Support Leaders Team
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Kennesha Kelly came to Kingsman Academy from Options Public Charter School, which she joined in 2012 as a Data Specialist to help redesign the school's data collection systems and monitor process and outcome measures toward school improvement goals under the Race to the Top Turnaround Model. Through the intervention program, Ms. Kelly supported the development of information systems to improve the efficacy of student performance data, increased validity and reliability of assessments to improve data driven instructional strategies, and established baseline measures to evaluate the effectiveness of school wide programs. Ms. Kelly continued to support school turnaround initiatives at Options PCS as Chief of Staff for the 2014-2015 school year by managing special projects and leading key school improvement programs through collaborative strategic planning and supporting the deliverables of school leadership.
Ms. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Anthropology and Afroamerican Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Emily Olive Hernandez
Data and Compliance Manager
Emily Olive Hernandez is a Chicago Native with interests in working with at-risk youth of Urban communities. She has experience working as a Case Manager for unaccompanied youth at a detention center. Emily served as a mentor and worked directly with community organizations throughout the city to decrease gun violence and increase protections among Chicago's at-risk youth. Before Kingsman Emily was working with a School Information System as a Technical Service Engineer. She worked with schools all around the world to help implement systems to help their school run more efficiently. She began at Kingsman Academy as a Data Specialist and then transitioned into the position of Data and Compliance Manager.
Emily received her bachelor's degree with honors from Northeastern Illinois University where her major was Justice Studies and a specialty in Psychology.
Strategic Initiatives and Finance Coordinator
Rachel Grich, originally from the Bay Area, found her passion for working toward education equity when she tutored at Roxbury Preparatory Charter in Boston school while in college. After graduating, started her career as a project management and process improvement consultant for both public and private sector clients. Rachel decided to attend graduate school to gain knowledge on using her skills to further the mission of organizations pursuing education equity. She started her journey at Kingsman Academy as an Education Pioneers Summer Fellow in 2018 and continued as a consultant until was hired in a full-time role as the Strategic Initiatives and Finance Coordinator in June 2020.
Rachel received her B.S. in Finance and Political Science from Northeastern University and her MBA and MPP from Georgetown University.
Director of Operations
Derek J. Deane has worked in public education for 26 years and has been with Kingsman Academy Public Charter School for five years. Mr. Deane began his educational career as a Social Studies teacher at the secondary level and was privileged to teach across all spectrums of the curriculum. In 2004, Mr. Deane began his ten year coaching career and led his team to a 2011 City Championship. Mr. Deane has served in many capacities ranging from Athletic Director, Program Director, Assistant Principal and his current position of Director of Operations.
Mr. Deane believes that having a support system is paramount to anyone’s development. Mr. Deane’s support system consists of his wife Abi, his daughter, Schuyler, and his two sons, Derek Jr. and Benji. Mr. Deane is a loyal alumni of Virginia Tech University and was born and raised in the cardinal state of Virginia. He lives now in Silver Spring Maryland and is still active in youth sports and other community based activities.
Program Director - R.I.S.E.
Katrina Foster came to Kingsman Academy Public Charter School after more than two decades in the human services arena as an Adjunct Professor, Inclusion Teacher, Correctional Officer, Program Manager and Special Education Compliance Coordinator. With a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Education, she has been able to fulfill her childhood dream of making a difference in the lives of as many children as possible through education. She is the Program Director for Bridging The Gap (BTG) and Raising Individual Scholars toward Excellence (R.I.S.E.) here at Kingsman, supporting staff and creating a inspirational learning environment for scholars with hopes of developing in them the capacity to become productive citizens and well-rounded individuals.
Program Director - Odyssey, ace360, and Bridging the Gap
Zarmina Hotaki grew up in Northern Virginia and has worked in education and counseling for the last 18 years. She has served as an assistant principal, principal, and dean of academics in schools in Virginia and internationally. Ms. Hotaki has also supported learners in an acute care psychiatric hospital in Virginia. She holds a BS in psychology and an MA in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University as well as a graduate certificate in mind, brain, and teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at East Carolina University.
The quote by Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” epitomizes the principle that guides Ms. Hotaki's educational decisions. She believes that we are, by default, entrusted to guide the developing minds of our students through their educational journeys and to help make dreams come true. Ms. Hotaki is a part-time driver and chef for her four kids, and this is the job she is most proud of. In her spare time, she likes to read, cook and spend time with family.
Program Director - Middle School
Vonetta Long has 20 years of experience in education, having started as a teacher of kindergarten, third, and fourth grade. Ms. Long has a long history with Kingsman Academy, where she has worked as an intervention specialist, special education teacher, Middle School Dean of Students, and Special Education Coordinator. She truly loves educating, supporting, and making a difference in her students’ lives.
Ms. Long holds a B.S. in elementary education from Delaware State University and an M.A. in education and human development from The George Washington University. She provides staff professional development for secondary transition, special education, family engagement, and positive behavior intervention.
She is a proud parent of one daughter, who is majoring in physical education at Norfolk State University. Ms. Long loves spending time with her family and friends and loves traveling, good food, and dancing. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.
Malik Carson is an Intervention Coordinator for Kingsman Academy Public Charter School. He is a native Washingtonian and proud father of two. He has worked in behavior intervention for over 17 years. Mr. Carson got his start in the intervention and therapeutic field while specializing in targeted interventions with adjudicated youth. He went on to work in a variety of capacities, including residential facilities manager and counselor, with at-risk youth in the Metropolitan DC Area. After working within the private school sector, he was sure that working in a school setting was the best way that he could use his passion for working with youth to effectively influence and change the lives of the District's youth.
Mr. Carson has held various positions at Kingsman Academy from Dean of Students to Director of Interventions. One of his most rewarding positions has been serving as the Head Coach for the Championship Girls Basketball team. Mr. Carson's leads staff through a "roll-up your sleeves mentality".
Mr. Carson's goals within the public charter school sector includes the empowerment and increased resiliency and tenacity of young adults. Mr Carson has been able to utilize several different techniques in his various roles; however, he has a special affinity for using proactive behavior interventions in a school setting.
Shanise Butler, a Louisiana Native, has a passion for student support and empowerment in urban school systems. After over a decade of working in schools, Ms. Butler has honed her skill set to focus on supporting student growth and development through innovative strategies of re-engagement in education and building authentic learning communities.
A proud double alumna of the illustrious Howard University, Ms.Butler received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s in Social Work with the highest university honors. As a founding staff member of Kingsman Academy, Ms. Butler developed a program to support one of the most vulnerable and underserved student populations in education: overaged and uncredited youth. Ms. Butler strongly believes that students can grow and achieve in a nurturing learning environment that is responsive to each student’s specific and ever-changing needs. As the Intervention Coordinator for the RISE Program, Ms. Butler strives to empower students to become self-sufficient and productive members of society.
Stevenette Sayeh is a native of the West African Republic of Liberia. She has resided in the United States for the past 26 years, with 18 of those 26 years as an educator. She spent was a classroom teacher for 11 years and has already served as an Instructional Coach, Assistant Director of Academics, and, presently, Co-Director of Academics. Ms. Sayeh joined the Kingsman family at its inception in the 2015-2016 school year. At Kingsman, she devotes her time to the development of teachers, spending most of her day in classrooms, where she engages in real-time coaching and mentoring. She also conducts professional development for teachers based on their needs.
Ms. Sayeh has a varied educational background, with three years in medical school (A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, West Africa), bachelor of science in general science (Cuttington University, West Africa), bachelor of science in clinical lab science (Rhode Island College) and a masters in physics education from George Washington University. Outside of education, Ms. Sayeh has worked as a behavior therapist and a clinical lab technician. A very important aspect of Ms. Sayeh’s life is family. She has one son who is majoring in literary studies and a very large family consisting of 7 sisters and 15 brothers. She enjoys spending time with family and also doing community outreach for her local church.