Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools and See Forever Foundation Announce New Staff Appointments and Promotions

For immediate release

Contact: Eileen Bramlet



Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools and See Forever Foundation

Announce New Staff Appointments and Promotions

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2013 – The Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools (MAPCS) and See Forever Foundation (SFF) announced a number of key staff appointments and promotions today.

Chris Tessone, COO for the organization, noted “We are very excited to welcome some old friends back in senior leadership roles and congratulate some newly promoted leaders too.”

With outgoing Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lucretia Murphy departing this summer to relocate her family to Florida after a very successful five year tenure, Dr. Heather Wathington has been appointed as the new CEO following an extensive national recruitment process. Dr. Wathington will succeed Dr. Murphy starting July 1. Dr. Wathington’s background includes working with the Maya Angelou Schools over the past decade as a volunteer, board member, and as the chair of the Maya Angelou School Board.

Dr. Wathington, who has worked as a professor at the University of Virginia for the past seven years, is also a broadly published researcher and sought after speaker. She has a repertoire of experience that includes leading several large scale research projects with the National Center for Postsecondary Research funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Project TrEMUR (Transitions in the Education of Minorities Underrepresented in Research) funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wathington earned a BA from Wellesley in Religion and English (Cum Laude), an MSEd in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Michael Walker joined the organization this month as director of postsecondary success. Michael is returning to See Forever after nearly ten years in a number of higher education positions. He originally served as a technology coordinator and dean of students for the Maya Schools during the early 2000s. Michael earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland with a double major in Criminal Justice and African American Studies and his Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Trinity University.

The organization also appointed Eileen Bramlet as its new director of development and communications. Eileen has served on the See Forever Foundation board, as well as worked as a volunteer and school supporter, for the past decade. A former AOL senior executive, Eileen holds a Master’s degree in English, Journalism and French from Radford University, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and brings strong communications and development – as well as technology and business – expertise to her new position.

Finally, three of the Maya Angelou Schools will have new leaders starting July 1, all promoted from within the organization.

Sarah Navarro, formerly dean of evening programs at the Maya Angelou High School, will be the new Director of the Young Adult Learning Center (YALC) and will lead the new program into a year of major growth and development. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Ford School at the University of Michigan and brings a wealth of experience to her role in areas such as social policy, juvenile justice and working with disadvantaged young people.

Rennie Taylor has been tapped to lead the Maya Angelou Academy at a crucial point in its life as a national model program and an important support for scholars at New Beginnings. Rennie, who holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Andrews University and a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University, is a dedicated educator who is committed to working with special needs students and at-risk populations.

Harold Miles, who will step up to the role of Acting Principal of the Maya Angelou Middle School, holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Trinity University and has taught for more than seven years. He has also served as the Dean of Academics at the Maya middle school and is an enthusiastic educator who enjoys helping scholars excel in all academic areas.

Dr. Wathington stated that “All of the promoted and newly-appointed staff will add highly relevant skills and knowledge to our already-impressive family of Maya professionals. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated team that wants to see our students and young adults learn and succeed to their fullest potential.”