Our Mission

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.

Our Staff


Donna Braun Ed.D., PRN ’04

Executive Director

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


Michelle Li

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

Mark Prince

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.

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


Edna Attias

Facilitator and Continuous Improvement Coach, LLN

Edna’s professional interests include closing the achievement gap, constructivist-based pedagogy, and social-emotional learning. Prior to CLEE, she worked as a school principal, a teacher, and a national facilitator for Developmental Designs. She obtained her bachelor degree in Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, two Master's degrees in Psychology and Education from Brown University, and is currently completing her doctorate degree at Northeastern University in Educational Leadership.

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Janelle Clarke-Holley

Facilitator and Leadership Development Coach

Janelle’s journey began in Brooklyn, surrounded by a loving family who instilled the importance of a constant pursuit of knowledge. This influenced her motivation to become an educator. Janelle has a Bachelors and a Masters from Johnson and Wales University and a Masters from the University of Rhode Island. She has more than 20 years in education; as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in both urban and rural communities. Her experience in education has taught her how to encourage others into achieving more than they ever dreamed. She says, the most exciting aspect of being an educator is shaping an environment where learning can create life-changing effects and possibilities bloom. When she is not at work, Janelle enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two beautiful little girls.


Ruth Corley

Facilitator and Continuous Improvement Coach, LLN

Ruth is passionate about designing meaningful professional learning that impacts student achievement and addresses issues of equity. She worked as a teacher, instructional coach, and district math specialist in Oakland, San Francisco, Providence, and Central Falls. Ruth attended Providence Public Schools, and holds a B.A. in American Studies from Wesleyan University and a M.Ed. from the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley. Ruth enjoys travel, playing games, camping with her family, and is currently learning how to garden. @Ruthecorley


Annajane Yolken

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.

Donovan Tinsley

Communication and Operations Coordinator

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.

If you would like to work with us, please check out the employment opportunities page.

Our Board


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

Kim Leimer, Board Director

Kim's professional interests include school leadership, educating multilingual learners, literacy development, and family engagement in schools. She is the founding Principal of Raíces Dual Language Academy in Central Falls, RI, a Pre-K through 6th grade public school educating multilingual learners in a 50/50 model of dual language instruction. Kim has a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, a master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is proud graduate of the PRN. In her free time, Kim enjoys reading, yoga, meditation, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Anjel Newman, Board Director


Jose Mercado, Board Director

Jose is currently a sophomore at the MET high school. He has worked with CLEE over the past year and is now returning to join the board. Jose is very open to listening to problems or addressing them if need be and helping find solutions to them. Jose's professional interest include Education, Child Mental Health, and Child Care.

Flor Ardon, Board Director

Flor Ardon , current Student at CCRI earning Management degree. During High School she focused on social justice and the effects ones background has on education. She interned at CLEE and developed skills to better understand herself and her peers around her. She is a Central Falls resident , she grew up, and enjoys exploring the historical contexts around her city.


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

  • 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

  • Osvaldo Jose Marti, PRN '16, LLN Facilitator/Coach

  • Azadeh Noorbaloochi, LLN Facilitator, CFG Coach

  • Joy Souza, PRN '14, NPIN Coach/Facilitator 

  • Lindsey Tavares PRN '13, PRN Advisor