Our Team

Staff

Nancy Lewson Kurz​

Chief Executive Officer

Amy Kolz

Chief Schools Officer

Esosa Ogbahon

Superintendent

Geraldeen Licurse

Chief Financial Officer

Jennella Young

Chief Program Officer

Keisha Rattray

Managing Director of Teaching and Learning

Pascale Artamin

Senior Director of Operations and Compliance

Andrea Hill

Director of Grants and Research

Sonia Ortiz-Gulardo

Director of Parent Engagement and Community Outreach

Brian Stemmer

Director of Finance

Wendy Silva

Human Resources Manager

Anadely Ortiz

Purchasing Coordinator

Andres Lema

Accounts Payable Specialist

Sasha Miller

Assistant Director of High School and College Success

Bria Baptiste

Data and Program Coordinator

DeAllen Oakley

Facilities Manager

Alex Lam

Senior Data Associate

Anthony Bhimsain

Senior Data Associate, All Schools

Alyssa Kelly

Director of Special Projects

Jessica Sadev

Director of School Support Services

Renato Muguercia

Technology Support Specialist

Board

Nancy Lewson Kurz, Chair
Beginning with Children Foundation

Travis Baird
Maverick Capital Foundation

Michelle Brooks
Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners

Chris Gaulin
Ashler Capital

Deborah Goldfarb
Barclays Capital

Eric Hoffman
Centerbridge Partners

Kofi N. Kankam
TRANSFRVR

Marshall King
Gibson Dunn

Erasmo Montalvan
Microsoft

Founders Joe and Carol Reich

The principles we were building our school on, presented something potentially huge in education reform. These principles-parental choice, freedom to operate in a manner consistent with the needs of specific children, parent involvement, longer school days and a longer school year, merit compensation for teachers-could be a game changer for children of poverty. It was the growing sense of this possibility that re-energized us and gave us the strength to push on, for as long as necessary.

We both shared a common and basic belief: families of means can afford to send their children to private schools or relocate to an affluent neighborhood where public schools have greater resources. The poor cannot. We recoiled against this injustice. We made it our own struggle.

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Nancy Lewson Kurz

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Lewson Kurz provides overall strategy and direction to BwC. Ms. Lewson Kurz received an Ed.M. in Education Policy from Teachers College with concentrations in charter schools and education equity. Previously, she was an advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office and a Deputy Commissioner for Legal and Legislative Affairs at the Department of Environmental Protection. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, she practiced law at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, founded the Urban Environmental Law Foundation and was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany.

AmyKolz

Amy Kolz

Chief Schools Officer

Ms. Kolz manages the operations, strategy and growth of BwC schools. Previously, Ms. Kolz served as the chair of the Board of Trustees for Community Partnership Charter Schools Education Corporation. She has worked in investment banking and equity capital markets at Goldman Sachs, business journalism at The American Lawyer and as an entrepreneur in culinary arts. Ms. Kolz received her Bachelors Degree in Economics from Duke University and has completed coursework at New York University and the Institute of Culinary Education.

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Esosa Ogbahon

Superintendent

Mr. Ogbahon manages the academic and instructional practices for BwC schools. He is the founding Principal of Beginning with Children Charter School 2 and has worked as an elementary school teacher and school leader. Previously, Mr. Ogbahon was part of the founding teaching team at Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School. He has also served in the capacity of Assessment Coordinator and Curriculum Director at various schools. Mr. Ogbahon graduated from Bucknell University majoring in Economics, received his Masters in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College and completed a second Masters at Teachers College, Columbia University.

GeraldeenLicurse

Geraldeen Licurse

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Licurse manages the financial operations and technology of BwC and the schools in BwC network. Ms. Licurse oversees all aspects of financial accounting and reporting for the four organizations. Previously, Ms. Licurse was a manager with Goldstein Golub Kessler, LLP certified public accountants and consultants. During this time she oversaw audits, and performed compliance and consulting services for not-for-profit organizations nationwide. Ms. Licurse received her BA in Accounting and Information Systems from City University of New York, Queens College.

Keisha Rattray

Managing Director of Teaching and Learning

Mrs. Rattray is the Managing Director for Teaching and Learning, in her role she provides leadership support, and technical assistance to district and school staff relative to assessment, curriculum, and instructional methodology. Prior to joining BwCF, she was the Director of Program Strategy and Delivery, Northeast, at NTC, the New Teacher Center, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to disrupt the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students, from preschool through high school, by accelerating educator effectiveness. Keisha provided oversight to NTC’s teacher induction, instructional coaching, and school leadership programs in the Northeast. Keisha began her career as a public middle school teacher in Harlem and has held several instructional leadership roles. In 2010, she became the Founding Middle School Director of Community Partnership Middle School. Keisha graduated from Long Island University majoring in Sociology and Secondary Education, and received her Master’s in Education from Bank Street College of Education. As an educator and life-long learner, Keisha understands education as activism and uses her passion for the work to inspire fellow educators to reflect on their practice and to “be the change” they wish to see.

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Andrea Hill

Director of Grants and Research

Andrea manages institutional funding sources for BwCF, as well as data management & reporting processes for the Legacy Network. Andrea comes to BwCF from the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, where she oversaw all of the national office’s performance management & data reporting efforts, and at the NYC Department of Education, where she worked for the After School Professional Development Program. Andrea received her BA from the University of Chicago in Political Science, and holds an MS in Government Analytics from Johns Hopkins University.

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Sonia Ortiz-Gulardo

Director of Parent Engagement and Community Outreach

Ms. Ortiz-Gulardo provides parent engagement and community outreach services for BwC. The founder of the BwC Alumni Program, previously Ms. Ortiz-Gulardo was the Founding Principal of Beginning with Children Charter School. She has worked under Mayor Koch’s Administration as the Assistant Director for Early Childhood Education, and has served as a classroom teacher, staff developer, and Director of Bilingual Programs in East Harlem. She serves on the boards of the READ Foundation, Literacy, Inc and ReConnect. Ms Ortiz-Gulardo received a BS in Sociology and a MS in Education from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

BrianStemmer

Brian Stemmer

Director of Finance

Mr. Stemmer manages the financial accounting and reporting for BwC and the network schools. Additionally, his responsibilities include all aspects of business management, human resources and benefits for the BwC network. Prior to joining BwC, Mr. Stemmer was the controller for a privately held precious metal jewelry manufacturer. He received his Bachelor of Accountancy from George Washington University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Wendy Silva

Human Resources Manager

Wendy Silva is the Human Resources Manager. She handles employee inquires, employee relations, and benefits for school staff. Previously she was the Human Resources Administrator at Forrest Solutions. Wendy has a BBA in International Business from Iona College and an MBA in Human Resources Management from American Intercontinental University. Wendy is an avid tea drinker, and always has a book handy.

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Renato Muguercia

Technology Support Specialist

Mr. Muguercia is responsible for providing information technology support to schools in BwC network. Prior to joining BwC, Mr. Muguercia was a Systems Administrator and a Technical Trainer for six years at Etek Training in New Jersey. Mr. Muguercia is a Microsoft certified trainer and holds the following certifications: MCSE, MCITP, CRM 4.0, Great Plains, Sharepoint 2010 and Microsoft server virtualization. He has an AAS from Borough of Manhattan Community College and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree from Monroe College.