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Stacey Shells, CEO

Stacey Shells is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ReGeneration Schools. ReGeneration Schools is a non-profit school turnaround organization that revitalizes failing schools through a college prep and character mission. ReGeneration currently serves 1,600 students in grades K-8 across three campuses on the south side of Chicago.  Under Stacey's leadership, ReGeneration's campuses moved from the bottom 17% of Illinois schools in 2012 to the top 39% of all schools statewide in 2015. In addition, all three campuses ranked in the top ten of all Illinois schools with similar demographics. Prior to this, Stacey was a principal with Uncommon Schools, where she founded Rochester Prep, which now serves 1600 students across five schools in upstate, NY.  Stacey holds a B.A. from Hampton University, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins in teaching, and an M.A. in administration from Pace University. She is an alumna member of Teach For America, and her work in urban education has been featured in the books Teach Like a Champion, by Doug Lemov,  Leverage Leadership, Get Better Faster, and Driven by Data by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo.

Elissa Klein, Chief of Staff

Ms. Klein previously served as the Director of Curriculum & Instruction, supporting the turnaround of three Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS): CICS Avalon, CICS Basil, and CICS Washington Park. Previously a Director with Hillel - The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Elissa developed her passion for urban education as a volunteer helping to found Uncommon Schools’ Rochester Prep in upstate NY. She then taught for two years with Citizen Schools in Boston, MA, and developed math assessments for Achievement Network. Elissa holds a B.A. from Williams College and an Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


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Matt Walter, CFO

Matt joins ReGeneration Schools with over a decade of experience in financial management. Most recently, Matt was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget at Chicago Public Schools, where he oversaw a $6 billion annual budget for the third largest school district in the country. He has his BS from Miami University in Ohio and his MBA from University of Notre Dame.


Michelle Kemp, Director of Talent

Michelle Kemp serves as the Director of Talent for ReGeneration Schools. Since 2013, Michelle has spearheaded teacher diversity recruitment (68% teachers of color network-wide), streamlined the hiring process design, and cultivated new and current partnerships to help close the achievement gap for urban schools by finding great talent.  

Prior to joining ReGeneration Schools, Michelle worked for Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) as the Manager of School Recruitment for 30+ turnaround schools and their urban teacher residency program.  This role included overseeing application systems and processes, designing hiring workflows and interview process, leading trainings/professional development for hiring managers, and candidate sourcing.  Michelle previously served in the role of a Project Manager for Kendall College and the Comer Science and Education Foundation (CSEF) doing brand marketing, community relations, and program development.  Michelle has a Master of Business Administration in Project Management from Walden University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Northern Illinois University. 


Darryl Brown, Director of Information Technology

Darryl Brown has provided technology support for three Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS): CICS Avalon, CICS Basil, and CICS Washington Park since November of  2012. Darryl brings over 12 years of experience in the field of information technology and has a diverse background in both educational and corporate settings including CPS and Mesirow Financial Services. He is a skilled computer professional with extensive experience in helpdesk leadership, IT project management, research, instructional, telecommunications, and enterprise computing. Darryl has a degree in technology, is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), and a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)



Sarai Martinez, Associate Director of Talent

Sarai Martinez is the Associate Director of Talent of ReGeneration Schools. Prior to ReGeneration Schools, Sarai worked as a Teaching Fellow for Citizen Schools Chicago, Illinois.  Previously, Sarai served as a Teach For America corp member where she taught for a charter school network in Gary, Indiana. Sarai graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Literatures from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.  


Our Board

Josh Anderson is Senior Vice President of Recruitment and Admissions at Teach For America. Mr. Anderson joined Teach For America in 2004 as a New York City corps member. He taught middle school English and social studies in the Hunts Point community of the southeast Bronx, and served as school team leader for a 15-member Teach For America cohort at his school. Mr. Anderson joined Teach For America's staff as a recruitment director for the midwest recruitment team in 2006, and Executive Director of Teach for America - Chicago. He received his B.A. from Princeton University.

The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Tolliver is Rector (pastor) of St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church and President and CEO of St. Edmund’s Redevelopment Corporation (SERC), a not-for-profit community development corporation that houses the CICS Washington Park school and revitalizes housing in Washington Park, the neighborhood in which the church and school are located. He has been an ordained Episcopal priest since December 1971 and served parishes in New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Rev. Tolliver is a member of the Board of Directors, Beverly Bank and Trust Company; the Board of Trustees, The Ravinia Festival (The Summer Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra); the Board of Trustees, St. Paul’s College; and the Visiting Committee, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago. In June 2008, the City Council of Chicago appointed him a member of the Chicago Development Fund Advisory Board. In March 2011, Chicago Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel appointed him a member of his Transition Team assigned to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In February 2012, Mayor Emanuel appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Low Income Housing Trust Fund. He has earned five university degrees, including a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University and two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees.

Susan Asiyanbi currently serves as Teach For America’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing regional management of the organization’s 53 regions and the National Council, which is comprised of each region’s board chair. In her capacity as Chief Operating Officer, she also plays a role in leading the engagement strategy with the organization’s senior leadership bodies. After teaching fourth grade math and science in Newark, New Jersey, as a 2001 corps member, Susan joined staff in 2003 as a program director supporting new corps members in our Newark region. She then served as managing director of the charter Philadelphia training institute and subsequently as the vice president of institutes before leaving to pursue her graduate degree. Before returning to Teach For America, she summered at Boston Consulting Group and joined Sears Holding Company as a senior leader associate reporting to the CEO on key strategic initiatives. Prior to her role as Chief Operating Officer, Susan was the EVP, Program Continuum where she was responsible for providing a coherent, cohesive, and integrated leadership development experience for Teach For America’s admitted recruits, corps members, alumni, and staff. Susan earned her B.A. from Williams College, received her M.A. in education administration and supervision from St. Peters College, and obtained her M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.