Tracy Epp, Chief Academic Officer

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Tracy Epp, Chief Academic Officer

Tracy Epp has spent her career working to ensure that all children, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, have access to great public schools. 

Prior to her current role, Tracy served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at The National Math + Science Initiative where she supported school systems in ensuring student success in STEM.  Tracy began her work in education as a middle school teacher on the Texas/Mexico border, where she later founded and led a high-school which annually has sent 100% of its students to college, and consistently earns a spot on US News and World Report’s Best High Schools list. 

Tracy earned her Bachelor’s in History and Political Science from Case Western Reserve University, and holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.

 Shadae Thomas Harris, Chief Engagement Officer

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Shadae Thomas Harris, Chief Engagement Officer

Shadae Thomas Harris has spent her career working towards educational equity for all students, especially communities of color and those who have been underserved.

Prior to her current role, Shadae completed her Doctorate of Education Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she had the opportunity to collaborate with Richmond Public Schools (RPS), Virginia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Virginia Governor's Children’s Cabinet to implement policy and program improvements for RPS students whose education has been interrupted due to a court charge. Previously, Shadae served as an elementary school principal, and she began her career as a 4th grade teacher.  

Shadae earned her Bachelor’s in Education and Child Study from Smith College and holds a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

 

 Michelle Hudacsko, Chief of Staff

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Michelle Hudacsko, Chief of Staff

Michelle Hudacsko has spent her career working with school districts to build and implement systems which promote educational equity. 

Prior to her current role, Michelle led the design and district-wide implementation of DC Public School’s (DCPS) performance assessment and feedback system for all school based staff. Previously, Michelle managed statewide teacher certification programs in Louisiana and DC as a Partner at the educational non-profit, TNTP, and also helped develop and expand nationally implemented literacy programs while working at Reading Is Fundamental. 

While in DCPS she also served for two years as interim Chief of Staff, providing office-wide strategic support.

Michelle began her career as a middle school special education teacher.

She earned both her Bachelor's in Government and Politics and a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland.

 Harry Hughes, Chief Schools Officer

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Harry Hughes, Chief Schools Officer

Harry Hughes has spent his career improving educational outcomes for students in urban environments. 

Prior to his current role, Harry served as one of DC Public School’s (DCPS) instructional superintendents, directly supporting principals in developing their instructional leadership and accelerating their students' growth, as well as working within central office to ensure district policies and resources aligned with school needs.​  

Prior to his role as instructional superintendent, Harry served as a DCPS elementary school principal and was awarded The Washington Post’s Distinguished Leadership Education Award in 2013. Harry also served as an assistant principal, and began his career as a 4th grade teacher. 

Harry earned his Bachelor's in History from the University of Virginia and holds an Executive Master's in Leadership from Georgetown University, and a Master's in Educational Leadership from Trinity University.

 Darin Simmons, Jr., Chief Operating Officer

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Darin Simmons, Jr., Chief Operating Officer

Darin Simmons, Jr. has spent his career as both an educational central office leader and a management consultant. 

Prior to his current role,  Darin served as an executive with Accenture, guiding clients through large scale transformational change and strategic planning projects.  Prior to RPS, Darin led Human Resources Operations for DC Public Schools, developing and enhancing core systems which resulted in improved data security and management and payroll processing. 

Darin is a certified Project Manager (PMP) and Change Manager (Prosci/ADKAR) and is working towards his LEED Green Associate credential. Darin began his career as a social studies and economics teacher. 

He earned his Bachelor’s in Government and African American Studies from the University of Virginia and holds Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Education Leadership from George Mason University.