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

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 (they/them), Operations Manager

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


Liz Gore (they/them) is an experienced educator, advisor, and community builder with a background in the arts and restorative practices. Their professional focus lies in shifting punitive power structures to relationship-driven learning environments, centering student leadership. They love photography, playing video games, and drinking Vietnamese iced coffees.

Arianne Craig Jolla, Homebound 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
Danielle McFadden, Director of Data & Enrollment
Ms. McFadden is a native of St. Louis, MO. She has served students in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas for almost 10 years in many capacities, from high school math teacher to school leader. She is an advocate for others and believes in ensuring equity is present in the work she does on a daily basis.
Daishanae Morgan, Network Assistant
Ms. Morgan is a alumni of The Net Gentilly. She says "Being introduced to the NET was the best thing that could’ve happened to me with my son, glad that I met the people I did". She graduated with her 3 year old son and 1 month old daughter, now working on a career.

Tracy Turnage, New Orleans East Opportunity Center (NOEOC) Office Manager 


Ms. Tracy is very excited to be part of the NOEOC 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.