The GCSA professional staff is dedicated to serving our member schools and expanding public school choice in Georgia. We offer customized consulting services, discount programs, and a wide variety of training programs for petitioners, established school leaders, and aspiring school leaders. Through advocacy, communication and education, our aim is to help launch and sustain high quality charter schools that can change childrens’ lives.
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Chief Executive Officer
Tony has significant experience in the areas of associational and nonprofit management, resource development, advocacy, and government relations. His first experience in the field of charter schools came while serving as Vice President of Development for Texans CAN! Academies based in Dallas, Texas. At Texans CAN!, he was responsible for raising awareness and support for ten charter high schools, serving 7,000 at-risk youth annually in five major Texas cities.
He previously served as the Executive Director of Camp Fire USA, a children and youth development agency located in Dallas, TX. He has also served as Vice President of Development for Evergreen Foundation, where he was in charge of all fund-raising, board development, marketing and public relations. Prior to this, he served as CEO for Sertoma Center, Inc., an agency serving persons with disabilities in Knoxville, Tennessee. Additionally, he served as the CEO of a local affiliate of the National Home Builders Association in the Greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.
Tony has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 1986. He was a founding and charter member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of AFP in Tennessee. He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives.
A native Tennessean, Tony earned the M.Div., Th.M., and Ph.D. degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He received his B.A. degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.
Tony and his wife Cindy live in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Executive Vice President
Andrew is GCSA’s Executive Vice President and has been with the organization since 2005. After nearly 10 years in the sports entertainment industry. Andrew pursued a career in education, first as a classroom teacher, then with GCSA.
Andrew’s primary responsibility is advocacy at the state, county, and community level. In 2007 and 2008 Andrew played a significant role in the passage of House Bill 881, creating the first statewide alternative authorizer of charter public schools in Georgia.
In 2011, when the Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act was declared “unconstitutional” by the Georgia Supreme Court, Andrew played a pivotal role in reestablishing this statewide alternative authorizer by passage of a constitutional amendment. The “Charter Amendment,” as it came to be known, received the necessary two-thirds majority from the Georgia House and Senate and went on to receive nearly 60% approval from Georgia voters in November 2012. Andrew considers its passage — the first time in U.S. history a statewide referendum specific to charter schools has ever been approved — the proudest accomplishment of his professional career.
Andrew’s work in education has led to other leadership opportunities. Andrew has been a presenter on policy and community engagement topics at numerous regional and national conferences, including the annual conference of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In 2008 he was the 2nd lead reviewer on behalf of The Louisiana Department of Education and The National Association of Charter School Authorizers for six charter school petitioning groups in the City of New Orleans.
In 2011, Andrew served on a 12 member committee of charter school experts to review 15 State Charter Schools Program grant applications totaling nearly $500,000,000. The winners use these funds to increase the number of high quality charter public schools in the United States.
Andrew has a B.S in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Andrew and his wife Alisa live in Decatur and are the proud parents of Ansel and Analisa who both attend public charter schools.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Alabama. Andrew lives in Decatur, where he and he his wife Alisa are the proud parents of two young children, Ansel and Analisa.
Vice President of School Services
Elisa Falcó joined the Georgia Charter Schools Association in January 2011, after serving GCSA as a consultant to develop and implement quality initiatives.
Elisa is the former principal of Tech High School in Atlanta. While serving as principal of Tech High for four years, she led the school’s charter renewal effort, which resulted in a new five-year agreement with the Atlanta Public Schools. Additionally, she directed Tech High through the rigorous Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Council of Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI) accreditation process, leading to a five-year accreditation for the school. In 2009, Falcó served on the Governor’s Teacher Effectiveness Committee that helped develop the Race-to-the-Top grant.
Prior to working at Tech High, Elisa worked as a high school Spanish teacher, and in the private sector as a program coordinator and systems analyst.
Elisa earned a Bachelor’s degree (1993, Spanish Language and Literature) from Georgia State University, a teaching certification from Chapman University (1999, Santa Maria, CA), and a Master’s degree in education and business administration from Arizona State University (2006), where she participated in the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs (LEE) Program. The LEE program was designed to prepare educators and/or members of the business community for charter school leadership. The LEE program was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation.
Elisa is looking forward to serving GCSA, where she will work to increase the quality of charter schools in the state of Georgia.
A resident of Atlanta, Elisa enjoys living in town with her daughter who attended a high quality charter school and is now at Grady High School.
Vice President of Outreach and Communications
Originally from Columbus, OH, RaShaun received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Wright State University and Masters in Educational Leadership from Capella University. Prior to joining GCSA, Rashaun was the Grassroots Manager at the Center for an Educated Georgia where he worked to increase quality educational options across the State of Georgia.
He spent five years as the Principal of Focus Learning Academy East in Columbus, Ohio — a dropout prevention charter school. During his time at Focus Learning Academy East, RaShaun and his students had to work hard for the school choice movement in Ohio alongside other charter schools and charter school advocates. Focus Learning Academy East saw tremendous success in enrollment growth, increased graduates, community involvement and academic success while under RaShaun’s leadership.
RaShaun has diverse career experience in education, having work for both public and charter schools. Prior to joining Focus East as a Vocational Director, and ultimately Principal, he was a content editor for McGraw-Hill.
RaShaun lives in Atlanta and enjoys hanging out with his son Jaden — both of them are avid Ohio State Buckeyes fans.
Executive Director, New Schools for Georgia
Allen Mueller comes to GCSA from Atlanta Public Schools where he was the Executive Director of APS’ Office of Innovation. There he was responsible for designing and guiding the district’s charter school authorizing process, monitoring and supporting district charter schools and developing charter strategy and policy for the district. Prior to his work as an authorizer, Allen worked with boards to open new charter schools in Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, and Illinois. Allen has led charter authorization processes in New Jersey, Louisiana and Tennessee, among other states. He has a Master’s degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University and is ABD from University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Executive Director, Georgia PTO
Rich Thompson is founding Executive Director of Georgia PTO, a new statewide advocacy organization working to promote and support effective educational options for every child in Georgia.
A longtime champion for expanded school options, Rich has earned national recognition for his dedication to promote responsible fatherhood through civic engagement in education reform policy. As founder and chairman of 100Dads, a grassroots advocacy organization of civic-minded Dads, Rich was highly instrumental in advocating passage of the Georgia Charter School Constitutional Amendment, and HB797, its enabling legislation.
For over a decade, Rich’s parental advocacy leadership has greatly contributed to significant education policy changes across the nation. Before launching this new advocacy organization, Rich was chief engagement officer of Ameripublic Partners, LLC – a strategic public affairs firm specializing in government relations, grassroots advocacy and business development solutions for non-profits, political campaigns and corporate clients.
A proud parent of two daughters (who’ve been founding scholars at two separate bricks-and-mortar public charter schools), Rich currently serves as board vice-chair of Georgia Connections Academy, a statewide virtual public charter school. Rich is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. He resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and two daughters.
Office Manager & Corporate Secretary
Jeniffer has been with the Georgia Charter Schools Association for more than 10 years. She received her certificate in Secretarial Studies from Katharine Gibbs School in New York. Before joining GCSA, Jeniffer was the Administrative Assistant and Parent Coordinator at the Academy of Lithonia. Prior to that, she worked in several industries, ranging from investment banking and Mutual Funds to property management.
Jeniffer is married to Melvin Fletcher and between them they have four wonderful adult children. She splits her free time by volunteering with her community and her church.
Program Specialist (photo coming soon)
Stefan McCain began his teaching career 21 years ago at Lindley Middle School in Cobb County as a Special Education teacher providing co-taught and pull-out services. While at Lindley he was urged to begin mentoring new teachers, including teachers participating in GaTAPP, and also earned Teacher Support Specialist certification. He was awarded Teacher of the Year at Lindley in 2004.
In 2005 he moved into the charter school arena at Atlanta’s new Tech High School. Here he worked as English teacher and teacher coach, then moved into the role of Director of Curriculum and Staff Support. In this role he saw the amazing potential of mission-driven charter schools and helped to celebrate the many successes of the students and faculty of Tech High.
Stefan returned to Cobb County in 2010 as a grade level and AP English teacher at Sprayberry High School. Here also co-created a course known as Tools for Success, where his students surpassed their peers in all academic areas. He was named Co-Department Head for English in 2014 and continued to coach and supervise new and aspiring teachers. He was nominated to be Supervising Teacher of the Year by Kennesaw State University in 2013. Several of his student teachers were hired by Sprayberry upon graduation and became successful members of the faculty.
Stefan is thrilled to join the GCSA staff in the role of Program Specialist. coaching and encouraging new and potential teachers. He finds helping teachers see just how brilliant they are, by providing the tools and strategies to channel that brilliance, is absolutely exhilarating and an honor.
Director of Development
Dana joined the Georgia Charter Schools Association in August 2015 after wearing many hats in the non-profit world on a volunteer and professional level.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from St. John’s University Dana has lent her talents to cause-oriented organizations both nationally and internationally. For the past ten years Dana has been fund raising, planning events, and speaking on the role of development to sustain and support an organization’s mission and values.
Dana currently resides in the Atlanta area and is devoted to making a difference for the future of our world, one step at a time.
Director of Special Projects & Strategic Initiatives
Nina Rubin joined GCSA in 2008 after holding positions as Associate Director of Marketing at Jewish Family & Career Services and Director of Media Relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Before moving to Atlanta, Nina spent 10 years on the creative side of the New York ad agency world creating print, tv and radio advertising for such well known brands as Hefty, Pedigree Foods, Good Seasons, Bufferin, Bolla Wines, and Colgate and was an active freelance writer. Her work has been published in the New York Times, and The Forward. Nina earned a B.A. degree in Urban Studies at SUNY Purchase, and has done graduate work in Fundraising and Development.
At GCSA Nina developed our initial branding and identity materials as our first Director of Marketing & Development. She went on to launch G-PAN, the Georgia Parent Advocacy Network to engage parents as charter school stakeholders. She created Charter Schools Rock, our annual outreach celebration for National Charter Schools Week, and served as Director of Communications handling our weekly newsletter and launching CharterConfidential.com, a blog about the charter movement in Georgia.
Nina is the mother of Sam, a graduate student in Public Policy, and Gabriel, a web developer and journalist. She loves living in Intown Atlanta near the BeltLine and is active in several non-profit organizations.
Director of Membership & Member Business Services
Rena joins GCSA after four years as an Educational Consultant with Paxton/Patterson. She covered four states with a focused curriculum serving various areas of Career Technical Education. Before that, she worked 12 years with a human resources, payroll and tax filing company followed by a couple of years as a stay at home mom volunteering countless hours at her son’s schools.
Rena graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BA in English and minor in Communications
Rena and her husband Steve have lived in the Atlanta area for over 20 years and are the parents of Chris and Michael. Her favorite pastimes, aside from children’s concerts and games, are reading and going to the movies.
Director of Leadership Development & Training
Waynica Staples is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and 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.
Performance Management Administrator
Jhanelle joins GCSA as our Performance Management Administrator after interning with GCSA for two years. She has devoted her time to data support and analysis, focused on trends in the charter landscape. She is our in-house resource on school accountability measures (CCRPI, BTO, Value-Add) and other school improvement initiatives.
Jhanelle is passionate about school improvement and facilitating turnaround for Georgia’s lowest performing schools, as well as policy analysis. Jhanelle graduated from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University with a Master of Public Policy degree. She also holds a BS in Economics and International Affairs and a minor in Law, Science, and Technology from Georgia Tech.
She loves living in Marietta, with her husband Phillip, and spending time with friends.