The Superintendent's Cabinet is the team that oversees the way our Strategic Operating Plan and other guiding principles are put into action. Each person in the cabinet has an area of strength that corresponds to the various demands of running a school district as large and diverse as Hartford's.
Dr. Gislaine Ngounou, Chief of Staff
Dr. Ngounou is an education leader and a social justice activist. Born and raised in Cameroon, she immigrated to the United States to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Through her work with the Children Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools, she discovered her true calling: to dedicate her life’s work to improving opportunities and outcomes for young people and communities, especially those that have been marginalized and underserved. Dr. Ngounou believes in the power of education, organizing, teamwork, narrative and self-empowerment--to help individuals and communities transform themselves, and to bring about a more socially just world.
Prior to joining Hartford Public Schools, Dr. Ngounou served as a doctoral resident to the Superintendent of Schools in Montgomery County, Maryland where she worked directly with the senior leadership team to improve collaboration, culture and functioning at the senior level. She was also involved in strategic efforts to improve family and community engagement, and middle school redesign initiatives. Throughout her career as an educator, Dr. Ngounou has served as a teacher, instructional coach, youth development specialist and academic program director in Kansas City Missouri, and has worked in consulting and coaching capacities with educational systems and organizations nationally and internationally. She holds Bachelor, Masters and Administration degrees from the University of Missouri System, as well as a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Ngounou is proud to call herself a Hartford resident, and is committed to making a difference through her service and leadership to students, families and staff throughout our community.
Kathleen England, Chief Academic Officer
As Chief Academic Officer, Kathleen England oversees the Offices of Curriculum and Instruction, English Language Learners, Early Literacy, and College and Career Readiness. Prior to moving into this position, Ms. England served as a Portfolio Director in the Hartford Public Schools; working to improve instructional leadership capacity and student achievement at eight Hartford schools.
A passionate advocate for educational equity, Ms. England has had several opportunities to impact change in education. As Deputy Superintendent in Windham, Connecticut, she helped initiate the portfolio strategy of reform, working to improve student achievement and eliminate achievement gaps. She also has school turnaround experience, having significantly improved achievement and closed achievement gaps at an elementary school in Manchester, Connecticut. During her career as an educator, Ms. England has served as a teacher, Reading Recovery ™ Teacher Leader, literacy consultant and policy writer for the Connecticut State Department of Education and an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. She has done numerous local, state and national presentations about literacy and cultural competence. Ms. England holds Bachelor, Masters and Administration degrees from the University of Connecticut.
Kelvin Roldán, Chief Communications and Public Policy Officer
Kelvin Roldán oversees the development needs of the Portfolio strategy of HartfordPublic Schools, strategic planning and communications, research and design of special projects, and the district’s partnerships with community-based, corporate and philanthropic organizations. During his tenure, he has been responsible for raising and coordinating over $70 million in support of thereform strategy.
Mr. Roldán serves on the governing bodies of Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation, Hartford Performs, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Bushnell Center for the PerformingArts, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and was voted “Top 40 Under 40” by the Hartford Business Journal. In addition, Kelvin devotes time to his hometown of Gurabo, PuertoRico, at la Casa de la Juventud Kelvin Roldán Dávila, a youth center named in his honor.
As a former Deputy Majority Leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives, he was instrumental in the crafting of Connecticut’s landmark education reform legislation. Mr. Roldán built a reputation as a leader and effective legislator on children’s issues, economic development, Hispanic veterans’ affairs, and urban issues.
Prior to joining Hartford Public Schools, Kelvin oversaw policy initiatives for the Mayor’s Office. He has served on the faculties the Hartford Conservatory and Avon Old Farms School, and taught English in China. He received a B.A. in Chinese and in political science from Middlebury College, VT, and an M.A. in Public Policy from Trinity College, CT. He also attended the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, Giggleswick School in England, Avon Old Farms School, Lewis Fox Middle and Wish Elementary Schools in Hartford.
Dr. Jeron Campbell, Chief Data and Accountability Officer
Dr. Jeron Campbell officially is our Chief Data and Accountability Officer. A native of Detroit, Dr. Campbell holds an education leadership doctorate degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Master of Engineering and Manufacturing from the University of Michigan. He most recently worked in Chesterfield County Public Schools where he developed and implemented strategies to increase school district’s capacity to use student achievement data to inform and drive decision making, helped teachers in their use of data to inform daily instructional practice, and provided professional development to district teachers and leaders on effective use of assessment data. He has also served as an Executive Director and Assistant Superintendent in Detroit Public Schools.
Deidre Tavera, Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer
Deidre Tavera serves as Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer leading the alignment of family and community engagement, community partnerships, and strategic partnership planning and development. Deidre previously served as Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Development for Hartford Public Schools where she oversaw institutional advancement activities including strategic and program planning, internal and external communications, district events, as well as fund development and grants management.
Deidre has worked for over 25 years in and with many of Hartford’s nonprofit and community-based organizations as a staff leader and consultant overseeing educational programming, community relations, marketing and communications, organizational development, fundraising, operations and board governance. As a senior leader at The Bushnell she oversaw strategic planning, the design of an award-winning arts education program, the start-up of a human resources department, and the design of a community venture to reach the elder market. As a consultant, she worked with over 30 diverse nonprofit organizations facilitating planning and community discussions designed to advance the missions and improve service delivery and partnerships to and with stakeholders.
Deidre holds a B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael’s College, Vermont and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Hartford. She studied in Madrid, Spain and worked as an EFL teacher at the American Language Institute in Lisbon, Portugal. Deidre is a Board member of Hartford Performs, a collaborative initiative between Hartford Public Schools and the larger community supporting arts in education throughout Hartford and serves as Board Member and Past Chair of the Women and Girls’ Fund of the Main Street Community Foundation in Bristol. She has served on the St. Michael’s College Board of Trustees and National Alumni Board and recruits local students through college fairs and interviews and supports alumni as a Career Network Advisor.
Deidre resides in her hometown of Bristol with her husband, Frank, and their three children.
Paula Altieri, Chief Financial Officer
Paula Altieri serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Hartford Public Schools. With nearly two decades of public and private financial management expertise, Ms. Altieri came to the Hartford Public Schools’ with a strong background in finance, administration, and innovation in management. Ms. Altieri earlier served in the capacity of Budget Director for the Hartford Public Schools from 1999 to 2006.
One of Ms. Altieri’s first charge as Chief Financial Officer was the introduction and development of a new student-centered budgeting methodology known as Weighted Student Funding. This “money follows the student approach” has garnered state and national recognition and, for the first time in Hartford’s history, enabled the alignment and equitable allocation of district resources to schools and students. Ms. Altieri’s leadership, innovative practices and problem solving skills reflects Hartford’s commitment of supporting our diverse portfolio of schools and contributes to the significant progress we have made in closing the achievement gap for Hartford students.
Prior to joining the Hartford Public Schools, Ms. Altieri served as a senior manager in the insurance and medical industry where she led engagements in cost and performance management, strategic planning, and organizational change. Ms. Altieri is a certified School Business Administrator with the Connecticut State Department of Education, holds a Bachelors degree in Finance from Post University, and a Master’s degree in Accounting and Taxation from the University of Hartford. Ms. Altieri is an active member of the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), the Association of School Business Officials, International (ASBO), and the former President of the Hartford Supervisors Association (HSSSA). Ms. Altieri resides in Meriden with her husband and two children.
Jill Cutler Hodgman, Esq., Chief Labor and Legal Officer
Jill Cutler Hodgman started working directly for the Hartford Public Schools in 2002 with responsibility for the labor and employment work for the district. In 2010, she became the Chief Labor and Legal Officer as the district separated its labor work from its talent management function. Ms. Cutler Hodgman received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School Of Law. Prior to joining the Hartford Public Schools, she worked for the Hartford law firm of Shipman & Goodwin, LLP, focusing her practice on school law.
Donald Slater, Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Donald Slater started his teaching career over 20 years ago in Hartford at A.I. Prince Technical School as a science teacher. His first administrative position was as Assistant Director at E.C. Goodwin Technical School in New Britain. He was selected as the Assistant Principal of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford and held that position for 4 years before being appointed Proud Principal for the next 10 years. Currently, as Chief Operating Officer for the Hartford Public Schools, he looks forward to supporting the work of teachers, administrators, and families as we bring a world class education to all the students of Hartford. Dr. Slater has a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Administration Special Education (CASE) from Boston College, and a M.S. in Educational Administration from Central Connecticut State University and a B.S. in Science Education with a minor in Biology from Jackson State University. Dr. Slater started with Hartford Public Schools October 1, 2012. He is focused on implementing an entry plan that focuses on addressing the immediate and long-term challenges associated with the area of operations and developing specific strategies that will support the district’s Strategic Operating Plan. His primary goal is providing the highest quality operations and support services essential to the educational success of Hartford’s students. Dr. Slater leads with the belief that working collaboratively, the Facilities, Transportation, Nutrition, Security, Printing and School Design Departments will continue to improve and provide positive contributions to support student learning, and encourage Hartford families, as well as the community, to feel welcome and engaged in Hartford Schools.
Jonathan Swan, Chief School Improvement Officer
Raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Jonathan knew he wanted to be a teacher by the time he was in second grade. After earning his degree at Springfield College he became a history teacher at the high school and middle school level, before earning his masters degree in education administration at Springfield College. After a brief stint as an Assistant Principal at Central High School, Jonathan became an Assistant Principal and then Principal of Duggan Middle School in Springfield. There he lead the school's conversion into an Expeditionary Learning School, and in the process, worked with his staff to improve the school's performance for four consecutive years.
As Assistant Director of Hartford Public School's Office of School Design, Jonathan worked on the redesigns of Moylan, McDonough, Renzulli, Naylor, and others. After some time as a Director of Elementary Education he became a Portfolio Director. Portfolio Directors provide guidance, support and supervision to schools and provide a coordinated effort to streamline Central Office support to schools in a way that supports the school's improvement efforts. In addition to his ongoing responsibility directing 15 schools, he attends cabinet meetings and school quality meetings focusing on crafting school accountability plans, using data to problem-solve and providing aligned support to all schools.
Jennifer Allen, Chief Talent Officer
Jennifer Allen is the Chief Talent Officer for the Hartford Public Schools, directing and overseeing the district’s efforts to support new, second-stage, and veteran teachers. She is likewise focused on the support of emerging, new, and experienced school leaders. The primary goal of her office is to assure that there is a skilled and able leader in each school and a supported and effective teacher in each classroom.
Prior to her work in Hartford, Ms. Allen worked with public and independent schools throughout the country on school redesign, climate, and culture. A former high school English teacher and high school assistant principal, Ms. Allen was a middle school principal for over a decade, where she and her staff were recognized for comprehensive school reform efforts. Through her work with national nonprofit organizations, she has supported middle schools, new small schools, and comprehensive high schools in their efforts to strengthen instructional leadership and professional learning communities, personalize classroom learning, develop effective advisory programs, rethink school-wide and classroom discipline, and improve school climate and peer culture.
Ms. Allen has been the author of a number of professional publications, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her research is focused on the relationship between school climate and the retention of new and second-stage teachers.