Hello! The Coordinator Core Team has been talking about ways to increase participation on this site. We thought the best first step would be for us all to introduce ourselves to you.

I will start... My name is Liz Thacker, and I am one of two chairs for the Core Team (the amazing Damion Morgan is my co-chair). By day I am a Site Resource Coordinator in Knoxville, TN for Northwest Middle School. I originally started the Norwood Elementary Community School and ran that for 3 years. We are in the process of scaling up here in Knoxville, so I was asked if I would be willing to start a middle school program. I am very passionate about Community Schools and feel that they are a great way to really delve into communities and work with resources that are in the communities.

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Hi! I'm Jennie, I am a Community School Coordinator at the Cesar E Chavez Learning Academies, specifically for ArTES Magnet High School and the Social Justice Humanitas Academy in San Fernando (Los Angeles), CA. I'm also on the Core Team. I used to be a high school teacher in Annandale VA. I cultivated many partnerships for my students and their families but quickly realized they weren't sustainable without others being part of those relationships. So, I studied sustainable partnerships and leadership for school development as part of my masters program....and that's how I grew passionate about the community schools movement. Though I believe all community schools movements must start with AMAZING teaching and curriculum, community schools strategy and thinking helps students achieve full self actualization. 

Hi! I'm Erin and I am the Community School Coordinator at Rosa Parks Elementary in Tulsa, OK. I started my career in Early Childhood programs and managed a 21st CCLC Grant for the YWCA. I met my principal at the Baltimore conference and came to work for her a few years later. I've been part of the Rosa Parks team since the fall of 2009. It has been great to have over 5 years to build relationships with staff and families at this school. We have worked hard to create a climate and culture where families feel like they are valued and needed. I'm excited to share what we're doing and to be working with the Core Team! 

Hello, I'm Damion. I am the other co-chair of the Coordinators Network along with Liz The Great. I have been a community school director for COMPASS Youth Collaborative at Asian Studies Academy for 6 years. Previously I ran summer and after school programs for another non profit that focused on Participatory Action Research. My passion derives from knowing that everyday I am able to make a difference in communities that need it the most.

Hi there, I am Carla the Family Community Resource and Engagement Coordinator at Washington Elementary in Vancouver Washington. I have been in this role for 4 years and I love it, it has been great to develop relationships with students, families and the community around us. Prior to joining Washington Elementary I worked in medical social work as well as running a children's program for a local non profit.

I am transitioning into a new role as the Coordinator for Community Outreach and Engagement. I will be working with 12 elementary sites and their coordinators to develop programs around family engagement and early learning.

I am excited to be on the core team and have the opportunity to learn from our colleagues and take new ideas to my school.

Hello! I'm Deanna Creighton Cook and I've been the coordinator at Manzano Mesa elementary school for 5 years. We are one of the most tenured community schools in Albuquerque which means we have eyes on us all the time! We have innovated some really cool programs such as Homework Diner which was featured on NBC Nightly News and is now in 9 other APS schools and 4 other states! I am passionate about meaningful family engagement and how adult education can create cultural and generational shifts that will have lasting impact on families. I have to say my first year as coordinator was very difficult and it was attending the coordinators network preconference meeting in San Francisco in 2012 that kept me going! Thank you for the support.

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