Jeremy Beard has been a Head of Schools since 2014. He began his career in education as a corps member for Teach For America. He continued as a corps member advisor, school director for Teacher For America Summer Institute, and then as a program director. He was named Teacher of the Year while teaching Language Arts for IDEA College Preparatory, and then became IDEA’s assistant principal and director of college counseling, later, serving as principal for five years. Jeremy has worked for Houston Independent School District as an Apollo 20 school improvement officer. He also spent three years as a national director of programs for Blueprint Schools Network. Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Maryland and a Master of Education, Organizational Leadership, from Columbia University.
Prior to being named the founding principal of Northline Elementary, Cynovia served as the Resident Principal at YES Prep Southside. She completed her undergraduate studies at Texas State University in 2012 and earned a Masters Degree and Principal Certification from the University of St. Thomas. Cynovia began teaching in Houston and taught as a founding teacher in Washington D.C. at a turnaround charter school. Upon returning to Houston, she taught upper elementary in and then as a teacher specialist at a middle school.
Brian Vannest is the founding Principal of YES Prep East End Elementary. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership with a minor in Economics from Miami University and an MBA from Rice University along with his Texas principal certificate. Brian joined the YES Prep family in 2010, teaching seventh grade math to the first graduating class of YES Prep West Secondary and continued the following two years as a teacher and Content Team Leader. Three years later, he rejoined the YES team in the 2020-2021 school year, serving as the resident principal at Northside.
Michelle LaFlure is the Founding Principal of North Central Elementary. Michelle served as a Principal at YES Prep North Central Secondary from 2014 to 2019. Prior to becoming the Principal, Michelle taught all levels of Spanish, sixth through eighth grade English, and history at North Central Secondary. She also was the first-ever Dean of Instruction and then worked as the Director of Academics. Michelle has a bachelor's in Elementary Education from Calvin College and a master's in Education from the University of St. Thomas. She is also a Teach For America Corps alumna.
YES Prep North Forest Elementary
Johnie Flores is the founding principal of North Forest Elementary. Johnie joined YES Prep in 2012 as an Instructional Coach for Teaching Excellence. In 2013, she transitioned back to a campus and served as a Dean of Instruction and Director of Student Support at YES Prep Brays Oaks Secondary for six years. From 2007 through 2012, she taught a variety of subjects to diverse student populations at Houston Independent School District. Johnie obtained a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, Master of Education from the University of Houston, and holds a Texas Principal Certification.
Prior to YES Prep, Diana Rios worked as a classroom teacher for more than ten years in Colombia, Guatemala and the United States. She comes with experience as a grade level chair and teacher in the general and bilingual education classrooms at the elementary level. She has also taught adults and children with exceptionalities. Most recently, Diana served as a teacher specialist and administrator at De Chaumes Elementary in HISD. Diana has a bachelor’s in Education from the University of Antioquia in Colombia and a master's in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University.
Prior to becoming the founding principal of Southside Elementary, Andrea Citchen was principal of YES Prep Eisenhower High. She is a graduate from the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership. Prior to joining YES in 2015, Andrea served in various roles at KIPP for nine years. Prior to joining KIPP, she was an elementary school teacher with Indianapolis Public Schools.
Selina Hall-Swope has been the Principal of YES Prep Brays Oaks since 2021. She earned her B.A. in English from Florida State University and her M.Ed. in English Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She has been with YES Prep since 2012, first at YES Prep Brays Oaks where she served many roles including teaching English I and Reading Intervention, Literacy Specialist, Dean of Instruction. and Course Leader and Course Facilitator for seventh grade reading lab. Selina has also served at YES Prep Northbrook High as the Director of Academics and Resident Principal at YES Prep Northbrook Middle.
Prior to becoming Principal of East End Secondary, Aaron Simmons worked as the High School Dean of Students at YES Prep West Secondary. Aaron started his educational career at YES Prep at the Southeast Secondary campus where he taught eighth grade U.S. History and eleventh grade US History for five years. Before joining West in 2014, Aaron worked in HISD for a year coaching first-year teachers. Aaron earned a B.A. from Texas State University.
Megan Goldsberry has served as Principal at Eisenhower High since 2020. She graduated from Rice University with a major in Psychology and Managerial Studies and earned a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. Megan is a Teach for America alumna. In 2011, she joined the YES Prep East End Secondary family teaching seventh grade Math Enrichment. She also served as East End's Dean of Instruction and Director of Academics in her eight years there. Megan has also served as an instructional leadership support specialist at the administrative office.
Antonio “Tony” Castillo is serving as the Principal at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary. Previously, Tony worked at YES Prep Southwest Secondary as a teacher and later an administrator. Tony served as Principal at YES Prep Southside Secondary. Tony is a proud graduate of Rice University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Earth Science – Geology.
Cintia Arenas has served as Principal at YES Prep Gulfton Secondary since 2020. She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. While attending college, Cintia was placed at YES Prep Lee, now YES Prep Gulfton, and held many positions including office aide, teaching assistant, seventh grade math instructor, Grade Level Chair, Dean of Students, and Director of Student Support.
Chase Sander is the Founding Principal at YES Prep Hobby Secondary. Chase previously served as the Principal of YES Prep Hoffman Middle, and the Operations Manager at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary for three years. Chase also worked for Teach For America and served students in the Rio Grande Valley as a Teach For America corps member. Chase is a graduate from The University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to becoming principal at YES Prep North Central Secondary, Jeff served as their Director of Academics. Before joining the YES Prep family, Jeff was the Associate Director of Data Driven Instruction and Formative Assessment at Denver Public Schools. Prior to that, he worked at DSST Public Schools as the Senior Manager of Professional Llearning, the Founding School Director of DSST: Cole Middle School, and teacher of sixth grade science. Jeff is a Memphis 2006 Teach For America corps member and graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Bryce Moore has served as North Forest Secondary's Principal since 2020. He attended Prairie View A&M University, where he earned a degree in Criminal Justice. In 2010, Bryce started his career as a sixth grade history teacher with KIPP Polaris College Preparatory for Boys located in the North Forest community. Afterwards, he joined the YES Prep North Forest Secondary family, where he served as the Middle School Dean of students for two years and Director of Student Support his last year.
Greg Little first joined YES Prep in 2011 as a middle school Social Studies teacher, as a founding team member at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary. Before becoming Principal at YES Prep Northbrook High, Greg had the opportunity to serve as a Resident Principal at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary and YES Prep North Central Secondary. In his 10 years in education, Greg has served as a teacher, Grade Level Chair, Coach, Athletic Director, Dean of Students, and Director of Student Support. Greg is also a Teach For America alumnus.
Prior to being principal of Northbrook Middle, Eric was the Principal at YES Prep Southwest Secondary from 2012 until 2017. He has an undergraduate degree in theology from Xavier University and a masters in the teaching of English from Columbia. He got his start in education in 2001 as a Teacher For America corps member in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he taught French.
Brittany McGruder is the Founding Principal of YES Prep Northline Secondary. Previously, Brittany McGruder served as the Director of Academics at YES Prep Northbrook Middle. She was also a Dean of Instruction at YES Prep Hoffman and a science teacher at Fondren Middle School. She has a B.A. from The University of Tennessee at Martin.
Prior to becoming Principal of YES Prep Northside Secondary, James Mosley served as Principal at YES Prep North Forest Secondary and Dean of Students at YES Prep Northside Secondary for two years. He came to YES Prep as an Instructional Coach with Teaching Excellence. James previously served students in the North Forest community as a teacher and leader at KIPP Polaris. James attended Stephen F. Austin State University for his undergraduate studies and Concordia University for his graduate education.
James also serves as support for the YES Prep White Oak Secondary campus in his role as Executive Principal.
Laura Dugan is the founding Principal of YES Prep Northwest Secondary. Before becoming Principal , Laura was the Dean of Instruction for two years and Director of Academics for three at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary, an Instructional Coach with Teaching Excellence, and taught third and fourth grade at Rusk Elementary School in HISD as a Teach For America corps member. Laura has a B.S. from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.
Emily Ryans has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Texas Principal Certification and Master of Educational Leadership Degree from the University of St. Thomas. Emily came to YES Prep to work as a Dean of Instruction at YES Prep Southwest Secondary and most recently served at YES Prep Southeast Secondary as a Resident Principal.
Prior to serving as principal of YES Prep Southside Secondary, Jamie Downs worked as the interim director of academics at YES Prep Hoffman Middle. Jamie was a 2007 Houston Teach For America corps member, who taught sixth grade English Language Arts at Fondren Middle School. He then worked for TFA in Kansas City before returning to Houston to attend the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program and teach at YES Prep North Forest Secondary. Jamie later worked as an Assistant Principal at Sharpstown High School in the Houston Independent School District. Jamie also served as the Principal at YES Prep Eisenhower High before transferring to Southside.
Addison Feind has lived in Houston for the past ten years. Originally from Waco, Texas, he graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Policy and Spanish. Addison began his career teaching AP Spanish with Midway ISD and continued his work in education with YES Prep teaching a combination of Spanish and English with students in 8th through 12th grade. In his nearly ten years with YES Prep, he has served at Southwest, West, and Fifth Ward Secondary campuses as teacher, Grade-Level Chair, High School Dean of Students, Director of Student Support and Resident Principal.
Sara Millimet Kaveeshwar has served as principal at YES Prep West Secondary since 2020. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in health science at Rice University. After graduating, she earned a Master of Public Health degree at Emory University, with a focus in health education. Sara is a Teach For America corps alumna. In her time at YES Prep, Sara has worked at both YES Prep Southeast Secondary and YES Prep Southside Secondary as an eighth grade science teacher, a Science Content Specialist and a Dean of Instruction.
Previously, Jennifer Greene served as principal of YES Prep Hoffman Middle for two years. She also worked as a Dean of Students at YES Prep East End Secondary and was a founding staff member of YES Prep Gulfton Secondary. During her time at Gulfton, she was awarded the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award. Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree from American University and her graduate degree from Columbia University.
Elementary Head of Schools
- Airline Elementary
- East End Elementary
- North Central Elementary
- North Forest Elementary
- Southeast Elementary
- Southside Elementary
Elizabeth Carlson-Young began her career in education as an elementary school teacher and has taught reading and English in both middle and high schools. She taught for five years in Colombia before joining HISD and building a successful newcomers’ program at Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center. She continued her career at Hamilton Middle School as dean of students. Elizabeth joined YES Prep for the 2019-20 school year to launch the first ever YES Prep Elementary campuses in 2020-21.
Secondary Head of Schools
- Fifth Ward Secondary
- Gulfton Secondary
- North Central Secondary
- North Forest Secondary
- Northside Secondary
- West Secondary
Secondary Head of Schools
- Brays Oaks Secondary
- Hobby Secondary
- Northline Secondary
- Northwest Secondary
- Southeast Secondary
- Southwest Secondary
Ashleigh Fritz joined YES Prep as a founding staff member at YES Prep West Secondary in 2009, after serving two years in the Alief ISD as a Teacher For America corps member. She donned many roles during her eight-year tenure at YES Prep West Secondary including teacher, dean and principal. Afterwards, Ashleigh transitioned to Southside Secondary to lead the turnaround work and launch the high school. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Denison University.
Secondary Head of Schools
- East End Secondary
- Eisenhower High
- Northbrook High
- Northbrook Middle
- Southside Secondary
- White Oak Secondary
Ellen Winstead has been a Head of Schools since 2017. She started at YES Prep in 1999 as a classroom teacher, after teaching for four years in HISD as a 1995 Teach For America Houston corps member. In 2004, Ellen founded the Teaching Excellence program for YES Prep. In 2009, Ellen opened YES Prep West Secondary, where she established the first orchestra program at YES. In 2012, Ellen moved to the Home Office to oversee YES Prep's district partnerships with Spring Branch ISD and Aldine ISD. In 2015, Ellen became the managing director of academics. Ellen holds a bachelors with honors in Biology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters in Psychology from The Ohio State University.