transitioning to national roles, including vice president of school systems talent matching.
Adam Schmidt, Wisconsin
Adam joined the 50CAN Fellowship from Teach For America, where he served as managing director of Wisconsin. Through his work on the fellowship, Adam was introduced to a broad set of education stakeholders in Wisconsin and developed into a local expert on education policy issues in Milwaukee. After completing the fellowship, Adam was named Director of Talent & Strategy at Seton Catholic Schools in Milwaukee, WI. There he works to grow high-quality options in Milwaukee and influence the development of the urban teacher pipeline.