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Jeff Ginsburg | Co-Founder & Executive Director

Mr. Ginsburg has held various roles in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and education policy worlds. Before joining EHTP, Jeff spent five years at United Way of Massachusetts Bay, in various senior positions. He was the founding director and designer of United Way’s Math, Science & Technology initiative (MSTi), a program that grew from 60 students at three sites to a statewide after-school program serving nearly 10,000 youth at 40 locations. The program was held up as a national model by the National Science Foundation, as well as cited in a speech by Senator Edward Kennedy as “an example of the work needed to be done to ensure the successful future of Massachusetts.”

Previously, Jeff held management positions in the for-profit web and telecommunication sectors, and also spent various periods as a working rock musician. Jeff has served on multiple nonprofit boards and continues as an advisory board member for MSTi. Jeff holds a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he studied education policy and nonprofit management while serving as a Founding Chair of the Dean’s Committee on Public Service.

Jeff is a member of the NYC National Service Leadership Council. He is married to Erin K. Blakeley, a writer and journalist, with whom he has three young children, Liam, Cathleen, and Conor.

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Robert S. harvey | Superintendent & Managing Director, East Harlem Scholars Academies

Robert S. Harvey has a longstanding history of prioritizing the academic success and social-emotional well-being of his students. Prior to joining East Harlem Scholars Academies, he served as Head of School and CEO of Star Academy College Preparatory Charter School in Memphis. During his tenure, Harvey led Star through double-digit academic gains, increased enrollment capacity, secured a 10-year charter renewal, and strengthened philanthropic investment. Harvey also served as the COO of Simmons College of Kentucky (a private, coeducational, historically black college in Louisville) and adjunct professor in its department of social sciences, and has served Independent day and boarding schools in several capacities.

Harvey holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, Bachelor of Arts in sociology and social research from Bryant University, graduate certificate in organizational change from Emeritus Institute of Management, and is currently completing his doctoral dissertation in leadership and society at Memphis Theological Seminary, as well as a Certificate in School Management and Leadership at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He serves on the boards of JUICE, The Collective, and is a member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Young Leaders.


MAX TURNER | Network Director of Operations

Max has been working in education since 2007. After majoring in Cinema and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, he joined Teach for America in rural South Louisiana. In his five years in Louisiana, he served as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and consultant to the Louisiana Department of Education and graduated from Teachers College’s Summer Principals Academy with an M.A. in Education Leadership. After graduation, Max moved to New York and ran recruitment and admissions at the Summer Principals Academy before returning to K-12 education at Achievement First Apollo Elementary School where, as Director of Operations, he managed family engagement, operations, finance, and enrollment. Max is excited to join the East Harlem community and to lead operations for Scholars Academies.


Jessica Zannikos | Principal, Scholars Academy Elementary

Ms. Zannikos was born and raised in New York City. She attended Hunter College and earned her degree in English Language Arts and Political Science. Ms. Zannikos has taught a variety of grades from Pre-Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. She believes that scholars who excel in reading and writing are destined for success. Therefore, she is working to ensure that all scholars have access to a strong literacy program at Scholars Academy. She has truly enjoyed getting to know the scholars, their families, and the staff at the school thus far. Ms. Zannikos also enjoys coffee, lots of coffee.


Desree Cabrall-Njenga | Principal, Scholars Academy Elementary II

Mrs. Cabrall-Njenga grew up in the Bronx. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies. After working in television production for a short time, she developed a passion for working with children and began teaching in the South Bronx while working on a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education. Desree also holds a master’s in school leadership.


Maureen Yusuf-Morales | Principal, Scholars Academy Middle

Originally from Bangladesh and raised in Queens, NY, Maureen (Mo) Yusuf-Morales has teaching experience in public, charter, and independent schools in New York, several years of instructional experience supporting and coaching novice teachers and experience leading instruction in out-of-school-time programs. Aside from her work with instruction in schools and in out-of-school time programming, Mo has also facilitated diversity and anti-bias workshops throughout New York City and across the country. She holds a B.A. in Education and Child Studies from Smith College and an M.A. in Educational Leadership at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Mo lives in Queens with her husband and son.


Karina Rodriguez | Founding Principal, Scholars academy middle ii

Check back soon for more information about Karina Rodriguez.