Courtney Rodriguez Sales comes from an extensive and varied background that has always had the same focus: advocating for children. Courtney received a Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law, and Justice from the Pennsylvania State University. She then accepted a position with Teach for America, instructing a fifth-grade classroom in her hometown of Bronx, New York. She led her students to achieve over two years of reading growth in one instructional year. The inequities she witnessed inspired Courtney to obtain a Juris Doctor Degree from Hofstra Law School, which she hoped to use to "dismantle the system" she felt deprived students of an excellent education. She became an Assistant Public Defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, representing juveniles in their criminal proceedings.
Years later, she chose to return to the place she felt she could make the most impact: schools. In her position as the Project Manager for the Pittsburgh Public School District's Department of Professional Development, she developed and managed a number of district initiatives. Additionally, Courtney supported school administrators in the creation of professional development plans aimed at building the capacity of teachers and producing academic achievement for students. Most recently, Mrs. Sales received a credential from Harvard University's College of Education for successfully completing its Urban School Leaders Program. Having fought on behalf of children in the boardroom, the courtroom, and the classroom, Courtney is humbled by the opportunity to create and manage a world class school for children in Houston, Texas.
Nitara comes from an extensive educational background, and firmly believes that early childhood is the foundation for all formal education. Nitara received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Mary Baldwin College. After receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, Nitara continued her education at the University of Phoenix where she obtained a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. Nitara has served as a Director of Monitoring and Compliance for BCFS Education Services and was responsible for ensuring that classroom environments were safe and conducive for learning for all children. She has also served as a Lead Teacher/Instructor for the University of Southern Mississippi and was responsible for teacher training and professional development. Additionally, Nitara has served as a Director of Education for Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans where she created educational programs and systems needed for teachers and students to be successful. The inequities associated with education that Nitara witnessed while working as an early childhood professional in New Orleans led her to pursue her Doctorate in Education which she obtained in August of 2017 from Northcentral University.
Five years later, after residing in Texas and Mississippi Nitara returned to New Orleans to assist with launching a school that focused on literacy and fostering a love of learning for students. Nitara recently relocated to Houston, Texas and is humbled to have the opportunity to serve students and families at Bloom Academy.
Frannie is a native Houstonian that graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown with a degree in Rhetorical Communication with a hope to make an impact during her career.Frannie has over seven years of experience as an administrative professional, with five of those years being in a managerial role, and the last two years were spent working with children. After her foray into many fields, working with many types of different people (& sometimes animals), she was selected to join the Bloom Academy team. Frannie truly and deeply believes in the mission of Bloom Academy and is determined to be a positive force on the Bloom team. She looks forward to connecting with all of the students & parents.
Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Jasmin Guerrero has worked with students through her work as a research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of research include studying the effects of cultural stressors on Latinx adolescents and studying the social, emotional, and educational development in Mexican-American students who translate for their parents. Jasmin also served as a match support specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Jasmin aimed to promote the well-being and success of the students she has worked with in each of her roles. Jasmin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas, and is humbled by the opportunity to be a team member at Bloom Academy.
Kindergarten Teaching Fellow
Amanda Neves has worked with children since the age of 16 at various different organizations. Some of those include Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc, Indy Parks and Recreations, and more. A native from Indianapolis, Indiana, she recently relocated to Houston to join the Bloom Academy team. She’s a recent graduate from Indiana University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Portuguese. Amanda is so excited to meet everyone and knows this will be a great school year.
First Grade Lead Teacher
Brooke Williams has spent the entirety of her professional career committed to the mental health profession. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Norfolk State University, Ms. Williams accepted a position assisting children with mental health diagnoses in various school systems. Ms. Williams recently relocated to Houston, Texas to pursue her purpose of leading children to success with equal opportunity. She began her journey with Bloom Academy Charter School in the 2019-2020 academic school year and is excited to continue to grow with Bloom scholars.
First Grade Teaching Fellow
Hayley Washington graduated from the College Of Southern Maryland with a degree in Criminal Justice. She has an extensive background in childcare that includes experience as a lead teacher to being a nanny in private homes. Ms. Washington moved to Texas four years ago, and prides herself on making a positive impact of the lives of every child she interacts with. Ms. Washington is excited, thankful, and honored to now be a part of Bloom Academy. She is ready and eager to have an excellent school year.
Lead Second Grade Teacher
Candess McPherson, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana where she attended public school for most of her life. She graduated at the age of 16 from Warren Easton High School and later attended the University of New Orleans and the University of Phoenix. She currently holds a Bachelor of Health Administration and a Master of Arts in Education Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. McPherson has served as both a teaching assistant and lead teacher at multiple grade levels. As an educator she is invested in the methodology and idea of understanding, analyzing, and challenging educational practices in order to teach effectively. Ms. McPherson prides herself on holding the highest expectations of all her students and yielding exceptional academic results. Ms. McPherson is overjoyed to join the Bloom Academy Founding Team.