Leadership at Foundation Academies
Holding Ourselves, Our Students, and Our Community to High Standards
Sheria McRae, Chief Executive Officer
“To sow seeds of opportunity and access so that others find their purpose.”
Mrs. McRae started her career as a Teach for America corps member in Newark, NJ. She joined the FAmily in 2010 as a 6th and 7th grade English teacher, and she then moved on to serve as our Dean of Instruction. Mrs. McRae became the Middle School Principal in 2013, and, in 2017, she was named Foundation Academies’ Chief Academic Officer. In July 2022, she became CEO of Foundation Academies. 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.
Natasia Cooper, Chief Academic Officer
“To positively impact the lives of others by empowering them to live out their life’s purpose."
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, and 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).
Dr. Shanesia Davis, Chief Talent Officer
“To equip us all with the tools and confidence to activate our innate power."
Dr. Davis leads FA’s leadership development and drives innovation to our academic and character curriculum. Dr. Davis also leads the robust onboarding and training plan for our staff to grow and develop at Foundation Academies. She has been involved in charter schools at several levels, advancing from science teacher to Science Department Chairperson to Vice Principal to, eventually School Principal and Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Davis earned both her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and a Masters in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stockton University.
Michelle Ruess, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
“To share true stories that motivate us to build a loving community where all members can thrive."
Ms. Ruess joined Foundation Academies in 2022, bringing expertise in communications and perspective as a Trenton resident to the role. She guides both external and internal communications, including advertising, newsletters, the FA website and social media channels.
Ms. Ruess is a former newspaper reporter and editor who came to FA following several years as Director of Communications for Trenton Health Team, and her professional experience includes both advancement and communications work for George School, Princeton Day School and several nonprofits in Central Jersey. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Johanna Soto, Director of Operations
"To spark systems of change so that ALL children can learn and lead."
Ms. Soto joined FA in 2009, as a first generation college graduate from the city of Trenton.
During her years with FA, she held various roles as an Operations Associate, Talent Associate, Associate Director of Operations, and Operations Manager which is how she gained her extensive knowledge on state purchasing requirements, guidelines for compliance, school budgets and facility management.
In July 2022, she became the first Director of Operations for Foundation Academies. In her current role, she leads the organization to analyze systems and to collaborate and develop others.
Ms. Soto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from The College of New Jersey.
Kathleen Streicher, Senior Director of Advancement,
Executive Director, Friends of Foundation Academies, Inc.
"To develop community programs, organizational systems, and philanthropic partnerships that foster equitable access to opportunity for our scholars, staff, and alumni."
Ms. Streicher joined Foundation Academies in 2018. In her role, Ms. Streicher helps to craft organizational vision and strategy and then engages the Boards, Leadership Council, and philanthropic community to together responsibly fulfill our mission. Before coming to Foundation, Ms. Streicher worked as an independent nonprofit strategic planning consultant, served on the philanthropy team at Success Academy Charter Schools, and served as the Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps.
Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Kathleen worked as a Management Analyst for the Department of the Army. Kathleen contributes to many nonprofit professional development conferences throughout the year, including those sponsored by the Center for Non-Profits, Princeton Community Works, the Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence, and the Center for Nonprofit Success (CFNPS). Ms. Streicher holds a B.A. in English from The College of New Jersey, where she serves on the Alumni Board of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Advisory Grievance Committee
The bylaws of Foundation Academy state the following: In accordance with New Jersey law (N.J.S.A.18A:36A-15), the Board of Trustees shall establish an Advisory Grievance Committee comprised of both parents and teachers to make non-binding recommendations to the Board of Trustees concerning the disposition of complaints.
The Advisory Grievance Committee shall have four members who will serve one year terms, with one member designated as chairperson by the other committee members. Committee members shall be appointed each year at the first Board of Trustees meeting following the annual meeting or as soon thereafter as practicable. Advisory Grievance Committee members may serve no more than two consecutive terms on the committee.