Xheni is PENCIL’s Communications Manager. She attended NYC public schools and furthered her education with a B.S in Marketing from CUNY CSI. Prior to PENCIL, she worked in business management and marketing.
She has a background in fashion design and a passion for all things creative, which led her to her career in digital and social media marketing.
Christine Gorman is currently the Director of Institutional Advancement. In this role, she oversees special events, individual giving, government contracts, and Board support. Her work also includes oversight of the systems and structures of the Development team. Christine has a breadth of experience supporting and leading fundraising initiatives across a decade of experience. Prior to joining PENCIL, she supported the Corporate Relations team within Global Resources at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Christine earned a BA in Social and Cultural History from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When not at work, Christine can be found cooking and reading books that double as door stops.
Clair Oblamski is a Program Manager with PENCIL’s Programs Team. For the past three years she has worked for the City Parks Foundation in their education department as the program manager of a STEM-based afterschool program. Previously she worked at a youth-focused nonprofit that provided squash instruction and academic enrichment to students in Harlem. She grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee but came to the east coast for school. At Smith College she majored in neuroscience and psychology, and played on the varsity tennis and squash teams. In New York she plays in various sports leagues, and enjoys walking, running, and biking around the city.
Devaughn Fowlkes is a native New Yorker born in the Town of Hempstead by loving teenage parents. Of Black southern and Panamanian roots, Devaughn attended public school and was a first-generation college graduate of Columbia University. His career evolved from management consulting with IBM, finance with Bank of America, corporate development with MCU, but found his passion in education at the Harlem Children’s Zone. Starting as a college advisor Devaughn helped HCZ serve over 1200 college students. Devaughn later provided capacity building support to education nonprofits with a venture-philanthropy, and helped a business accelerator incubate Ed-Tech start-ups. Most recently, Devaughn led the college persistence and career development programming as the College & Career Success Director at Breakthrough New York, serving over 500 high potential low-income students starting in middle school through college completion and into careers. Devaughn is excited to continue his education reform journey as the new Associate Director of Programs at PENCIL.
Elisabeth comes to PENCIL from Success Academy here in New York. While there she led literacy projects, managed a therapist team, and created and presented comprehensive data trackers to monitor and support student growth. Elisabeth has a passion for education as evidenced by her 12 years in the field, working in France, Mexico and the United States. She completed her BA and MA at Purdue University.
She aligns herself with Rousseau’s philosophy that experience is the best teacher.
Elisabeth loves the great outdoors and in her free time she hikes and kayaks with her husband.
As President of PENCIL, Gregg Betheil brings over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of school needs and business expertise. Bringing together the best ideas, talent, and resources across sectors to improve public school performance and enhance workforce pathways, Gregg originally joined PENCIL in 2015 as Chief Program Officer overseeing PENCIL’s portfolio of innovative and impactful models of ongoing collaboration between business and public schools. One year later, he assumed the role of President.
Gregg joined PENCIL from the New York City Department of Education, where he was Executive Director of Academic & Talent Management. In this position, he led implementation efforts relating to the citywide instructional expectations and other academic initiatives, teacher tenure and evaluation, and network performance management. He joined the DOE in 2008 to provide leadership to Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to foster innovation in New York City’s portfolio of career and technical education options. He went on to found and lead the Office of Postsecondary Pathways & Planning and the Office of School Programs & Partnerships, where his team focused on aligning citywide programmatic and partner supports toward improved student achievement.
Prior to his work at the DOE, Gregg served as Senior Vice President of the National Academy Foundation. He oversaw program operations and strategy to sustain a national network of career academies supporting the development of America’s youth toward personal and professional success in high school, higher education, and throughout their careers. NAF Academies represent business/school partnerships that prepare young people for future careers through a combination of school-based curricula and work-based experiences. He started his career as teacher and Assistant Principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, where he taught American History and Finance. Gregg is a public school graduate and holds a B.A. in Government & Law and History from Lafayette College, an M.A. in Social Studies Education and M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Columbia University. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife Karen and two daughters.
Hannah Chan graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in History and East Asian Languages & Literature, with a focus on Japanese. After college she was selected to join the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program where she taught high school English for 5 years in underserved areas of southern Japan. Before joining PENCIL, she was an elementary school teacher specializing in ESL at a bilingual school in New Jersey. She holds a certification in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and is fluent in Japanese. She’s excited to continue working with everyone at PENCIL and looks forward to creating more opportunities for students in NYC.
Jessica Bynoe is currently Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at PENCIL. She holds a BA in Psychology and Metropolitan Studies and a Master of Public Administration Policy and Nonprofit Management from New York University.
Most recently, she was the Executive Director of Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, a foundation dedicated to supporting programs that transform the lives of children through the arts. Jessica created a unique philanthropic model to support small, diverse grassroots organizations with a combination of funding and intense capacity building. She elevated the work of over 50 grantees and ensured arts access to over 75,000 children. Prior to Variety New York, Jessica held leadership positions at Usher’s New Look Foundation and the Academy for Educational Development.
Jessica has conducted over 100 workshops and presentations and is internationally recognized for her expertise on youth development, civic engagement, and strategic philanthropy. She is the author of celebrated white papers, including Confronting the Glass Ceiling of Youth Engagement and The Art of Adding Value: Variety New York’s High Touch, High Impact Philanthropic Strategy
As a native New Yorker, Jessica has served her city as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and as chair of the Young Professionals Network for Let’s Get Ready, a college preparatory organization. She is a former president of the NYU College Alumni Association and is currently Vice President of the NYU Alumni Association Board. When not volunteering or working, you can find Jessica pursuing her passion for cooking by hosting multi-course dinner parties and experimenting with new culinary techniques and cultural influences.
Katje started with PENCIL over 5 years ago as the Associate Director of Research and Evaluation. In her current role as Director of Program Operations and Evaluation, she continues to lead PENCIL’s research and evaluation work, as well as oversee the PENCIL Internship program and implement a number of pilot programs to help expand PENCIL’s work. Prior to joining PENCIL, she was with Turnaround for Children, an agency that provides school-wide interventions to improve access to mental health and social services, while providing educators with the tools to support healthy student development academic achievement. Katje graduated from Smith College with a B.S in Psychology and is a product of New York City public schools (Stuyvesant HS, IS 62, and PS 139 in Brooklyn). Katje enjoys baking large and highly decorated cakes and hanging out with her 3-legged cat, Paco.
Keith holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Sociology from Fordham University. Before joining Pencil, Keith worked with Breaking Ground and United Way of New York City to advance the organizations’ data maturity and develop M&E frameworks. He also served in the US Army as a military police officer, which included a tour in Baghdad. Keith lives in Central New Jersey with his wife, two babies and a wide assortment of plants.
Originally from New Jersey, Maia Krivoruk has spent the last several years living and working throughout the United States. As a Team Leader with AmeriCorps NCCC, Maia led teams throughout the country in aiding the Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria relief efforts, counseling transitional youth in Minnesota, and partnering with the City of Flint, Michigan Blight Elimination Department. This past year, Maia was a Residential Counselor at a group home for first generation Latino high school males in Phoenix, Arizona. Maia has a BA in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in public health and organizational leadership. In her free time, you can find Maia hunting down free events in the area and trying to find a good bargain at local flea markets.
Marilyn Fogarty, Vice President of Finance & Administration, joined PENCIL in March 2016. She has over fifteen years’ experience in non-profit finance and administration, including five years at Montclair State University. Marilyn also worked in corporate retail and sales in a range of management roles. She holds a BA in Business Administration with an Accounting concentration from Rutgers and has volunteered in leadership positions with public schools in her community.
Marina is PENCIL’s Program Manager for Internships. She is excited to work with New York City students and provide high quality internship opportunities that connect students from all walks of life to opportunity and success. Marina graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where her focus was the sociology of education and health. Prior to PENCIL, she has worked in education and youth development under AmeriCorps and the All Stars Project. She is passionate about ensuring that all people have both access to opportunity and support to act on it.
Rashida Thomas is a daughter, sister, aunt and friend who loves good food and great music. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Trinity (Washington) University with a dual degree in History and International Affairs, she has enjoyed the privilege of both living and working abroad. Most recently her passions have been in experiential education, more specifically in connecting youth and the under-served to opportunities. A native New Yorker, she was born in The Bronx and currently resides in Brooklyn.
Robert was most recently a Business Development Officer with Grant Associates in the NYC Business Solutions Bronx Center, a division of NYC Small Business Services that assists entrepreneurs to open, operate and grow their business. His career is rooted in the sports and entertainment industry where he has worked within the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Marketing & Communications divisions of the New York Mets and Major League Soccer. Robert majored in Urban Studies with a specialization in Political Science at Columbia University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. In his spare time, he is an avid sports fan and enjoys volunteering in his local community. Robert lives in Harlem and has a daughter.
Tareese attended NYC public school from grades K– 12, graduated from Edward R. Morrow High School in Brooklyn, and went to Brooklyn College. He received a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in management and marketing. Before joining PENCIL, he was a store manager and field marketer for a Canadian company, and has seven years experience in management and administration, as well as four years in marketing. Tareese loves trying new and exciting things, including traveling, new foods, and anything adventurous out in nature.
Tiana Douglas is currently a Program Associate at PENCIL. She is a native New Yorker who has spent her career in the retail, education, and art industries for the past three years.
Along with PENCIL, Tiana is currently the founder of JPSY, a platform to highlight NYC creatives. Tiana also contributes to HalfmoonBK as their Director of Visuals helping to provide a community for disenfranchised DJs, instrumentalists, and vocalists alike. Using her knowledge gained from attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Tiana hopes to continue to support and grow her community.
Since 2013, Yamile has provided support to PENCIL’s Programs department first as a PENCIL Fellow, and then as the Programs team intern while attending Fordham University. Yamile joined the PENCIL team full time in 2015. In her current role as Database Associate, Yamile provides project management and administrative and data support to PENCIL’s portfolio of programming and other events, as well development activities. Yamile is an alumna of Gregorio Luperon High School, a New York City public school for bilingual students. During her free time Yamile enjoys painting with watercolors and practicing calligraphy.