Jared Taillefer, Executive Director
Jared Taillefer is a committed and mission-driven educator with decades of experience as a teacher and administrator. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Great Oaks Legacy Charter School. After spending six years at MATCH Charter Public High School and Middle School, one of the highest performing schools in the country, he founded Great Oaks Charter School in 2011. Jared led a merger alongside Newark Legacy Charter School to establish Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in 2016. Jared holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration from New York University. Jared also serves as a founding board member for Saga Education, a member of the Charter Accelerator Program and participated in the 2022 Fox Fellowship.
Lisa Powell, Chief Academic Officer
Lisa Powell received a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of New England. During her career in education, Mrs. Powell has had roles including Teacher, Literacy Coach, Director of Curriculum, and Principal prior to her current role of Chief Academic Officer at Great Oaks Legacy Charter School.
Chiffon Rushford, Chief Schools Officer
Chiffon Rushford received a B.A in Liberal Arts from Hunter College, an M.S.W from Fordham University, and an M.S in School Leadership from Mercy College. Prior to joining GOLCS, Mrs. Rushford worked at Harlem Children’s Zone in various positions including Assistant Director and Dean of Students. As a founding team member and the Tutor Corps Director at GOLCS, Mrs. Rushford now serves as Chief Schools Officer.
Dominick DiFalco, Chief Strategy Officer
Dominick DiFalco has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Pace University and a Master’s degree in English from CUNY Brooklyn College. Prior to his current position of Chief Strategy Officer at GOLCS, he served as Chief Strategy Officer for KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth, and statewide Managing Director of Development and Planning for KIPP Texas Public Schools before joining GOLCS in 2019. In his role, he is responsible for leading the development and execution of strategic imperatives and growth and sustainability initiatives for the organization as well as external relations.
Nichelle Howe, Chief People & Equity Officer
Over the course of her career, Nichelle Howe has led people and equity-centered initiatives at a variety of companies and institutions, including most recently with the Girl Scouts of the USA. She has also previously held a number of senior HR positions at Bayer, the multinational biotech company, and was an HR Manager at De La Rue before joining GOLCS as Chief People & Equity Officer in 2023.
Dr. Ariana Lopez, Chief Operating Officer
Ariana is a non-profit education operations executive with over a decade of Operations Leadership experience. Ariana holds a doctoral degree in Law & Policy with a specialization in Education Policy from Northeastern University and has served in a number of Operations Leadership roles across the charter sector in New York City. Prior to joining GOLCS, Ariana was the Operating Partner and Non-Profit Practice Head of a boutique Management Consulting firm based in Brooklyn where she has had the privilege of helping charters across the country grow and expand in different ways throughout the past 4 years.