Educators for Quality Alternatives

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Board of Directors

Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA) was formed in 2008 by teachers and community members in New Orleans who were concerned about the lack of opportunities for students who were unsuccessful in a traditional school environment. After multiple years of research locally and nationally, the group decided to address the problem by designing and opening a charter school, The NET Charter High School, specifically tailored to these students.

EQA is a 501(c)(3) which holds The NET's charter and functions as its school board.

Parents, Alumni, and Parents of Alumni are encouraged to join EQA's Board!  Click here for more information.

Board of Directors Portal

 

Tim Gray

Board President

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP
A phi beta kappa graduate of Millsaps College, Mr. Gray received his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 1995. He is now a partner in the law firm of Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP. Tim’s prior non-profit experience includes serving as a member and chair of the boards of Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle Orleans and of Goodwill Industries in Jackson, Mississippi.  Tim and his wife Robin have five children.
 

 

 

Darcy McKinnon

Board Vice President

Documentary Filmmaker
Ms. McKinnon taught middle school in New Orleans before and after Katrina, worked for CMO Firstline Schools and for eight years was the Executive Director of NOVAC, the New Orleans Video Access Center.  Today she is a documentary filmmaker interested in work that highlights the unique cultures and social issues of the American South. She is a co-founder of ALL Y'ALL, the Southern Documentary Collective, with Elaine McMillion Sheldon. McKinnon's prior work in documentary includes the films Maquilapolis, ‘Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE!’ and ‘Animals.’ She produces documentary work with Southern filmmakers, and is currently in post-production on ‘The Neutral Ground’ with CJ Hunt, a documentary about New Orleans' struggle to remove Confederate monuments, in mid-production on ‘Commuted’ with Nailah Jefferson focused on life after incarceration for one New Orleans woman, in post-production on Katie Mathews’ Roleplay,’ a hybrid play/documentary about sexual assault on campus at Tulane University. Her directorial debut, the doc short A Fine Girl, supported by If/Then, premieres in November 2020. McKinnon's work has been broadcast on POV, LPB and Cinemax, and her current projects have received support from SFIFF, CAAM, Chicken and Egg, Firelight Media, ITVS, Black Public Media, Sundance and Tribeca.  She is a 2020 Impact Partners Producer’s Fellow and was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Film in 2020. Ms. McKinnon holds a Masters in Literature & Film from Indiana University. She has served as a board member for NOVAC, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, and Shotgun Cinema.
 

 

 

Dr. Ivan Gill

Board Secretary

Associate Professor
University of New Orleans
Dr. Gill is Science Education Coordinator in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at the University of New Orleans.  In addition to teaching at the collegiate level in Geology Departments, he has taught in New Orleans public schools and is certified to teach all science subjects.  Dr. Gill has coordinated the Shell/UNO Energy Camp, the Minority Geology Field Camp, and the Shell STEM Showdown. His PhD work was supported by an Alumni Federation Fellowship at Louisiana State University.
 

 

 

Trey Ragan

Board Treasurer

Senior Manager, Tax Services
LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors
A New Orleans native, Mr. Ragan graduated from Loyola University with a BBA in Economics and Finance.  He is a Certified Public Accountant who began his career at the public accounting firm of Ernst & Young, LLP.  He is currently a tax senior manager at LaPorte CPAs, where he works in a wide variety of industries including banking and manufacturing.
 

 

 

Julio Bermudez

Board Member

JulioOperations Coordinator
Son of a Saint
Mr. Bermudez is an Operations Coordinator at Son of a Saint, a mentoring program for fatherless boys in New Orleans. Julio's prior non-profit works includes organizations like Reaching for the Stars, Daughters of Incarcerated Fathers, and Groundwork New Orleans.  He graduated from The NET: Central City in 2015. 
 

 

 

Cecelia Gillam

Board Member

JulioScience Teacher
Hahnville High School
Ms. Gillam is a proud graduate of Southern University A&M of Baton Rouge and Southeastern Louisiana University. She has taught science at Hahnville High school since 2005 and has served as the Science department chair. She has presented at numerous educational conferences and been recognized as a finalist for the finalists for the Louisiana Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Southeastern Louisiana University.
 

 

 

Mary Jones

Board Member

Partner
The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
Ms. Jones is a partner with TNTP, where she is responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of contracts and providing strategic insight to a large regional team.  She partners with school districts and CMOs to build and implement effective strategies for talent and academics.  Ms. Jones earned a BA from San Francisco State University and an MS from Dominican College. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and two children.
 

 

 

Nelly Lopez

Board Member

Nelly Lopez is a parent of a NET alumnus.  She is excited to join EQA's board.
 

 

 

Dona Paramore

Board Member

Executive Director
Travelers Aid Society
Ms. Paramore has a wealth of experience overseeing programs ranging from social services and family counseling to adult day care and senior living services in New Orleans. As Executive Director of Travelers Aid Society, Ms. Paramore oversees the operations and upper management of the organization.  Ms. Paramore earned her bachelor’s degree at Dillard University, her Master of Applied Politics at The University of Akron, and an additional Master of Management and Public Administration from the University of Phoenix.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Ms. Paramore is also the proud mother of one NET alumnus and the aunt of another.
 

 

 

Troave' Profice

Board Member

 
Ms. Profice led the Charter Accountability team for the Louisiana Department of Education and led the oversight and accountability work for Type 2, Type 4, and Type 5 Charter Schools across the state. Ms. Profice is a graduate of Loyola University.
 

 

 

Nikesha Woodridge

Board Member

Client Services Manager
Wells Fargo Bank
Ms. Woodridge is a Wells Fargo Client Service Manager in Middle Market Commercial Banking.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics & Finance from Dillard University and a Masters of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from the University of New Orleans.  In her current role, Nikki is responsible for the management of the Commercial Service teams in Louisiana and Kentucky.  Nikki is proud to be engaged in her community and spends time volunteering with local organizations and non-profits.