board of trustees

The Board's responsibility is to ensure that NCSH remains faithful to its Charter, complies with all relevant legal requirements, and remains viable financially. The Board has final authority for all policy and operational decisions of NCSH.

Patricia Soussloff


Patricia is a former corporate lawyer who also has experience working with disadvantaged families to help them get access to special education. She is on the board of Partnership with Children, a not-for-profit organization that provides at-risk children with the social and emotional support they need to cope with the circumstances that impact their ability to learn in school.

Jefferson E. Hughes, Jr.

Vice President

Jeff spent more than 30 years at Merrill Lynch in a variety of operating and management roles, including as the firm’s Managing Director and Chairman for Latin America and Canada and as Head of the Global Relationship Management Program. He presently serves as a Consultant and Advisor to the Olayan Group; Partner and Director of Capital Formation Group (Boston based financial planning firm); Board Member of Family Capital Trust Company (Boston based trust bank); Board Member of Merrill Lynch Ventures LLC; Board Member of KECALP Inc. (ML Private Equity Funds); and Partner of NewSmith Capital Partners. In addition, Mr. Hughes is the Board Chair of the Nature Conservancy on Long Island and a Trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He is a past Trustee of the Hotchkiss School.

Adam Rashid


Adam is a former financial analyst in the alternative investment industry. He volunteers as a Big Brother to a teenager in the Bronx.

Cliff Schneider


As a transactional lawyer serving a wide range of clients, Cliff takes a cross-disciplinary approach to his practice by focusing on a variety of areas of law including general corporate law, corporate governance, governmental and regulatory affairs, real estate and the constantly-evolving internet, e-commerce and social media legal landscape. Cliff advises entrepreneurs from entity formation through exit, represents small and mid-sized businesses as their outside general counsel, provides counsel to real estate investors and businesses on their acquisition and disposition of real estate and represents charter schools, educational service providers and education/community-focused not-for-profit organizations throughout their lifecycle.

Gail Brousal

Gail was the Head of the High School at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn for thirty-five years. She also taught fourth and fifth grade language arts classes and is currently leading English conversation groups with English language learners at the Brooklyn Public Library. Gail was a founding member of the Board of Trustees at Leadership Prep Charter School where she chaired the Education Committee.

Derek Fleming

Derek is a Harlem resident and Director of Business Development for the Marcus Samuelsson Group which owns and operates restaurants around the world. He is also a partner in the Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem. Derek has worked as a manager of the Harlem Empowerment Zone and helped develop a number of new real estate projects and job opportunities in Harlem.

Brian Hamilton

Brian is a partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he focuses on U.S. and cross-border mergers & acquisitions and private equity transactions. He was resident in the Firm’s London office for three years, where he was deputy head of the European Mergers and Acquisitions Group, returning to New York City in 2010.

Everado Jefferson

Everardo Jefferson is a founder and Principal of Caples Jefferson Architects.  Since its inception, CJA has risen to national prominence as a leader in architecture. The firm has an established reputation for its design excellence, especially for community, civic, educational, and cultural projects. Distinctions include multiple national and chapter AIA awards, national NoMA awards for Excellence in Architecture, a NYC Art Commission award. In 2009, the firm was named NYC’s MWBE of the year; in 2012, the firm was honored as AIA’s NY State Firm of the Year. CJA has been featured in publications including Architect, Domus, The New York Times, and Detail.

Justena Kavanagh

Tena is the director of the Asian art gallery, Koo New York. She spent many years as an editor and archivist in the Chinese Works of Art Department at Sotheby’s and is a former junior high school teacher. In addition to serving on the boards of several Westchester organizations, she has restored more than a dozen historical houses. 

Starr Peoples

Starr is an attorney and compliance professional. She is the president of the NCSH Parent Association Board and the parent representative on the Board of Trustees. Starr's biggest job is being a happy parent to two native New Yorkers who attend Neighborhood Charter School in Harlem. She is thrilled that her children are thriving and loving NCSH!

Andrew J. Popper

Andrew is a photojournalist and photo editor. His work has been widely published in local and national print media, and he has nineteen years’ experience as a picture editor for US News and World Report, and most recently Business Week magazine. He is the parent of a child with special needs.

Walter Rendon

Walter G. Rendon is the CEO of Educational Achievement, LLC, which he founded four years ago. He also works as an educator with the DOE and consultant for profit and non-profit organizations. Walter has nearly 20 years of business and educational experience. He has spent a decade working for financial institutions such as Merrill Corp. and Credit Suisse First Boston, managing in Equity Research and later branching out and consulting privately.  Walter has also worked in the field of education for nearly a decade, as a teacher in the Bronx, mentor and consultant. His unique blend of financial and educational work experience has led him to his current position. Walter offers a practical knowledge of both pedagogy and business, the nature of learning and education, as well as insight into the 21st century student.

Arthur Sadoff

Dr. Arthur Sadoff is a special education educator and a NYS certified speech pathologist for the past 42 years. He received his Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1982. Dr. Sadoff worked for the NYC Department of Education for 33 years as a teacher and as the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education in school district 14. After retirement, Dr. Sadoff joined the NYC Charter Center as their special education consultant and was instrumental in helping charter schools set up their special education programs. One of the outcomes of his work at the Charter Center was the establishment of the NYC Special Education Collaborative, which is a membership organization and provides ongoing special education support to the member charter schools.