The SchoolHouse Connection Board
SchoolHouse Connection is proud to introduce our Board of Directors. Eight dynamic and passionate individuals have agreed to lead us as we set our goals, build our plans, and establish our internal systems. Their diverse expertise and experience provide a strong foundation for our growth.
Jennifer Pringle, Project Director, Advocates for Children of New York
Jennifer Pringle is a Project Director at Advocates for Children of New York. Jennifer has been working since 2002 to help students experiencing homelessness get access to the educational services and other supports they need to succeed in school. Jennifer started her career working out of a large family shelter in Brooklyn, providing workshops and advocating for parents to help them get educational services for their children. From 2005-2021, she served as the director of NYS’ homeless education technical assistance center and oversaw training and technical assistance to over 1,000 NYS school districts and charter schools serving nearly 150,000 students who were homeless. Since 2021, she directs Project LIT (Learners In Temporary Housing) which advocates on behalf of individual students and families experiencing homelessness in NYC to secure needed educational services, strengthens the skills and knowledge of NYC shelter-based staff to better support students and address educational barriers, and pushes for policies that improve support and educational outcomes for students experiencing homelessness. She received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her law degree from Columbia Law School. Jennifer, her husband, and two children live in Brooklyn.
Jill Sallows, Associate Talent Director for Latin America, Baker McKenzie
Jill Sallows has over twenty years of global mobility and talent acquisition experience, including developing mobility strategies and supporting initiatives, designing and administering mobility policies, including compliance and education, building a technology infrastructure to support mobility opportunities, processes, reporting, and operations, sourcing both entry-level and experienced candidates and adopting effective selection methodologies, and facilitating various training courses and meetings. She joined Deloitte in 1999 and has held various Talent roles for Deloitte in both the United States (Atlanta, Georgia) and Santiago, Chile. For the last ten years, Jill has been a member of Deloitte’s Global Talent team, working closely with other Deloitte Talent professionals from around the globe to enhance both local and global mobility priorities.
Jill is originally from the United States where she earned a BA from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a major in Psychology. She has lived in Santiago, Chile with her husband for the last twelve years. In her free time, Jill loves to cook, bake, and entertain and, as often as possible, travel to new countries. Chile has given Jill a great appreciation for amazing wines, a year-round climate which affords ample opportunities for outdoor activities, and diverse and beautiful landscapes.
Jamie Fasteau, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Southern New Hampshire University
Jamie Fasteau has served in numerous leadership positions in education and civil rights policy, including in Congress and philanthropy. She is currently the Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and leads the Center on Higher Education Practice and Policy at SNHU. Prior to joining SNHU, she was Principal at EducationCounsel. Previously, Jamie served as Director of Policy, Education at Emerson Collective where she focused on policy development of and advocacy for Emerson’s education priorities including investment opportunities, collaborations and partnerships, and policy change opportunities at all levels of the education system. Prior to joining Emerson Collective, Jamie served as Director of Education Policy for Congressman George Miller, Senior Democrat, on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, where she oversaw the Committee’s full education agenda.
Jamie has also served as Director of Policy and then Vice President for Federal Advocacy at the Alliance for Excellent Education where she lead the organizations efforts to influence federal policy on secondary school reform efforts. Previously she served as Legislative Assistant for Senator Patty Murray on education, issues affecting children and families, and civil rights. Jamie attended Claremont McKenna College and lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and two children.
Viviana Otoya, Director of Internal Audit, Indigo Books and Music
Viviana Otoya is a Finance Professional with more than 20 years of experience. She currently works as Director of Internal Audit at Indigo Books & Music in Toronto, Canada.
Viviana was born in Peru. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, her Master of Business Administration at Federico Santa Maria University in Santiago, Chile, and her Certification in Internal Audit (CIA) at the Institute of Internal Audit in Toronto, Canada. Viviana initiated her career as an Assistant Administrator in Flora Tristan, a non-profit organization based in Lima, Peru, that fights for women’s rights. She lived in Chile for a number of years and worked at Avon Products Inc., in positions of progressive responsibilities.
Viviana loves the outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking and biking and spending time with her partner and friends.
Phillip Lovell, Vice President of Policy Development and Government Relations, Alliance for Excellent Education
Phillip Lovell is the Vice President of Policy Development and Government Relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education. He is a passionate advocate for the nation’s underserved children and youth, having spent the past two decades advocating on Capitol Hill in areas such as juvenile justice, homelessness, and education.
At the Alliance, Phillip is responsible for leading the organization’s efforts on Capitol Hill, with the White House and U.S. Department of Education to advocate for federal policy that will prepare the nation’s students to graduate from high school prepared for college and the workforce. He led the Alliance’s effort to ensure that high schools with low-graduation rates receive comprehensive support and intervention under the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act.
Phillip began his career as policy coordinator for the National Crime Prevention Council and cofounded the National Youth Network, a partnership of over twenty national youth organizations with the U.S. Department of Justice that strengthened the voice of young people with regard to juvenile justice during the youth violence epidemic of the late 1990s. Subsequently, as director of public policy for Camp Fire USA, Phillip represented nearly 750,000 children and youth, advancing issues such as childcare and afterschool programs. Most recently, he served as vice president for education, housing, and youth policy at First Focus and America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Ret. General Colin Powell.
Over the course of his career, Phillip has written a number of publications on issues such as children in the federal budget, homeless children and families, and disconnected youth. His work has been referenced in media outlets including CNN, USA Today, C-span, and Time magazine. Phillip has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in international politics. He and his wife, Beth, have two daughters and a son.
Lynda Thistle Elliott, New Hampshire State McKinney-Vento Coordinator
Lynda Thistle Elliott is an educational leader with program design, development and management experience in federal, state, and local projects. Dr. Thistle Elliott currently serves as New Hampshire’s Director of Homeless Education and Coordinator for Title I Part D Neglected & Delinquent programming. She is an active member of several boards and task forces including NH’s ICH, Homeless Teen Task Force, Trafficking Task Force, and State Advisory Committee for Special Education. She has presented at numerous national and state conferences and is the author/co-author of several publications focused on vulnerable students and educational best practice.
A former special education teacher of students with serious emotional disorders, Lynda has served as disabilities consultant and adjunct faculty for higher education. Lynda Thistle Elliott obtained her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, CAGS and Master of Education Degree from Plymouth State University, and Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from Fitchburg State College.
Melinda Dyer, Washington State McKinney-Vento Coordinator
Melinda Dyer has been an advocate for the educational rights of homeless students for more than two decades as the Washington State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Melinda oversees the implementation of the federal McKinney-Vento Act in school districts across Washington state, providing training, technical assistance, grant management and resource development. She has worked to inform state and federal education policy related to the educational rights of homeless students, partnering with local, state and national colleagues to improve the educational outcomes for children and youth in homeless situations
Melinda has served on various state and national boards related to the education of homeless children and youth, including the Washington State Advisory Council on Homelessness, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, and the Washington State Interagency Coordinating Council for Young Children. Prior to taking her post at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Melinda was a public high school and junior high school teacher, focusing efforts to support vulnerable and at-risk youth. Melinda earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Oregon State University in Health Education, graduating with honors. Melinda, her husband, and their two children live on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in rural western Washington.
Nicole Rodriguez Leach, Senior Advisor and Executive Consultant to Various Nonprofits
Guided by her commitment to social justice, Nicole Rodriguez Leach has led a career focused on building thriving communities with and for children, youth and families. Over 25 years, she has held positions in the classroom, in community-based organizations, in the private sector, and in higher education.
Nicole currently serves as a Senior Advisor and Executive Consultant to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations across the United States. She is also a researcher and professor focused on education policy, restorative philanthropy, civic engagement, and justice in public administration and nonprofit management.
Daniel Blessing, Associate Principal at ZS Associates
Daniel Blessing is an Associate Principal at ZS Associates, a global management consulting and technology firm. He has advised on growth strategy for most Fortune 500 life science and medtech companies and helped open ZS’s Singapore office in 2015. Daniel is also involved with ZS’s health equity practice and has worked with pharmaceutical manufacturers to integrate health literacy and social determinants of health into their product development and customer strategies.
Daniel received his MBA from Wharton, MS in Electrical Engineering from UCSD, and BS in Physics from Fordham. He grew up in Maryland and now lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, who is a high school principal. In his free time, he enjoys biking in Wissahickon Park.