Our Leaders

Dr. Heather Wathington
Robin Crawford
Marvin Harden
Maggie Kennedy
Leah Lamb
Jessika Reliford
Adriana Rodriguez
Julia Rodriguez
Anne Schoolcraft
Sarah-Jaine Szekeresh
Chris Tessone
Janel Thompson
Michael Walker

Dr. Heather Wathington, Chief Executive Officer

Heather Wathington is the chief executive officer of the Maya Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation.  The Maya Angelou Schools are a multi-campus collaboration of charter schools for disconnected youth dedicated to empowering young people to reach their potential and to transition to college, career, and a lifetime of success; the See Forever Foundation supports the schools to accomplish this mission.  Prior to her recent appointment at the See Forever Foundation, Dr. Wathington was an assistant professor of education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Her scholarship focuses on the academic achievement of low-income students and students of color in postsecondary education, with a specific focus on understanding the educational contexts, levers, and practices that promote greater academic success for these students. Wathington’s research spans the areas of college access, matriculation and persistence into higher education as well as postgraduate study and research training.  Her research has been supported by more than $2.1 million in grants from the Institute for Education Sciences, the Houston Endowment, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Wathington is an honors graduate of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has her doctorate from the University of Michigan in Higher and Postsecondary Education.

Robin Crawford, Data Specialist

Robin Crawford currently serves as a Data Systems Specialist/ PowerSchool Administrator. Born and raised in NE Washington DC. Robin Crawford attended Richardson Elementary School (Arts & Technology), Evans Junior High School (Maya Angelou PCS) and HD Woodson Senior High School. After High School she attended Computer Learning Center in Springfield, VA in 1982. Upon graduation, she went to work for American University. After years of working in the computer industry Crawford decided to make a career change and got into the world of Finance working for companies; The Special Olympics, WMATA, The State Department, The Department of Commerce and others. In 2004 she joined Friendship Public Charter Schools as a Registrar. After working for FPCS she went to work for Center City PCS as a Student Information Systems Specialist. After two years with CCPCS she left to join the See Forever Foundation/MAPCS.

Marvin Harden, Director of Information Technology

Marvin joined See Forever Foundation as our new Director of Information Technology in December 2012. He’s no stranger to the charter school community. He was the financial compliance officer as a sponsor to eight charter schools in Ohio and headed all aspects of technology while working at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, DC. Marvin also formerly owned and operated his own business, which provided IT support and desktop publishing services. His career spans over 20 years with the majority of that experience in the nonprofit sector.

Maggie Kennedy, Director of Finance

Maggie Kennedy currently serves as the Director of Finance and Administration for the See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. She has fulfilled a range of functions over the years in taking a small budding program serving 15 high-school students to a vibrant, nationally recognized organization educating over 500 pre-teens through young adults. Maggie also fulfills the role of chief administrator for the school contract with the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Previous positions include grants administrator for the City of Santa Monica’s community service grants program, director of finance for an international development organization, and director of operations for a food security non-profit. As a parent of DC school-age students, Maggie was an active participant and advocate for improving urban education. She is a current board member of IFAW, a global entity for animal welfare and conservation. Maggie earned her Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Leah Lamb, Chief Development Officer

Leah Lamb currently serves as the Chief Development Officer for the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools where she provides strategic direction and leadership for all fundraising, special events, marketing, and communications functions. She has over 20 years of nonprofit, management, resource development, and communications experience. She previously served as Chief Development Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where she led the organization through its 125th anniversary celebration. She has also worked as a Non-Profit Consultant, Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of New York City, and Director for Advancement for the New Jersey Historical Society. Leah currently serves on the Local Advisory Board of Clear Channel Communications and as a member of the board of the EnVest Fund. She is a Founding Member and former board Secretary for the VGAH Scholarship Fund, Founding Member & former Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the St. Matthew Community Development Corporation, and a member of the Board of Director for the Delta Torch Fund. Leah has been mentoring young women in various capacities for over 15 years, and she still keeps in contact with many of her “little sisters”. Leah is a Hampton University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications.

Jessika Reliford, Human Resources Manager

Jessika Reliford is a dedicated human resources professional who joined our team to manage the growing needs at See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. She completed a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Science degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at San Diego State University. Her graduate thesis examined recruitment and corporate social responsibility. At See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools she works with organizational leaders to recruit and retain stellar education professionals and support them in reaching our goal of making an impact in the lives of young people from challenging backgrounds. She is a southern California native-transplant who loves community involvement. Prior to moving to the East Coast, she implemented leadership growth evaluations and developed human resources metrics for tracking organizational improvement.

Adriana Rodriguez, Director of Data, Evaluation and Analysis

For the past ten years, Adriana Rodriguez has supported the organization’s youth work by serving in a variety of staff roles. In her current role as Director of Data, Analysis and Evaluation, she is responsible for building the infrastructure for data collection, analysis and evaluation in support of achieving our organizational outcomes. Prior to this role, she spent six years supporting the charter campuses with their college and career readiness programs, as well as guiding services for graduates. Her other endeavors include working for five years at Raising Hispanic Academic Achievement, Inc, a non-profit in Montgomery County, Maryland and serving as volunteer and board member for Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect, a non-profit organization serving Northern Virginia. She holds a bachelors degree from American University.

Julia Rodriguez, Academic Operations Manager

Julia’s passion for the mission of See Forever/Maya Angelou Schools began early on when she had the opportunity to intern at MAPCS – Evans the Summer of 2004. This experience opened her eyes to the challenges our students face but also all of the successes and triumphs they are capable of achieving. From an early age she has known that working with young people, directly or indirectly, was something that she was meant to do. Since then she has completed her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Cornell University. She has worked at Cornell’s Conference and Event Services
and with Delta-T Group, a local staffing agency. These experiences have allowed her to develop her skills coordinating large and small projects, streamline processes, and work with various stakeholders and populations. Julia has made her way back to the Maya Family, serving as the Operations Manager for the See Forever Foundation.

Anne Schoolcraft, Development and Volunteer Services Manager

Sarah-Jaine Szekeresh, Evaluation Specialist

Sarah-Jaine Szekeresh serves as Evaluation Specialist for See Forever and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. She works across school programs to develop systems of analysis for measuring programmatic impacts and to collect data for internal and external reporting. Sarah-Jaine started at SFF/MAPCS as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working on evaluation and capacity building for the after-school Enrichment program. Previous to her work at SFF/MAPCS, she served as an Environmental Organizer though the service program Public Allies Cincinnati. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati.

Chris Tessone, Chief Operating Officer

Chris Tessone is Chief Operating Officer of the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools, where he directs day-to-day operations for the organization, develops and systematizes human resource policies, and has primary oversight in the areas of financial management, technology, security, and facilities. Chris has a wide range of expertise, including experience with asset management, corporate finance, charter school facilities, human capital strategy, project management, and information technology. Prior to joining See Forever, Chris served as the Director of Finance and Operations of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a K-12 education policy think-tank, where he managed the organization’s budget and endowment investments, coordinated human capital functions, and worked on policy projects in governance and school finance. His previous experiences include serving as an Education Pioneers Fellow for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education and working for the Vagus Group in Atlanta, Georgia, and Paris, France, where he served as a management consultant in the operations practice. Chris earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian from Knox College.

Janel Thompson, Alumni Support Coordinator

Janel Thompson, Alumni Support Coordinator, joined the Post-Secondary Success team in the summer of 2014. She has come on board to assist alumni reach their post-secondary goals through career planning and counseling. Janel will be working closely with the graduating class of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Janel comes to Maya Angelou Public Charter School and the See Forever Foundation with a vast amount of experience in career preparation counseling, which includes assisting individuals to identify a right fit career path, through further education or vocational training. Prior to her current position at MACPS, she worked as a Vocational Counselor in Montgomery County, MD serving individuals who are homeless and/or low income become better prepared for the workforce. Janel completed a Bachelors of Science in Rehabilitation Services from University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a Masters of Social Work from University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is a native of the Washington DC area and currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.

Michael Walker, Director of Post-Secondary Success

Michael Walker is the Director of Post-Secondary Success with the See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools.  Michael’s primary areas of responsibility are supporting the charter campuses’ college and career readiness programs; and establishing and maintaining the organizational relationships that provide postsecondary opportunities for our graduates and alumni.  His previous positions include Technology Director and Dean of Students with SFF/MAPCS, Behavior Coach with DCPS under the DC-State Improvement Grant and Academic Coordinator with the TRIO Upward Bound programs at both the University of Maryland College Park and Prince George’s Community College.  Michael received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland with a double major in Criminal Justice and African-American Studies in 1997 and his Master’s in Educational Administration from Trinity University in Washington, DC in 2006.  He is a hard luck Philadelphia sports fan, and married with two children and a beagle.