Dr. Andrew Rhodes

Dr. Andrew Rhodes

Executive Director
he/him/his

Andy spent 14 years as a teacher and leader in Chicago schools.  As one of the founding members of TST, Andy is a firm believer in driving solutions toward the betterment of the teaching profession.  He received his Doctorate in Urban School Leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago, work which brought him to CPS through the Chicago Leadership Collaborative.  Andy has served as an administrator in Charter and CPS schools where his passion for this work and recognition of the humanity within it were ignited.

Ann Persson

Ann Persson

Director of Curriculum and Coaching
she/her/hers

Ann has worked as a teacher, teacher leader and principal in Chicago schools.  Most recently she has worked as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at DSST in Denver, Colorado. She received her Masters Degree in Literacy from the American College of Education and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Relay Graduate School of Education. Ann is a data-driven, solutions-focused leader with a proven ability to close gaps, meet goals, and move the needle on achievement for students and schools.

Domonique Briggs

Domonique Briggs

Manager of Programming and Coaching
she/her/hers

Domonique Briggs, originally from Detroit, MI, is an HBCU graduate of Hampton University. She comes to us with 10 years of collective teaching and coaching experience in the Chicago community, including work with EPIC Academy, Teach Plus, TST, & City Year. She is an EQ enthusiast who is passionate about helping others become the best version of themselves by nurturing their strengths and supporting their opportunities for growth. This passion for servant leadership has driven her to found 2 community organizations, SHE Chicago & Urban Community Alliance, which focus on youth development in areas of leadership, emotional intelligence, activism, community involvement, and financial literacy.

Pallavi Abraham

Pallavi Abraham

Strategic Advisor
she/her/hers

Pallavi has spent her career working in Chicago schools. Prior to serving as TST’s Executive Director from 2018-2023, she taught in both Bronzeville and Little Italy teaching AP Biology, as well as Biochemistry. She has earned her Masters Degree in Secondary Science Education from Johns Hopkins University and is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Pallavi strives to empower minority women to join competitive fields and become the future of educational leadership.

Nora Sullivan

Nora Sullivan

Grant Writing Associate
she/her/hers

Nora is currently a preschool teacher in Chicago Public Schools. She began working at Columbia Explorers in Brighton Park and now teaches at Audubon Elementary in Roscoe Village. Nora earned her first Masters Degree in Elementary Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and her second Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction for English as a Second Language from Lewis University. Nora believes in the power of connection between teachers and students & families and knows that these connections are strongest when teacher leaders are supported and nurtured in the classroom.

Breeze Fromm-Sarto

Breeze Fromm-Sarto

Administrative Assistant

Dr. Paul Riskus

Dr. Paul Riskus

Co-Founder

Paul worked as a high school chemistry and physics teacher, and was a science department chair at Urban Prep-Bronzeville High School. Following his teaching career, he became an instructional coach and assistant principal at Garcia High School. He is currently the Principal at Walt Disney Magnet School, after earning his EdD in Urban Educational Leadership at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Paul believes that empowering and supporting teacher leaders is the clearest path to student growth.

Dr. Michael Harries

Dr. Michael Harries

Co-Founder

Michael worked as a freshmen physics teacher and freshmen team lead teacher at Urban Prep- West High school on Chicago’s near west side. He earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching at Dominican University and recently completed medical school at the University of Chicago. He is currently a resident physician at Comer Children’s Hospital. As a Pediatrician he plans to focus his career on the intersection of medical care and the K-12 school system. He also hopes to work towards increasing access to mental health resources for youth in areas of high need.

Morgan Russo

Morgan Russo

Morgan taught 4th-7th grade for five years in Chicago and served as an instructional coach and teacher leader. Morgan is working on her Masters in Child Development from the Erikson Institute and currently works in Children’s Digital Media.  She believes that teachers are our greatest resource and empowering them to lead in their schools will have the greatest impact on our students.

Michael Cheng

Michael Cheng

Michael previously worked as the science department head at Youth Connection Leadership Academy in Bronzeville, an alternative high school for our city’s most underserved youth. While teaching, he earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching at Dominican University. He is currently working as a Data and Analytics Consultant at Accenture. Michael believes in the intersection of education and technology to impact learning for both teachers and students.

Kelly McKimson-Rhodes

Kelly McKimson-Rhodes

Kelly is an English teacher at H.L. Richards High School, a Title I school in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. Kelly leads the English IV team and is a founding member of her school’s Equity and Opportunity Committee, specifically working to develop Richards’ Advanced Placement program. Kelly earned two master’s degrees in education, and she is a certified yoga instructor who enjoys sharing her practice and trauma-informed mindfulness training with students and educators. In her fifteen years in the classroom, and as the daughter of a veteran CPS teacher, Kelly knows teachers are social justice advocates and the driving force in schools; they deserve opportunity, support, and recognition.

Jingwei Maggie Li

Jingwei Maggie Li

Maggie is the Research Analyst at the Health Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. Prior to this role, she worked on social impact research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is experienced in conducting quantitative and qualitative research, and her research has been covered in Bloomberg, Chicago Booth Review, Chief Investment Officers, and Quartz. Maggie holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and BA degrees in Business Economics and in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Michael Harries

Co-Founder (President)
Pediatric Resident Physician at Comer Children’s Hospital – University of Chicago

 

Paul Riskus

Co-Founder (Vice President)
Principal at Walt Disney Magnet Elementary

 

Amy Sauer

Board Member (Treasurer)
Strategic Advisor – The OSA Foundation 

 

Lisa Wiersma

Board Member
Executive Director –  IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation

 

LaTonia Arnold

Board Member
Director of Talent –The Academy Group

 

Dr. Laquita Louie

Board Member
Principal – Curtis School of Excellence

 

Vicky Lee

Board Member
Senior VP of Development – Focus

 

Josh Hoen

Board Member
Chief Advancement Officer- One Million Degrees

 

Maribel Rojas

Advisory Board Member (non-voting)
Seward Elementary – MTSS Lead, TST Coach

 

Sujay Rao

Ex-Oficio Board Member (non-voting)
MBA Candidate- Northwestern Kellogg School of Business