Marc founded the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association in 2001. He has thirty years of experience managing and conducting educational research and advocacy and has published research in education policy. Before founding MCPSA, he directed the Student Center for Educational Research and Advocacy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where for seven years he directed research, training, and advocacy on issues of education reform. He received his doctorate in Educational Policy, Research and Administration in 1993 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Marc is the proud parent of four charter school graduates from three Western Massachusetts charter schools.
Erica collaborates with the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in shaping MCPSA’s organizational growth and priorities. She bridges education policy and practice by advocating on behalf of the charter sector to drive state education policies while serving as the MCPSA’s programmatic leader. Prior to joining MCPSA, Erica served as a charter school teacher and leader of City on a Hill Charter Public Schools, and was a founding steering committee member of the Boston Compact, which brings together educators from charter, district, and Catholic schools in Boston to improve education for all young people in the city. Erica holds a B.A. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University, and an M.A. in English Language Arts Education from Tufts University.
Oona collaborates with the Executive Director and Chief of Policy and Practice in establishing, implementing and maintaining the infrastructure to support and sustain MCPSA’s advocacy and programmatic initiatives. Oona brings nearly fifteen years of experience in senior leadership, organizational management, and legal advocacy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Laura collaborates with the Managing Director and Regional Director (Boston & Eastern MA) of the Capacity Building Network, charter school leaders/staff, and external partners to develop and implement the programmatic aspects of the Capacity Building Network. Before joining MCPSA, Laura served as an administrator at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley, MA and as the education director at a not-for-profit arts organization in Connecticut. Laura holds undergraduate degrees in Social Psychology and Visual Arts from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a Master of Education degree from Lesley University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Policy, Research and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Melissa works with the Managing Director and Regional Director (Central & Western MA) of the Capacity Building Network, charter school leaders/staff, and external partners to develop and implement the programmatic aspects of the Capacity Building Network. Before joining MCPSA, Melissa was the founding Dean of Curriculum and Instruction for Pre-Kindergarten through First Grade at UP Academy Dorchester. Melissa also served as a first grade classroom teacher with the Cumberland County School District in North Carolina. She has a BA in Fine Arts from Saint Michael’s College and a MA in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.
Julia works to engage and mobilize parents and coordinates opportunities for parents to become strong and active advocates for charter school expansion in Boston and statewide. Julia’s previous employment includes Job Specialist at Goodwill Industries, where she provided workforce development trainings for people with employment barriers and Communication/Engagement Strategist at the Center for Social Policy where she designed and implemented messaging strategies to promote their efforts. Julia has a Bachelors degree from Mount Ida College and is the proud aunt of an Excel Academy student.
Wanda works with the Chief of Policy & Practice to design and implement systems and programs to support the charter community in boosting college completion rates. Her extensive previous experience includes working with students, educators, and administrators within charter schools, community organizations, private, public and community colleges. Wanda holds a Master's of Education in Community Counseling from Boston University and received her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Lina provides strategic leadership to the Capacity Building Network. Prior to joining MCPSA, Lina served as the Associate Director of Strategy, Growth, and Advancement at Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy in Rhode Island and a Manager at Deloitte Consulting. Lina has Bachelor's Degree in Political Communication from George Washington University, a Master in Public Administration from George Washington University, and a Master in Education from the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.
Tracey plays a key role in supporting the strategic initiatives of the organization in the areas of advocacy, operations, and programs and works with the MCPSA leadership team to provide high-level project management to new and existing initiatives. Before joining MCPSA, Tracey was Chief of Staff at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and Operations Manager at Frontier Strategy Group. Tracey has a BA in Art History from Colby College, a MA in Art History from George Washington University, and an MBA with a concentration in Public & Nonprofit Management from the Boston University Questrom School of Business.
Mary works closely with the MCPSA leadership team in providing operational support and project management for Boston charter school leaders in the advancement of state-wide priorities and city-wide strategic initiatives. Her experience spans both K-12 policy — including a four-year term on the Boston School Committee — and higher education administration. Prior to joining MCPSA, Mary served as Director of Marketing for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Deirdre Riley Thomson
Working with the Director of Administration & Project Management as well as with team members across the organization, Deirdre manages all logistical and administrative aspects of MCPSA events, meetings, and programs. Deirdre has an extensive background in special events, having worked previously at PBD Events and most recently at MetroWest Medical Center in its Blood Donor Program. Deirdre holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University.