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Board of Trustees


Title: Board Trustee, President


Maria is a Newark resident with an ardent drive for social equality and an inspirational leader. She is currently employed as a Counselor for the CPCP UBELL TRIO Federal Grant Program at NJIT. She coaches/mentors a STEM  FTC Robotics Team by CLEAR. Maria is an exceptional young leader who has made a big difference in all projects that she commits to from leading a mentoring program to help minority students pursue a college education to Latina’s efforts for gender equality in her free time .


Throughout her professional career, she has worked closely with curriculum specialists to further develop the successful mentoring component of the NJ GEAR UP Project. She has developed strong relationships and established strong partnerships with non-profit and corporate organizations that help to bridge the gap  between education and opportunity through internships and social impact projects. 


Maria has 10 years of experience in urban classroom settings. Ranging from Special Needs Program, as an Autism Instructor in a self-contained classroom to the Juvenile Detention as a biology instructor.   Ms. Andrade has a  Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from NJCU. She is a graduate from the Center for American Women in Politics (CWAP)NEW-Leadership Cohort Class of 2016.  She was also awarded a Political Science Certificate from TWC-The Washington Center in Washington D.C. She has been recognized by the New Jersey City University (NJCU)- Opportunity Scholarship Program EOF and inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, along with being a part of  the National Society of Leadership and Success- NJCU Chapter.  She is also a Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) Women in Global Policy Almuna -She  proudly serves as the Regional Ambassador for the NJ GEAR UP & College Bound Alumni Network since 2010.


As a woman of color, 1st generation Ecuadorian Immigrant, a young mother and social justice fighter she has dedicated herself to Social Justice, Equality, Minority Issues, Criminal Justice Reform, Education and Advocacy for marginalized communities. She is actively involved with many organizations that share her vision. Maria is a member of the Community Advisory Board at RWJBH Clara Maass Center of Excellence for Latino Health (CELH) and Somerset RWJBH . Currently she also serves as the President Board of Trustees for Roseville Community Charter School The first Charter School Board to be Certified in NJ by NJSBA she is also a NJSBA Certified Board Member. Ms Andrade is an appointed member of the Hispanic Commission for the Office International Relations and Diaspora Affairs  in the great city of Newark. Twice she has been in  The Latino Spirit Digital  Annual Publication as one of  the 100 Statewide Latino  Leaders in NJ. Recently, she has been featured in Insider NJ Publication 2020 “Millennials to Watch”.She serves as Member at Large Executive Board Member at Essex County College . Ms. Andrade is a honorary founding member of Women Economic Forum NJ Chapter.


Ms. Andrade firmly believes that while influence and environmental factors can impact one’s development, individuals are ultimately the masters of their own destinies and she refuses to be limited by circumstances that are out of her control. She is personally invested in ensuring that all children  are given an education with the highest quality that nurtures scholarly development with 21st century skills.


Ms. Andrade is the happy and loving mother of two beautiful children Michael and Dahlya

Title: Board Trustee, VP

Caren Freyer serves as regional public affairs manager PSEG. She brings forty years of corporate and community leadership. Caren is retired Chairwoman Newark Youth Investment Council, active Board of Overseers Member NJIT and has served as Vice Chairwoman Commissioner Essex County Utilities  Authority. She Graduated from Kean University with degrees in Public Administration and Political Science. She resides in Millburn NJ was born at Beth Israel Hospital Newark and is a Congregant of Temple Ahavas Shalom The Newark Jewish Museum on Broadway.

Dr. Charity Dacey
Title: Board Trustee

Dr. Charity Dacey is a faculty member and associate dean in the School of Education at Felician University.  She attended Smith College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in American Studies. Dr. Charity Dacey is a strong supporter of public education and spent several years teaching in public schools as a K-12 educator, mentor teacher and cross-country and track coach. These experiences led her to working for the New Teacher Project in both the Bronx and Manhattan as well as in Maryland recruiting, selecting, training and supporting new teachers in the Teaching Fellows Program. Dr. Charity Dacey attended Mercy College and earned an M.S. in Organizational Leadership. She spent the next 11 years recruiting, teaching and advising pre-service and practicing teachers in New Jersey at Montclair State University. Dr. Charity Dacey is passionate about the power of education and shares her belief with students that “education, by its very nature, should help people to develop their best selves” -Nell Noddings. At Montclair State University, Dr. Charity Dacey was recognized with the advising administrator award of the year in her role as the Director of Teacher Education Admissions and Retention. At Montclair State University, Dr. Charity Dacey earned a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Teacher Development. Her dissertation investigated the ways in which classroom teachers make meaning of ethical practice. In 2018 she joined the School of Education at Felician University. Dr. Charity’s larger research agenda blends ethics, assessment practices, self-study and how to foster more inclusive, socially just, culturally responsive education in K-12 classrooms. She teaches courses in Educational Assessment Development and Evaluation Models, Learning and Development in Children with and without Disabilities, Pedagogy in Inclusive Elementary Education, Psychological Foundations of Education, Assessment of Authentic Learning, and First Year Experience. Dr. Charity Dacey serves as a journal reviewer, committee member for assessment and advising at her university, and also serves on the advisory board for the Boys and Girls Club of Lodi LEAP.

Title: Board Trustee

Monica Darko is a middle school teacher for Newark Public Schools. Ms. Darko enjoys working with students to prepare them for high school and beyond while exposing them to 21st-century career options like computer programming and engineering. Her greatest joy is helping others find their purpose and reach their highest potential.


Ms. Darko attended Rutgers University- Newark where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology and a Master in Public Administration. Her love of public policy and education drives her decision-making to positively impact the lives of students and families in Newark.


Ms. Darko is involved in several community organizations. She is the President of the North Jersey Unit of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc. Additionally, she holds membership in the Newark Branch NAACP and the First Ghanaian Society of New Jersey. She enjoys spending time with her four
children, travelling and serving on nonprofit boards. She has served as a Board Member of Roseville Community Charter School since 2018.

Tiesha McKinney
Title: Board Trustee

My name is Tiesha McKinney and I have been an educator for over 22 years. I have been an elementary school teacher, a data and assessment coordinator, a testing coordinator, and an academic dean. I am currently working as an elementary teacher for Newark Public Schools. I love working and being an educator because it provides me an opportunity to see the potential and talent of so many youth, right here in the city of Newark.

I have a BA in Sociology from Drew University, MAED in Curriculum and Instruction and in Education and Supervision, both from the University of Phoenix. I have also begun studying for my EDD in Educational Leadership. I am happy to become a part of Roseville Community Charter School.

Ariagna Perello
Title: Board Trustee

Ariagna has been involved with serving the community since she was a teenager, which is a passion that has shaped her raison d’etre.  Community/Public service is what drives her to help make her city of Newark a model for urban excellence. Service to the community has driven Ariagna to start a Civic Association to help serve the community in which she lives.    

In 2012, Ariagna became a member of the Newark Board of Education, and in 2015 became the first Latina President of the Board. During her tenure with the Board of Education, she took measures to ensure that all Board Members became certified by the State of NJ. She assisted in the restoration of Local Control to the Newark Board of Education; championed the Newark Public School's renaming from the old Elliott Street School to Salome Urena Elementary becoming the first school named under a Latina. In 2015 was appointed to the Newark's Commission of Women Status. In 2016 obtained the Certified Board Member by the New Jersey School Board Association, Emerge NJ alumni and PolitickerNJ even listed her as one of the most influential Latinos in New Jersey.  




Title: Board Trustee

Ammie Salom-Rodriguez has dedicated her career to healthcare, with over 15 years of experience and more than 7 years in leadership positions at top hospitals in the tri-state area, including Rutgers’ Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Englewood Hospital, Montefiore, and Columbia Medical Center. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, with a concentration in Community Health Education.


In addition to her commitment to women’s health and well-being, she is also a passionate advocate for the economic empowerment of women and girls. Most recently, she has worked with local organizations to assist in fundraising efforts and advocates for the empowerment of young women as they pursue higher education and secure leadership positions, while also learning to balance their career goals with personal aspirations and family life.


Ammie is also the founder of Femmenominal Women, a collaborative community organization dedicated to empowering women to live productive, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Through this growing platform, she hosts local events bringing women together to share insights about health, career and family life, as well as connect them to a network of sisterhood and support.


In addition, Ammie is a Board Member of LUPE FUND, INC. She serves as the Program Co-chair and is a committee member of the Young Latina Scholarship Program.  


As a mother of two girls, Ammie works hard to model ambition, community volunteerism, a strong work ethic, healthy lifestyle, and work-life balance for her daughters. She’s also a supportive partner to her husband, Gabriel Rodriguez, an elected official serving the town of West New York as the Mayor.


Ammie is born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, and comes from humble beginnings. She is passionate about helping women to break through glass ceilings, whether in the workplace, in education or at home.

Luisa Torres
Title: Board Trustee

Luisa Torres is a community leader and ardent advocate for equitable education.  Ms. Torres earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies from Montclair State University.  Ms. Torres earned a Master of Arts degree from Montclair State University in Law & Governance with a concentration in Compliance and Regulation where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.  Ms. Torres also earned a Master of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Montclair State University to refine her business acumen.  Ms. Torres has worked with the with the Pre-Legal Program at Seton Hall Law School and is an alumna of the program.  Ms. Torres spent six years in the banking industry prior to transitioning to the legal field where she has spent the last eight years in public and private sector.  Ms. Torres serves on the Passaic County’s Census Committee and is continually active in the community."