Staff

Caroline Roemer Shirley

Executive Director

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Phone: 504.274.3673

Caroline has more than 20 years of experience organizing, developing and managing corporate and political communications strategies and public policy initiatives with an emphasis on message development and coalition building. Born and raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, Caroline left her home in 1991 to work around the country on political campaigns, eventually founding her own consulting firm, Roemer Bell, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Clients have included mayors, congressmen, governors and Fortune 500 companies.

Returning to Louisiana in 2005, Caroline became the first executive director for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools in the fall of 2007. The LAPCS currently represents more than 90% of charter schools in Louisiana and is recognized as the leading advocacy organization on behalf of charter schools in the state.

Veronica Brooks

Policy Director

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Phone: 504.274.3652

Veronica, a native of Virginia, graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a Master of Public Policy with a focus on Education Policy from George Washington University. She began her career in education with Teach For America as a middle school science teacher and went on to work from D.C. Public Schools, the Louisiana Department of Education, a teacher quality think tank, and an international research firm before joining LAPCS.


Toryah Cameron

Development Director

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Phone: 504.274.3625

Toryah, a native of Mississippi, graduated from Harvard University and received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She began her professional career as a corporate finance attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell in Washington, D.C. before moving to New Orleans to teach at the Tulane University School of Law as a Forrester Fellow and Instructor of Legal Research and Writing. She became a staff attorney at Juvenile Regional Services before teaching in New Orleans’ public schools for almost three years. Prior to joining LAPCS, she served as the Development Director for Teach For America-South Louisiana.

Melissa Carollo

Finance and Operations Director

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Phone: 504.274.3651

Melissa, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Loyola University New Orleans and is certified in Non-Profit Finance by the Kellogg School of Management. Prior to joining LAPCS, Melissa was the founding director of Operations and Finance at New Schools for New Orleans. She also worked with Sojourner Truth Academy and spent nearly four years as an independent non-profit consultant with expertise in finance and operations. Prior to working in education, Melissa spent more than six years in operations and finance with various companies. 


Nikki Chatelain

Special Projects Manager

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Phone: 504.274.3675

Nikki, a native of Metairie, graduated from the University of New Orleans and earned a post-Baccalaureate certificate in Media Arts from Tulane University and a Master of Science in Mass Media Arts and Journalism with a certificate in Public Relations from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Nikki worked in administration at Tulane University and LSU Health Sciences Center before joining teachNOLA’s inaugural cohort and teaching 5th grade for three years. Prior to joining LAPCS, she served as the Administrative Coordinator for the LSU School of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Initiative.

Simone Green

Membership & School Development Director

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Phone: 504.274.3627

Simone, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Sociology of Education with a concentration in Education Policy from New York University. She began her career in charter school operations as the founding office manager of an all-boys charter school in Brooklyn, NY. Simone moved home after eight years in New York City and, prior to joining LAPCS, served as the Director of Finance and Operations for three local charter schools.


Donyell McGlathery

Business Manager

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Phone: 504.274.3666

Donyell, a native of New Orleans, attended Southern University. She worked in the local casino industry for eight years in marketing and executive administration before venturing into the world of non-profits.  Donyell served as a Campaign Executive Assistant at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and as Executive Administrator at the City of Love. Prior to joining LAPCS, she worked as the Office Manager at Educate Now!

Makiyah Moody

Governance Initiatives Director

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Phone: 504.274.3649

Makiyah graduated from Wheaton College and earned a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Chicago. She began her career in education reform at Leadership for Quality Education in Chicago. Makiyah moved on to the KIPP Foundation before becoming Director of Development and eventually Managing Director of Finance and Operations at KIPP LEAD College Prep in Gary, Indiana. Prior to joining LAPCS, Makiyah served as the Founding Executive Director of Leading Educators, Greater New Orleans. Makiyah serves on the board of Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans and is a Trustee elect at Wheaton College in Norton, MA.


Sarah Vandergriff

Legal Director

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Phone: 504.274.3646

Sarah, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South. A William Crowe scholar, she earned her J.D. from the Loyola University College of Law, focusing her studies in U.S. Constitutional Law and International Human Rights. Sarah served as a middle school teacher at her alma mater, the Academy of the Sacred Heart and, prior to joining LAPCS, went on to work as a commercial litigator at Phelps Dunbar, LLP.