Waynica Staples: Director of Leadership Development & Training
Waynica Staples has joined GCSA as our new Director of Leadership Development & Training. In order to place a greater focus on the development of new schools in the metro Atlanta area and across the state, GCSA’s School Services team was realigned to better meet the needs of the sector. The former Director of Education & Training position was changed to Director of Leadership Development & Training, and the GaTAPP Director’s title was changed to Director of Teacher Quality & Development.
“We are thrilled to have Waynica Staples join the GCSA team as our first Director of Leadership Development & Training,” said Elisa Falco, V.P. for School Services. “Her past charter school experience and expertise in charter school development and feasibility make her an ideal choice for this position.”
A native of Pittsburgh, PA. Waynica has been in the educational arena for more than 15 years. She is a passionate reformer and believes that all students can achieve and succeed if given the right tools.
Prior to moving to Atlanta, Waynica created and led the college and career transition department of City Charter High School in Pittsburgh, PA. City High is an urban school where more than half of the students are considered low income and many are first in their families to attend college. Her work at City High resulted in a 95% college acceptance rate and 75% college retention rate.
“I’m excited about joining the GCSA team because I believe that all students deserve access to a quality education,” Staples said. “In my new role, I’ll have an opportunity to help develop high quality charter schools that are committed to academic excellence for the students that need it most.”
Upon moving to Atlanta, Waynica worked with The Influence1 Foundation as Program Development Manager, leading the expansion efforts of the Tennessee based organization as they worked to replicate their dual charter school/community development model.
Jamie Lyne Thorpe: GaTAPP Program Specialist, Teacher Support
Jamie Thorpe joins the GCSA School Services team to grow our GaTAPP teacher preparation and certification programs. She will develop and implement blended training for candidates, monitor their progress, and coach them as they move through the program.
Jamie is an educator with 13 years of elementary school teaching experience in diverse environments, including traditional public schools, independent schools, and charters schools; Amana Academy and Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. She has provided instruction using the International Baccalaureate model, as well as Expeditionary Learning models, and is skilled in the Responsive Classroom method. She earned her M.A. in Early Childhood Education at Clark Atlanta University.
Ronald Wright: GaTAPP Program Specialist, Program Support
Ronald Wright joins our GaTAPP program with a mission to strengthen the skill-sets and competencies of our teachers and drive them to make a deeper impact in the charter sector.
Ron is truly a Renaissance man. He studied Biological and Forensic Anthropology in college. He has been a student affairs professional at the University of Florida, Gainesville, worked in the University’s Honors Program and was a graduation coach at Georgia’s Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts & Technology in Statesboro. His teaching experience has included transition support for college freshmen at the University of Florida, adjunct professorships in Anatomy & Physiology, Forensic Science, and Anthropology. Outside the formal education arena he has worked in administration at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, provided support in a law firm, and managed a Pizza Hut in Idaho! Ron earned his M.A. in Biological Anthropology at The University of Florida.