Team

Arin Lavinia

Arin Lavinia

A former public school teacher and staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Arin created Success Academy’s THINK Literacy program and pioneered the network’s approach to training leaders and teachers as the network scaled from 4 to 32 schools. Arin is co-author of Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School, (2012).  She founded Lavinia Group in 2015.

Jackie Taslim

Jackie Taslim

A former Managing Director at Success Academy, Jackie oversaw 10 schools, managing instruction, leader and teacher development, and daily school operations. Previously Jackie was principal of the network’s flagship K-6 school, which was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School under her leadership. She also received the Blackboard Principal of the Year Award in 2012. A TFA alum, Jackie began her educational career teaching middle school English and history in the Bronx.

Jenny Obiaya

Jenny Obiaya

Jenny brings a wealth of proven leadership and demonstrated excellence in multiple facets of education. After graduating from Harvard she joined the Teach for America Corps and worked for Success Academy in many roles; first as a K-4 Science teacher achieving 100% 4s on the state exam, then as a member of the Literacy Team writing THINK Literacy curriculum under Arin Lavinia and driving instructional management across the network, and later as a founding Principal. Prior to joining Lavinia Group, Jenny most recently served as a Director of Schools and Interim Director of Literacy at a large personalized learning focused charter network in California.

Sophie Trecker

Sophie Trecker

Sophie began her career as a classroom teacher in Manhattan’s District 2.  She has worked with diverse groups of children at various grade levels and her classrooms often served as lab-site classrooms for leaders and teachers.  Most recently, Sophie has worked as a consultant to support schools all along the East Coast.  Sophie holds a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Beth Zhang

Beth Zhang

Beth is thrilled to bring her vast experience managing literacy and math instruction and curriculum to Lavinia Group. As the Director of Math for a network of 40-plus high-performing charter schools, Beth developed rigorous mathematics curriculum materials and assessments, created and led teacher and leader training, and provided direct school support to leaders while managing a network-wide shift to a progressive approach to mathematics. Her work led the network to rank in the top 1% in New York State in mathematics. In 2015, Beth was asked to demonstrate effective teacher development on Capitol Hill to showcase the network’s unique approach to teacher and leader professional development. Beth simultaneously managed a portfolio of schools, ensuring the highest levels of literacy and mathematics implementation. Prior to joining the network leadership team, Beth held various school-based leadership positions, managing instruction and teacher development in literacy, math, and science in grades K-4. Beth started her educational career as a Teach for America corps member teaching middle school special education.

Lindsey Rosenblatt

Lindsey Rosenblatt

As a former teacher, curriculum developer, and math specialist, Lindsey’s career has focused on teaching mathematics in a progressive and conceptual way. During her time as a Math Manager at a network of 40-plus top-performing charter schools, Lindsey led network-wide trainings, created curriculum, designed assessments, and coached school leaders on the implementation of the math curriculum.  Most recently, Lindsey served as Math Specialist at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, where she supported teachers to implement progressive math instruction . Lindsey started her career in education as a Teach for America corps member, teaching elementary school in Harlem.

Sydney Solomon

Sydney Solomon

Sydney is excited to bring her experience as a classroom teacher and school leader to Lavinia Group. Most recently, Sydney served as principal of Success Academy Prospect Heights, where she managed instruction and teacher development in literacy, math, and science for grades K-4. Prior to becoming principal, Sydney served as a lead teacher in elementary classrooms across a network of top performing charter schools. During her time as a kindergarten teacher, she was awarded the inaugural Teacher Excellence Award. Sydney holds a Master of Arts degree in Special and Elementary Education.

Jonathan Dant

Jonathan Dant

Jonathan has been working relentlessly to bring equity to education since his days as a TFA corps member in Newark, NJ in 2005. From having the model second grade classroom for the district in his first year of teaching to founding a progressive elementary school in South Brooklyn that has achieved results in the top 1% of all New York state public schools, Jonathan is excited to bring his passion for blending excellence in academic achievement and developing the whole child to the Lavinia Group. Most recently, Jonathan has worked on reimagining and streamlining policies and processes to maximize efficiency and effectiveness for the largest and highest achieving charter network in New York. Jonathan studied sociology and education policy at Columbia University.

Trevor Baisden

Trevor Baisden

Trevor brings both the strategic insight of a network-level instructional manager who supported principals across dozens of schools and broad K-8 experience as an elementary and middle school teacher to Lavinia Group. After leading his 5th graders to achieve the highest ELA results in the South Bronx, Trevor founded Success Academy’s History program and oversaw system-wide implementation of a middle school humanities redesign that integrated ELA and History instruction to better develop sophisticated reading, writing, and thinking across subjects. Trevor is an experienced culturally responsive teaching and leadership facilitator, working most recently as a Teaching for Educational Equity Advisor with Teach for America.

Danielle Hauser

Danielle Hauser

Danielle is excited to bring her passion and experience in schooling to the Lavinia Group. Most recently, Danielle served as principal of Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School, where her school ranked #1 in New York State on their standardized math exam and #4 on their English Language arts Exam [100% math pass rate, 98% advanced. 96% ELA pass rate, 65% advanced.] Additionally, 100% of her 8th grade students passed their Algebra Regents exam and a third of all students in District 9 accepted into specialized high-schools came from Bronx 2 Middle School alone. Previously, Danielle served as an assistant principal in West Harlem and a 5th, 3rd, and 1st grade teacher, during which time Danielle was awarded Success Academy’s inaugural “Teacher Excellence Award.” Danielle has a Masters degree in “Education Policy” from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a Masters degree from Columbia’s Teachers College in “Elementary Inclusive Education.” She got her BA from Brown University in 2009, where she studied psychology.

Dana Adnopoz

Dana Adnopoz

Dana is thrilled to bring her mathematical teaching and instructional management expertise to Lavinia Group. Dana most recently served as a school leader at Success Academy’s high school, where she taught as well as managed instruction and teacher development on her team. Prior to serving as an assistant principal, Dana taught in the same network for several years, acting as a labsite teacher, a grade team lead, and a content lead. In her time teaching, Dana received the Teacher Excellence Award and was honored to teach a demo lesson highlighting conceptual math on Capitol Hill. She also had 100% of students passing the New York State Math Exam. Additionally, Dana worked on the math network team, spearheading teacher and leader development and writing curriculum. Dana studied psychology at Dartmouth College and holds a Master’s degree in both general and special education.

Naeri Knox

Naeri Knox

Naeri has been an educator in New York City public and charter schools for over a decade. Most recently, she was an Instructional Manager of middle school literacy at Success Academy Charter Network. In this role, she created and led trainings for leaders and teachers across the network, and she wrote middle school literacy curriculum that fosters critical thinking and writing. Prior to her time at the network, Naeri taught a range of grades, spanning from kindergarten through eighth grade. As a middle school ELA teacher, Naeri led her students in achieving exceptional results—one hundred percent of her students passed the New York State ELA Exam, with 60% scoring the highest score of a 4. Additionally, a third of the students accepted into specialized high schools from District 9 came from her class. Naeri was also awarded the Teacher Excellence Award and served as a middle school labsite teacher.

Paloma Saez

Paloma Saez

Paloma brings extensive elementary education experience to the Lavinia Group. Having taught multiple grades within various charter schools throughout Harlem and Brooklyn, Paloma has consistently achieved extraordinary results in the classroom, with over 95% of students passing the New York State ELA Exam and 100% of students passing the New York State Math Exam. In recognition of her performance, she served as a labsite teacher at Success Academy. In this role, Paloma modeled best practices for her teachers across the network, coached teachers on the effective implementation of curriculum, and led professional development sessions. Paloma taught as an adjunct professor at Touro College, training student teachers at the graduate level. She studied Elementary Education and received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Relay GSE.

Britney Weinberg-Lynn

Britney Weinberg-Lynn

Britney is thrilled to join the Lavinia Group and not only share her depth of knowledge, but learn from others in the education world. Britney began her teaching career as a Teach for America teacher at P.S. 132 in the South Bronx before transitioning to teaching second through fourth grade at South Bronx Classical Charter School. From there, she joined Success Academy Charter Network. At Success, Britney had the honor to work with the same group of students for seven years, as she began teaching second grade and moved up every year, transitioning grades and roles—teacher to assistant principal to principal—until they graduated eighth grade in 2018. The eighth grade graduating class set network and citywide records with 100% passing the Algebra Regents Exam with a 4 or 5 and 80% with a 5. Britney then moved to found Success Academy Bronx 3 Middle School in 2018. Britney has a Master’s degree in Education from Pace University and a Bachelor’s degree from UCSB in French and Global Studies. Britney’s unique trajectory through the New York City school system has given her a diverse perspective and depth of understanding of students, teachers, leaders, and various school designs.

Lauren Jonas

Lauren Jonas

Since graduating from Duke University, Lauren has worked relentlessly to close the achievement gap and bring equity to schooling. A 2005 Teach for America Corps Member in New York, Lauren spent six years teaching in a district school before going on to become a school leader, earning a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. Lauren joined Success Academy Charter Network in 2011, where she served as an assistant principal for two years, and a principal for six years. During her tenure as a principal, Lauren opened and scaled three different middle schools, each achieving extraordinary results in the top 3% in the state of New York State. Lauren is thrilled to bring her passion for academic excellence as well as her expertise in school leadership and teacher development to Lavinia Group. 

Purnima Chopra-Vohra

Purnima Chopra-Vohra

Purnima began her career in education as a second grade teacher in NYC public schools. She joins our team after 13 years of Literacy Development consulting with The Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College. Purnima has successfully ran week-long reading and writing institutes and worked with teachers and students in grades K-6 across the country. She holds a Masters of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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