Interim Chief School Administrator
Misha Simmonds joined MPTCS in 2018 as the Interim Chief School Administrator. Previous to MPTCS, Mr. Simmonds was senior portfolio director for Newark Charter School Fund. Misha founded Scholutions LLC, a consultancy that provides management assistance to education organizations on strategy, governance, finance, operations, staffing, technology, facilities, instruction, intervention, assessment, and fundraising. He previously served for eight years as Executive Director of University Heights Charter School (UHCS). During his tenure, enrollment more than tripled to 725 students and the school added a new 35,000 square foot building, which houses the elementary school. UHCS has also been recognized with the national EPIC Silver-Gain Award for breakthrough student achievement gains. For this work, Misha received the 2016 Charter Champion Award for Administrator of the Year. Prior to UHCS, Misha taught middle school for five years in Newark and Kathmandu, Nepal and completed a one-year Aspiring Principal internship at North Star Academy through the New Leaders for New School program. He also worked for three years as an Associate Partner at New Schools Venture Fund in San Francisco, where he managed a $20M investment strategy targeting charter management organizations (CMOs) in Los Angeles. Misha holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Princeton University, a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Baruch College.
MPTCS STEAM Academy
Lisa Finn-Bruce began her career in education in the Bronx, NY. She received her Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University; a Masters degree in Elementary Education from William Paterson University and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her 32 years in education have included positions as a teacher, staff developer, educational consultant, assistant and interim principal and central office administrator. Ms. Finn-Bruce is currently the Vice President of the New Jersey Association of Federal Program Administrators and was named the NJ Federal Administrator of the Year.
MPTCS SELECT Academy
Mr. Gamble has enjoyed a successful career in education for almost two decades. In 2016, Mr. Gamble became the Founding Principal of SELECT Academy. SELECT, which began as a pilot program featuring single gender classes, has grown to a stand-alone campus. The former principal of the MPTCS Middle School, Mr. Gamble supported the growth of the middle school campus from 150 to more than 300 students, while improving the school's culture, curriculum, and student achievement. Mr. Gamble is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds a Bachelor's degree in History and Africana Studies. Additionally, he earned a Master’s degree in administration and supervision at St. Peter's College with a Master's degree in administration and a Master’s of divinity degree from Drew University. Currently, he is a Doctor of Education candidate at Seton Hall University and an inductee into the Phi Delta Kappa Honors Society.
MPTCS PAC Academy
The 2018-19 school year marks an important transition for Mrs. Flournoy-Hamilton, the former Middle School Principal became the Founding Principal of PAC Academy. This new performing arts and culinary themed school blends performing arts and culinary project-based learning with rigorous instruction on the fundamentals: reading, writing, math, science and history. Prior to becoming a principal, Mrs. Flournoy-Hamilton served as an impactful, highly-involved and well-respected part of the middle school community. She served as the vice principal and school social worker. Additionally, she led important initiatives such as the Breast Cancer Awareness Rally, Family Resources Fair and the establishment of the Gents and Gems Support Groups. A native Newarker, Mrs. Flournoy-Hamilton is a graduate of University High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, and a master’s degree from Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work and School Counseling. In April 2015, she completed the New Jersey Expedited Certification for Educational Leadership Educational Leadership Program at the Foundation for Educational Administration. Prior to joining MPTCS, she worked for East Orange Public Schools district.
MPTCS High School of Culinary & Performing Arts
Mrs. Wright-White is deeply honored to have been selected to serve as the founding principal of Marion P. Thomas Charter High School of Culinary and Performing Arts. Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Wright-White was the founding principal of Girls' Academy of Newark. Girls' Academy of Newark is the first public all-girls school in Newark, New Jersey, and in the State of New Jersey in almost 40 years. Before her promotion to Founding Principal of Girls' Academy of Newark, Mrs. Wright-White was the principal of Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School from September 2006-June 2013. Mrs. Wright-White has been an educator for twenty years. She served in the capacity of vice principal from 1999-2006 within the Newark Public Schools at Louise A. Spencer Elementary School, Bragaw Avenue School and George Washington Carver Elementary School. Mrs. Wright-White earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her Master of Arts from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey.