Staff

At Steppingstone, we take pride in the expertise and dedication of our staff.  Learn more about who they are and how to contact them in our directory. Search by program or team by clicking on the tabs below.

The Steppingstone Foundation
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    Olu Adeosun, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Olu joined Steppingstone in September, 2021. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Olu worked for an educational non profit, First Book, and recently at American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. Olu obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Towson University.

    Olu AdeosunAdvancement Systems and Data Manager
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    Kristin received her BA in English from The College of the Holy Cross and her MA in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling from Lesley University. Prior to joining Steppingstone, she worked in a therapeutic program at Arlington High School.

    Kristin ArcangeliSenior Director of Social Emotional Learning
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    Hi! I was born in the Dominican Republic, but raised in Boston. I received my BS in Psychology in May 2021 at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. I have been with Steppingstone since summer of 2020, where I started with the organization's first virtual summer as an intern. I continued interning through the Academic Year and now I am so excited to be an Advisor! I look forward to making connections with scholars and families, and partnering with them on their way to success!

    Claudette BautistaAcademy Advisor
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    Hi! My name is Caroline Bittrich and am the Social Emotional Learning Associate. I have had a life long passion for education, graduating from Providence College in 2017 with a B.A. in History and Business Certificate. After graduation I moved to Chicago to work in the public schools, and eventually found my way back to Boston where I worked in international education. My passion for student emotional support and growth pushed me to pursue my M.Ed in School Counseling at Providence College and graduated in 2021. I am so excited to be supporting Scholars and staff at Steppingstone!

    Caroline BittrichSocial Emotional Learning Associate
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    A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Angela joined Steppingstone as a Counselor in 2004. She went on to become the Senior Director of Support Services and then VP of Programs. Committed to staff development, Angela pursued a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2017. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Angela worked in the Canton Public Schools and for several nonprofits in Portland, Maine. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine and a MSW from Boston College. Outside of work, Angela can be found planning outrageous theme parties, cooking like Martha Stewart, talking everyone’s ear off about her love of her home state of Maine, or cheering loud and proud at her children’s sporting events.

    Angela BouchardChief Talent Officer
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    Ashley Calise joined Steppingstone’s Advancement Team in 2021. With years of experience in nonprofit and educational settings, Ashley most recently served as Director of Marketing and Communications at Wellan Montessori School. In that role she coordinated a full rebrand and institutional name change, implemented community events and professional development focused on equity and belonging, and mentored students in middle school. Ashley holds a BA in English and Graphic Design from Stonehill College.

    Ashley CaliseDirector of Communications
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    D'Jonita graduated from Colgate University in May 2019 with a BA in Psychology and Educational Studies. As a Steppingstone Alumna and a Boston native, she is dedicating to giving back to communities that have contributed to her own success, and striving everyday to incorporate effective mental health practices in her work. In her free time you might find her spending time with her family, eating delicious food, or in the dance studio breaking it down to Beyonce.

    D’Jonita CottrellAcademy Advisor
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    Makeda received her B.A. in the History of Science, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy from Harvard College in 2019. Prior to working for Steppingstone, Makeda was a scholar of the Foundation (Class of 2009!), and a volunteer and programming coordinator for The Phillips Brooks House Association, a student-lead nonprofit organization in Cambridge. Outside of work, Makeda is probably listening to music, and is the Special Projects Coordinator for Harvard’s HipHop Archive & Research Institute.

    Makeda DanielHigh School Success Advisor
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    Abobomi Docanto was born and raised in Boston. He attended public schools in Boston and went to Providence College and majored in Political Science and Public and Community Service Studies. Before coming to Steppingstone, he worked at City on a Hill Charter School. He is a huge Primer League Football fan. During his free time, he likes to read and walk around Boston. He has lived in Roxbury and Dorchester his whole life.

    Abobomi DocantoMiddle School Success Advisor
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    Karin has her MSW from Boston College and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Karin was the Executive Director of Summerbridge Cambridge and led the training and technical assistance program at Horizons for Homeless Children. Outside of work, Karin enjoys traveling, sharing great meals with friends, and listening to live music.

    Karin ElliottExecutive Director, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Karen earned her B.S. in Finance from Syracuse University, her J.D. from Suffolk University, and her L.L.M. in Taxation from Boston University. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Karen practiced law for more than 20 years, specializing in tax law and estate planning.

    Karen FolbAdvancement Associate
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    Kelly received her B.A. in English from Colby College and her M.A. in English at University College London. Kelly joined the Steppingstone staff as Director of Development in 1992. Prior to Steppingstone, she worked in the development office at Dana Hall School.

    Kelly GlewPresident
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    Tramel received his BA from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in English/Communications. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he served two years as an educator at a charter school through an AmeriCorps program in Bridgeport, CT. Outside of work, he is most likely writing, reading, watching old films, and enjoying time with friends.

    Tramel GriffithProgram Assistant
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    Phil received his B.A. in Spanish and French along with a minor in Communication. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he was a Youth Development Counselor at the Boys and Girls Club of Plymouth dedicated to helping young people realize their full potential. Outside of work, you can find him running through the streets training for his next marathon.

    Phil HarrisMiddle School Success Advisor
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    Ja’Nell is a long-time nonprofit and youth development specialist with nearly 30 years experience. Coming from a family of public servants, Ja’Nell has served in various communities including Newport and Bristol Counties (RI) Southcoast Massachusetts and most recently Providence, RI. Ja’Nell’s goal is to be of service to those in the community who are most vulnerable and in need. Living by the motto “ If I can help somebody.”, she has worked with a number of populations including youth, college students, adults with disabilities and children on the Autism Spectrum. Ja’Nell is an accomplished dancer in both West African and Middle Eastern dance forms. For the past 12 years she has used this talent to help support victims of domestic violence by participating in a global “Shimmy Mob” event with dancers from around the world. In her free time she also enjoys reading, gardening, her pet snake and spending time with her 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren.

    Ja’Nell HenryProgram Director of the Academy
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    Elena received her BA in Sociology and Spanish from Bates College. Prior to joining Steppingstone’s Admission team, Elena served as the Family Center Coordinator at Family Life Education in Hartford, Connecticut, a nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive support, advocacy and leadership programs for first-generation, immigrant families. In high school and college, she worked for Steppingstone’s Hartford affiliate, Hartford Youth Scholars, as an intern and Executive Assistant to the Dean of Programs. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, drawing, going to folk concerts and trying new Boston restaurants.

    Elena JayDirector of Admission
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    Halle enthusiastically joined Steppingstone in June 2019 to embrace a dynamic equity & access support services role. Ms. Katz is a Brown University graduate who worked as a college admissions officer at Bentley University; her work with Steppingstone scholars is informed by her time spent with prospective college students as well as her experience teaching dance to teens. Halle values individualized learning and the opportunity to cultivate challenging yet warm spaces for growth.

    Halle KatzHigh School Success Advisor
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    Caitlin joined The Steppingstone Foundation in 2019 as the Manager of Donor Relations. Prior to Steppingstone, Caitlin held positions at various Boston organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and in her spare time she likes to travel, read and experience new restaurants.

    Caitlin KenlyDirector of Leadership Giving & Engagement
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    Thai was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Oahu, Honolulu at the age of six. He is a recently graduated with his Masters in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2019. Besides being an advocate for higher education, Thai is a die-hard Lakers fan. He also loves spending time with his dog, Hero.

    Thai LuongCollege Success Advisor
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    Danes graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Psychology and Child Study and Human Development in 2021. She is a Boston native and former alumna of Steppingstone (class of 2011). With a passion for research, Danes has interned for Boston Children's Hospital, GBH Boston, and the Children's Television Project at Tufts as a research assistant. Outside of work, she enjoys watching films, drawing, cooking, and playing with her dog.

    Danes MathewAcademy Advisor
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    Pam joined Steppingstone in January 2019. Over the last 30 years, she has worked in a wide variety of freelance and staff roles in advertising, marketing, communications, and development. She holds a BA in English and Humanities from Augustana College (Illinois) and MS from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

    Pam MathewsDirector of Foundation and Corporate Relations
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    Since commencing from The Steppingstone Academy in 2011, Mary has continued to come back to the Steppingstone community and give back. She served as an Admissions Ambassador in high school along with other volunteer roles and then as an Advising Intern summer of 2019 and 2020. She then worked as the Community Coordinator at Steppingstone in between summers. Mary recently graduated from Lesley University with a BA in Psychology. She has developed a passion for working with children and families healing from trauma, after her time as an intern at The Boston Youth Sanctuary. Outside of work you can find her spending time with her loved ones, watching movies, or dreaming of places to travel.

    Mary MedranoMiddle School Success Advisor
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    Melodis Mejia, born in the Dominican Republic. Melodis has a bachelor’s degree in social communication from Universidad Católica Santo Domingo. For more than 8 years she has worked in customer service and event coordinator in Banco Popular, Dominican Republic. Upon arrival in the United States, Melodis worked as a manager/event coordinator at Dona Habana restaurant and then as Assistant Manager/Purchasing Supervisor in Levy restaurants from Compass group. Melodis really likes helping others and working on organizing events. Outside of work, Melodis enjoys reading (especially Isabel Allende Novels), and is in love with the beach and enjoy hiking and taking photos with her family.

    Melodis MejiaAdministrative Coordinator
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    Alex graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Classics and received a master's degree from Columbia University. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Alex taught history and Latin at the high school level, also serving as a dorm head and rowing coach.

    Alex NewellMember Services Associate, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Katarina received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Steppingstone Foundation, Katarina interned at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center leading their youth tutoring program, and at the Museum of Science conducting K-12 engineering education research. She first served Boston Public School students through Project Destiny ministries at the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church. Outside of work, Katarina participates in beginner adult ballet classes at the Boston Ballet.

    Katarina NgDirector of Middle School Success
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    Thanh received his BA in English from The University of Massachusetts Boston. He is an alumni of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he worked as the Youth Program Director at The Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development in Dorchester, MA. Outside of work, Thanh enjoys rooting for his Boston sports team, playing basketball, eating good food, watching movies, listening to K-pop and traveling with his family.

    Thanh NguyenDirector of High School Success
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    Chris is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of leading start-up initiatives in the field of education. Skilled in program development, Chris' expertise lies in the development and management of innovation within ​the social sector. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Chris served as Academic Dean for the Trinity Boston Foundation's TEEP program, as well as band and orchestra director at the Boston Arts Academy. Chris received his B.M. in Music Education from the Berklee College of Music and M.S. Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.​ Chris sits on the Board of Directors of the Trinity Boston Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Team of Neverbore.​

    Christopher ParrisChief Program Officer
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    Mary Lou graduated with a B.A, in Economics from Boston College and received a Masters in Public Policy from Brandeis University with an emphasis on monitoring and evaluation. Prior to her work at Steppingstone, she worked as a Research Assistant at Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and tutored Math, Economics, Spanish and Test Prep online. In her spare time, Mary Lou loves to travel, hike, cook, and tutor.

    Mary Lou PonsettoData and Evaluation Specialist
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    Elena earned her BA in psychology from Clark University and her MEd in school counseling from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Being a Boston native herself, Elena’s related experiences include teaching and counseling throughout various school programs in the city. Outside of work, you might find her playing soccer, trying out new places to eat in different neighborhoods, attending a dance class, or hanging with her niece and nephew!

    Elena SicairosVice President of Scholar Support Services
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    Mary received her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish Literature from Colgate University and her M.A. in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University. Mary worked at TSA for three years as a Reading and Writing teacher prior to joining the Steppingstone staff full time. Most recently, Mary was the Library and Technology Coordinator at The Advent School in Beacon Hill.

    Mary SullivanSenior Director of Preparation & Placement
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    Jacob graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in English and from Lesley College with an M.Ed. in Middle School English. Subsequently, Jacob taught English for 15 years in both public and private schools, at both the middle and high school levels. In his free time, Jacob enjoys going to Marvel Comics movies, watching Manchester United soccer matches, and most of all, playing with his two young daughters.

    Jacob SydneyTeaching & Learning Associate
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    Carrie earned a B.A. in American Studies from Dickinson College. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Carrie worked as the Career Developer in the employment and social services center of a Community Action Agency, Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc., in Norwalk, CT. She also completed a year of service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.

    Carrie TateAssociate Director, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Kerry graduated from Bentley College with a B.S. in Accountancy. Before joining Steppingstone, she worked at Lynn Community Health Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, and most recently at North Shore Community Health, Inc. as the Finance Director.

    Kerry TaverneseChief Financial & Administrative Officer
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    Griffin comes to Steppingstone from Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain where his responsibilities included individual giving, their year-long 100th anniversary commemoration, and communications. Prior to Italian Home, Griffin held development positions at Madison Park Development Corp., a community development corporation in Roxbury and Massachusetts General Hospital. Before working in fundraising, Griffin was a Lutheran pastor in Brooklyn, NY. Griffin was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. In his free time, Griffin enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and traveling.

    Griffin ThomasDirector of Annual Giving & Events
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    Miguel graduated from Bunker Hill Community College with a degree in Information Technology. He has over 25 years of experience in Technology and Customer Services. He worked previously at The Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Field Tech. and Help Desk Manager.

    Miguel UrenaSenior Director of IT & Administration
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    Jane Ventrone began her career at Steppingstone as an Advisor with The Steppingstone Academy in 2006. Before moving into the Vice President of Academic Programs role, she served as the Senior Director of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Jane taught 7th grade Language Arts as a Teach for America corps member in Philadelphia. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College, an M.S. in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph's University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Jane serves on the Board of Directors of Riverbend School in Natick, MA and she also enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling.

    Jane VentroneVice President of Academic Programs
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    Hieu recently received his Master's degree in Education at Lesley University. Hieu comes to Steppingstone from teaching in Boston Public Schools and working in a non-profit in Dorchester called Viet-AID. He is passionate in working with youth and helping them navigate the education system through an equitable and social emotional lens. In his free time, Hieu likes to play basketball with his friends, go hiking, eat new food, and play video games.

    Hieu Vo-TranHigh School Success Advisor
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    Hannah Waters graduated from the University of Maine in 2017 with a BA in International Affairs and a minor in Sustainable Agriculture. After graduating she spent two years teaching English in Beijing, where she developed a passion for education and working with youth. In her free time Hannah enjoys reading or being outdoors.

    Hannah WatersAcademy Advisor
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    Christina Watson joined the Steppingstone team in 2018. Prior to Steppingstone, Christina attended UMass Amherst. Outside of work, you might find Christina traveling to the beach, enjoying live music or reading.

    Christina WatsonHuman Resources Coordinator
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    Kate Wood joined Steppingstone's Advancement Team in 2007 and was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Advancement in June of 2016 to oversee both fundraising and communications for the organization. She began her career at Steppingstone as the Director of Individual Giving and later became the Vice President of Advancement. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Kate was Vice President of National Development at Jumpstart, an early childhood education nonprofit. She began her career in marketing at Fidelity Investments. Kate is a graduate of Union College.

    Kate WoodChief Advancement Officer
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    Annie earned her BS in elementary education from Boston University's School of Education. Despite receiving her initial teaching license, Annie knew she wanted to work with youth beyond the classroom setting. After graduating, she worked at a local non-profit organization coordinating and developing academic and enrichment programs for high school youth. She also worked at Boston University where she assisted undergraduate students in understanding the curriculum and academic policies, and assisted students in finding appropriate resources across campus. Outside of work, she enjoys playing with her dog (Milo), watching the Food Network, or planning for her next travel adventure.

    Annie WuDirector of College Success
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    Joanna is a Boston native with a BA in International Relations and East Asian Studies from Connecticut College. After graduation, she decided to explore her interests in teaching and went to China, where she taught English for several years at various educational institutes at the middle , high school and college level. Her experience in education led her to pursue a Masters in Teaching at the Beijing Normal University where she further developed her skills in teaching and working with young learners. Before joining Steppingstone, she worked at a local academic enrichment center as the program manager and curriculum developer for middle and high school youth. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling and exploring different types of restaurants in Boston.

    Joanna YuDirector of Teaching & Learning