Founder & Executive Director
Elisa Hoffman founded School Board School in 2018 through a People’s Liberty/Haile Foundation Fellowship. She is a parent, former teacher, and education advocate who has worked for over twenty years on issues of educational equity, including serving a four-year term on the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education. When she’s not working with the School Board School crew, Elisa enjoys reading (just about anything), writing (mostly fiction), and hanging out with her husband and their twin 10-year olds.
The Mentor Team
Our mentor team helps direct School Board School, providing insight from their decades of experience working in education and civic engagement. The diversity of their professional backgrounds allows this team to approach questions from a variety of viewpoints and experiences, which has been invaluable to shaping School Board School.
Vice President, Community Strategies at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Harold Brown serves at the Vice President of Community Strategies at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation where he is responsible for providing executive leadership and vision for GCF’s grant making programs. Prior to joining GCF, Harold served as a senior officer at KnowledgeWorks, where he explored and developed investment and partnership opportunities designed to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth. Prior to that role, Harold served as founding President of EDWorks, the fee-for-service subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, that offered innovative school designs focused on empowering first-generation college-goers and traditionally underserved students to graduate from high school better prepared for college and career. Harold previously served as Director of Multicultural Enrollment Services for Miami University of Ohio, and as Chief of Staff for the Vice President for Student Affairs there. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Government, with honors, from Harvard University.
Eileen Cooper Reed
Former CPS Board Member and Strategic Partner at the Intersections Group
Eileen Cooper Reed is a change maker and advocate who resides in Cincinnati. Her entire adult life has been dedicated to the improvement of the human condition, particularly for children and families of color. Before becoming a lawyer, Eileen was trained in community development and worked in both rural and urban settings. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, she did a stint at the US Court of Appeals before settling in as a Juvenile Court Referee. In 1993, Eileen opened the Cincinnati office of the Children’s Defense Fund where she eventually assumed the helm of the Ohio office of CDF. Eileen’s devotion to service led to her election to the City of Cincinnati Board of Education where she served two four-year terms and was chosen President by her colleagues four of those years. Since her tenure on the Board of Education, Eileen formed the Intersections Group whose purpose is to advance conversations that matter, acknowledging and examining the intersections of equity in community.
President & CEO at Mayerson Academy
Dr. Darwish is an award-winning educator, passionate about the potential of learning to create an increasingly positive future. She currently serves as President and CEO of Mayerson Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming individual, team, and organizational performance. Under her leadership, the Academy has become the exclusive education partner to the VIA Institute, working with schools, universities, organizations, and communities to utilize the science of character strengths to transform cultures. The Academy’s work has been featured in EdWeek, Live Happy, and US News and World Report and Dr. Darwish has been invited to share the Academy’s work around the globe. Prior to her current role, Jillian held leadership positions in philanthropy, public television, and K-16 education.
Career Enrichment Program Coordinator at Woodward Career Technical High School
Carmen Gaines is on a mission to uplift women. Carmen currently holds the role of the Career Enrichment Program Coordinator for Cincinnati Public Schools. In this role, she serves as a liaison between student, community, and school to develop partnerships for career technical education. Carmen is the founder of Women’s Liberation Workshop (WLW), an interactive health and wellness workshop that addresses the intersectional oppressions that women experience using fitness, financial education, and entrepreneurship as the means to economic sustainability. Carmen serves as a board member for the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative (GCMI) to provide economic empowerment opportunities to individuals and communities through job creation and self-employment opportunities by stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship.
“I have worked in education for a long time and I’ve seen the impact school boards have on their districts. I know that it is a challenging role, one that requires navigating a set of complex issues in an ever-changing environment. I’ve been involved with School Board School since it’s very beginning because I think it is an excellent way to prepare individuals who are interested in serving on public school boards, as well as a way to educate community members about the role of the school board. It provides potential candidates with a thorough primer on those areas for which a public school board member is responsible, enabling them to make well-informed decisions around what’s best for our kids.”
Senior Vice President and Education Program Manager at the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation
After a 28-year career in Human Resources on both the corporate and consulting sides, Leslie joined the Foundation at its inception in 2007, first as a Board member and then as staff to oversee its educational investments. Recognizing that education is a key driver of economic growth, community vibrancy and individual success, she convenes, connects and catalyzes efforts to drive systemic change across the educational ecosystem in supporting disadvantaged children in the region’s urban core along the cradle to career continuum. Her more recent investments reflect a greater emphasis on early learning initiatives – from birth through third grade – to ensure every child has an equitable start on his or her lifelong journey to success. Leslie and her husband, Tim, who leads the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation, reside in East Walnut Hills and have two sons currently residing in Cincinnati and Denver.
VP & Executive Director, Workforce Innovation Center at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Audrey Treasure joined the Chamber in December of 2018 as VP and Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation Center. In her role, she oversees efforts to implement Inclusive Capitalism practices within businesses and move people from poverty to self-sufficiency by connecting social service agencies to employers. She previously served as Senior Director at the Cincinnati Business Committee and the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee. In earlier roles, Audrey worked as the Advancement and Strategic Partnerships Officer at Antioch University Midwest, the Senior Director at Junior Achievement of Georgia, and as a Teach For America Corps Member in Chicago and Atlanta. Audrey, her husband, and three daughters live in Mason.
The People’s Liberty Team
School Board School launched in April 2018 with the support of a People's Liberty Haile Foundation fellowship. In School Board School's first year, the People's Liberty team invested their time, heart, and resources in the idea, serving as thought-partners, connectors, designers, editors, tech support, cheerleaders, social media marketers, reality-checkers, and so much more.