Each of our initiatives 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.
The approach outlined above was refined over a number of years through the Summit Learning Program which spun off in 2019 with nearly 400 school partners in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Although each Marshall Street initiative is distinct, all work together to create a healthy, cohesive set of solutions that put children first.
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.
The founder of Prepared Parents, Mira is a creator, builder and storyteller dedicated to transformative change for children and families. She is the former Chief External Officer of Summit Public Schools, with previous leadership experience spanning nonprofit sectors. Mira is also the parent of two young, energetic boys who both exhaust her and leave her awed on a daily basis.
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, Stephanie brings her classroom expertise to her work everyday as an Improvement Advisor at Marshall. Previously, she served as a K-5 Resource Specialist and Lead Teacher for the Special Education team in the 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 a Tier III Interventionist at Aspire Public Schools. Outside of work, Stephanie is passionately involved with the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, most recently serving as Membership Advisor.
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 School Leader Certification Initiative 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 SLCI.
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.
Amy is currently the Director of Diploma at Marshall Street. She leverages her background in social entrepreneurship, charter schools, and program design to create new educational programs that drive social impact in postsecondary. Outside of work, she loves to spend time in the mountains, on her bike, and with friends and family.
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.
Daria Zhao joins the founding team of Marshall Street to lead content and communications. She also co-founded CreativityBox.org, a public-benefit corporation that empowers children of all ages to create with technology. Their first product, Learn With Mochi, has shipped to thousands of children in 60+ countries and was named by USA Today in “Best Coding Toys” alongside products by LEGO and Mattel. Prior to creative, Daria worked in investment banking in New York and San Francisco. A former Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education and youth advisor to the College Board, Daria believes education is the most powerful tool we have to create a more equitable world.
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 report aims to share activities, findings, and impact from our inaugural year as a K-12 solutions lab.
A companion 1-pager that introduces our mission, 4-step approach to scale, and impact areas.
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 opportunity for all students.
If our mission resonates with you, we encourage you to explore a career at Marshall!
A selection of current job opportunities include:
Manage improvement cycles and build capacity through coaching and relationships with school-based improvement teams.
Plan, coach, and facilitate project-based coursework for the next generation of personalized learning teachers.
Do you believe that all young people should lead fulfilled lives? That we need solutions to system-level problems? That positive change is both possible and critical to build for the long-term? That context matters? If so, join us.
We partner with some of the most trusted education and parent organizations across the country.
We are always looking for like-minded partners who want to create scalable solutions in education.