Rebecca Lieberman, Chief Program Officer
Rebecca is the managing director of school and sector initiatives at the Center. She also served as chief talent strategy officer at the Tennessee Charter School Incubator where she worked to recruit top education-reform leaders to Tennessee through the Education Entrepreneurs Fellowship, an initiative she co-created. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Rebecca worked as a teacher and administrator in and around New York City, including serving as the founding dean of St. HOPE Leadership Academy Charter School and as the assistant principal of a high school in New Jersey. Rebecca lives in Nashville with her son, Gabriel, and her dog, McLovin.
Emily Lilley, Director of Policy
Emily Lilley joined the Tennessee Charter School Center in 2013 from the Tennessee Charter Schools Association, where she served as Director of Communications. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Emily attended Auburn University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Sciences Education. After teaching in Atlanta, Emily went on to work for several years in publishing and marketing communications and returned to Tennessee in 2012 after serving as the communications director for a successful Congressional re-election campaign. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. Emily is grateful for the opportunity to continue serving Tennessee’s students and families through the development and implementation of policies that support a high-quality charter school sector.
Hunter Schimpff, Director of School Quality
Hunter supports day-to-day operations and the research program of the Center while also managing the Center’s IT platform. Before the Center merger, Hunter held the title of Special Projects Manager with the Tennessee Charter School Incubator. Hunter previously worked in Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s Office of Children and Youth, where he focused on adult literacy and early childhood policy for Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County. Prior to Nashville, he lived in South America where he was a classroom teacher at an international school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has a BA in Spanish, minor in Mathematics from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt (Peabody) in International Education Policy and Management.
Michelle Doane, Director of School Development Programs
Michelle manages TCSC’s Start Strong, Grow Stronger initiative and focuses on leadership development. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Michelle has presented at the National Charter Schools Conference and served as an external reviewer for charter school authorizers. Prior to TCSC, she was the Education and Community Engagement Manager at the Nashville Symphony for several years, where she developed, managed, and evaluated education programs and community engagement activities for children and adults, and implemented and managed the One Note, One Neighborhood initiative, which focused on schools in the Stratford and Pearl-Cohn clusters.
Melondie Vernon-Katz joined the Tennessee Charter School Center in November of 2014 as the Center’s Nashville Community Organizer. She then transitioned into the role of Learning Resource Manager, where she manages an online platform designed to be a resource tool for charter schools across the state of Tennessee. Melondie will be completing her B.S. in IT Business Management from Lipscomb University in December. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Edon, their two sons, Logan and Elijah, and dog, Angus.
Jennifer grew up in Knoxville and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with the B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee and an M.Ed degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in Chicago. Prior to moving into education, Jennifer served as Director of Client Implementations with Asurion. She served as Director of Finance and Operations, Assistant School Leader, and Director of Recruiting and Talent Development with KIPP Nashville. She also served as Program Director of the Ayers Institute for Teaching and Learning at Lipscomb University. Currently, Jennifer works at the Tennessee Charter School Center where she focuses on developing and supporting high-performing public charter schools throughout the state. A former board member of McNeilly Center for Children, Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and CASA, Jennifer has been active in the Junior League of Nashville for 11 years. At the Junior League, she has served as Home Board Chair and Vice President of Finance and Operations and was recently selected to serve as President beginning in 2015. She enjoys reading, cooking, boating and hiking in Percy Warner Park with her husband, Mike, and their children, Lev and Eliana.