Staff

Management Team

Joe LuftJoe Luft
Executive Director

joe.luft@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

As Executive Director, Joe is responsible for growing and strengthening Internationals Network’s proven approach to providing outstanding educational opportunities for English language learners. Joe focuses on organizational strategy, core values, partnerships, policy and advocacy, and fundraising. Previously, Joe served as more...

Deputy Director of Internationals Network for Public Schools. Joe is the founding Principal of the Flushing International High School in New York City. He was also a teacher at the Brooklyn International High School and completed an administrative residency at LaGuardia Community College. Joe began his teaching career in the Washington, DC Public Schools and, prior to teaching, worked at the Aspira Association in Washington, DC.

Joe holds a B.A. in History and Hispanic Studies from Connecticut College and a M.A. in ESL/Secondary Education from The George Washington University in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the New Leaders for New Schools urban principal preparation program.

Maria AguilarMaria Aguilar
Director, Finance & Operations

maria.aguilar@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5184

As Director of Business and Operations, Maria is responsible for developing, maintaining and expanding all business, financial and operational systems necessary to support Internationals’ mission. Prior to joining Internationals, Maria worked in finance and operations with several not for profit organizations which focused in the areas of advocacy, healthcare, emergency services, and technical assistance. Maria received her M.B.A. and B.B.A. from Baruch College.

Luis DuanyLuis Duany
Director, School Support

luis.duany@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

Luis oversees grant-funded initiatives for schools affiliated with Internationals Network for Public Schools and programs providing structural and instructional supports. He collaborates with school leaders to identify areas of strength and need, coordinates the Professional Development Committee composed of teachers from network schools, and develops internal staff capacity to deliver high-quality services to more...

schools. Luis was most recently Senior Instructional Coach for one of the Children First Networks in the NYC Department of Education, after serving as Principal of the Heritage School in East Harlem as a graduate of the NYC Leadership Academy.  He taught middle and high school math in NYC, Maryland, and Puerto Rico.  Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Star Link technology network in Puerto Rico and Project Director of the NYC Latino Commission on Educational Reform, as well as working at the Education division of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.  Luis holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s JFK School of Government, and a Masters in Math and Bilingual Education from Columbia’s Teachers College.  He is very proud of having been selected as Honorary Teacher by a former student who was named U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Liliana VargasLiliana Vargas
Senior Director of Programs

liliana.vargas@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5185

Liliana is responsible for the areas of new school development, national expansion, and other school development programs and services for Internationals Network. Prior to joining Internationals, Liliana held teaching and leadership positions at International High more...

School at LaGuardia Community College for six years prior to relocating to the West Coast, including serving as the Chair of its Board of the Directors during the period of its charter status. As the Director of California New School Development for Internationals, Liliana facilitated the national expansion of Internationals schools with the openings of Oakland International High School and San Francisco International High School. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Amherst College and a M.A. in Teaching Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Development and Operations Team

Kathryn AlessiKathryn Alessi
Executive Assistant & Office Manager

kathryn.alessi@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

Kathryn supports office operations and manages International Network’s Executive Director’s scheduling. She graduated from Stony Brook University in 2012 with a B.A. in Anthropology and Italian Studies. During her time there, she was able to travel to Tanzania, Madagascar, Honduras, and The Netherlands through study abroad and volunteer programs. In Madagascar, she conducted field research comparing reforestation/conversation programs.more...

Kathryn also worked in direct sales while she attended college where she gained experience in field sales and office management. In early 2011, she ranked in the Top 10 sales representatives of the Northeast Region because of her efforts as part of the New York Fair & Show Program. After college, she began a full-time position at a facility management company where she has gained over two years of administrative office experience.

Jeehae FischerJeehae Fischer
Associate, Development & Communications

jeehae.fischer@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 202-1426

Jeehae supports the fundraising and communications efforts of Internationals Network. Previously, Jeehae was the Director of Programs and Administration at the Korean American Family Service Center where she worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She oversaw the daily operation and long-term growth of the organization’s multiple services. She is a professional violinist more...

with a B.M. in violin performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Jeehae also holds a M.S. in non-profit management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, at the New School for Public Management.

Julie MaJulie C. Ma
Manager, Finance & Operations

julie.ma@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5737

Julie is a former Brooklyn International High School student who graduated as class valedictorian. At Internationals Network, she manages day-to-day finance and operations work. Julie graduated from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business with a B.A. in Business Administration and is fully licensed in workers compensation, general liabilities insurance,more...

and casualty insurance. Upon graduating, Julie joined HSBC where she worked as a consumer banker for five years, and later as human resource specialist for two years. Julie joined Internationals in 2011.

Program Team

Dariana CastroDariana Castro
Director, School Development

dariana.castro@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 435-7523

As Director of School Development, Dariana supports the network in its national expansion initiatives, supporting the opening and development of new schools and academies. Dariana has over 14 years of experience working in public schools. Her most recent experience is as the Director of School Design in the New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships. There she supported school leaders in designing schools that responded to community needs. more...

She began her career in education at Bushwick High School as a Gear Up Specialist and Coordinator. Soon after she participated in the founding of the Urban Assembly Media High School as a New School Implementation Associate. While at the International High School at Prospect Heights, she managed all school partnerships, and a successful college and career readiness program comprised of internships and mentoring. In 2012, she joined the New York City Department of Education as the Associate Director for New School Model Development, focusing on the expansion of the NYC P-TECH model at the Office of Post-Secondary Readiness. She graduated from CUNY Brooklyn College and earned her M.P.A. at the NYU Wagner School for Public Service.

Clarissa CummingsClarissa Cummings
Program Associate

clarissa.cummings@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 269-2388

As Program Associate, Clarissa is responsible for overseeing logistical support for Internationals’ professional development events, coordinating network-wide data management efforts, and managing ISHARE, Internationals’ online community for disseminating curriculum materials. She has traveled extensively and lived in three countries outside the U.S., more...

including Cape Town, where she launched an independent project using media and education to build cross-national social justice collaborations. Her field research focused on how global cities can create integrated, just, and creative spaces. Prior to joining Internationals Network for Public Schools, she worked for the Metropolitan New York Library Council. Clarissa received her M.A. in International Affairs from The New School.

Camille HallCamille Hall
Manager, College Readiness

camille.hall@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 435-7525

As Manager of College Readiness, Camille focuses on supporting schools and staffs in their work to prepare recently-arrived immigrant students to be successful in college. Camille plays a key role in the design of new programming in this area, in collaboration with Internationals Network leaders and staff as well as those at our NYC schools. Previously, Camille has served more...

hundreds of NYC high school students in various educational settings. She has directly impacted and guided students from New Settlement Apartments College Access Center in Bronx, NY as an Educational Counselor. She was the founding Director of College Counseling at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Jamaica, New York. Most recently, she launched and developed the College Connections Program at The Fresh Air Fund as the Program Coordinator. Camille holds a Bachelors degree from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College.

Jessica HarrisJessica Harris
Instructional Coach

jessica.harris@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

As an instructional coach, Jessica supports teachers and school leaders in providing accessible and rigorous instruction for recently arrived immigrant students. Jessica previously worked as a more...

science teacher at the International High School at Prospect Heights. She taught 11th and 12th grade Biology and Chemistry where she focused on project based learning and literacy in science. She was a member of the personnel, professional development and students with special needs committees. Jessica also worked as an interviewer for the NYC Teaching Fellows Program and participated in a number of teaching fellowships including Fund for Teachers, Pace University’s STEM Collaboratory, Sci Ed Innovators and the NYC Project Summer Invitational. Jessica holds a BA in Biology from Manhattanville College and a MST in Adolescent Education from Pace University.

Marguerite Lukes, Ph.D.Marguerite Lukes, Ph.D.
Director of National Initiatives

marguerite.lukes@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 269-6270

Marguerite explores ways to increase our capacity to collect and analyze information about our work as Internationals Network continues to grow. She oversaw Project R.I.S.E., a five-year federally-funded school reform initiative that support higher levels of achievement for English language learners (ELLs) in two public high schools in New York City and San Francisco.  Marguerite has taught in and directed programs in English as a Second Language, adult literacy and basic skills in English and Spanish, and has designed, implemented more...

and evaluated professional development programs  for K-12 and adult education teachers and administrators.  She received her doctorate from New York University, where she conducted research about the educational experiences of immigrant high school non-completers and designed professional development for schools serving immigrant students across New York State. Marguerite completed a B.A. in Linguistics from Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany and a Master’s Degree in Language, Literacy and Learning from California State University, Long Beach. 

Dolan MorganDolan Morgan
Director, Professional Development Services

dolan.morgan@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 435-7524

As Director of Professional Development Services, Dolan is responsible for the areas of professional and curriculum development, model documentation, and other academic programs and services for the Internationals Network. more...

He has worked with Internationals Network as our Lead Instructional Coach and as a consultant, most recently on the Network’s i3 project at Lincoln High School. Prior to working with Internationals Network, he was a freelance consultant for schools, with a focus on collaboration and mastery-based pedagogy. He was an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Bronx International High School for many years, where he served as the 12th grade team leader and a long term member of the Coordinating Council, the schools collaborative leadership team. He is also an editor and author, with one collection of short stories released in 2014 and another forthcoming in 2016.

Kelly QureshiKelly Qureshi
Instructional Coach

kelly.qureshi@internationalsnetwork.org
(585) 749-9245

As an Instructional Coach, Kelly supports teachers and school leaders to apply principals of Internationals Network for Public Schools in the classroom. She is an experienced educator, who spent a majority of her career as a teacher at the International High School at LaGuardia Community College in New York City where she taught more...

biology and chemistry. As Personnel Committee Chair at International High School at LaGuardia Community College, Kelly also had experience in hiring new personnel and overseeing teacher peer evaluation. She has worked as an instructional coach at the International Academy at Cardozo in Washington, D.C. and at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the State University of New York College at Geneseo and a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Genna RobbinsGenna Robbins
Manager of Professional Development Services

genna.robbins@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 435-7561

As the Manager of Professional Development Services, Genna is responsible for supporting the design of Professional Development that builds teacher and school capacity around the core principles of the Internationals Model. Previously, Genna was the founding science teacher at Crotona International High School, where she taught grades 9-12 over the course of her 5-year tenure. At Crotona she was the more...

Portfolio and Professional Development coordinator, and was responsible for coordinating all aspects of portfolio projects and staff development. She was also an original member of the Internationals Portfolio Committee, where she worked to create the Internationals Graduation Worthy Portfolio Rubrics and developed workshops and resources to support portfolio culture across the network. Genna received her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College, her M.A. in Science Education and her Ed.M. in Teacher of Education of Science from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Nancy RosasNancy Rosas
Regional Director of Network Support

nancy.rosas@internationalsnetwork.org
(202) 796-8601

As the Regional Director of Network Support, Nancy oversees our growing DC, Maryland, and Virginia hub of schools and academies. She will lead new school development efforts in the region in addition to strengthening network services. Nancy has over ten years of experience working in the public and nonprofit management sectors.more...

Most recently, Nancy worked as an Education Pioneers Yearlong Graduate Fellow placed at Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) in Maryland, where she worked for the Chief Financial Officer managing the planning and execution of projects aimed at improving the operational effectiveness and efficiency of various supportive services departments.
She also served as an analyst on the Student Based Budgeting initiative which annually allocated more than $430 million to schools based their on students’ needs and characteristics. Previously, she worked at MDRC, a nonprofit research firm that designs and evaluates social and educational programs as the lead Resource Manager for the Low Wage Workers and Communities policy area. She also served as a lead qualitative field researcher in a community development study in central California and co-authored the study’s final research report. Nancy earned her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University and her M.B.A. from the Boston University School of Management.

Trevor SaffordTrevor Safford
Lead Instructional Coach

trevor.safford@internationalsnetwork.org
(646) 435-7519

As a Lead Instructional Coach, Trevor facilitates the Internationals’ league of coaches in supporting teachers and school leaders. Prior to coaching, Trevor taught for three years as an English Language Arts teacher at International Community High School.more...

At International Community he coordinated the English department to increase literacy development across content areas. Collaborating with other English teachers, Trevor presented this work–and work with Socratic seminars–at professional development conferences in New York City. He has recently completed a teaching fellowship with the U.S. state department as an English Language Fellow in Palestine, where he taught English and education courses at Bethlehem University and led professional development workshops for teachers throughout the Levant. Trevor received his B.A. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary and his M.A. in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Sonia SendoyaSonia Sendoya
Special Projects Coordinator

sonia.sendoya@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 960-3364

As the Special Project Coordinator, Sonia directly supports three different International High Schools impacted by the influx of unaccompanied minors.  As an advocate, she believes in the power of education more...

 and joins the efforts to provide guidance to those families who find themselves lost in the process.  Sonia formerly worked for Make the Road New York as the College Access Coordinator, providing guidance to recently arrived immigrant students and families on the college process. She continues to this work through the Latino Youth for Higher Education Program (LYHEP) as a volunteer.  Sonia holds a B.A. from Baruch College and an M.S.W. from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

Andrew SigalAndrew Sigal
Instructional Coach

andrew.sigal@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

Andrew is responsible for helping teachers implement the core principals of the Internationals Network for Public Schools Model in the classroom. Previously, Andrew was a teacher at the International Academy at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Andrew taught 9th grade government where he focused on more...

Content and Language Integration, Project Based Learning, and Standards Based Grading. Andrew holds a B.A. in history from James Madison University, a M.Ed. from University of Pittsburgh. Andrew also obtains a certificate for Kindergarten through 12th grade English Language Learner Instruction from George Mason University.

Claire SylvanClaire E. Sylvan, Ed.D
Founder, Senior Strategic Adviser

claire.sylvan@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5182

A nationally recognized expert and practitioner in both school reform and the education of immigrants and English language learners, Claire is passionate about providing all students but particularly immigrant students, with personalized and cutting edge educational opportunities. Prior to founding Internationals Network, Claire workedmore...

in diverse roles and settings spanning public secondary education, teacher education and community/workplace organizing. She has provided guidance on broad school reform initiatives, participating on local, state and national advisory boards, commissions and task forces providing leadership on topics including the development of state standards for English language learners, the benefits and challenges of NCLB for English learners and the opening of new small schools.

Claire has developed innovative programs and practices for diverse populations of new learners of English in various New York City public schools, led the Internationals Schools Partnership (the early network of International High Schools) and piloted the groundbreaking Early College Program at The International High School at LaGuardia Community College, the first International High School. She has also researched and published articles documenting the cross-section of educational reform and language development programs for immigrants and their children. Claire attended McGill University and Brooklyn College as an undergraduate and received masters and doctoral degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jade VasquezJade Vasquez
Program Assistant

jade.vasquez@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5187

As Program Assistant, Jade is responsible for helping to coordinate Professional Development committees, intervisitations, conferences, and workshops. She is originally from the Bronx, New York. She has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish and Hispanic studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Jade served in Peace Corps El Salvador as a more...

Youth Development Specialist from 2013-2015. In El Salvador, she led community-driven/ grassroots development projects that created more educational, economic and recreational opportunities for rural youth. Prior to Peace Corps, Jade was a Research Associate for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, where she wrote, edited and published articles about critical issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Maggie WardMaggie Ward
Specialist, Mastery and Competency

maggie.ward@internationalsnetwork.org
(212) 868-5180

As Mastery and Competency Specialist, Maggie is responsible for supporting the network with the development or transition to competency-based learning. She supports schools in designing and implementing their curriculum and assessment vision. This includes framework design, technology needs analysis, and staff training. Prior to joining internationals, Maggie was a more...

consultant for the Center for Collaborative Education where she provided strategic consulting and technical assistance for clients and grants including: New Hampshire Department of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education, Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, and Expanded Success Initiative Schools in New York City. Maggie has worked with a variety of schools across the United States, El Salvador, and South Africa. She received her B.A. in Business Administration from Georgetown University and her M.Ed. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University.

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