The Board

Meet Our Board of Directors

Beth Blaufuss

Mary Beth Blaufuss

Board Chair
Mary Beth Blaufuss (Beth) is a former English teacher who has taught in Australia, Nashville, and Prince George’s County at various private, public and religious schools. Ms. Blaufuss led Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC for twelve years. As vice-principal she implemented the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and expanded the program to include IB for all as the school’s president. She serves as the senior director for principal support for the Partnership for Inner City Education. She has served on boards at the Latino Student fund, the Harpeth Hall School, and St Anselm Abbey School. She consults with a variety of nonprofits on strategic planning, capacity building, program design and curriculum development. Blaufuss is a graduate from Yale College and received a Master’s Degree from Vanderbilt. Beth has been serving as an advisor for GGA and has extensive experience as head of school. Beth will transition from advisor to Board Chair.
Janice Parker Brown - Edited

Janice Parker

Board Vice-Chair & Parent Board member
Janice Brown Parker, M.S., CCC-SLP is a 30+-year Speech-Language Pathologist for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Parent SPA, Inc., providing counseling and training to parents of children with speech, language, and hearing problems. She assesses communication skills, evaluates the results of comprehensive plans, and documents outcomes of intervention services. She collaborates with parents, teachers, and other professionals, advocates for teaching practices, and participates in school-wide curriculum and literacy teams. She also enthusiastically supervises graduate students and clinical fellows because she understands the importance of providing guidance and support to aspiring clinicians to help them enhance their personal development and career growth. As Founder and Facilitator of Parent SPA, LLC, she addresses the role of parents in all aspects of the clinical process to increase parental involvement as informants and participants in the clinical processes of evaluation and management; and to educate parents relative to speech, and language, and hearing difficulties in children and adolescents.

Laura Bartos

Board Treasurer
Laura Bartos is a Vice President at JBG SMITH working on their Washington Housing Initiative, a platform devoted to preserving affordability for working people in communities across the region where there is a high risk for displacement. She has worked in the real estate industry for over 5 years in various investment and asset management roles across asset classes like office, senior living, apartments, and retail. Prior to a career in affordable housing, Laura worked as an 8th grade science teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina as a corps member with Teach for America. Laura was born and raised in Rochester, NY and holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and public health from Johns Hopkins University and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laura is a founding member of Level Leaders - a multiracial network of women committed to real action for racial equity. Through angel investing and authentic conversations about the racial wealth gap, Level unites powerful women from various industries and backgrounds through the common goal of uplifting businesses led by Black women. With this in mind, Laura believes in the power of a strong female network that supports women to achieve big goals in historically male-dominated industries.

Shobha George

Board Secretary
Shobha George is a solution facilitator who conducts business with a stance for equitable prosperity and relies upon 15 years of Fortune 500 project planning and implementation experience. She has effectively presented vision, perspective, or position to build collaborative environments in organizations, which include non profits, U.S. Government agencies, and corporations. Shobha is currently a Change Agent in the Value Management Organization at the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System. Financial literacy, service learning and entrepreneurship have been endeavors she supported at the Education division in USA TODAY and in her volunteer work. For more than a decade, she raised funds for the Josh Anderson Foundation as means to provide teenage suicide prevention resources in high schools throughout the nation. Shobha grew up in the DC Metro area, is a graduate of University of Maryland at College Park with a BS in Finance, and has a MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management.
Shalini Benson

Shalini Benson

Board Treasurer
Shalini Benson brings over 20 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. Shalini has served five federal agencies, all in a mission support capacity. As a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she led the finance and budget operations for the National Flood Insurance Program, a $5B enterprise; oversaw the human relations aspects of a 400+ person organization; and developed relationships with stakeholders within the executive and legislative branches. She was also the Vice President of Headquarters and Operations at A Wider Circle, a local anti-poverty nonprofit organization. Shalini holds a BA in Political Philosophy from Brandeis University and an MA in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Maureen Colburn

Board Member
Maureen Colburn is an executive with over fifteen years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and public education sectors. She currently serves as the Executive Director of JUST TRYAN IT and is skilled at working collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders to develop and grow organizations, talent systems and quality education programs. Maureen founded the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, a highly successful public charter school in Baltimore and established a network of Young Women’s Leadership Schools in NYC along with affiliate schools across the country. She holds a BA in History and Theology from Fordham University and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University.

Elaine Harris

Elaine is the Founder of Golden Rule Technology, a firm that uses new technologies, design thinking, and innovation to bring fresh solutions to issues of bias and inclusion. Prior to Golden Rule, Elaine co-founded Breakthrough Marketing Technology, a business and marketing analytics consultancy where she worked with business leaders in manufacturing, technology, and advertising using market-based insights to support strategic decision-making. She serves on the MIT Alumni Association Board of Directors and on the Board of Advisors for Diversity, a tech company in the diversity and inclusion space. Elaine holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Calvena Jordan

Board Member
I am Calvena Jordan, from Virginia by way of Richmond. I graduated from Virginia Union University in 2013 with a BA in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, I worked in the Secretary of Commonwealth’s office under Governor Terry McAulife’s Administration. As a Restoration of Rights Specialist, our office helped the most citizens in Virginia’s history to restore their civil rights; 200,000 ex convicted felons went on to vote in local, state and national elections, gain access to better job opportunities and restore other civil rights that were once revoked. My journey then took me across the country to Phoenix, Arizona where I founded a non-profit to help young girls with their interpersonal skills. This work inspired me to self-publish a multi-purpose book for girls, “Love Yo Self”, a short story to empower young girls to love and accept themselves, followed by journal pages to encourage practicing using a healthy outlet to express themselves.
Max Levasseur Head Shots

Max Levasseur

Board Member
Max Levasseur is a seasoned business professional with expertise in Technology Strategy and Operations Management. He has worked in a range of public and private arenas, including Fortune 500 corporations, the Federal Government, and innovative tech start-ups. Max is currently a Sr. Technical Program Manager in the Engineering division of Google. As a long-time resident of the DC Metro area, Max has contributed more than a decade of volunteer service to youth welfare and education in the District, including terms on the boards of a child development center and public charter schools, and time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Max is a graduate of Harvard College with an AB in Economics and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Lakisha Myrick - Edited

Lakisha Myrick

Board Member (Parent)
Mrs. Lakisha Myrick (Queen) is currently a Team Coordinator at Community of Hope and currently furthering her education in areas of Mental Health, Counseling, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Lakisha is also a certified Domestic Violence advocate. As an advocate for parents and children, she has served on many school boards, PALC and is a current Ward 5 parent leader with PAVE, advocating for parents and students to have a voice and identify resources. Lakisha’s interest in education is a result of seeing deficits in education based on economic class. She works to ensure all have resources that broaden academic and social horizons. Lakisha wears many hats such as a Missionary at church, a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, friend, Case Manager and advocate, all roles she holds dear to her heart. Lakisha uses all of these roles to support her community to not only want better but to do better as well!
Mary Anna Pendleton

Mary Pendleton

Board Member
Mary Pendleton serves as the Director of Literacy at DC Prep. As the organization’s first Director of ELA, her responsibilities have centered around overseeing and owning curriculum development, programmatic leadership, and the development of ELA leaders across all five schools. She served as a corps member with Teach for America in New Orleans. While in the classroom, Mary taught 3rd-12th grades before moving into teacher-leader roles such as ELA Department Chair and Grade Level Leader. Mary holds a BSW in Social Work from the University of Georgia and a Master of Education from American University.