Jill Nelson


Jill Nelson (she/her) is a finance and human resources leader, whose passion is to further an organization’s mission through thoughtful stewardship of its assets, both financial and human capital.

Jill is the Chief of Finance and Operations for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc., the leading provider of homeless youth services in the DC Region. Through the holistic integration of its Pillars of Opportunity, Sasha Bruce provides safe homes, life skills, and workforce development to meet the unique needs of homeless youth. As CFO, Jill leads the finance, operations, and human resources departments.

Previously, as CFO of Education Week, the nation’s premier publication about K-12 education, Jill was an integral member of the senior leadership team that transformed Ed Week from a traditional print publisher to a much more entrepreneurial digital media company.  In this role, she helped shepherd the launch of several new products, including EdWeek Market Brief, Education Week’s business intelligence service.  During her 15 year tenure, she built a strategic human resources department that serves Education Week’s diverse staff of 100, supporting its highly engaged staff and high-performance culture resulting.

Prior to Education Week, Jill was the Vice President, Finance and Administration, of a technology start-up, where she played a key role in raising $10 million in private equity, corporate, and bank financing, and participated in successful merger negotiations with Immersion Corp, a publicly held company.

Jill has an MBA from Babson College and a BA from Gettysburg College.

Carol Kelley

Vice Chair

Carol L. Kelley (she/her) currently serves as superintendent of Princeton Public Schools, which is a PreK – 12 school system with 3,900 students (Princeton, NJ). Prior to joining PPS, Carol L. Kelley spent six years as the superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 (Oak Park, IL) and three years as the superintendent of schools for the Branchburg Township School District in New Jersey. She has also help teaching and administrator positions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Her career is guided by a deep commitment to equity-centered systems change to address racial, economic, and academic disparities in education. With key stakeholders she created a vision for Oak Park Elementary School District 97, creating positive learning environments that are equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child. This vision guided her work to improve the systems, structures, and processes to support staff development and student success.

Considered a thought-leader and speaker for several organizations, and she has received recognition for her professional work and contribution to education from various organizations and groups, including the prestigious “Governor’s Teacher” award from the state of New Jersey.

She received her bachelor’s degree in System Engineering and doctorate in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Currently she resides in Montgomery Township, NJ and she is the proud mom of two sons, Jordan and Austin.

Almi Abeyta

Almudena (Almi) Abeyta (she/her/ella) has spent 25 years working to improve teaching and learning for students in urban education. Almi grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a proud product of public schools.

Prior to her appointment as Superintendent of Chelsea Public Schools, she worked as an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in several districts: Somerville Public Schools (2017-2019), Santa Fe Public Schools (2012-2017), and Boston Public Schools (2009-2012). In 2015, she was awarded the first Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Latina Administrator of the Year award.

Almi was the principal of the Donald McKay K-8 School (McKay) in Boston Public Schools from 2004-2008. She led the McKay to improvement by focusing on data to improve instruction. Her work is documented in Data Wise in Action: Schools Using Data to Improve Instruction. After four years of leading her school, the McKay was recognized by the Mauricio Gastón Institute, an institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, as an exemplar for educating Latino students. In 2007, El Planeta, the largest circulated Spanish newspaper in Massachusetts and New England, named her among the 100 Most Influential People in the state’s Hispanic Community. Before becoming a principal, Almi taught kindergarten.

Almi completed her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Stephanie M. Johnson, NBCT

Stephanie M. Johnson (she/her) is a certified administrator and National Board Certified Teacher currently teaching second grade in Columbia, SC. A native of Sumter, SC, she obtained an undergraduate degree in English, a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of South Carolina, and a Masters in Executive Leadership from Gardner-Webb University.

Stephanie has earned national recognition as an educator, including as a 2018 Lowell Milken Educator Fellow for Unsung Heroes and as one of five educators across the country to receive the 2017 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. She has served in a range of professional leadership roles beyond the classroom. Currently, she acts as chairperson of the National Education Association’s Women’s Issues Committee and a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee, on the Executive Board of the South Carolina Education Association, and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Kevin Gilbert

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Howard County Public School System (Howard County, MD)

Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert (he/him), has been in education for 24 years and currently serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in Howard County, Maryland. Prior to his arrival in HCPSS, he served as the coordinator for teacher leadership and special projects with the Clinton Public School District in Clinton, Mississippi.

As the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Gilbert is tasked with coordinating HCPSS’s efforts to be more diverse, promote equity, and ensure inclusion throughout the district. As the first person to serve in this capacity for HCPSS, he also oversees the operation of the newly created Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI). After just three years, ODEI is one of the bedrocks of the HCPSS’s equity work. The Howard County Public School System is located in Ellicott City, MD and serves over 59,000 students and over 8,000 staff members.

Dr. Gilbert has worked as a social studies teacher, coach, bus driver, and an administrator with the Clinton Public School District, Rankin County School District (Flowood, MS), and the Hinds County School District (Raymond, MS). Other professional experience includes serving on the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee from 2013-2019, and president of the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) from 2007-2013. Other leadership positions include serving as vice president for governance for the National Council of State Education Associations, chair of the NEA Committee on Human and Civil Rights, and co-chair of the NEA task force on Discipline and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctorate in education leadership from Mississippi College.

Joshua P. Starr



Dr. Joshua P. Starr (he/him) believes all students should have the ability to learn at high levels in safe, supportive and equitable schools. As Managing Partner of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), he wants ICLE to continue to be a source of strength and learning for teachers and school and system leaders as they advance equity and excellence agendas in their schools and districts.

Before joining ICLE, Josh served as CEO of PDK International, one of the oldest professional membership organizations for educators, helping members deepen their expertise, advance their careers, and experience better results in education research, classrooms and schools. During his time there, he led the expansion and implementation of Educators Rising, a national program that inspires high school students to become educators.

Prior to joining PDK, Josh was superintendent of schools in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for four years and previously superintendent of schools for Stamford, Conn., for six years. As a superintendent, Josh led system wide transformation efforts grounded in equity, excellence, and engagement. Josh began his career teaching special education in Brooklyn, N.Y. He became a central office leader in school districts in the NY metropolitan area, including the New York City Department of Education.

Josh has a bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in special education from Brooklyn College, and a doctorate in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Josh and his wife have three children who have gone through public schools.

Shelly Moore Krajacic, NBCT


Shelly Moore Krajacic (she/her), an English and drama teacher from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) executive committee in July 2015 for a three-year term. Shelly, a National Board Certified Teacher, is a third-generation Wisconsin educator with 17 years of classroom experience. Prior to her election to NEA’s Executive Committee, Shelly served in numerous national, state, and local leadership capacities. She has been especially active in her local NEA affiliate. She was also a candidate for the Wisconsin State Senate in 2011.

In addition, she is a member of the board of directors for the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) and served on NEA’s Board of Directors for six years. The NEA Executive Committee consists of nine members — three executive officers and six members elected at-large by the representative assembly. The committee is responsible for setting general policy and maintaining the interests of the NEA.

Shelly earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. She received a master’s degree in English education from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, where she previously served as an adjunct instructor.