Academics Office

The Academics Office develops and coordinates resources to ensure that students receive rigorous, engaging instruction tailored to their individual needs in order to ensure their postsecondary success. The office emphasizes instructional leadership as the key lever to ensuring all students meet college and career readiness standards in every school.

Contact information

200 E. North Avenue
Room 405
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone 443-984-2000
Fax 410-396-9663

Chief Academic Officer
Linda Chen (email)


College and Career Readiness
Promotes a strong culture of pursuit of postsecondary opportunities, student engagement and motivation, success in rigorous academic programming and career pathway options, and successful transition to college and other postsecondary opportunities

Key staff
Rudy Ruiz, executive director (email)
April Bell, director, college readiness (email)
Michael Thomas, director, career readiness (email)

Instructional Leadership
Builds, sustains, and oversees the capacity of instructional school leaders to support teachers in meeting the learning needs of every student, working within geographic community learning networks organized under executive directors to provide differentiated, prioritized, aligned, and coordinated supports based on individual school needs and data; oversees early learning programs

Key staff
Dawn Shirey, senior executive director, elementary (email)
Daryl Kennedy, senior executive director, secondary (email)
Perry Gorgen, director, early learning programs (email)

Specialized Services
Promotes academic, social, and emotional development through services and interventions to meet the needs of diverse students, ensuring that there are multiple pathways to graduation, the identified needs of students with disabilities are met, and appropriate guidelines and regulations are followed

Key staff
Tiffany Clemmons, executive director (email)
Kennisha Austin, director, due process (email)
Roger Shaw, director, multiple pathways (email)
Andrea Schanbacher, coordinator for Life Skills, PAL, nonpublic placement services (email)

Strategy and Compliance
Leads the work within academic departments regarding strategy development and alignment, policy, return on investment/program evaluation, and effective and efficient operating processes

Key staff
Jennifer Dull, director (email)

Teaching and Learning
Prepares students for college and career through development and implementation of curriculum, interventions, enrichment, and assessments, focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics); media and instructional technology; literacy, language, and culture; differentiated learning; and school transformation

Key staff
Janise Lane, executive director (email)
Laura K. Jones, executive assistant (email)

Lara Ohanian, director, differentiated learning (email)
Ryan Salta, director, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) (email)
Lindsey Sullivan, director, literacy, language, and culture (email)
Laurie Sutton, director, school transformation and turnaround (email)