Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

shaun nelmsShaun Nelms – William and Sheila Konar Director
(Ed.D., University of Rochester)

Dr. Nelms is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. He is also the Superintendent of the University of Rochester-East Educational Partnership Organization (EPO), responsible for creating a replicable reform model for urban secondary schools. A former district administrator and principal in other urban and high needs districts, Dr. Nelms has extensive experience with improving student achievement and closing equity gaps. His work on professional development for principals and teachers has led to improvements in leadership capacity and instructional delivery. A sought after speaker on cultural competence, differentiation, and administrative leadership, Dr. Nelms maintains a career-long focus on helping students to be successful.  View University profile.

joanne larsonJoanne Larson – Associate Director
(Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) is the

Dr. Larson is the Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester and Associate Director of Research at the Center for Urban Education Success. Her research examines how language and literacy practices mediate social and power relations in literacy events in schools and communities. She has been a part of the University of Rochester-East Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) since the beginning. She was able to spend a full year doing participatory ethnography at East with the support of a sabbatical and a grant from the Spencer Foundation. View University profile.

valerie marshValerie Marsh – Assistant Director
(Ph.D., University of Rochester)

Dr. Marsh is Assistant Professor at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester and the Assistant Director for the University’s Center for Urban Education Success. She is responsible for the Center’s research on best practices in urban education, both to inform the University of Rochester’s Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) with East High School and to document the EPO implementation. Her research takes the challenges, experiences, and successes of urban schools and brings those into conversation with academic scholarship to provide resources to universities, urban secondary schools, and other organizations interested in pursuing best practices and innovations in urban education across the country. View University profile.

susan meierSusan Meier – Affiliated Faculty
(Ed.D., University of Rochester)

Dr. Meier is Assistant professor in Educational Leadership at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. She is also the Chief Academic Officer for the University of Rochester-East Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) and was one of the original authors of the UR-EPO plan. In this position, her work involves ensuring that curriculum planning and learning activities at East reflect the principles of best practices, community relationships, high expectations, civic participation, leadership, and an inquiry approach detailed in the UR-EPO plan. A former school principal who helped found a highly successful, non-traditional secondary school in the Rochester area, Meier’s experience involves incorporating into schools such structural elements as scheduling, support, and advisory, and their intersection with student learning. View University profile.

steve uebbingSteve Uebbing – Affiliated Faculty
(Ed.D., University of Buffalo)

Dr. Uebbing is Clinical Professor in Educational Leadership at the Warner Graduate School of Education at the University of Rochester. He is also the Project Director of the  University of Rochester-East Educational Partnership Organization (EPO).  He led the UR-EPO planning process and served as Superintendent for the East EPO for several months prior to the school opening under U of R supervision.  Uebbing oversaw the collective bargaining process with the new East faculty and the hiring process for all faculty and staff.  A former school superintendent, principal and high school teacher, Uebbing has extensive experience working with practicing administrators interested in whole school reform. View University profile.

Nahoko Kawakyu O’Connor – Affiliated Faculty
(Ph.D., University of Rochester)

Dr. Kawakyu O’Connor is Assistant Professor at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester and  Assistant Director for Program Evaluation at the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform.  Dr. Kawakyu O’Connor is coordinating a team of East/EPO staff in engaging in embedded program evaluation practices, with the goal of leveraging data already collected by staff to analyze and review for reflective practice and continuous improvement.   View University profile.

Ashley Cross – Affiliated Faculty

As Director of the Step to College Program, Ms. Cross is dedicated to serving families and scholars with excellence and passion while preparing East Scholars for college and academic achievement. This passion has led Ashley to Previous to her work at Step to College, Ashley started the first transitional living home for girls aging out of foster care in Tulsa, Oklahoma in addition to leading several other youth initiatives, including a dynamic mentoring program. Ashley has a bachelor’s in Psychology, Master’s in Business, and is near completion of her Doctorate of Educational Leadership. View University profile.

Kandace Reid – Affiliated Faculty

As Assistant Director of the Step to College Program, Ms. Reid has a passion and commitment to her students and desires to see them succeed.  She has over 18 years of experience serving as a Financial Aid Director in both the public and private sectors.  She also simultaneously managed the Office of Student Accounts, served as a Designated Certifying Official for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs as well as the Certifying Official of her former campus for New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program.  She is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Marketing concentration. View University profile.