Marshall Street Initiatives is a coalition of educators working to systematically improve opportunities for students across the country. Drawing from 15+ years of institutional knowledge at Summit Public Schools, we target locally felt, globally evident problems in America’s public education system so that every student has the opportunity to pursue a fulfilled life.
Marshall’s initiatives implement solutions to student learning challenges in K-12 education. Each initiative undergoes a rigorous four-step development process.
We work with students, teachers, leaders, and parents across the country to define real challenges facing public education.
In partnership, we generate novel solutions and provide processes, expertise, infrastructure, and connections to vet potential solutions.
In an effort to continuously improve, we pilot our solutions with schools and communities to learn and refine based on real-time feedback.
Finally, we evolve the solution and spin off the established initiative when it has a strong growth trajectory and a route to financial sustainability.
This approach was refined through the Summit Learning Program which spun off in 2019 with nearly 400 school partners in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
Executive Director of Marshall Street Initiatives
Building an education system that serves all of our young people starts with redesigning K–12 schools — but it doesn’t end there. With Summit, we built schools around the needs of a student community. With Summit Learning, we engaged visionary educators across the country who enacted a vision of excellence for their schools. We’re now developing diverse teachers and school leaders, equipping parents with tools to prepare their children for lives of fulfillment, and expanding opportunities for students with disabilities. Marshall shares Summit’s spirit of innovation with others.
Marshall Street develops solutions to locally felt, globally evident problems in America’s public education system so that every student has the opportunity to pursue a fulfilled life. Learn more about our impact.
This Progress Report shares Marshall’s ongoing impact on K-12 education. Read more about Marshall’s second year and learn about our work to systematically improve opportunities for students across the country.
Read about Marshall’s first year. This report shares our activities, findings, and impact in K-12 education from our inaugural year.
To learn about Marshall’s impact at a glance, download this 1-page fact sheet.
Mira is focused on the exploration of new models of support for families within the public education system. She is the founder of Prepared Parents, a digital platform with 100+ tips and tools for parents to nurture their kid’s social-emotional and learning needs at home. Previously, Mira was an executive leader with Summit Public Schools where she developed equity-focused programming, led charter school growth initiatives, and launched a first-of-its-kind public/private partnership serving schools and families nationwide. Prior to Summit, Mira worked across several nonprofit and government sectors, including in the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in New York City, and with the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C. to support the civic and political engagement of Arab Americans. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tim comes to Marshall Street after seven years at Partners in School Innovation coaching for continuous improvement and equity in the most underserved Bay Area schools and districts. He began his journey into education as a New York City Teaching Fellow in the South Bronx before joining Uncommon Schools. After completing a Fulbright grant in Chile, he worked as the founding Director of Curriculum and Instruction at PAVE Academy Charter School before moving west to serve as an administrator with Aspire Public Schools in East Palo Alto. Tim graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English and earned a M.A. in Elementary Education from CUNY Lehman College. In his free time, he enjoys cooking with his wife, playing soccer with his daughter and taking long hikes.
Adam is the Executive Director of Marshall Street and former Chief Academic Officer of Summit Public Schools. A lifelong educator who has taught and created educational programs in the United States, Indonesia, and Argentina, Adam loves working with fiercely-driven leaders who strive for an excellent and equitable system of education for all students. He also loves his two young kids and two old dogs.
Marco works with partner school networks as an Improvement Advisor at Marshall Street, bringing with him a decade of experience in education technology, classroom teaching, and nonprofit operations. Prior to this role, Marco managed technical services at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and was a Curriculum Developer at Summit Public Schools. Marco holds a Masters in Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Arlette comes to Marshall with a decade of experience in nonprofit partnerships, enrollment, and school operations. She is an MA Candidate at the Broad Center in Urban Education and holds an MBA from USC. Prior to Marshall, Arlette was most recently at Aspire Public Schools and the Oakland Unified School District. She began her career at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Spanish from Amherst College.
A seasoned education administrator, Paula brings two decades of experience in program management, teaching, and administration to her work as an Improvement Advisor at Marshall. Most recently, she supported school improvement teams at the Utah Education Policy Center and was a Title I Coordinator in the Salt Lake City School District. She holds a MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah and a BS in Elementary Education from Utah State University. Outside of work, Paula is passionate about community advocacy and service.
Born in South Korea and raised in California, Sunli credits her K-12 and postsecondary educational experience in the Bay Area for her desire to stay and teach. After pursuing English literature as an undergraduate at Stanford University, she obtained her teaching credential through the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and taught high school English for four years at Summit Rainier. Today, Sunli serves as a mentor on the Teacher Residency team and is excited to welcome more aspiring teachers into the profession.
Pam has over 15 years of experience in education as a teacher, school leader, and instructional coach. Since 2014, Pam has successfully led the development of Summit programs that serve as pipelines and preparation into teaching. Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, a Master’s in Education and a teaching credential from Stanford University, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential from the University of California, Berkeley. Pam spends her free time dancing, baking, and playing outside with her two children.
A veteran Special Educator and Structured Literacy Teacher, Stephanie brings her classroom expertise to her work every day as the Director of Improvement Programs at Marshall. Previously, she served as a K-5 Resource Specialist and Lead Teacher in San Ramon Valley Unified School District, where she was also a Board-appointed voting member of the Community Advisory Committee. Before that, Stephanie worked as an Education Specialist at Aspire Public Schools. Outside of work, Stephanie is passionately involved with the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay and currently serves on its Board of Directors.
Yumi began her career as a special educator in 2005 at Jefferson High in South Los Angeles. She has taught in both traditional district and charter settings, and has served in Special Education administrative roles at Aspire Public Schools and Caliber Schools. Prior to joining Marshall, Yumi was an Interim Program Officer on Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s K12 team. Yumi is passionate about exploring critical race and disability studies, and is dedicated to becoming a better ally and champion for young people with intersectional identities.
Kyle has worked with Summit, and now Marshall Street, for over a decade as a founding math teacher at Everest Public High School, an instructional coach, and program/project manager. He has taught abroad in Indonesia and Ecuador, holds a Masters in Education from Stanford University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher and Math for America Master Teacher Fellow. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and being with friends and family.
Heather is an Executive Assistant, supporting all facets of Marshall Street, including the Executive Director, Adam Carter. She enjoys taking the day-to-day parts of her job and making them creative and personal — really taking care of her team. Outside of work, she continues to feed her creative muse by being an active member of the Bay Area Theater Community.
Greg Ponikvar is the founding Executive Director of the Marshall Leadership Institute at Marshall Street and the moderator of the Leadership Fellows Program. Greg received his Master’s in Education and Teaching Credential from Stanford University. From there, he was a founding History Teacher at Everest Public High School where he earned his National Board Certification. He then founded the Summit Expeditions Program where he lead a team of teachers offering elective, enrichment, and passion-exploration courses across the ten Summit schools in California. He then moved to Tacoma, Washington to be the founding principal at Summit Olympus High School, which was among the first charters in the state to graduate a diverse group of students with a 100% college acceptance rate. Now, he dedicates his time to build scalable solutions to problems facing the training and retention of a set of high-quality and diverse school leaders through the Marshall Leadership Institute.
Molly brings 10 years of experience in education to her work leading the Bay Area region of the Teacher Residency. She has led programs to train and support new educators since 2013 and collaborated on the design and launch of the Residency program at Summit in 2016. She holds a Master’s in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s in Child Development and Community Health from Tufts University. In her free time, you’ll find Molly exploring the Bay, traveling to new places, and enjoying time with family and friends.
As the Director of Development for Summit Public Schools, Wilita brings experience in development, finance, and program management. Additionally, Wilita serves on several nonprofit boards to advise, consult, and execute services to support holistic education and the development of youth within marginalized communities nationally and internationally. Wilita received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fresno State University and later earned a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of San Francisco. Whether playing soccer, building puzzles, or reading with his two girls, he loves engaging in activities that contribute to their holistic wellbeing.
A former Special Education teacher and Site-Based Research Manager, Giovanna is an Improvement Advisor collaboratively working alongside CMOs as they launch new initiatives of research-based practices to increase positive outcomes for students in Special Education. She joined Summit in 2014 and holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education and is currently working towards a Master’s in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
With a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Behavioral Science and Master’s in Urban Education, Ashley holds a decade of experience in the field of education, which includes teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade ELA and History and 9th Grade Ethnic Studies. She has also found joy in coaching and mentoring residents and teachers. Ashley believes that all students can succeed at high levels, and that all educators should have the tools and support necessary to provide students with the quality of education that they deserve. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys writing, cooking, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Kelly Smith joined the Summit Learning Teacher Residency Team in July 2018 as the Recruitment Manager. Prior to Summit, Kelly spent over 10 years in the education industry managing and developing recruitment activities for various organizations and districts throughout Northern California. A Bay Area native, Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.
Kim joins Marshall Street as Entrepreneur in Residence, with 30 years of experience across the nonprofit, philanthropic and private sectors building and growing high-performing enterprises. Most recently, she was founder and CEO of the Pahara Institute, a national nonprofit that aims to identify, strengthen, and sustain diverse high-potential leaders who are transforming public education. Prior to Pahara, she co-founded Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. She also served as a founding team member at Teach For America and led an AmeriCorps program for community-based leaders in education. Kim has served on numerous nonprofit and startup boards, including East Bay Innovation Academy, NewSchools, Rocketship Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Teachscape, Carnegie Learning, and LearnNow. Widely recognized as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader in education, Kim was featured in Newsweek’s report on the “Women of the 21st Century” as “the kind of woman who will shape America’s new century.”
For the past 5 years, Cat has led cross-sector partnerships between educational institutions and private organizations — at Y Combinator’s education technology investment arm and San Jose’s metropolitan chamber of commerce. Across the various positions she’s held, her theory of change has remained constant — to bring more resources and talent to the education sector to provide students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, more learning opportunities. Cat grew up in Houston, Texas and holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship and a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures with an emphasis on Mandarin Chinese from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Cat stays involved in the community with various local campaigns and Asian American creative writing groups.
Ginger is a creative writer, editor, and strategist. She joins Marshall as a Content Marketing Manager, bringing with her 10 years of content development and communications experience. Previously, Ginger worked at large financial institutions, small EdTech companies, and Babies R Us (for a summer in college). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Marshall Street Initiatives is a division of Summit Public Schools, based in Redwood City, California. We strive to grow a diverse and passionate team of professionals dedicated to creating educational opportunities for all students.
We partner with some of the most trusted education and parent organizations across the country. Working together, we create opportunities for students to thrive.