OUR TEAM

Our team expects a lot from each other, and we will expect a lot from you. We are committed to learning continuously and taking responsibility for our personal and collective experiences. We seek to cultivate and create spaces of joy and restoration, while nurturing resilience for what can be complex and confusing work.

Principals

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CO-FOUNDER & WELLNESS LEAD

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gina is the co-founder and wellness lead at REthinc, guiding leaders in navigating the challenging work of change and holding healing space on this journey to true freedom for all.

gina is a medicine woman, sound healer, vocalist, composer, and grief doula from Brooklyn, NY. gina began her walk with spirit and music at age 9, singing in the choir and attending grief circles in her family’s Pentecostal church in Apalachicola, FL. She worked in regional theater before touring internationally with Harry Belafonte as his featured vocalist. gina created the role of “Sarabi”, in the original Broadway production of “The Lion King”, has worked on two Spike Lee joints (Livin’ Da Dream and Chiraq) as actor and on-set healer. gina travels the world with her music she calls Folksoul and holds sound healing circles in every city she visits, from Kigali, Rwanda to Atlanta, GA. She also offers circle and private session work online with community from South Africa, Australia, and Africa. In 2020, gina received a Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Seminary for her many years of artistry and activism. 

gina teaches folk about the inexhaustible power of the human voice, and the medicine of intentional sound. She shares that we may use our voice to shift narratives, creating opportunity for agency and personal sovereignty.
 

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CO-FOUNDER AND CEO

Kate Gerson

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Kate is the CEO and co-founder of REthinc. She focuses on providing the strategy, coaching, training, and analytics that companies and leaders need in their work to create truly inclusive and healthy workplaces. Kate has been the architect of successful organizations with scaled impact, large-scale professional learning events, comprehensive content builds, and transformation opportunities for organizations and systems concerned with confronting racism and inequity. Kate was the founding CEO of UnboundEd, where she drove conversation about race in education reform and build relationships with system leaders, philanthropists, and organizations across the country. At UnboundED, she led the development of the Standards Institute, which offers a range of learning experiences grounded in the intersection of high standards, teaching, learning, and unconscious bias that adults need to close the opportunity gap caused by systemic bias and racism.  This work has been adopted by countless organizations and systems across the US. Prior to her work at UnboundEd, she was a Senior Fellow at the Regents Research Fund, where she led New York State’s academic projects (EngageNY), and built a free K-12 curriculum and training strategy that changed the direction and priorities of systems and major textbook developers nationwide. Previously, she was Executive Director at New Leaders, a national non-profit recruiting, training, and supporting urban school leaders.

 

Kate was the founding principal of a renowned high school in Redhook, Brooklyn which modeled a better way to support and serve over-aged, under-credited students. Kate began her career as a teacher - as her parents did before her.

 

Kate resides in The Upper West Side in Manhattan, which sits on the original homelands of the Munsee Lenape Nation. She lives with her two daughters where they welcome cats, cousins, and friends into a busy, but cozy, home.

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CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER

Sam Hoare

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Sam is the President and Chief Program Officer of REthinc. She ensures the programs and products REthinc develops and delivers lead to greater equity, inclusion, and impact in the workplace.

Most recently, Sam led efforts to collaborate with families, community organizations, school district and school leaders, and other critical supporters of the work to end educational inequity as Teach For America (TFA) Miami-Dade’s Executive Director. In addition to that role she took on leading Virtual Summer Teacher Training Institute. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she led efforts at TFA to quickly pivot from 19 in-person residential teacher training Institutes ranging in size from approximately 50 to 350 teachers, to one national virtual teacher training Institute developing 3,000 incoming teachers who went on to teach in urban and rural communities across the United States of America. Sam began her career as a Spanish teacher in the Mississippi Delta, subsequently developing and launching a Developmental English program at a community college in Belize, where she has dual citizenship. She went on to coach teachers, eventually leading programmatic efforts for novice teachers at Teach For America in Mississippi and Miami.

 

Sam earned her undergraduate degree in public policy from Duke University, a master’s degree in Caribbean History from the University of the West Indies, and an MBA from Florida International University. She has sat on the City of North Miami’s Quality Education Advisory Board and been selected as a member of Radical Partners’ Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the Miami Foundation’s Miami Fellows Class X and Leadership Florida’s Connect Class X. A Miami native, Sam’s connection to the community fuels her leadership of a network of over 700seven hundred leaders committed to educational equity and expanding opportunity for every student.

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CO-FOUNDER & K-12 LEAD

Kenan Bishop

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Kenan is the education lead for REthinc overseeing the K-12 programming for DEI work. Focusing on the strategic moves, teaching and learning continuum, and mindsets necessary to nurture diversity, equity, and inclusion for districts, and networks, in order to build a transformed antiracist society.

Kenan has served as an executive in a turnaround public school district in Ohio as the Chief Equity and Achievement Officer, where he and his colleagues redefined public education and saw explosive academic growth raising the district’s Gap Closing grade from an F to a B in a single school year.  Previously, Kenan served within high-performing charter schools in Northeast Ohio, leading teams as the founding Executive Director of the Akron & Canton Preparatory Schools within the I CAN SCHOOLS Network. In this role, their Canton campus outperformed the county in their first year of operation. Kenan has been involved within the greater educational equity conversation as a Standards Institute facilitator with UnboundEd, Men of Color in Educational Leadership (MCEL) contributor, Carnegie Institute of New York Curriculum Convening participant, and panelist and facilitator at universities and civic organizations.

 

Kenan holds an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction from Kent State University of Kent Ohio and B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Pan African Studies and Fine & Professional Arts from Kent State University and lives in what was originally the Kaskaskia Territory.

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PARTNER

Brandy Nelson, Ed.D.

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Brandy is currently the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction in a large urban school district, serving over 141,000 students each year. For over 24 years, Brandy’s passion has been to eradicate injustice and racism. Her work is grounded in race studies, equity, executive leadership, standards-aligned instruction, teacher preparation, and equity-based coaching.  She has supported clients across the country, from California and Colorado, to Florida and Massachusetts. Brandy started her career in Bronx, NY as a middle school math teacher before serving as a school leader, executive coach, and district executive.  Brandy holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Salem College, a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Doctorate of Education from North Carolina State University.  She calls Charlotte, NC home, which sits on the land of the Catawba Indian Nation, where she lives with her husband and enjoys spending time with family, friends and her dog.

Facilitators

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Hector Calderón

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For over 25 years, Hector has been a dedicated educator, coach, and activist working to create liberatory spaces where people can become fully human in body, mind, spirit, and community.  He is a skilled Racial Justice facilitator that worked with hundreds of education leaders, activists and some celebrities to create a more just world. Hector is the co-founder and former Principal of El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, the first Human Rights High school in the nation and a nationally recognized model for culturally responsive, racially equitable, and community-driven education.  Hector is a member of New York State’s My Brother’s Keeper Blue Ribbon Committee. A graduate of Long Island University, He lives in Queens with his family which sits on the land of the Lenape Nation. 

Elliot Smalley

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Elliot is the former superintendent of the South Carolina Charter District. Under his leadership, the district increased its graduation rate by 23 points in four years—the highest increase the state—and boosted the percentage of students of color from 28% to 40%. Prior to that, as Chief of Staff, he helped to launch Tennessee's Achievement School District, and he was the Deputy Superintendent in the Charleston County School District. He is a Pahara-Aspen and Broad Academy Fellow and a member of Chiefs for Change.

 

In his spare time, Elliot loves being outdoors with his family--wife Rebecca and kids Cooper, Benton, and Harper. He resides in Charleston, SC, which occupies the original homelands of the Kusso-Natchez, Edisto, Stono, and Kiawah Nations.

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Marc Etienne

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Marc Etienne has over 20 years of experience working to ensure students of all backgrounds maximize their potential regardless of their circumstance or context, by developing the capacity of teachers and leaders to improve their students’ academic performance. He currently serves as an Instructional Leadership Executive Director (ILED) for Baltimore City Public Schools where he supervises a network of fifteen school communities consisting of over 7,000 diverse students and families. In 2017 he launched Etienne Education LLC and has designed and delivered professional development for graduate schools of education, multi-district learning communities, individual schools and organizations across the country on topics of school leadership, (DEI) diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

In 2020 he was appointed to the founding Board of Directors for The Lion’s Story, a non-profit organization that works across all age groups to leverage the power of storytelling and racial literacy skill development, with the goal of promoting emotional and relationship health.   Marc is an alum of New Leaders for New Schools and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo, and a master’s degree from the City University New York Baruch College. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., is happily married, and with his wife Rachel is raising three children in Howard County, Maryland, which sits on the land of the Piscataway Nation.

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Chrissy Heyne

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Chrissy is a consultant who specializes in management and leadership coaching.  She started her career in Phoenix, Arizona as a 3rd grade teacher, and eventually landed in a role leading teacher leadership and development.  She has led diverse teams through massive transitions, across many stakeholders, inviting multiple perspectives as a means to genuine collaboration. She believes in interrogating who gets a voice and a seat at the table, and in the ways in which her own identity impacts her leadership. She currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI, which sits on the land of the Odawa Nation, with her two kids. 

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Marietta Williams

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Marietta Williams is the founder and owner of Above and Beyond Education Consulting. 

She serves as the Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction (ADCI), with a staff of over 100. One of her passions is facilitating educational leaders. She recently spoke to a group of school leaders, district administrators and superintendents at the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) second annual statewide equity event, “Equity in Action: Strengthening Teaching, Leading and Learning in Unprecedented Times – A Virtual Unconference.” She currently serves on the diversity committee at Seton Hall University. 

Marietta is a graduate of the Principal Rapid Orientation and Preparation in Educational Leadership (PROPEL) Program in South Florida. She was an Assistant Professor of Practice in New York City, where she taught Effective Teaching Strategies I and II. Before becoming an ADCI, she was a lead district coach, a principal designee, a school coach, a leader in the Leader Career Continuum Program, professional development facilitator for the District’s Standards Task Force, and an elementary teacher for over a decade. Lastly, she has completed her School Superintendent Internship in New Jersey and aspires to one day open her own school. 

Marietta is originally from the beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica, which sits on the original homelands of the Taino. She loves to travel and learn about different cultures in the Caribbean.

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Shanita Rapatalo

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Shanita Rapatalo is currently an independent education consultant, specializing in literacy, and co-owner of The Rapatalo Group, LLC. For the past 18 years, she has worked in district and charter schools in New York City and Washington, DC. as well as NYCDOE central office and education non-profits. Researcher, teacher, disruptor, and advocate for equitable instruction, she has held positions from classroom teacher to instructional borough coach. She received her BS in Biology from Trinity College, and MSE in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a graduate certificate for School District Administration (SDA), both from Fordham University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a fellow disruptor, and two daughters.

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Scott Richards

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Scott is currently Executive Director with Teach For America based in Sacramento, California and leads a region with a network of over 500 education leaders working alongside students and families in the rural and urban San Joaquin Valley as they pursue a radically different future in education. His work with Teach For America began as a teacher coach before leading programmatic efforts for new teachers and alumni in Miami, Florida. Scott started his work in education as an 8th grade Algebra teacher in East San Jose after living abroad for nearly 10 years working in rural communities in the Central and Southern Philippines. This involved years working with Barangay Councils and Sangguniang Kabataan to expand access to economic and educational opportunities. Today, he and his wife, along with their four boys, continue volunteer work with schools in the rural Philippines, and in their free time enjoy hiking, trips to the beach, surfing and random, spontaneous travel.