Educare DC works across our community – at our flagship school in Parkside-Kenilworth, through our Early Head Start – Child Care Partners, and at new our expansion site (coming in 2021). Together we share a common vision: that all children – regardless of race or socioeconomic status – receive the strong start in life that they deserve. Each of us has a role in creating nurturing educational environment that ignites students’ love of learning and sets the stage for their lifelong success. Our leadership team is proud to guide and support this work.
Jamal Berry is Educare DC’s President and CEO. In 2013, Mr. Berry began his career with Educare DC as a an infant and toddler Mentor Teacher, later becoming the school director and then vice president of programs. Over the years, he has applied his knowledge of leadership and early childhood development to steer Educare DC to earning high quality program ratings and to earning accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Mr. Berry is an advocate for young children as well as for early childhood educators.
Mr. Berry earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pedology from Bowie State University. At George Washington University, he earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Specialist of Education degree in Leadership and Early Childhood Special Education. Mr. Berry currently serves as the vice president of the Region III Head Start Association and the chair of the DC Head Start Association. In 2018, Mr. Berry was named a PBS Early Learning Champion, and he is a 2019 UCLA Head Start Management Fellow. Also in 2018, he presented on The Importance of Leadership at the Annual International Education Exhibition and Forum in Saudi Arabia. He is a contributor to New America’s blog Moving Beyond False Choices for Early Childhood Educators and most recently was featured on Gloria Riviera’s Podcast No One is Coming to Save Us. Mr. Berry believes wholeheartedly that if everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot. He is passionate about the future of early childhood education and is focused on having a lasting impact on the lives of early childhood professionals and families with young children. Educare DC is proud to have such passionate leadership, which allows us to inspire, create, and grow professionals and programs.
Barbara Ledyard joined Educare DC in August 2020 as vice president of finance and administration. In this role she serves on the senior leadership team with direct responsibility for finance, human resources, procurement and compliance management. With 20 years of experience in nonprofit administration, Ms. Ledyard brings non-profit expertise in administering federal contracts, fiscal oversight, outcomes measurement, capacity building, operational processes, training and technical assistance. Her work has intentionally centered around anti-poverty programming and she is an advocate of two-generational approaches to reducing poverty. Prior to her current position, Ms. Ledyard served as senior program manager with the Housing and Homeless Division of Catholic Charites, ensuring fiscal, operational, and administrative program compliance of permanent supportive housing programs. Prior to Catholic Charities, she served as project director at the Community Action Partnership providing fiscal oversight of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program which focused on housing homeless veterans and their families. As part of this role, she also assisted with the coordination and provision of training and technical assistance to a national network of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies. Ms. Ledyard also previously served as senior support manager with Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency where she ensured Head Start program compliance with Federal Performance Standards. Her past experiences also include leading agency-wide initiatives centered on community needs assessments, program evaluations, racial equity, community collaborations, and strategic planning. Ms. Ledyard earned both a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Jackson State University, Jackson, MS.
Ronnell Nathaniel joined Educare DC as our vice president of programs in December 2022. Previously, she served as vice president of early learning support and transitions for Acelero Learning and was instrumental in shaping the Perth Amboy, NJ site into a flagship center. In 2013, Ms. Nathaniel was promoted to director of education, supporting the program’s District Collaboration Centers. While working at Acelero Learning, she worked in diverse roles ranging from director of monitoring and compliance to interim co-executive director that provided her with a comprehensive perspective on Head Start programs. In 2015, Ms. Nathaniel transitioned to the Shine Implement Team as director of early learning support and transitions and was later promoted to the senior director of early learning support and transitions. That experience honed her belief that high-quality early childhood education is critical for every child. With Shine Early Learning, she assisted with several startups and mentored several Implement Partners to successfully CLASS reviews. Given her proven knowledge and expertise, Ms. Nathaniel was appointed as the vice president of early learning support and transitions. She has presented at National Head Start Association conferences and the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) panel Preschool: From the Capital to the Classroom. Ms. Nathaniel was also the recipient of the City College of New York’s early childhood education program award for “Outstanding Professionalism and Leadership” and “Excellence in Early Childhood Education.” Ms. Nathaniel holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Delaware State University and a master’s degree in early childhood education from the City College of New York.
Stacey Fraioli is Educare DC’s vice president of development and communications. She joined the organization in July 2022 with more than 15 years of experience in non-profit management, fundraising, and education. She previously served as the head of major gifts and donor engagement for the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), a pan-African, grassroots-led movement supporting girls’ education and women’s leadership. Prior to CAMFED, she served as the development associate at the Catholic Schools Foundation in Boston which gives scholarships to students whose families could not otherwise afford to send them to a Catholic school. Before her career in fundraising, Ms. Fraioli was an elementary school teacher in the Boston and New York City public schools, as well as at two private schools in New York City. As a teacher, she worked with English Language Learners, students with disabilities and low-income families. Ms. Fraioli is committed to making quality education accessible to all children, in the United States and around the world. She earned a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College at Columbia University, specializing in elementary inclusive education, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College where she majored in Religion and minored in Global South Development Studies.
Krystina Johnson joined Educare DC in April 2022 as the school director. Ms. Johnson joins Educare with over eight years of experience in early childhood educational leadership including expertise in staff development, program monitoring, and the implementation of evidence-base practices. In her role, she is responsible for the day-to-day program management and provides leadership and support to the administrative, education and support staff that serve our students and families. She began her career as a preschool teacher and has also worked in educational policy and operations. Her ECE career has included work in charter schools, DCPS and community-based organizations. She completed her Strengths-Based Leadership certificate through Temple University and is a passionate and visionary leader. Krystina is committed to ensuring that Educare DC reaches its highest potential in our mission to cultivate school readiness in the children we serve. Krystina holds an M.S. in Special Education in Early Childhood from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Howard University.
Prior to joining the Educare team in 2018, Ms. Williams was a school director in DC. Her background is in early education, elementary education, and special education. Ms. Williams first joined as the inclusion specialist. In this role, she managed special education caseloads (IEPs and IFSPs) and built teacher capacity on best practices for children with learning differences and delays. She transitioned to the comprehensive services manager role and was responsible for the areas of child health, safety, wellness and child nutrition through leadership, training, monitoring and technical assistance to programs systems and services as outlined in the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Ms. Williams eventually moved back into leadership by becoming the assistant school director at the IDEA location. In this current role, Ms. Williams ensures full implementation of the Educare’s programmatic core features and ensuring effective and full compliance with the requirements of Head Start, OSSE, DC Child Protective Services, NAEYC, and various private grants. Ms. Williams earned a Bachelor of Art in Elementary Education in 2007, Master of Special Education in 2010, and Educational Specialist degree in School Leadership and Special Education in 2015/ She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in School Administration and Leadership at George Washington University.
Kathryn Draper (she/her) joined Educare DC in August 2022 as the Director of Recruitment and Enrollment. She has experience with the development and implementation of startup state and federal education grant programs. Throughout these experiences she has led Social Emotional Learning curriculum development and implementation in classrooms and community spaces across birth-12 education. In addition to this curriculum, she created a parent curriculum that provided parents and caregivers with the knowledge to engage with their student in ongoing learning and practice. Using the curriculum, she worked with the local justice systems to establish restorative justice practices for youth by facilitating resiliency programming as an alternative to sanctions. Within these non-profit and education roles she successfully recruited and overenrolled within her programming and continuously expanded outreach efforts throughout the communities to ensure access to these programs were equitable for all. Bringing her education and experience in social justice work to the education field has driven her ongoing efforts to ensure inclusion and equity are at the core of education. In working with the other end of the education system in high schools and higher education institutions she has developed a passion for birth-5 education as it establishes the foundation for student success throughout K-12. She believes education is at the center of communities and creating equity and access to high quality education for all is what drives her work. She holds a bachelors of science in Sociology, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Ethnic and Racial studies from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and will graduate with a Master of Education Policy and Leadership from American University in December 2022.
Talia Newman joined Educare DC in June 2014 as one of the preschool master teachers. She has served in the educational field for 14 years and has worked in various child care centers and elementary schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County, and Maryland. Ms. Newman has experience working with children from newborn to eighth grade. She has taught, tutored and mentored high school students who aspired to become early childhood educators. Ms. Newman graduated magna cum laude from Towson University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education, received her Master of Education in elementary education from Bowie State University, and enrolled in an Administrator I certification program through the Instructional Leadership Professional Development Department at Towson University. As the director of early head start partnerships, she aims to provide the Child Care Partnership staff with high-quality professional development to encourage exemplary instruction and compliance monitoring, as well as guiding all of our participating Early Head Start Child Care Partnership professionals toward the goal of meeting the needs of the most at risk children and families while meeting Head Start Program Performance Standards.
Patricia Dela Torre has been a part of Educare DC since its conception in 2012. She started as a family engagement specialist and was later promoted to Health Coordinator. Currently, Ms. Dela Torre is the Director of Comprehensive Services. She started as a Head Start parent, where she became the chairperson and PTA President at Brightwood EC, and now has more than ten years of experience working in an Early/Head Start program. She helped co-found DC Health Management Network and now sits as co-chairperson. She earned her master’s in Human Services and counseling from Liberty University in 2015. In order to widen her knowledge in comprehensive health services in early childhood, she took a Child Care Health Advocate course from Northampton Community College and Health Services Supervisor Credential from Head Start University. She also took a Strength-Based Leadership certification from Temple University to hone her into her new position. It is her belief that children learn better when they are healthy, and that then when they are educated they can choose to be healthier.
Dianna Washington joined Educare DC in May 2012 as the administrative manager a member of the organization building completion team. Within this role, she led to the completion of the completion of a new $16M – LEED Silver building construction project. Currently, as director of facilities, Ms. Washington supports the organization with supervising six partner sites and two corporate sites, with managing, planning and developing various operations and facility projects. In 2020, Ms. Washington led the completion of a new $5M build-out construction project for the organization 2nd location. Previously, Ms. Washington served as Business and Operations Manager for multiple public schools within Washington, DC before primarily focusing on building and facility services. Dianna holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Delaware State University and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, concentration in Administration from University of the District of Columbia. She recently completed the International Facility Manager Association (IFMA) Facility Manager’s certification program in partnership with George Mason University. Obtaining this level of certification is recognized within the facility management industry as the premier credential amongst professionals and strive to continue advancing the field.
Richard Nduma joined Educare DC as the Finance Director in September 2022. He brings over 18 years of demonstrated experience in non-profit financial management, including auditing, internal controls, fiscal operations, and budget management. In his current role, Richard oversees internal financial operations for the organization and plays a critical role in partnering with the Executive Leadership Team in strategic decision making.
Prior to joining Educare DC, Richard worked as a Senior Project Finance Manager at World Learning where he was the financial point person for various Education and Exchange projects totaling over $40 million. Richard oversaw the comprehensive execution of financial awards from proposal development to closeout. His duties also included developing fiscal policies and procedures for new programs, financial reporting to donors, budget preparation for new awards and modifications to existing awards. Additionally, Richard was responsible for review of project expenditures to ensure compliance and led program audits. He also supervised, trained, and guided various levels of finance staff.
Prior to his position at World Learning, Richard served as Finance Director at Counterpart International, a USDA funded Food for Education project in his native country of Cameroon. He also previously served as Project Accountant at Counterpart International, Accountant at Heifer International, and Senior auditor at Otis & Associates, PC, Certified Public Accountant & Management Consultants. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Buea and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Strayer University.
Adam Barragan-Smith joined Educare DC as advocacy manager in March 2022. Previously, he managed DC Public Schools Early Stages program’s partnerships with childcare centers in Wards 6 and 7 to provide them with the professional development and technical assistance they need to identify children with developmental delays and connect them with early intervention and special education services. Adam believes high-quality childcare and Pre-K are the single most impactful yet underinvested public policies that promote lifelong benefits to children and support families. He is committed to making these programs more accessible, affordable, and equitable for all children. Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in public and non-profit administration from Indiana University and his MPA from American University.
Kiyana Morgan joined Educare DC in 2014 as an infant and toddler assistant teacher, and was promoted to lead teacher in 2015. She currently serves at the professional development coordinator, where she works with deputy director, Jamal Berry, in supporting Educare DC’s external training efforts and coordinates all onboarding and orientation for new staff. Ms. Morgan is trained on all four modules of the Educare Best Practice trainings and is currently working on her Infant Specialist Certification from Erikson Institute. She has over 10 years of progressive experience in the field of education, including four full terms as both Corps Member and Team Lead at Jumpstart for Young Children Incorporated via AmeriCorps with children ages 3 of age to 5, assistant teacher and director intern at the UDC Lab School and as a tutor with Martha’s Table. She holds a Bachelor of Art in human development and a Masters of Art in early childhood education, both from the University of the District of Columbia.