Our Team

Stewart Academy created a small, flat organizational structure in order to maximize effectiveness and efficiency while avoiding poor decision making and bureaucracy. Our team is composed of a diverse group of talented educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other supplementary roles to round-out the diversity of our team.

Our Students, Teachers, Parents and Principal
The Stewart Academy students, teachers, parents and principal are the core of any and all success that Stewart Academy will experience. Stewart Academy will be launching in Prince George's County in September of 2010 and will have more information about each of these constituencies as we approach our launch date.

Our Educational Advisory Board
Stewart Academy has contacted numerous New England boarding schools (e.g. Exeter, Andover, Deerfield, Choate, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville and Taft) and the current and retired teachers and administrators within these schools have agreed to help as an education advisors with relation to this project. Some examples of the educators who have offered guidance to Stewart Academy with relation to this venture are:

Mr. Timothy Cochran Doyle
M.A., Yale University. History Master at The Lawrenceville School. Appointed in 1975.
Mr. Doyle graduated from The Lawrenceville School in 1969 and returned to his alma mater several years later. Mr. Doyle has also served as the Dean of Students (1999-2004) and a Member of Discipline Committee (2004-6). Besides being a History teacher, Mr. Doyle is currently an Associate Headmaster of McPherson, the Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Golf team, and the Russian Studies Club Advisor.

Ms. Deborah McKay
M.Phil., New York University. English Master at The Lawrenceville School. Appointed in 1982.
Ms. McKay came to The Lawrenceville School from New York University, where she was an instructor of English and expository writing. She completed two Masters' degrees at NYU, and is also a graduate of Connecticut College. Ms. McKay has been a long-time day advisor and was also an assistant housemaster in Reynolds House and an advisor for the yearbook. She is an accomplished writer, having published one award-winning novel, and she is currently working on her second. Ms. McKay has also been the faculty advisor for both the Creative Writing Club and Philosophy Club, groups that have met virtually every week during the academic year during her 25 years at Lawrenceville. Ms. McKay often exhorts her students to be "shockingly brilliant" a standard she has certainly held herself to as well over the last quarter of a century.

Mr. John Edward Schiel
Ed.M., Rutgers University. Mathematics Master at The Lawrenceville School. Appointed in 1974.
Mr. Schiel was appointed as a Mathematics master at The Lawrenceville School in 1974. Besides being a Mathematics teacher, Mr. Schiel is also a housemaster, head coach of the girl's varsity softball team, head coach of a boy's house football team, and the director of summer programs at Lawrenceville.

The Stewart Academy Governing Board
Stewart Academy has pulled together a small team of professionals in order to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness. Our Governing Board is composed of professionals with a background in education, business, entrepreneurship, politics, law, real estate law. With no exception, all our Governing Board members have a passion for education and educating children.

Erica Bennett
Erica Bennett is currently a math coach at Oxon Hill Middle School and has been teaching within the PGCPS for over five years. Ms. Bennett has a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Bowie State University as well as several certifications from the Maryland State Department of Education including an Advanced Professional Certificate in Elementary Education 1-6 and Middle School. Ms. Bennett is a member of numerous leadership teams and a curriculum writer in mathematics. Ms. Bennett received her BS in Psychology from Frostburg State University, her Master of Divinity from Howard University and Master of Arts in Teaching from Bowie State University.

Matt Bernstein
Matt Bernstein is an MBA and an entrepreneur. Mr. Bernstein is the founder and president of For Profit LLC, the parent organization of Pair of Shoes Marketing, My Simple City.com and Fundraiser City.com, as well as the founder and president of Know Idea Incorporated, a not-for-profit education organization. Mr. Bernstein has worked for a management consulting firm, numerous digital technology ventures as well as several publishing companies. Mr. Bernstein received a BA in English from Skidmore College and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

Sharona Chittum
Sharona Chittum is currently the School Library Media Specialist at Maryvale Elementary School in Montgomery County, MD. Previous to being a School Library Media Specialist, Ms. Chittum was an English Teacher within the MCPS system for five years and within the Virginia and New York school systems for four years. Ms. Chittum received her BA in English from Brooklyn College, Masters of Science in Publishing from Pace University, Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College of Information Sciences.

Julie Coplin
Julie Coplin has been working within the US Department of Education since 1999. Ms. Coplin is currently the Education Program Specialist with relation to Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (ESEA Title II, Part A) and has also served as the Education program Specialist with relation to the Reading Excellence Act (REA) and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC). Previous to working at the Department of Education, Ms. Coplin worked at the National Science Teachers Association. Ms. Coplin received a BA in Political Science from West Virginia University and a Master of Policy Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore City.

Langston Emerson
Langston Emerson is a lawyer and senior policy advisor at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP. Previous to working at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, Mr. Emerson worked for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, US Congressman Michael Capuano and numerous other politic-based positions. Mr. Emerson graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a BA in Legal Communications and received his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School.

Peter Fastow
Peter Fastow is a lawyer with a strong background in real estate, title issues, land use and zoning, including purchase and sale, development (residential and commercial), leasing, landlord-tenant, tax sales, and foreclosures and a proven ability to negotiate complex transactions. Mr. Fastow is licensed to practice in Maryland (1992) and District of Columbia (1995). Mr. Fastow received a BA in International Relations and Russian from Tufts University and received his Juris Doctor from the Syracuse University College of Law.

Max Masinter
Max Masinter is a lawyer at the law firm of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. where he focuses on general corporate law including contract drafting and negotiation, employment agreements, and corporate tax matters. Mr. Massinter received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.

The Know Idea Board of Directors
Know Idea Incorporated is a not-for-profit, 501c3, education organization and the umbrella organization for Stewart Academy. The Know Idea Board of Directors is tasked with creating and holding the map for each and every Stewart Academy that is launched throughout the country. Similarly, the Know Idea Board of Directors concurrently needs to watch the map and the school from a helicopter perspective and offer guidance and support when necessary. The Know Idea Board of Directors, in alphabetical order, consists of:

Matt Bernstein
Al Deluca
Langston Emerson
Dick Kesin
RJ Lavallee
Jamie McCulloch
Steven Nape
Mark Newell

We have garnered a board that shares a mutual vision with relation to the direction of Stewart Academy yet we have purposefully selected individuals from diverse backgrounds and with unique perspectives. The school management plan is paramount in defining roles of the governance structure and its interaction with the principal, staff and stakeholders. Appropriate teacher and parent input in the school decision-making process is essential. Our administrative management structure is set-up to explicitly speak to these issues.


copyright (c) 2009 - Know Idea Inc., a not-for-profit/501c3, is the umbrella organization for Stewart Academy.