Graig Weiss, Chief Executive Officer
Graig Weiss joined Foundation Academy Charter School in 2009 as the Middle School Principal. After serving in that role for several years and leading the expansion of the lower grades, Mr. Weiss became the Chief Executive Officer in 2014.
Prior to joining Foundation, Mr. Weiss served as the Founding Middle and High School Principal at Cap Cana Heritage School, an English immersion private school in the Dominican Republic. A 2003 Teach for America corps member, Mr. Weiss taught Math and Science in the Bronx and the Dominican Republic prior to becoming an administrator and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007. Prior to entering the education field, Mr. Weiss worked in the financial services sector with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Boston, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton.
Christopher Lessard, School Business Administrator
Mr. Lessard joined the Foundation team in 2009 as School Business Administrator. He currently also serves as the School Business Administrator at the Frankford Township Board of Education, the Freedom Prep Charter School, and the Queen City Academy Charter School. Previously he has served as School Business Administrator to several other New Jersey charter schools. Mr. Lessard continues to serve as Treasurer of School Monies and administrative consultant with multiple established and prospective charter schools throughout New Jersey. He is a graduate of Bentley University where he received his B.S. in Business Management.
Tara Pepe, Senior Director of Finance
Mrs. Pepe joined Foundation Academy Charter School when it opened in 2007. Having served in a variety of roles during the first few years of the School, Mrs. Pepe has now been leading the finance and enrollment teams for several years. Under her leadership, the School has secured nine consecutive perfect audits with no findings or recommendations. Prior to joining Foundation, Mrs. Pepe worked as an In-home Therapist for the Community YMCA in Ocean County, New Jersey. Prior to that, she served as the School Social Worker at Trenton Community Charter School. Ms. Pepe graduated with Highest Honors with a B.A. in Social Work from Muhlenberg College, and she earned her Master’s in Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sheria McRae, Chief Academic Officer & Interim Middle School Principal
Mrs. McRae joined Foundation Academy Charter School in 2010 as a 6th-and 7th-Grade English Teacher. After serving as a teacher and then Dean of Instruction for three years, Mrs. McRae became the Middle School Principal in 2013 as a part of the organization’s expansion project. In 2017, Mrs. McRae went on to become Foundation’s Chief Academic Officer, with a focus on Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction. Prior to joining Foundation, Mrs. McRae was a Teach for America Corps member in Newark, New Jersey where she taught 3rd-, 5th-, and 6th-grade English four years. Mrs. McRae holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC, a Master of Arts in School Counseling from Montclair State University, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Administration and Supervision from National Louis University.
Melissa Campbell, High School Principal
Ms. Campbell joined Foundation Academy Charter School in July 2018 as the Middle School Principal. Prior to joining Foundation Academy Charter School, Ms. Campbell worked at Young Scholars Charter School in Philadelphia for fourteen years as a teacher, instructional dean, and then as principal. Under Ms. Campbell’s leadership, Young Scholars Charter School was Philadelphia’s “highest-performing charter middle school serving students in high poverty.” Ms. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education & Biology from Rider University, a Master of Arts in Education from Gratz College, and earned her Principal certification with the RELAY Graduate School of Education.
Nicholas Courtney, Intermediate School Principal
Mr. Courtney joined Foundation Academy Charter School in 2014 as an Intermediate and Middle School Instructional Dean. After spending two years serving as a Dean, Mr. Courtney became the Intermediate School Principal in 2016. Prior to joining Foundation, Mr. Courtney worked as a Manager for Teacher Leadership Development for Teach for America in Philadelphia served as a United States Fulbright Scholar in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and taught High School Physics for two years in Kona, Hawaii. Mr. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College in Boston, MA, a Master's in Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Master's in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.
Natasia Cooper, Primary School Principal
Ms. Cooper joined Foundation Academy Charter School in 2016. Prior to joining Foundation, Ms. Cooper was an Assistant Principal of Instruction at Mastery Charter School. In 2014, she served as the Assistant Principal of Student Support at KIPP Philadelphia Charter School. Ms. Cooper was a 2003 Teach for America Corps member in Baltimore, Maryland where she taught 5th and 6th grade for four years. She continued to teach for an additional six years before moving into administration. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Cooper received her Principal Certification through Philly PLUS (Philadelphia Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools).
Jacqueline Griffith, Board President
Jacqui grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Barnard College. She has a graduate degree from Bryn Mawr College in clinical social work, and worked in a variety of inpatient hospital units, notably at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as community treatment centers in Philadelphia and Allentown. She completed additional graduate work at Pittsburgh. Most recently she worked in admissions at Princeton University. In 2008 she finished a Masters of Letters from Drew University.