Mr. Joshua Bork, Head of School
Josh Bork comes to Sela with sixteen years of experience as a teacher and school leader in both New York and Washington DC. Josh received his BA in Politics and later his MA in School Building Leadership from New York University. After beginning his career as an educator teaching in the Bronx, NY as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, Josh taught for ten years at the elementary, middle and high school levels in both general and special education, and in a variety of content areas, but with a focus on STEM instruction. For Josh, education is a way to open doors and discover new opportunities by engaging with the wider world. His time as a special education teacher and school leader reinforced his belief that all students can learn when a school strives to be a nurturing and diverse community of learners. Josh is excited to continue growing Sela as a dynamic and diverse school with a unique language immersion program.
Ms. Katrina Hilliard, Director of Elementary
Originally from South Carolina, Katrina is a 16 year teaching veteran. She holds an M.S. in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University and a B.A. in English from Benedict College.
Katrina has served on school improvement teams focused on student achievement, curriculum development, teacher morale, and student assessment. She was a member of the Teach to Lead cohort and was named an Emerging Leader by New Leaders. Teaching in different school systems, including in Israel, has molded her beliefs in equity, celebrating diversity, and developing partnerships. Katrina firmly believes that success in education is about building relationships. She is committed to educating students, colleagues, families, and the community through establishing strong relationships.
Ms. Samantha Mild, Director of Early Childhood
Originally from Ohio, she earned her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education at Ohio University and then completed her student teaching in Ireland. In 2016, she learned her Masters degree in Transformative Teaching from George Mason University. She is now entering her tenth year as an educator and continuing on her own journey of discovering how she can continue to both challenge and engage both the students and teachers to learn and teach in ways that is most meaningful to them as individuals.
Mrs. Ronit Blivis, Director of Hebrew
Ronit was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. She studied Art and Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and completed her BA in Early Childhood Education at Ashworth College. In 2022, she received her Master's degree in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language from Middlebury College. Ronit has more than 10 year experience working with young children. She was a leading teacher for preschool age students at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) day care program, where she interacted and educated children from all around the world. In this role she exposed and guided young and diverse international students in their first steps toward mastering the English language. Ronit join the Sela family in 2014. Among her roles and duties Ronit wrote, develop and implemented the Hebrew Curriculum for Preschool.
Mr. Markus Townsend, Director of Student Support and Culture
Markus Townsend, a graduate of Trinity College (CT), brings to Sela over 20 years experience working with children. Since leaving a career in publishing in 2007 to pursue opportunities in education, Markus has served as a classroom instructor in multiple grade-levels at a variety of schools. Prior to joining Sela, Markus was a middle school assistant principal at a DC charter school. He has also been named an Emerging Leader by New Leaders. His experience has strengthened his beliefs that it’s necessary to provide students with growth opportunities to build character, while pursuing academic excellence. Markus is committed to maintaining a positive atmosphere for teachers and students, where diversity and inclusivity are valued.
Dr. Kadene McDonnough, Special Education Coordinator
Dr. Kadene McDonnough believes in equity for all and understands that it is important to meet students where they are. She holds two master’s degrees in Special Education and Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix and a doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Aspen University. Dr. McDonnough has over 14 years of experience in leadership and classroom roles and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her position at Sela. She has expertise in the child find process, writing effective individualized education plans, providing professional development, training, mentoring teachers, and most importantly, developing and building relationships with students and their families.
Mr. Ryan Benjamin, Director of Operations
Ryan has worked in the DC education space for 12 years as a teacher, department chair, assistant principal, head of academics and now, Director of Operations. He has worked in both DC public and public charter schools and believes in the power of education to create unique opportunities for young people. He is excited to join Sela in a role that provides teachers what they need to be the best they can be for their students. Ryan received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Urban Studies and Spanish, an M.Ed from American University and an Executive Masters in Leadership for DC school leaders at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Mrs. Imani Sewell, Enrollment, Human Resource & Title IX Specialist
Mrs. Imani Sewell brings over 5 years of expertise in charter school operations and is very excited to serve the Sela community. Mrs. Sewell is joining us from Inspired Teaching Public Charter School, where she served as the Business Manager. She was responsible for implementing new HR systems, benefit management along with overseeing full life recruitment cycle. Mrs. Sewell holds a BS in Journalism and Mass Communications from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She is passionate about creating a seamless experience for potential candidates and innovative techniques to build employee relations.
Mrs. Chaunti Sockwell, Operations Coordinator
Mrs. Chaunti Sockwell is a native of Washington, DC. She has worked in Ward 1 for over 2 decades 20 years. Her experience in school operations and family engagement is impecable. She believes every child is unique and deserves a caring, inspiring and engaging atmosphere in which they can grow socially, emotionally. She inspires to make anyone walking through our school doors feel welcomed. She is super excited to part of the Sela family!
Ms. Emily Kahan, DBH Mental Health Clinician
Emily Kahan is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social worker with the DC Department of Behavioral Health, School Mental Health Program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Brandeis University, and her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. Ms. Kahan has worked in the social work field in many different capacities including foster care, Autism research and intervention, case management for adults with developmental disabilities, and now school mental health. Ms. Kahan brings a wealth of experience and dedication. She is thrilled to be part of the Sela team - helping children thrive emotionally, socially, and academically.