Board of Trustees

Excel Academy Board of Trustees

As public agents authorized by the state, the members of the board of trustees (board) of a charter school are responsible for governing the school and hold the charter for the school, as it is granted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). 

In addition to its many other responsibilities, the board must ensure that the school is complying with all of the state and federal laws that apply to the school and that the school is operating in accordance with its charter and with any approved amendments to its charter.

Excel Academy is grateful to its volunteer board members for their generous commitment to ensure the success and viability of our organization.

Ben Howe (Chair)

Ben is the co-founder and CEO of AGC Partners in Boston, MA. Prior to founding AGC, Ben was a Managing Director and Head of M&A at Cowen Securities. Prior to Cowen he led Montgomery Securities’ East Coast and European Tech Investment Banking practice. He graduated from Trinity College and received an M.S. in Accounting from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Caitlin Brumme (Vice Chair)

Caitlin Reimers Brumme currently serves as program director at the Impact Collaboratory at Harvard Business School. Previously, Caitlin was a director on the Capital Markets Team at Social Finance where she led the financial structuring and capital raising activities to drive social impact at scale. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

Tom Ellis (Treasurer)

Tom is the co-founder and co-portfolio manager of North Run Capital, LP, a long-short fundamental value hedge fund. Prior to co-founding North Run in 2002, Tom was a Principal at Berkshire Partners, LLC. 

Matt Ottmer (Clerk)

Matt Ottmer is a healthcare professional with over 20 years of experience working in leadership roles at companies such as Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Biogen. Matt is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Hazie Crespo

Hazie joined Excel’s high school staff in its founding year of 2015 and currently serves as one of two Biomedical Science teachers. She is also the founder and currently runs the Young Women Leadership Program at Excel Academy Charter High School. Hazie earned her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Wheaton College, MA and currently attends Boston University for her Master’s in Education. She is a 2007 graduate of Excel Academy Charter School, 2017 Teach for America Corps Member and an active resident of Chelsea, MA. Hazie is also an inaugural member of Latinos for Education, a non-profit organization that provides pathways for increased representation and impact of Latino education leaders. She prides herself on being an Excel parent to her fifth-grade son.


Kathleen Federico

Kathleen is currently President, CEO of the KDF Group after serving as Chief HR Officer for over eight years at Civitas Solutions, better known as The Mentor Network. Prior to joining The Mentor Network, Kathleen was Senior Vice President of Sales at World Travel Holdings after serving as Vice President of Human Resources at NE Restaurant Company. Kathleen graduated with her bachelor of arts in psychology from Merrimack College.

Susan Passoni

Susan is a Founding Board Member of Excel Academy Charter Schools and Chairs Excel’s Advisory Board. For twenty years, she was a Managing Director in Research at several investment banks, including Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs. Susan currently Chairs the University Club of Boston’s Scholarship Committee as well as serves on EDVestors’ Grant Review panel and is an Executive Advisor for the Lynch Leadership Academy. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association and Building Excellent Schools. 

Devon Petersmeyer Johnson

Devon currently serves as Director of Strategy for North America at Converse (owned by Nike). Prior to joining Converse, Devon was Vice President of Marketing at Catalant Technologies after working in brand management at Procter & Gamble and in consulting at Parthenon-EY. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.