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Leadership & Board of Trustees

Broome Street Academy Charter High School graciously thanks our Board of Trustees for their support and commitment to providing our students with an ample education that is grounded in the principles of positive youth development. Their expertise and dedication to our school from the ground up provides a greater sense of stability for the entire community.

Our Leadership

Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA | Chief Executive Officer

Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Lynnette Ford, MSA | Head of School

Lynnette Ford, MSA

Head of School

Nik Brautigam, M.Ed. | Senior Director of Academics

Nik Brautigam, M.Ed.

Senior Director of Academics

Dafina Westbrooks | Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dafina Westbrooks

Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Lester Samson, MA | Senior Director of Operations

Lester Samson, MA

Senior Director of Operations

Danielle Glantz, LCSW | Director of Social Emotional Learning

Danielle Glantz, LCSW

Director of Social Emotional Learning

Our Board of Trustees

Officers

David Zurndorfer is a partner at the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP. He has served as President of the Board since BSA was chartered in 2010. David received a B.A. from Penn State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is also a member of the Board of The Door. In addition, David serves as a member of the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining.

Jeff Katzin is a Principal at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm. During his time at Bain, Jeff has led multiple pro-bono initiatives within the education sector, including working with charter schools and networks, and other education non-profit organizations. Previously, Jeff worked at Cambridge Associates, providing investment advisory support to institutional clients, including higher education organizations and other non-profits. Jeff received his B.A. from Tufts University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University.

Lauren Blum is the Chief Investment Officer of Capital Counsel LLC, a New York-based registered investment advisor. She joined the firm at its founding in 1999. Before joining Capital Counsel, Lauren was a Senior Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund where she focused on pollution prevention. She was an Associate in the Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Energy practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton. She has an A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from MIT and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Cathy Aquila is a community leader who has served in numerous capacities with various community and charitable organizations. In addition to serving on the Board of Broome Street Academy, Ms. Aquila currently serves on the boards of Breakthrough New York and the Greenwich House. She previously served as President of the Discovery Orchestra (formerly the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey) and was a longtime Board member at Far Hills Country Day School where she led their successful $22 million capital campaign.

Herb Elish is currently a Fellow for the American Future at The College Board, where he previously served as COO from 2005 to 2013. Prior to The College Board, he was the Director for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and former Chairman and CEO of the Weinton Steel Corporation from 1987 to 1995. From 1996 to 2000, Herb was Chairman of the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Allegheny General Hospital. He is also a Trustee for Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), an organization that identifies and develops exceptional poor high school students and helps them gain entry to highly selective colleges. Herb earned his B.A. from Williams College, attended Harvard Law School, and was a Federal Mid-Career Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Directors

Katie Jaxheimer Agarwal is COO of Branch Care, a NYC-based startup focused on expanding access to fertility care.  Katie comes to Branch after serving in operating leadership roles at Cedar and Maven Clinic, and she started her career in management consulting where she focused on serving K-12 education clients, including New York City Department of Education and charter school networks.  Katie holds an AB from Dartmouth College in Economics and an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University.

Mónica de la Torre is a public interest attorney who previously served as Director of The Door’s Legal Services Center.

Since 2018 Mónica has been the president of Fundacion Colibrí, a grant making foundation that invests in the people of Puerto Rico to spark transformation through informed engagement and local action. 

Formerly the Director of the Public Interest Law Center at New York University, Ms. de la Torre received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She also serves on The Door’s Board of Directors.

Stephanie Durden Barfield is the Director of Employee Opportunity at Guild, a B Corporation that connects learning institutions and providers with employers, who in turn provide their employees with tuition-free education and skills training programs. Prior to joining Guild, Stephanie served in several education positions throughout New York City including financial analyst at Success Academy Charter Schools, Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow at New York City Department of Education’s District 79, Director of Finance at Uncommon Schools, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Uncommon Schools’ New York City region, and Chief Operating Officer at Blue Engine. Stephanie received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a Master of Education in Education Leadership from The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems. She also serves as a Young Patron at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Susan Notkin is a board member at The Door, Broome Street Academy, and Foster America.

Susan served as Executive Vice President at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and oversaw the organization’s programmatic directions. In this capacity she advanced CSSP’s role in promoting progressive systems and policies that support children, youth, and families receiving the help they need within their own communities, and ensuring that public systems support safety, healing, well-being, and permanent connections for those families who are experiencing state interventions. Susan led CSSP’s Youth Thrive, a multi-year national initiative, working to promote the healthy well-being and development for all youth, with a particular focus on youth in child welfare, juvenile justice, and homeless systems.

Prior to joining CSSP, Susan was the Director for the Children’s Program at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation where she created and implemented a 10-year $50 million grant making program entitled Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. Earlier, Susan directed the Foundation’s Program for Homeless Families.

Before joining the Foundation, Susan designed the New York City Child Protective Services Training Academy for the City’s child welfare agency. During the 1980s, she held positions in the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, representing the rights of clients residing in mental health institutions and directing the state’s agenda in child abuse prevention, child protection, early care and education, and domestic violence.

John C. Quinn is a partner and co-founder of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a boutique litigation firm based in New York City. He joined the BSA Board in 2021. John also proudly serves as a member of the board of the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBTQ+ youth homeless shelter and community center in the United States, and as a member of the board of the Federal Bar Foundation. John received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Lynn Schnurnberger is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She has written about children's issues for New York magazine, Parade, Reader's Digest, and the New York Times among others and has appeared on Oprah, the Today show, Bloomberg, and CNN, among other TV appearances. A "Bronx Girl" and product of the New York City public school system, she is a graduate of the City College of New York. She is the founder of Foster Pride, a non-profit which empowers youth in underserved communities in NYC and L.A. to reach their potential through mentoring relationships and the arts. Foster Pride was named "One of NYC's Four Best Charities" by CBS.com. 

Elaine Schott is an educator and psychiatric social worker with over 30 years of experience. She has a master’s in Psychology from New York University and a master’s in Social Work from Hunter School of Social Work. She currently supervises social work interns and is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors or Wurzeiler School of Social Work.

A Vice President and Regional Director in Corporate Responsibility at JP Morgan Chase. He has managed development and support of college and career readiness for youth of color in the Eastern Region of the United States. His work includes management of internal volunteer mentorship programming and philanthropic partnerships providing workforce training and skill building for the Military Veteran community. Fernando has helped initiate and lead grant support for workforce training and military to civilian transition skill building. He served as the Co-Chair of the Advocacy and Community Partnerships Committee for the Hispanic and Latino Business Resource Group Adelante. He has 15 years of experience in access to educational equity and policy advocacy.

A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served in the United States Marine Corps. and Marine Corps. Reserve for nine and a half years where he held the rank of Staff Sergeant. Fernando is a 2018 Council of Urban Professionals Fellow, and a 2020 Coro Workforce Systems Leadership Program participant as well as a Fellow in the Association of Black Funding Executives Connecting Leaders Program. He is also a member of the Blue Star Families Racial Equity Initiative Committee and the Learning, Equity and Grantmaking Committee at JP Morgan Chase.

Alexandra C. Wood is a Vice President of Product Management at Capital One, focused on building and commercializing the next generation of software as a service. Prior to joining Capital One, Alexandra held a variety of leadership roles in digital innovation and business building, e-commerce, and global operations. A native of New York City, Alexandra earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and French from Harvard.

Honorary Board

Marlene Nadel

Charles A. Simon

Eric Weingartner

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