Dr. Karen Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Thomas is one of the founders of Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS). While originally a passive participant, she now actively serves as the school's Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Thomas has guided the school's growth from 60 to 665 students, four classrooms to three campuses and from K-2nd grade to a PreK to 8th grade program. In addition to serving in an educational capacity, Dr. Thomas founded Friends of Marion P. Thomas Charter School, which serves as a non-profit real estate support to the school and manages facilities assets of over $10 million. She also developed the Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation which awards scholarships annually to MPTCS alumni. Dr. Thomas has an undergraduate degree from Simmons College in Boston, a Master's in marketing with a concentration in special events marketing from NYU where she served for four years as an adjunct professor. She also holds a Master's in Educational Leadership from Kean University and a school Business Administrators Certification. Dr. Thomas earned her doctorate at Kean University in the Urban Education Program and serves as an adjunct professor in Kean's Educational Leadership program. In 2008, she completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education program for urban educators and in 2004 received certification from Schools in Transition Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Femi Amorin, CPA
School Business Administrator
Mr. Amorin is the School Business Administrator for Marion P Thomas Charter School. He is responsible for the management of the school's business office. Mr. Amorin is licensed in New Jersey as a Certified Public Accountant and a Public School Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Prior to joining MPTCS, Mr. Amorin worked at Mitchell & Titus. LLP, the largest minority owned accounting firm in the United States, where he provided professional services to a number of school districts, not for profit organizations and the United States Government for the state of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Mr. Amorin earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics/Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University Samaru- Zaria Nigeria and a Masters degree in Finance from University of Strathclyde, Scotland United Kingdom.
John H. Gamble Jr.
Middle School Principal
Mr. Gamble., the principal at Marion P. Thomas Charter School's Middle School Campus, has enjoyed a successful career in education for the last 15 years. Prior to joining MPTCS, Mr. Gamble was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Westampton Township School District in Burlington County, NJ where he helped implement many initiatives, while updating all areas of the districts' curricula. His career has included periods in the Newark Public Schools where he taught middle school language arts and mathematics, as well as the Plainfield Public Schools where he was an elementary school teacher, middle school mathematics teacher, literacy coordinator, and vice principal. Mr. Gamble is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor's degree in History and Africana Studies. He received a Master's degree from St. Peter's College in administration and supervision and a Master of divinity degree cum laude from Drew University Theological School. Currently, he is a Doctor of Education candidate at Seton Hall University and a recent inductee into the Phi Delta Kappa Honors Society.
Elementary School Principal
Ms. Dabney, Principal of Marion P. Thomas Charter School's Elementary campus, knew early on that a career in education was her destiny. As the principal of MPTCS, she has overseen the implementation of the newly-instituted prekindergarten program, the SELECT single-gender Program, Positive Behavior Supports in Schools (PBSIS) and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Prior to joining the staff at MPTCS, Ms. Dabney was a fifth grade teacher, where she received the distinguished honor of Teacher of the Year, as well as the literacy coach within the Plainfield School District. Ms. Dabney received her undergraduate degree at Rutgers University, earned a Masters in Education from St. Peter's College and is currently a Doctor of Education candidate at Kean University. Ms. Dabney is affiliated with the following organizations: Scholarship Chair of the Members of a Responsible Society Incorporated of Plainfield, N.J. Principals and Supervisors Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Phi Delta Kappa Honors Society.
Samuel dela Cruz
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Mr. dela Cruz is Marion P. Thomas Charter School's Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. He has been serving the children of the city of Newark for nearly 15 years. He started his career working at the Division of Youth and Family Services and the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, prior to entering the field of education. He worked for the Newark Public Schools (NPS) for 8 years as a classroom teacher. During his tenure at NPS, he worked with local colleges to mentor and develop future teachers, specializing in urban education. Mr. dela Cruz received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University's Newark College of Arts and Sciences in which he received the Student Leadership Award upon graduating. He obtained his Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Administration and Supervision at Fordham University. He was inducted into the International Honor Society in Education upon graduation. He will begin his doctorate program in the Fall of 2012.
Director of Marketing & Development
Ms. Griffin is the Director of Marketing and Development for Marion P. Thomas Charter School. She is responsible for spearheading the school's marketing and fundraising efforts. Prior to becoming a member of the MPTCS Village, Ms. Griffin worked as the associate director of special events for ESSENCE magazine. During her tenure at the magazine, she worked on a variety of the magazine's signature events and marketing programs. Ms. Griffin is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Human Resources Manager
Mrs. Brown is the Human Resources Manager for Marion P. Thomas Charter School. She is responsible for staffing, training and development, benefits, certifications and all aspects of human resources. Mrs. Brown first came to MPTCS as a parent of two students. She has worked in the main office as the Executive Assistant to the Principal and in the Finance Department. Prior to joining MPTCS, Mrs. Brown worked as the Customer Service/Office of Procurement Manager for Leggett & Platt, Inc. for over twenty years.
Facilities and Technology Manager
Mr. Tannis serves as the Director of Facilities and Technology at the Marion P. Thomas Charter School. Mr. Tannis strives each day to ensure the buildings are properly maintained, safe and secure, and students and staff have access to the most up-to-date technology. Prior to his role at MPTCS, Mr. Tannis worked as a General Contractor. He used his talents to help build and remodel homes and businesses. Mr. Tannis also worked for Lucent Technologies and The Chubb Corporation for ten years as a project manager and computer programmer, respectively. His work with Lucent allowed him to spend three months in Beijing, China where he worked on processes and procedures for localization. Mr. Tannis graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, NY and attended Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC where he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He graduated, with honors, from the Chubb Institute as a certified computer programmer and has a NJ Certified Black Seal License.