Jounce Team

 
 
 
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Paul Dean, Co-Founder and Executive Director

As Jounce's co-founder and executive director, Paul focuses on the design, execution and effectiveness of programming. He works closely with the entire Jounce team to develop and refine the Jounce model, and works closely with the board to set the long-term strategy of the organization.

Prior to co-founding Jounce Partners, Paul worked at New Orleans College Preparatory (NOCP), an award winning urban charter school in New Orleans, LA. At NOCP, Paul served on the five-person school leadership team, managed teachers as an instructional coach, and taught English and science. Paul began his career as a Teach For America Corps Member at Carver High School in New Orleans, leading his 9th graders to an average increase of 1.52 years of reading comprehension growth each semester.

Paul holds a B.A. from Yale University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

 
 
 
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James Beale, COO

As Jounce's chief operating officer, James works closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to ensure Jounce sets and meets annual targets and implements and develops strong systems.

Prior to Jounce, James worked as an associate at Drinker Biddle & Reath, representing individual and corporate clients in a wide range of litigation matters, including white collar investigations, business and corporate disputes, and class action defense. Prior to Drinker, James worked as a sports writer, primarily for the Philadelphia City Paper.

James holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was the executive editor of the Journal of Business Law, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

 
 
 
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Jeremiah Lemke, School Launch Partner

As a School Launch Partner, Jeremiah works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools, and works to plan a school incorporating the full Jounce model.

Jeremiah started his educational career teaching Social Studies in North Minneapolis. After transplanting to the School District of Philadelphia he worked for four years as an RTI and behavioral health liaison before making the jump to administration and serving for the past eight years in various leadership capacities, including Assistant Principal and Principal. During his tenure with the school district, he was awarded multiple commendations from the Superintendent for his strong efforts to make schools more productive environments of learning. Jeremiah completed his principal certification work through the Philly PLUS Residency.

Jeremiah holds a B.A. from Bethel University and a M.Div. in Contemporary Leadership from Biblical Theological Seminary.

 
 
 
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Danielle South, School Launch Partner

As a School Launch Partner, Danielle works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools, and works to plan a Jounce-model school.

Prior to Jounce, Danielle served as the Chief of Staff at a charter school in Trenton, NJ, managing all operational aspects of school programming.  Danielle’s teaching career began 10 years ago when she served with Teach for America as a fourth grade teacher outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Danielle holds a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee, and a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she graduated Cum Laude.

 
 
 
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Courtney Taylor, School Launch Partner

As a School Launch Partner, Courtney works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools, and works to build a school that will incorporate the full Jounce model.

Courtney began her education career teaching and leading at Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School (K-5th grade), Russell Byers Charter School (2nd grade), Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter Middle School (founding leader & 6th-8th grade), and Mastery Charter Schools Central Office (Assistant Director of Early Elementary). Courtney received the “2014 City Service Citation” from the City of Philadelphia for her time as an educator. In addition, she participated in Secretary of Education John King’s “2016 Tea with Teachers” along with only 12 other educators from around the country.

Courtney Taylor is a proud alum of Howard University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Child & Adolescent Development and a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education from Eastern University.

 
 
 
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Isaiah Walker, School Launch Partner

As a School Launch Partner, Isaiah Walker works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools, and works to plan a Jounce-model school.

Isaiah started his teaching career at Saint Charles Borromeo School in Harlem teaching middle school science. He then transitioned to Newark to teach middle schools ELA at Great Oaks Charter School. Later on, Isaiah spent five years working with KIPP focusing on building teacher coaching and leadership development with KIPPNYC and KIPP School Leadership Program. As a leader in his building and in the network, Isaiah developed multiple at-risk intervention programs to address social and emotional issues for students that are being used throughout the organization and across the country. Isaiah is known for developing strategies to employ student learning. Isaiah has trained, supported, and managed teacher and leader coaching implementation across multiple campuses, working closely with Principals and central office leaders.

Isaiah holds a B.A. from Columbia University, has studied at and received certifications from both Cornell University and Harvard University.

 
 
 
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Amy Blescia-Cascarina, School Acceleration Partner

As a School Acceleration Partner, Amy works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, and leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools.

Prior to Jounce, Amy spent the last seven years working at Mastery Charter Schools as a teacher, instructional coach and recruitment director. As an instructional coach, she had the opportunity to train and develop both teachers and leaders in the elementary and middle school setting. As a talent team member, she hired hundreds of teachers and leaders for the network. In addition, Amy spent eight years teaching in elementary schools throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Amy graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a minor in Art.

 

 
 
 
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Sarah Elder, School Acceleration Partner

As a School Acceleration Partner, Sarah works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, and leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools.

Prior to Jounce, Sarah was the principal of Hardy Williams Elementary Mastery Charter. Following Sarah’s first year as principal, the school was recognized as a top 10 school in Pennsylvania both for student growth from the previous year and for absolute achievement of African-American students. Prior to joining Mastery, Sarah worked at Teach For America as the Managing Director of Institute Program for the Philadelphia Institute. In this role she developed Pre K - 12 curricular resources, and led the training and management of 100 staff members each summer. 

Originally from Ohio, Sarah graduated from The Ohio State University Summa Cum Laude with honors and distinction in German. Sarah also holds a Masters of Science in Elementary Education from St. Joseph’s University and completed Principal Certification at Chestnut Hill College.

 
 
 
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Mike Hammond, School Acceleration Partner

As a School Acceleration Partner, Michael works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, and leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools.

Prior to Jounce, Michael spent seven years focused on teacher coaching and leadership development at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. As the Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Michael developed and codified a nationally-recognized teacher coaching model and trained, supported, and managed teacher coaching implementation across 26 campuses, working closely with Principals and central office leaders. Prior to this role, Michael also served as a teacher coach, Assistant Principal of Instruction, and secondary English teacher at Mastery Charter Schools.

Michael holds both a M.Ed. and a B.A. from St. Joseph's University.

 
 
 
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Samantha Levine, School Acceleration Partner

As a School Acceleration Partner, Samantha works with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, and leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools.

Samantha began her educational career with Teach for America, as a special education teacher in North Philadelphia. She then joined the founding team of Boys' Latin  Middle School. There, Samantha moved into leadership as the Curriculum Coordinator. She has worked as an instructional coach for Teach for America's Summer Institute in Philadelphia and is currently working towards her Principal Certification with the Philly PLUS Residency program. 

Samantha has a Bachelors Degree from Temple University in Adult and Organizational Development and a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Education.

 
 
 
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Mike McKenna, Former School Launch Partner and Founding School Leader at Memphis Delta Prep

As the first Jounce School Launch Partner, Mike developed his school leadership skill set, built a team of community leaders and educators, and designed the systems and structures to launch a Jounce-model school in Memphis. He now is the founding School Leader at Memphis Delta Prep, serving 300 students in grades K-5.

Prior to Jounce, Mike worked with KIPP Philadelphia Charter School as an 8th grade math teacher and then an Assistant Principal. He participated in the nationwide Miles Family Fellowship, a training program to prepare future KIPP school leaders. Before joining KIPP, Mike was the first 8th grade math teacher at the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee. During his five years at Soulsville, he served as a grade level chair, athletic director, math department chair, and, of course, as the director of happiness.

Mike graduated from Princeton University with a degree in sociology and earned his Masters of Education from Christian Brothers University.

 
 
 
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Logan Blyler, Former School Launch Partner and Founding School Leader at Deep Roots Charter School

As a School Launch Partner, Logan worked with the Executive Director to improve and refine the Jounce coaching model, leads training for school leaders and teachers across Jounce partner schools, and plan for the launch of Deep Roots Charter School, which opened in the Kensignton neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2018.

Logan started his educational career as a Teach for America Corps member at Eastern University Academy Charter School teaching 7th and 8th grade Science and Math. In his second year at EUACS, he led his 7th and 8th grade students from 4% proficiency in Mathematics to 57% proficient/advanced on end-of-year tests. He then taught 7th grade Math in Camden, NJ at Freedom Prep and 7th/8th grade Science at Young Scholars Frederick Douglass.

Logan earned his B.S. from Temple University and his M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania.