jason ellis, Head of School
Jason Ellis joined the YouthBuild DC Public Charter School team at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Jason brings almost 20 years of experience in the youth service field across nonprofit, educational, and government sectors. His work has focused on serving disenfranchised and disconnected low-income minority youth, most recently as the Director of Resident and Community Services for the Alexandria Housing Authority. There he developed partnerships with schools and city agencies to provide programming, GED instruction, and wrap-around supports to improve outcomes for opportunity youth. He brings expertise in program design, implementation and management; partnership development; grants administration; and leadership training. He was recently recognized for his work in the community, garnering an Alexandria Living Legend award, and making Alexandria's 2018 40-under-40 list. He is the founder and executive director of Momentum Collective Inc. and a board member of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in his career, he worked with Memphis City Schools, where he provided counseling and positive behavior support for students. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Political Science from the University of West Indies, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Memphis.
Claire Libert, Director of operations
Claire Libert joined YouthBuild DC Public Charter School as Director of Operations in July 2018. Prior to joining YouthBuild DC, she served as Charter Systems Manager at Democracy Prep Congress Heights Public Charter School, where she helped strengthen operations. Previously, she worked as a consultant with Boston Public Schools’ Office of School Turnaround, as the DC Reads Program Director with Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice, as a special education teacher at Ballou Senior High School, and as a Menino Fellow with the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families. Claire earned a Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Master's Degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.
Wellington Crutchfield, Dean of School Culture
Wellington N. Crutchfield joined YouthBuild PCS during the 2015-16 school year, after serving as Dean of Students at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Washington, DC. In addition to his experience as Dean of Students, he brings extensive hands-on working knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing YouthBuild students. He established two youth organizations, including Future Success Mentoring, which mentors at-risk middle and high school boys. Wellington is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.
Eva Camacho, Student Support Service Coordinator
Jennifer mack, special education coordinator
Andrew touchette, leadership coach
Andrew Touchette joined the YouthBuild Public Charter School team at the start of the 2015-2016 school year. He has served students, teachers and communities in various school leadership capacities since 2004. Before that, Touchette worked for six years as a high school social studies and English teacher at schools in New York City, Maryland and DC. He works with school leadership teams to improve student performance and ensure sustained success. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from Fordham University and a Master’s degree in education from New York University.
"We rise by lifting others."
- Robert Ingersoll
Iris Mata, Office Manager/Registrar
Iris Mata has served at YouthBuild PCS since the school’s inception. Iris oversees student registration and records, as well as facility management. Previously, she held the positions of Receptionist and Office Manager at the YouthBuild Program of the Latin American Youth Center. She is a graduate of the Latin American Youth Center’s Next Step Public Charter School. Iris is bilingual.
brittany north, AMericorps vista
Maria Sanchez, Receptionist
Maria Sanchez has been with YouthBuild PCS since 2006, where she manages student attendance, stipends, and the front reception area. She is a graduate of the YouthBuild PCS program of the Latin American Youth Center and served on the LAYC AmeriCorps team at LAYC, performing community service in the local area. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice at the University of the District of Columbia. Maria is bilingual.
Academic Instruction Staff
Ligia Arreaga, Instructor
Ligia Arreaga teaches GED subjects in Spanish to Spanish-language students at YouthBuild PCS. She has been with YouthBuild PCS since the founding of the school and before that taught at the YouthBuild program of the Latin American Youth Center. She has nearly two decades of teaching experience, from kindergarten through high school, in both Guatemala and the United States. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a law degree in Education from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala.
rashid darden, Instructor
Rashid Darden is a seasoned educator of disconnected youth, with experience in several DC Public Charter Schools. He also has leadership experience in the educational nonprofit sector, including roles at the National Campaign to Stop Violence and Heads Up: A University-Neighborhood Initiative. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in English with a concentration in writing. Rashid joined YouthBuild PCS in 2017.
Christina granville, Instructor
BAHIYA Pleasant, Instructor
Eugenia Reyes, Instructor
Eugenia Reyes joined YouthBuild PCS in 2013 as the Special Education Instructor. Eugenia has 22 years of teaching experience, including her work as a Spanish teacher at DCPS Oyster-Adams and Lafayette, ESL teacher at Carlos Rosario PCS, and Elementary and High School teacher in El Salvador. Ms. Reyes graduated from the University of El Salvador where she studied Education and earned a Masters in School Administration. She also recently graduated from Strayer University with a Masters in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.
Student Support Staff
Gina Fognani, Case Manager
Gina Fognani joined YouthBuild PCS as a Case Manager in 2008. Previously, Gina worked in the Social Services Department at the Latin American Youth Center, working with a diverse population of young adults. Gina continues in this student support role at YouthBuild, where she is responsible for coordinating student services and advocating on behalf of these young people to address issues at school and home. Gina holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of the District of Columbia and a Master’s in Social Work from Howard University. Gina is bilingual.
Makuti Lee, Case Manager
Mr. Lee joined YouthBuild PCS in 2012 as a Case Manager, supporting YouthBuild PCS students as they work to overcome barriers to academic success and career advancement. Mr. Lee earned his Masters of Human Services from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and has over 10 years of experience in youth development and social service work. He has worked extensively with at-risk youth at both public and private institutions, including the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (DYRS), Maya Angelou Academy, and the Department of Employment Services in Washington, DC.
Workforce Training Staff
Franz Arandia, Construction Trainer
John Bonner, Construction Trainer
Antione Clipper, Construction Trainer
Antione Clipper has been a member of the Youthbuild PCS staff for over five years. His role as a Construction Trainer allows him to impact the lives of our students on a daily basis. Along with his consistent effort to implement the Youthbuild PCS education standards, Antione combines his fondness for classroom instruction with his passion for hands on practice. His "Big Brother" teaching style and his dedication to mentorship allow him to teach with his personality. Antione prides himself on his ability to build trustworthy and personable relationships with each one of his students. Antione is also a former YouthBuild PCS student.
jeffrey palacios, vocational education instructor
Board of Trustees
Ms. Mary Blatch, Board Member
Mr. Noel Bravo, Board Member
Ms. Elizabeth Grant, Board Secretary
Mr. Mark Jordan, Board Member
Mr. Steve Lanning, Board Chair
Mr. Suraj Patel, Board Treasurer
Mr. Hector Sanchez, Board Member
Mr. Nolan Smith, Board Member
Ms. Yolanda Torres, Board Member