Our Team

GRAHAM BROWNE, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Forte Prep Founding Team is led by Founder and Executive Director Graham Browne who is a 2015 Building Excellent Schools (BES) Fellow.  Mr. Browne is a proud graduate of Brown University and Yale School of Management with an academic background in urban studies, education, and nonprofit management, and a professional background in education policy advocacy with the Education Equality Project and nonprofit management consulting in the education practice at the Bridgespan Group. Through the BES Fellowship, Mr. Browne completed two intensive Leadership Residencies, working alongside the leaders of some of the most successful charter schools in the country. Born in New York and raised in New Jersey by hardworking Caribbean parents who immigrated to this country to seek better opportunities, he experienced the great power of education to change the trajectory of a child's life.

“I feel very fortunate to have had a series of transformational educational experiences. As an eighth grader, I received a scholarship to attend a top private high school due to a little skill and far too much good luck. I felt like I received a golden ticket that I did not deserve, because this kind of opportunity is not guaranteed for the vast majority of students, especially first-generation Americans and low-income students of color who often look like me. For too many students, demography determines destiny. Forte Prep is designed to create a better future for all students who attend. Together, as a community, we can build a school that defies the norm and allows every student to excel in college preparatory high schools and use their leadership and voice to change the world.”

He has also completed graduate coursework with Bank Street College of Education as part of the Venture Consortium’s Urban Education Semester. Through the program, Mr. Browne served as an assistant fifth grade teacher at P.S. 20 - Anna Silver School in Manhattan, NY in 2006

Jazlyn Jacobs, Founding Operations Manager

As a first generation college student from New York City, Jazlyn is dedicated to sharing her success by motivating youth to strive for higher education. Prior to joining Forte Preparatory Academy, Jazlyn worked at Girls Prep Lower East Side as the Operations Manager. She currently holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh in Sociology and Biology and a minor in English. Jazlyn is a proud member of the College Success Program and College for Every Student (CFES) and is also a published research author in the American Pediatric Society. Outside of work she loves to travel, cook and co-owns a family dessert business.

Viviana Benjumea, FOunding Office Manager and Community Coordinator

Born and raised in Elmhurst, Queens, Viviana is a proud Williams College alumna with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature with minors in French and Latina/o Studies. She is also a Princeton University Summer Journalism Program alumna and a published Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow. Hoping to work with, inform, and unite her home community, she joined Forte Prep in its founding year after occupying the role of Associate Director of Admissions at The TEAK Fellowship. Outside of Forte Prep, Viviana is a semi-professional salsa dancer, an insatiable reader, and a language lover - she speaks English, Spanish, and French.


Forte Prep Board of Trustees

Forte Preparatory Academy Charter School (“Forte Prep”) is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board assumes the ultimate authority and accountability for all matters of school governance and administration. The Board ensures that all provisions of the charter are fulfilled in a manner consistent with the spirit and letter of New York State Charter Law. The Board oversees financial management of the school, review of audit methods and findings and compliance with sound fiscal management. The Board has the responsibility for hiring and evaluating the performance of the Executive Director and delegate all day-to-day management functions and responsibilities to the Executive Director. 

 

RICHARD CELESTIN 

is a solo practitioner, Adjunct Professor, and motivational speaker, providing services under his educational consulting business, Richard Celestin Consulting Group, LLC. Under his LLC, he develops and provides legal skill development, self-awareness, youth empowerment, and consequential thinking programs to elementary and middle school students in Queens and Brooklyn. Richard also serves as a consultant for various organizations seeking to develop youth-based programs within the community, practices various areas of the law, and is an adjunct professor at John Jay College and LaGuardia Community College.

Lisa Friscia, (Chair) 

is the Senior Director of Democracy Prep Public Schools’ Leader U, where she is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and coaching Democracy Prep’s internal leadership. Previously, Lisa was the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for Democracy Prep and the founding Principal of Democracy Prep Charter High School. Lisa taught history at Democracy Prep as well as M.S. 137 for over seven years of her career. Lisa earned her B.A. in American Studies and Economics from Amherst College, her M.Ed. in Social Studies Education from CUNY-Queens College, and her M.Ed. in Education Leadership from Teachers College of Columbia University.

Madifing Kaba 

is a Manager in PwC’s Banking & Capital Markets Advisory consulting practice. He also serves as the Chairman of the Steering Committee of The Opportunity Agenda, a New York-based nonprofit. Madi emigrated from Paris to pursue higher education in the United States and earned a B.Sc. in Finance from the University of Illinois and both an M.Sc. in Public Policy Analysis and an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.

HOPETON LINDO

works for a software company that services financial institutions. His company helps firms that have regulatory obligations with the SEC to stay compliant. Hopeton is originally from London of Jamaican heritage, but is "from" many places. He also spent 15 years in Japan, which has impacted his outlook and worldview. He lives in New York with his family, and is excited to serve on the Board's fund development committee.

Daniel Ostroff-Moskowitz, (TREASURER) 

is a Director of Operational Excellence at the New York Marriott Marquis where he currently manages a project that analyzes business demand and identifies and corrects inefficient processes. Daniel started his professional career in New Orleans where he was the Staff Accountant for the Stuart Hall School for Boys and later the Senior Assistant Director of Finance of the New Orleans Marriott. He earned a B.A. in Finance and anM.Acct. in Accounting and Finance from Tulane University. 

Kyle Robinson

is a Director in PwC's Advisory consulting practice, focusing on various Financial Services (FS) clients. Kyle assists his clients in developing and implementing strategies to address Regulatory and Technical challenges across the FS Banking & Capital Markets industry. His client experience includes deep background in middle & back office brokerage operations, business process outsourcing (BPO), acquisition planning, fund accounting, financial product controls, Dodd Frank, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and Common Reporting Standards (CRS). Kyle attended Stevens Institute of Technology where he earned a B.S. in Business & Technology, and a M.S. in Technology Management. 

Alexie Rothman, (SECRETARY) 

is a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. In this capacity, she works on a variety of litigation matters in both state and federal court. She also devotes a significant portion of her work to pro bono cases, where she is able to provide direct legal services to families and individuals in need of legal support. Prior to law school, she spent two years in the classroom through Teach For America, teaching 7th grade English.  Alexandra earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.

Board minutes

October 30, 2016

November 16, 2016

December 14, 2016

January 11, 2017

February 8, 2017

March 15, 2017

April 12, 2017

May 10, 2017

June 21, 2017

July 19, 2017