The ROADS Team

Seth Schoenfeld – Chief Executive Officer

Seth’s career has focused on ways to better support those most often under-served and under-represented by government and the public sector service industry. He was the Deputy Chief for the Office of Innovation at the New York City Department of Education, where he led the iZone, an incubation lab of 300 schools committed to designing and testing innovative models for teaching and learning. His portfolio included initiatives operating at the school level, in the marketplace, and at the system level, from early-stage testing to validation and scale. Prior to joining the iZone, he was the founding principal of Olympus Academy, a transfer high school serving over-age and under-credited high school students, and New York State’s first asynchronous high school. He started his career through the New York City Teaching Fellows at a large comprehensive high school where he was also dean of students and baseball coach. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, his Masters in teaching mathematics from Pace University, and is a graduate of the New York City Leadership Academy.

P.J. Murray – Chief Program Officer

P.J. has served as a teacher, as an assistant principal and as principal in the New York City Department of Education. He is a co-founder of Olympus Academy, a school that serves over-age and under-credited high school students, and the first fully self-paced school in New York. He specializes in new school design and school re-design, systems thinking and development, and blended and asynchronous learning, with particular interest in supporting students who have not traditionally met with success in school. He holds degrees in journalism and English from the University of Kansas, and a Masters in teaching English and an educational leadership certificate from Brooklyn College. He has been a New York City Teaching Fellow, a Fund For Teachers Fellow, and a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellow.

Gwendolyn Stephens – Managing Director of Teaching and Learning

Gwendolyn Stephens has over 15 years of school leadership experience and is a Cahn Fellow for Distinguished Principals, Teachers College Columbia University. Gwen was the Director of First Year Principal Support for New Leaders New Schools and leadership coach for four schools with the Newark Charter School Fund. As the Managing Director of Teaching and Learning for ROADS, Gwen is uniquely positioned to utilize her leadership and coaching expertise to provide leadership development within the organization. Gwen is and undergraduate of Long Island University, and has Masters Degrees from Bank Street College and Baruch College.

Lucinda Mendez – Director for Professional Learning and Instruction

Lucinda Mendez has over 20 years of experience working with at risk urban youth, most recently as the founding Principal of Bronx Haven, a Transfer High School serving overage-under-credited youth in the South Bronx. She started her career as a bilingual early childhood teacher in an inclusive classroom and later became a certified reading intervention provider and literacy support specialist. As a Literacy Coach she participated in study groups facilitated through the Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology-Sociology from Wesleyan University, her Masters in Bilingual education from Long Island University and is a graduate of the New York City Leadership Academy.

Tanyanne Ball – Director of Human Capital

Tanyanne was born and raised in England and studied at University College London and at The Sorbonne, Paris.  An interest in criminal justice and crime prevention led her to work with Surrey Police, UK, and also to gain an MSc in Forensic Investigation.  Tanyanne’s commitment to taking direct and practical action to address community and justice issues underpinned her work as internal verifier and writer with an accredited UK based advocacy training organization, and her current membership of the NYC based Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP).  This commitment now fuels her involvement with ROADS and its innovative approach to meaningful education and socio-emotional growth, which she believes are singularly effective tools for unlocking potential and heightening civic engagement.

Athena Costanza – Director of School Compliance

Athena’s career in education has primarily been focused on serving over-aged and under-credited high school students, particularly students with disabilities and English Language Learners. She was a founding teacher of Olympus Academy, a transfer high school specializing in blended, asynchronous learning. During her eight years at Olympus, she served as teacher, special education coordinator, ENL coordinator, programmer, and assistant principal of operations and special education. In the years before Olympus, she worked at a large comprehensive high school as an English teacher and pathway coordinator by day, and as a YABC English teacher by night. She holds a B.A. in Communications and Literature from City College, an M.A. in Secondary English Education from Brooklyn College, and an M.S. Ed in Educational Leadership from Brooklyn College as well.

Jeff Jorve – Director of Data and Accountability

Jeff is interested in helping people, particularly those most often ignored by social services. Over the last four years, Jeff has worked abroad in the fields of monitoring and evaluation for international development, internal communications and reporting for multinational development organizations, and database administration for public defense. Jeff now applies his broad-ranging experience to ROADS – his goal is to make the lives of ROADS educators and administrators as easy as possible so that they can go about our most important work: engaging with students. Prior to receiving his master’s degree in International Economics & Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies , Jeff worked in Shanghai for four years as a Contributing Editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Kayla L. Alvarado – Human Resources Manager

In Kayla’s previous role as Director of Human Resources for a health care/tech start up, she combined her 5 years of HR experience to create and build the HR department and internship program only further expanding her knowledge of the HR field. Kayla hopes to perpetuate ROADS’s continuous learning culture and strive to provide the best experience possible for employees and supervisors alike.

Walid Sghari – Finance Manager

Walid graduated from City College (CUNY) with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Math and Science. As a Finance Manager for ROADS, Inc., he is responsible for the daily financial activities of the network, such as Accounts Payable and Receivable, and preparation of monthly financial reports for Top Level management and Board of Trustees. Walid has five years of experience in Charter School finance. Prior to joining ROADS, INC., he was a consultant at Charter School Business Management where he provided operations and finance support to charter schools in New York City.

Victoria Sandock – Executive  Assistant and Office Manager

Victoria recently relocated to New York City after graduating from the State University of New York at Geneseo with Bachelors Degrees in Anthropology and English Literature. She feels greatly passionate about the chance to support the ROADS mission and the dedicated employees who work to make a meaningful impact through educational opportunities.