Educators for Quality Alternatives

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Elizabeth Ostberg, Chief Executive Officer
"I know every student is brilliant so I expect everyone to be their best selves and work hard for their dreams.”
Ms. Elizabeth developed Educators for Quality Alternatives and The NET in response to the high drop out rate in her beloved adopted city. After teaching students who had dropped out of high school in Philadelphia, Ms. Ostberg moved to New Orleans to help re-build The New Orleans Charter Science & Mathematics High School after Katrina. She then served as Director of Talent Management/HR for FirstLine Schools as it expanded from one school to a CMO of 5 schools. She holds a MEd from Harvard University with a focus on education in crisis zones. Ms. Ostberg says that if she can travel she would visit all her nieces and nephews. She also enjoys baking cakes but isn't good at decorating them yet. Hopefully, she will soon.
Biography by NET student JaNaria
Lauren Neupert, Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Lauren is excited to be a member of the EQA team as the Chief of Talent.  She has a passion for supporting students and teachers in New Orleans and has been doing so since 2010.  She has an English degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and a MBA from Tulane University.  In her free time, Ms. Lauren likes to spend time outside or with her family, friends, and her daughter Emma. 

Neil Poynter, Chief of Schools

"I want every student to attempt things at school that are outside of their comfort zone and help them to imagine new possibilities for their future."
Mr. Neil, who is originally from Baton Rouge, lives in New Orleans with his two amazing daughters and his anxious dog, Buckley. As a high school student, Neil was very social and wasn't too interested in his academics. However, Mr. Neil realized he wanted to be an educator the first time he taught kids as a volunteer, which he considers the hardest and most rewarding thing he'd ever done. He began his career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in 2008.  He earned his Masters in Education with a specialty in Learning Disabilities from Hunter College and taught at The James Baldwin School in Manhattan, whose mission and advisory structures are similar to The NET.  Mr. Neil returned to Louisiana in the summer of 2011. Mr. Neil was an Advisor and the Academic Dean at The NET before becoming principal. Neil is proud to be a part of this mission, and honored to work alongside this staff and is responsible for coining the iconic phrase, "Swing the NET!". In his downtime, you can find Mr. Neil practicing French, playing guitar, and reading.
Sandra S. Johnson, Director of Special Education
“I have a great love for learning, a need to help others, and a passion for children, so I wanted to pass on
my knowledge and love for learning on to others.”
Ms. Sandra is from New Orleans. She is a mother of one son and a dog. She consults in several schools regarding Special Education and Section 504 procedures. She is never too tired to provide current information to others who provide services to children with disabilities. Sandra loved high school. She says high school was wonderful and it helped her mature and decide what it was she wanted to do in life.  She enjoys reading, spending time with family/friends and catching up on TV shows.
Biography by NET student Jenea
Christie Kieschnick, Director of Special Projects 

“I used to play school all the time when I was little, and that just kind of stuck.¨

Ms. Christie is a native New Orleanian and has worked in education for over twenty years. She received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from St. Edward´s University and an M.C.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from LSU. In 2009, she started BeReal, an organization supporting youth aging out of foster care. Christie began only part-time at the NET to run a tiny “Next Steps” project for seniors. She has since grown the department into her full-time job that supports each NET senior and alum in living a successful life after high school. Christie loves to learn and teach and appreciates the dynamic energy of education. She works hard to encourage her students to treat school like it is a full-time job, and to always be working towards a goal. In her free time, Ms. Christie loves to watch movies, go see theatre performances, and read. She has been married to her husband, Kevin, for over twenty-five years, and has two daughters, one of whom is a NET alum!

biography by NET alum Renni

Chris Musco, Network Support Manager

“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt.



Mr. Chris hails from Donaldsonville, Louisiana, but has called New Orleans his home since 2008. In 2012, he graduated from UNO with a degree in Marketing. Since 2014, he has been actively involved in working with the youth of New Orleans, channeling his passion and commitment towards improving his community. With a genuine desire to make a positive impact, he strives to create a better future for those around him.

Derrick Paul, Operations Manager

"Helping one person might not change the world, but it can change the world for that one person."


Mr. Paul is a New Orleans native and he loves his city!  The food, Mardi Gras, the Saints and Pelicans, the people - these are just a few reasons why he is never leaving.  

Liz Gore, Operations Manager

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."


Mx. Gore was a theater and film teacher for over 10 years. They believe that the first step to improving the education system is by strengthening the connections in the classroom.

Alexa Godinez, ESL Teacher
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you  can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela 

Ms. Alexa is a lover of languages, travel and the environment.  She is constantly learning and evolving! 

Arianne Craig Jolla, Teacher

"Nobody’s coming to save us." - Unknown

 Arianne Jolla

Arianne credits two individuals with influencing her to become an educator- her mother, the late Doris Powell Craig and her fourth grade teacher, the late Flora G. Weber. As a direct recipient of the love and passion of both her mom and fourth grade teacher, Arianne decided early on to have the very same effect on as many young people as possible. Arianne’s ultimate goal is to carry on the legacy of her mother and Mrs. Weber by maintaining an unquenchable desire for empowerment through education and having a heart unselfish enough to bring scores of people along for the ride.

Adam McElwee, School Nurse

“I expect my students to make a healthy living through healthy choices.”

 Mr. Adam is intrinsically motivated and embraces the responsibilities of his profession to facilitate normal development and positive client response to interventions; promote health and safety including a healthy environment; intervene in response to actual and potential health problems; provide case management services; and actively collaborate with others to build client and family capacity for adaptation, self- management, self advocacy, and learning. He is a proud nurse of students at both NET campuses.

Biography by NET student Troyneisha

Seth Paddock, Director of Data and Enrollment

“Two of my high school teachers that had a tremendous impact on me and inspired me to be a teacher."


Mr. Seth comes to EQA Schools all the way from Ithaca, New York. He attended Cornell University and immediately began working in education after graduation. Before joining the NET staff, Seth was the director of J. Austin White Cultural Center in Eudora, Arkansas, which offers after-school and summer programs for children. He has been working in education now for over seven years. In his free time, Seth enjoys reading, woodworking, traveling, and camping. Mr. Seth’s parents still reside in Ithaca, and he has an older brother who lives in Alabama.

Biography by NET alum Renni

Tracy Turnage, Network Support Associate


Ms. Tracy is very excited to be part of the NET: Gentilly team and she is here to support students and teachers!

Ronald Walker, Facilities Manager

“It takes a village." 

Mr. Ronald is a New Orleans native and a father of 1 (Ronald, Jr.). He comes to EQA with years of experience in the electrical and construction industries and is looking forward to bringing his expertise to EQA.
Tierra Williams, HR and Talent Generalist

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." ― Albus Dumbledore


Ms. Williams knows the importance of influence, and how being a positive light can truly impact the lives of others! Her career exemplifies her passion for "all things people" by her extensive experience in HR, executive talent acquisition, and legal education. In her spare time she enjoys reading, learning how to bake from TikTok videos, and spending quality time with her family. After spending many years living in Chicago, she is happy to have finally returned home to the great city of New Orleans and join EQA!