The PAVE Family
Our Board of Directors
Margie Yeager is a Partner at Education Forward DC leading their Advocacy portfolio. In this role, she helps direct philanthropic resources to create enabling conditions to advance quality and equity in public schools. Most recently, she was the Director of Advocacy and Policy at Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan coalition of state and district members. Prior to this, Margie was the Chief of Staff to the DC Deputy Mayor for Education where she supported education policy in DC from birth to career including early childhood centers, DC public and charter schools, and higher education. Margie began her career as a second-grade teacher at Simon Elementary in DCPS with Teach for America.
She received her BA from Tufts University summa cum laude and her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School with thesis honors. Margie lives in DC with her husband and three young sons. Her oldest two sons are in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in DCPS at Key Elementary.
Kemba Hendrix is the Director of the House Diversity Initiative sitting on the staff of the Committee on House Administration. In this capacity, she manages the initiative designed to increase recruitment, retention, and development of a more diverse workforce as well as increase awareness of diversity issues among congressional staffs. She has dedicated her career to conflict resolution, educating others, conducting training on creating inclusive environment. A lawyer by training, Kemba worked at Office Personnel Management as Adviser to the Deputy Associate Director of Senior Executive Service and Performance Management, providing advice concerning interpretation of law and policy for the office. Further, she developed and facilitated training modules on EEO Laws, Diversity and Inclusion, Bullying and Harassment and conflict resolution. Kemba also advised the Chief Diversity Officer at the Department of State.
Previously Mrs. Hendrix was a lawyer in at firm in Calverton Maryland and was a law clerk in Prince Georges County Circuit Court. Kemba is also an alum of Teach for America and spent years teaching fourth and sixth graders at Fairfax County Elementary School. She holds a Bachelor degree from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law.
Nathaniel Beers is the President and CEO at The HSC Health Care System. He served as the Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Specialized Instruction, and Executive Director for Early Stages in the Office of Special Education in DC Public Schools since 2009.
Nathaniel volunteers as a general and developmental behavioral pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center, where he was the Medical Director of the Children’s Health Center at CNMC. Prior to joining DC Public Schools, he was the Deputy Director of Policy and Programs for the Community Health Administration of the DC Department of Health and the Title V Director for DC. He has served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Welfare and the Children with Special Health Care Needs Advisory Board.
Nathaniel was a Past President of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was also the Chair of the AAP National Committee on Membership. He serves on the Council of School Health for the AAP and serves in a variety of other roles for the AAP, both regionally and nationally.
Nathaniel completed his undergraduate education at the University of Rochester and his medical school education at George Washington University. Nathaniel remained in DC to complete his residency at Children’s National Medical Center. He completed the Anne Dyson Child Advocacy fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Boston and was the chief fellow for the Division of General Pediatrics. While in Boston, Nathaniel completed a Master’s in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was also the Medical Director of the Perkins School for the Blind.
Since his return to DC, Nathaniel has worked on many issues as they relate to children in DC. He was part of the executive committee and a founding member of the DC Partnership to Improve Children’s Healthcare Quality, a collaborative between the DC pediatric community and Medicaid. He was an active member of the Children’s Advocacy Roundtable, coordinated by DC Action for Children. He has served on a number of advisory committees relating to children and their health and education. He also led efforts to coordinate the first DC City-wide Childhood Obesity Summit. Nathaniel has done research on children with special needs and access to care issues and the interface between health and education systems.
Nathaniel is a DC native and graduate of the School Without Walls Senior High School. He is married to Lee Savio Beers, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center, and has a daughter and a son. Both of whom attend DCPS.
Lynn C. Jennings
Lynn C. Jennings, Ph.D. is a passionate advocate for students and has demonstrated this in her ten years at the Education Trust (Ed Trust), a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing opportunity gaps by expanding excellence and equity in education for students of color and those from low-income families from early childhood through college. She has held several positions including senior legislative associate, field director, and now she is the senior director for national and state partnerships. In her current position, Lynn works in close partnership with Ed Trust’s policy and communication teams to ensure the organization’s work in states is informed by research and evidence and communicated effectively. She built a model for advocacy training that continues to garner close to 400 people a year who attend Ed Trust “bootcamps” to gain policy and advocacy skills.
Prior to working at Ed Trust, Lynn worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), where she directed all CBCF educational programs, which include professional fellowships in congressional offices and on committees, college internships on Capitol Hill, and scholarship programs. Alumni from these programs became chiefs of staff for congressmembers, executive directors of nonprofit organizations and schools, state education chiefs, and one is now a Member of Congress.
Lynn began her career teaching college. She received a B.A. in English from Spelman College and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her areas of specialization were 19th century American literature, including African American literature, and Women’s Studies.
She taught at Trinity Washington University (DC), Spelman College, Columbia College in Chicago, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. She saw how students were unequally prepared for college because of no fault of their own. From these experiences, she decided to be an advocate for students.
Lynn lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two elementary-school age sons. She currently serves on the board of trustees for a DC public charter school and she is a member of the Ward 5 Education Equity Executive Committee. She is the former president of the John Burroughs Elementary School Parents and Teachers Organization (PTO).
LaJoy Johnson-Law is a Ward 8 resident with a beautiful 10-year old daughter – Abria. Abria is a child with a disability who attends Rocketship Legacy Public Charter School. LaJoy is heavily involved in the education and policy landscape in D.C. for the last decade, previously serving as a Board Member at AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School. She has previously served as the President of the University of Phoenix DMV Alumni Chapter Association, co-chair on legislative policy issues and affairs for the Ward 8 Democrats, and currently serves as the Ward 8 parent member on the Thrive by Five Coordinating Council. LaJoy also is a parent member of the Ward 8 Education Council.
LaJoy is also a parent leader at Rocketship Public Charter School, where Abria is enrolled in the 5th Grade. She is constantly inspired by her daughter, who was born extremely premature at 23 weeks and 1 pound 6 ounces. LaJoy believes that just like her daughter is a miracle, all of our children are miracles and deserve high-quality education so they can thrive. Motivated by her advocacy for Abria and other children like her, LaJoy has also briefly served as a classroom paraprofessional at St. Coletta Special Education Public Charter School and previously interned at the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA). Currently, LaJoy is the parent support specialist at Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) to continue her advocacy and training efforts for families who have children with disabilities. LaJoy holds an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and is currently enrolled at Walden University, pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.
Michael K. Yudin brings the expertise of a career spent advocating for equitable opportunities for educationally disadvantaged children and youth to his role as Principal at The Raben Group. Prior to joining the firm, Michael worked on behalf of the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Education for six years, serving the Secretary in a number of capacities, including Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
In his capacity as Assistant Secretary, Michael led the Department’s efforts to effectively administer twenty-two federal disability grant programs, totaling approximately $15 billion, designed to improve the educational and employment outcomes of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Working with the Secretary and other senior leaders across the Department of Education, Members of Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies, he helped guide the formulation, development, and implementation of policy designed to ensure equal opportunity and access to, and excellence in, education and employment for individuals with disabilities.
In particular, Michael worked to ensure students with disabilities were held to the highest standards and expectations, improve postsecondary education and employment opportunities, and address issues of racial and ethnic disparities in special education. He also helped the Department with implementation of the newly reauthorized ESEA. Michael also took a leadership role in the Department’s efforts to Rethink Discipline, promoting alternatives to exclusionary discipline policies that disproportionately exclude students of color and students with disabilities from the classroom.
Additionally, Michael served on a number of interagency boards and committees, including as a member of the Early Childhood Interagency Policy Board, co-chair of the Federal Partners in Transition, and as chair of the U.S. Access Board. As Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, he oversaw a number of the Secretary’s critical priorities, including ESEA flexibility and initiatives to turn around low- performing schools and improve teacher and leader effectiveness.
Prior to joining the Department, Michael served nine years as a U.S. Senate staffer, serving as the legislative director for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, senior counsel to Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, and HELP Committee counsel to Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont.
Working for senior members of the HELP Committee, Michael helped draft, negotiate, and pass various pieces of legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, and reauthorization of the Head Start Act.
Before joining the Senate, Michael served as an attorney at the Social Security Administration and at the U.S. Department of Labor for nearly 10 years.
Founder and Executive Director
Maya Martin Cadogan
“My mother was a teacher and my father was a lawyer and they always taught me to advocate for myself. But it is also my privilege in who raised me. My parents are well-educated and know how to navigate the systems to which they exposed me. They are highly verbal and so I am highly verbal. They come from families that while discriminated against, had for generations felt the power to navigate through an unjust system and had found success in spite of prejudice. And every day, I work to try to figure out how to transfer some of that power to the children and families that I serve in DC, the city that raised my family for five generations. Because it shouldn’t just be those of us that are lucky enough to grow up with power given to and expected of us that know how to use the voice and power that we all have within.”Read the Rest!
For Inquiries and Scheduling, Email:email@example.com
Director of Communications
“Seeing my friend navigate the power structures of our school and receive vastly different treatment than I did initiated a mindset within me that opened the door for the experiences which ultimately brought me to PAVE. I do not do this work solely because I want to ensure other students have fairer access to support from their teachers – I do this work because watching my friend’s experience with power sparked in me a drive to create bigger change that results in more equitable systems. I want to work to cure the underlying disease, not just the symptoms, and that is why I am at PAVE.”Read the Rest!
“All the Black and brown children that already have a hard life should have one place they can call home: school… We need school communities and systems that truly care about children’s lives and outcomes. This is what I hope and wish for all children in DC.”Read the Rest!
SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
“Though my impediments are now nearly undetectable, I still credit them as the main characters of my educational story. If not for them, I would not have gone on a journey that allowed me to understand that the way I communicated was the best way I knew how. I believe this mindset brought me to my role here at PAVE. Because of my background, I know it is not my job to be a voice for others. Instead, I only intend to listen and understand so that I can join our members alongside them and share a message that I believe everyone needs to hear.”Read the Rest!
SENIOR POLICY ANALYST
“My college education taught me that I had power in my education system all along. There was not one particular moment where I realized the power that my parents or I had. The intentional policies established my family’s and my community’s power to being guaranteed a quality education. We never had to question or acknowledge the existence of our power because that was built into our privilege while living in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee.”Read the Rest!
“I know now that my all-white classroom was not a random occurrence, but a result of an educational system not set up to provide all students the same opportunities. Although I still feel hopelessly uneducated at many times, I am thrilled to be with PAVE and to start working towards addressing the inequalities in DC’s educational system. ”Read the Rest!
DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND ADVOCACY
“…the power of humility, connection, joy, love and compassion will always trump the power of fear. Education is what builds all of those things, it is what tilts that scale. It is on us to ensure more children and families have access to books that allow children to explore those things and learning experiences that foster them – and for more than just one unit in school. It is our job to cultivate that power for them every class, every day, every year, and for students to realize that power within themselves. The power to change their life – as well as the lives of others – forever and for good.”Read the Rest!
DC Ward of Residence:1
“I believe that we shouldn’t have had to prove we were worthy of opportunities to change our lives. Everyone has a voice that must be heard and when they are, they can lead to great change that support ourselves, each other, and our communities.”Read the Rest!