Elise Darwish

Elise leads Ensemble Learning’s strategic vision to improve charter school quality and remove barriers to achievement for underserved students. Previously, Elise was the founding chief academic officer at Aspire Public Schools, where she grew the organization to a high-performing charter management organization with 38 schools in Tennessee and California. She was also the founding instructional coordinator at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center, the first charter school in California and the second in the nation. Elise is a Pahara Fellow and a Leap Ambassador.

Leigh Mingle, PhD
Senior Director for Research and Data Analysis

Leigh gathers and analyzes schools’ data for Ensemble Learning. In addition, she assists with organizational strategy and fundraising. Leigh holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously, she served as a data scientist and researcher for a large school district and curriculum development company. Leigh specializes in understanding motivation in education, particularly in math and science.

Tanya Lewis
Director of Finance and Operations

Before joining Ensemble, Tanya founded a nonprofit that supported student achievement by training charter school teams to create and scale strong operations. Previously, she served as the COO of a New Orleans charter network and spent nearly ten years in finance, operations, and student support roles in higher education. She has a B.S. in Physics from Grambling State University and an MBA in Finance from the University of New Orleans. Tanya believes fiercely in education equity and uses her personal and professional skills to support those working on behalf of underserved students.

Katherine Hamilton
SEED Grant Coordinator

Katherine was previously the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Ingenium School, a small charter management organization in Los Angeles, where she managed the Ingenium instructional team, including curriculum development, the teacher development system, CMO-wide professional development, and English learner programs. Prior to joining the CMO team, Katherine was an instructional coach at the elementary and middle school level. Katherine began her career in education teaching high school and middle school math at Burlingame High School, PUC Lakeview Charter High School, and Ingenium Charter Middle School. While in the classroom, Katherine enjoyed broadening her impact by taking part in teacher leadership opportunities and is excited about building leadership capacity in teams at school sites with the Learning while Leading program. Katherine is most excited to build a learning community that brings together leaders across various cities, states, and CMOs to work towards equity for our highest-need student populations.


Constance Brewer

Constance is the chief external affairs officer at The Noble Network of Charter Schools. Prior to joining Noble, she served with the KIPP Foundation for six years in various roles, including national development director. She has also worked in the private sector at Hyatt and Johnson & Johnson. Constance has a master’s degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Beth Hunkapiller

Beth is a former middle school educator and administrator. She is a 19-year member of the Board of Education of the San Carlos School District Board of Trustees. She was a founder of the San Carlos Charter Learning Center and the director of the Charter School Division for the state of California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Baptist University and her master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

Marco Petruzzi

Marco is the chief executive officer of Green Dot Public Schools National. Prior to joining Green Dot, Marco founded R3 School Solutions, an organization that provided management and administrative services to charter management organizations. He was a partner at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. He earned his Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in business administration at Columbia University.

Adeola (Ola) Whitney

Ola is the chief regional officer at iMentor. She was previously chief regional operations officer at Reading Partners, where she managed more than 14 executives across the country. Before Reading Partners, Ola served as Playworks’ executive director for the Greater New York/Greater Newark region. Prior to her work in nonprofits, she spent nearly a decade in leadership roles at Kaplan. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College.

Pablo Mejia

Pablo is the Vice President of Program Innovation at IDEA Public Schools and leads individualized learning across all 61 schools, impacting over 33,000 students. Before joining IDEA, Pablo worked in the Weslaco Independent School District for ten years as a teacher, curriculum facilitator, and principal. Pablo started his career with Teach for America in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Texas Pan American.

Simmons Lettre

Simmons is an education consultant and advises organizations on creating and scaling effective programs to catalyze public K-12 education reform. Prior to launching her consulting work, Simmons co-founded and served as the CEO of Charter Board Partners (CBP), a national nonprofit dedicated to improving charter school board governance in ways that sustain effective schools. She is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and holds a master’s in School Leadership from the Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College.