The mission of the Center is to provide leaders with professional learning and support to create equitable outcomes for students in our schools. You can read our equity statement here.
We believe the best way to learn is together and the best way to lead is by example; therefore, our programs engage leaders in professional learning communities that model best practices for staff development in schools. The Center currently runs two such programs for teacher and school leaders, the Principal Residency Network (PRN) and the Learning Leader Network (LLN). You can learn more about our impact here.
Donna Braun Ed.D., PRN ’04
Prior to co-founding CLEE, Donna served in urban secondary public schools as a science teacher and a school leader in Tucson, AZ and Providence, RI. She holds a BS from Southern Illinois University, an MS from the Florida Institute of Technology, is a PRN grad and has an Ed.D. from Johnson and Wales University. Donna’s focus is on research and implementation of transformative leadership development to advance educational equity. @DonnaLBraun
Kirsten LaCroix PRN ’11
Director, Principal Residency Network
Kirsten believes in the power and potential of public schools and is driving toward a vision where every student’s unlimited potential is unleashed, rather than defined. Kirsten’s career has spanned over twenty years as an elementary school teacher and administrator. She has been with CLEE since 2011. Kirsten lives with her husband, two teenage daughters, and beloved dog where they enjoy various sports and recreational activities, the outdoors, and traveling. @PRNRI
Barbara Mullen Ph.D.
Director, Learning Leader Network
Barbara’s professional and research interests include special populations, universally designed instruction, educational equity across policy, organizational systems and instructional landscapes and cultural competency. She has served in several large districts in Chicago, Seattle and Houston in campus and district leadership roles. The native Chicagoan lives in Providence, with her family. She also enjoys crafting, singing, throwing down in the kitchen, yoga, and writing Afro-Futurism science fiction. @DrBarbaraMullen
Facilitator and Continuous Improvement Coach, LLN
Michelle’s work centers around educational innovation and improvement, especially around issues of equity for youth from underrepresented groups. She is passionate about applying the tools of improvement science in networked improvement communities to empower educators and students. She holds an M.A. in Program Evaluation and Improvement Research from the University of Michigan School of Education. Prior to joining CLEE, Michelle taught high school English in the Boston area. @emilytwo
Mary Vieira PRN ’11
Director of Innovation and Coherence
Mary’s professional work anchors in a deep commitment to education as a tool of liberation and social justice. Prior to CLEE, Mary participated in educational projects in Brazil, Colorado, Boston, and rural Alaska. Most recently, she served as a founding advisor and principal of the MET School, Newport. She earned her B.A. in Education Studies from Brown University, and her M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. @mvieira4equity
Evelyn Cosme Jones M.Ed
Assistant Director, Principal Residency Network
Evelyn attended public schools in NYC and RI and has a BA (Brown University) and an M.Ed. (URI) in education. She has been a social worker, freelance interpreter, teacher, and school and district leader in Providence for 13 years and in Central Falls for 10 years. She founded the Seal of Biliteracy in 2015 in CF and believes that a key to equity is providing students with varied opportunities for language learning (any language!). She is surrounded by her husband, 3 children, and grandchildren and enjoys long hikes. @EvelynCosmeJones
Assistant Director, Research & Data
Annajane supports data and evaluation efforts at CLEE and aims to make data exciting and accessible for the CLEE community. Previously, Annajane worked on data and evaluation at The College Crusade and Thundermist Health Center. In addition, Annajane also works on drug policy reform and volunteers with local racial justice organizations. Annajane has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and an AB from Brown University.
Facilitator and Leadership Development Coach
Mark’s professional interests include closing the achievement gap, active antiracism and leadership development. Prior to his work at CLEE, Mark did leadership coaching with Superintendents, Community Superintendents, Principals and Assistant Principals in DoDEA. He is a former NISL Fellow, Superintendent and elementary principal. Mark has a M.E.d from Boston College and BA from the University of Maine. He lives with his family in Duxbury, MA where he enjoys playing basketball, golfing, and cooking.
Anna came to CLEE to lead the business operations and fundraising efforts. Prior to her work at CLEE, Anna worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California where she “wore many hats” in External Relations – oversaw the $8 million budget, worked in various fundraising initiatives, and supported Education Outreach. Before Salk, she was a high school math teacher at Providence Country Day and worked for the Talent Development Program at URI. Anna graduated from URI, with a BS in Mathematics and completed the UTEACH program at University of Texas-Dallas. At UTD, she was a research assistant at the Center for STEM Education and Research. Anna recently moved to Providence with her 3 year old daughter and rescue pup. where they enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, and especially Rhody Rams Basketball.
Donovan, who first joined us as a intern, has returned to the CLEE family as our new Administrative Assistant. Prior to returning to CLEE Donovan worked as a Resident and Orientation Assistant at Johnson & Wales University, where he recently graduated from and obtained a B.S. in Advertising & Marketing Communications. When he’s not at work you can find him either in the kitchen, on Ancestry.com, or dancing Salsa. @Tinsleydonovan
If you would like to work with us, please check out the employment opportunities page.
Chris Cuthbertson PRN ’08, Board President, LLN Facilitator, CFG Coach
Chris is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at The UCAP School and was a founding teacher of the school. Prior to that, Chris taught middle school and high school at The Lincoln School and Worcester Academy. She graduated from the PRN in 2008, and earned an MAT from Brown University and a B.A. in History from Williams College. @chriscuthberts
Joany Santa Ed.D. PRN ’04, Board Vice President
Joany taught middle school Math in Central Falls and later established their Home School Liaison Team. She pursued a graduate degree from Cambridge College, graduated from the Principal Residency Network, and earned her Ed.D. from Johnson & Wales University. She served in school leadership positions in RI and MA. Joany is wicked funny and tireless in her efforts. She lives with her family in Providence. @JoanySanta
James Brown Ph.D., Board Treasurer
Jim is a retired public and independent school principal. Currently, he is a school leadership consultant. He served as Assistant Executive Director of MESPA, and on the Board of the NAESP. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in educational leadership from The University of Alabama and a BS from Robert Morris College. Jim and his wife, Pat, love international travel, summers in Kennebunk, ME and living in Providence.
Pauline Lisi PRN ’02, Board Secretary
Pauline is Assistant Superintendent of South Kingstown Schools. Pauline’s professional interest include curriculum, personalized learning, student internships and STEAM education. Prior to her assistant superintendency, Pauline served as a principal of three elementary schools in Rhode Island. She attributes her success to the training she received through the Principal Residency Network. @Asstsupersk
Mario Bueno, Board Director
Mario Bueno is the Executive Director at Progreso Latino, Inc.; a multi-service Latino-led CBO in RI dedicated to community progress through a Latino and immigrant lens. His experience includes community organizing, policy development, and adult education. Mario has a BA in ECN & PCS and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. He is interested in education reform to meet the 21st century needs of ELLs in K-16 and the workforce development arena.
Shannon Campbell, Board Director
Shannon’s professional interests include student leadership, mental health, and advocacy. She is a School Counselor at The UCAP School in Providence. Her previous experience includes expanded learning programs in Central Falls and educational fundraising at The UCAP School and Brown University. Shannon lives in Cranston with her husband, new baby, and two dogs. She likes to travel, watch sports, and try new restaurants.
Joan Crothers PRN ’02, Board Director, LLN Facilitator/Coach
After graduating from URI with a BA and an MLS, Joan taught in a variety of public schools in RI before graduating from the PRN. Now retired, Joan served as principal in NK, RI. Joan’s professional interests include leadership and its effects on student equity and efficacy. She is passionate about mentoring. When not traveling, Joan lives in Wakefield with her husband where she enjoys yoga, knitting, and reading. @crothersjh
Karen Swoboda Ed.D., PRN ’07, Board Director
Karen currently directs the School of Education at Johnson & Wales University, where she oversees three academic programs, including an M.A.T., M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Karen was also a teacher and school leader in RI for 30 years, and holds a B.A. and M.A. from URI, is a proud PRN graduate, and has an Ed.D. from JWU. @karenswoboda
Are you interested in serving on the CLEE Board of Directors? Please click this link to learn more and let us know more about you.
CLEE Facilitators, Coaches, Advisors:
Anne Barnhart, CFG Coach
Joe Battaglia, LLN Facilitator/Coach
Danielle Blasczak, Research & Data Consultant
Morag Cronkite, PRN '03, PRN Advisor
Judith Dantuono, PRN '10, CFG Coach
Desiree Gamble, LLN Facilitator, CFG Coach
Rodney Gamble, LLN Facilitator, CFG Coach
Matthew Guertin, CFG Coach
Robert Hicks, LLN Facilitator/Coach
Kim Laliberte Ed.D., PRN '12
Janet Lyons, Ph.D., LLN Facilitator/Coach
Don Miller, NPIN Coach/Facilitator, Education Consultant
Osvaldo Jose Marti, PRN '16, LLN Facilitator/Coach
Azadeh Noorbaloochi, LLN Facilitator, CFG Coach
Katherine Sipala, LLN Facilitator/Coach
Joy Souza, PRN '14, NPIN Coach/Facilitator
Lindsey Tavares PRN '13, PRN Advisor