OUR TEAM

JEN MCMILLAN
CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER & FOUNDING TEACHER

Jen McMillan is honored to be the Chief Academic Officer at Detroit Achievement Academy, alongside our phenomenal team! As second grade teacher, Jen led her students to 2.22 years in reading and the 99th percentile for growth nationally in both reading and math. Jen was also named Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year in 2015. Born and raised in metro-Detroit, Jen spent seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching high school and middle school, and working in teacher support and development with Teach For America and The New Teacher Project. She earned her BA in Psychology from Harvard University in Massachusetts and her Masters in Education from Alliant International University in San Francisco. Jen loves the environment of constant learning at DAA, nurtured by our partnership with EL Education. In her free time, Jen is an avid runner, reader, yogi, and dog lover...and she loves hanging out with her husband and toddler most of all! // contact :: jen@detroitachievement.org

ADRIONNA CARTER
KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Adrionna Carter is thrilled to join the powerhouse that is Detroit Achievement Academy. She is a Georgia native, which is where she received her foundation, love, and passion for education. Adrionna attended the University of Georgia, where she earned her Bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Masters degree in Birth through Kindergarten Education, and Educational Specialist degree in Gifted and Creative Education. Last year 92% of her Kindergarten scholars performed average or above on the MAP reading test and 80% of those scholars performed average or above on the MAP math test. Going into her second year of teaching, Adrionna is determined to learn, grow and perform even better as a Kindergarten teacher at DAA. She loves dance, stepping, and hip-hop. She will always be a Georgia peach but she is excited about her new journey in the Motor City. // contact :: adrionna@detroitachievement.org

HEATHER COMPAGNER
FIRST GRADE TEACHER

Heather Compagner is so excited to be a part of the DAA team for a second year. Born and raised in metro Detroit, and having been a part of the DAA family from the very beginning (proud to hold the title for "first volunteer ever"), Heather truly could not picture herself teaching anywhere else. Heather earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), during which she taught in a full-inclusion kindergarten classroom at Ford Elementary in Ypsilanti, and received her teaching certificate. Outside of school, Heather loves curling up in a big chair to read, drinking arguably too many lattes, and taking long bike rides with her husband. // contact :: heather@detroitachievement.org

JACOB ROBINSON
THIRD GRADE TEACHER

Jacob Robinson is joining Detroit Achievement Academy as a 3rd grade teacher. He is from Ruskin, Florida and attended Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. He moved to Michigan in 2014 to teach at Detroit Public Schools. Jacob is grateful to join the amazing DAA family. With DAA’s assistance, he is attending the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!) to receive his masters in Educational Leadership and Policy. Jacob is very passionate about social justice, educational equity and sustainability. He loves to read, socialize and be outdoors. On the weekends, you can find him with his partner out and about in Ferndale, the Eastern Market or hiking in northern Michigan. // contact :: jacob@detroitachievement.org

SARAH SMITH
FOURTH GRADE CO-TEACHER

Sarah Smith is delighted to be joining DAA team teaching fourth grade this year! Sarah spent the end of the 2015-2016 school year helping out around DAA wherever she was needed. She is so thrilled to be back this year working with our incredible kids. Sarah earned her Bachelors in English and History and her Masters in Elementary Education, both from the University of Michigan. Outside of school Sarah loves to spend time with her nieces, play with her cats, and do crafts. She is looking forward to a wonderful year and seeing all of the growth the students at DAA make! // contact :: sarah.smith@detroitachievement.org

RASHARD DOBBINS
FOURTH GRADE TEACHING FELLOW

Originally from Ypsilanti Rashard Dobbins is no stranger to the “Mitten,” and is excited to be returning home. He got his start in education by serving as a founding first grade teacher in an Atlanta Public Charter school. His Bachelor’s degree in film and video from Georgia State University has aided him well in creating engaging activities, and capturing the attention of any student. His love and participation in theatre and the arts have allowed him to bring the performance aspect of teaching to the forefront, making it hard for students to look away. He also uses music and movement to reinforce educational concepts. In his free time Rashard likes to DJ (in his basement), brush up on his graphic design skills, and practice Krav Maga. He is excited to join the DAA family, be reunited with his fellow “Michiganders,” and aid in reviving Detroit. // contact :: rashard@detroitachievement.org

ELIZABETH MADDENS
ARTS INSTRUCTOR

Elizabeth Maddens is delighted to be the art teacher at Detroit Achievement Academy!  She has always lived in the Detroit area, and received her Bachelors degree in art education (grades K-12) from Wayne State University.  Between work opportunities and student teaching, she has worked in early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school settings.  She has always loved sharing about art and working with children, so art education was the clear way to go!  In her free time, Beth enjoys creating mixed media artwork, reading, and spending time with family. // contact :: elizabeth@detroitachievement.org

KIMBERLY BOYER
FOUNDING FIRST GRADE TEACHER

Kimberly Boyer is thrilled to be teaching first grade at Detroit Achievement Academy for a fourth year. Kimberly’s passion for teaching has greatly impacted her students’ achievement. She loves the uniqueness and creativity each student brings to the classroom. Nothing makes her happier than seeing students reach their fullest potential. During the 2013-2014 and 2014-215 school year, first grade math growth was in the 95th percentile nationally and an overwhelming majority made the same gains in reading. Prior to moving to Michigan Kimberly taught for LEARN Charter Network in Chicago where 100% of her students met or exceed their NWEA math goals. Kimberly earned her BA in Communications from the University of Michigan and her Masters in Education from Hofstra University in New York. In her free time, Kimberly enjoys trying new restaurants, playing with her dog, and spending time with her husband and daughter. // contact :: kimberly@detroitachievement.org

HEIDI MILLER
SECOND GRADE TEACHER

Heidi is delighted to join the team at Detroit Achievement Academy as the second grade teacher. Heidi grew up on the west side of Michigan, but has lived in Detroit for the last 12 years. She loves Detroit and being a part of this great city. She went to Oakland University and graduated with her bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in literacy studies from Grand Valley University. Although this is her first year at DAA, it is her 8th year teaching. Heidi has taught a variety of grades in Dearborn, Detroit, and Center Line. She also has taught internationally, one year in China and one in Venezuela. Last year her second graders were in the 99 th growth percentile on the NWEA. Heidi is passionate about education and helping students achieve their highest personal successes socially, emotionally, academically and physically. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband and six month old son, Grayson. Heidi also loves to read, take bike rides, and is currently training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. // contact :: heidi@detroitachievement.org

JONATHAN BUCKMAN
SOCIAL WORKer

Jonathan Buckman is a graduate of New York University and is currently a MSW graduate student at the University of Michigan with special interest in narrative informed therapy, play therapy, and attachment theory.  A chapter he co-wrote will soon be published in the forthcoming "Theoretical Perspectives for Direct Social Work Practice."  Jonathan is also an avid reader and practitioner with special interests in meditation, chess, philosophy, and music and is a t’ai chi student and instructor under Yang family lineage holder Master Sang Kim.  Before entering the MSW program, he was employed as a New York City charter school teacher, where he was responsible for designing curriculum, tutoring math and reading, and coaching nationally ranked chess teams. // contact :: jonathan@detroitachievement.org

VICKIE HINES
OFFICE MANAGER

Vickie Hines is excited to be a part of Detroit Achievement Academy for a third year. Vickie has over 10 years experience in Office Management. Vickie was born and raised in Detroit and have great passion for education, families and all children.  Vickie loves working as Office Manager. Vickie manages records, enrollment, student files, State of Michigan school reporting, and attendance while addressing the needs of visitors, parents and students daily. Vickie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading and dining out.  // contact :: vickie@detroitachievement.org

Megan gardella
special education teacher

Megan is joining Detroit Achievement Academy as an Intervention & Special Education Teacher. Megan earned her Masters in Teaching and Curriculum with a concentration in Literacy from Michigan State University. As an undergraduate she studied Special Education, Learning Disabilities with a major in Language Arts and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She's passionate about children's development and education, and has had the opportunity to work in a variety of classrooms. Megan has participated in a variety of organizations that helped develop her community outreach, leadership and collaboration skills. Megan has a passion for helping students of Detroit and plans to do so through her work at our schools. In her free time, Megan enjoys Grey's Anatomy, reading, yoga and her three cats.  // contact :: megan@detroitachievement.org

KATY STRADER
DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS

Katy Strader is thrilled to be on staff for a third year as the new Director of Special Projects! She will split her time between DAA and DPrep, working on everything from after school enrichment, food programming, and grant writing, to managing DAA’s green space and community outreach opportunities. Katy graduated from DePauw University with a BA in Spanish and Education, and she is currently pursuing her MEd in Leadership and Policy at Grand Valley State University. Prior to joining the DAA community, Katy worked in El Salvador for two years with a small humanitarian non-profit. Katy recently got into bee-keeping, and loves to walk her dog, and bake in her spare time. // contact :: katy@detroitachievement.org

KYLE SMITLEY
FOUNDER & Executive DIRECTOR

Kyle is constantly inspired to work harder by the DAA team, adores every student within our walls, remains in awe of DAA's incredible families, and is incredibly appreciative to DAA's supporters near and far. (We could not do it without you!) In her free time, Kyle enjoys hanging out with her rescue pit bull Oreo and exploring Detroit with her super wonderful husband and brand new tiny baby daughter. She is a graduate of DePauw University, where she majored in geology and philosophy. // contact :: kyle@detroitachievement.org