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.

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.

Tania Del Rio

Tania currently serves as Executive Director for Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office of Women’s Advancement. Prior to this role, Tania worked as the Diversity Outreach Officer for the Mayor’s Office. Before joining the City of Boston, Tania was the Head of the Protection and Community Affairs Departments at the Consulate of Mexico in Boston. Previously, Tania has worked with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs on using data to identify barriers and make recommendations for increasing gender diversity in the Foreign Service. Tania holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from New York University and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Pamela Klein

Pam currently serves as Vice President & Chief of Staff to the CEO at Beacon Health Options, a behavioral health organization focused on increasing access to mental health services. Prior to joining Beacon, Pam worked as a Case Team Leader at Bain & Company, where she consulted on strategic planning, process improvement, and organizational development for healthcare and financial services clients. Prior to Bain, Pam worked in Strategic and Financial Planning at Comcast, and as an Assistant Vice President at J.P. Morgan. Pam received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA with honors from Harvard University.

Devon Petersmeyer Johnson

Devon currently serves as Vice President of Marketing 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.

Robert Lytle

Robert currently serves as the Head of EY-Parthenon’s Education practice. Robert was with Parthenon for 15 years before its combination with EY in August 2014. For two decades, he has led client engagements on general strategy, performance improvement, and investment due diligence across a broad spectrum of educational organizations. His clients include high-growth companies, publicly listed global 100 companies, nonprofit institutions, financial investors, and international governments. Robert is a frequent speaker at leading global forums in the education sector. Prior to joining Parthenon, Robert was with Bain & Company and served as a US Army aviator. He holds a BSE in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and an MBA with high distinction from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Stephen Mugford

Steve currently serves as Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy at Capital One. Prior to joining Capital One in 1998, Steve was with the Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles and later in Boston. While at BCG, Steve led strategy engagements with Fortune 500 clients in a variety of industries, including retail, consumer goods, telecommunications, and tech. Steve received an MBA from Harvard Business School and received a BA in Economics and English from Amherst College. Steve is a competitive masters swimmer and enjoys beach volleyball, golf, and singing. He is also the father of three young daughters.

Steven Zrike

Steven Zrike is currently the Receiver/Superintendent for the Holyoke Public Schools. Previous to this role, Steve served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wakefield, Massachusetts. From 2011- 2013, he was the Chief of Elementary Schools for the Pilsen-Little Village Network in the Chicago Public Schools. In addition to his experience in Chicago, Steve also served the Boston Public Schools as the turnaround principal of the William Blackstone Elementary School, an inquiry facilitator and leadership coach for four Boston schools, and as principal of both the William Ohrenberger Elementary School and John Philbrick Elementary School.

Bernabe Rodriguez

Bernabe is the current Director and Co-founder of 311 Services for the City of Chelsea. Prior to this position, Bernabe served as the Executive Secretary to the City Manager for two years. Bernabe graduated from Bentley University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is an Excel Academy alumni.

Yahaira Acuna

Yahaira is a Commission Uses Analyst at Fidelity Investments. Yahaira has been at Fidelity for two years and previously worked as an Analyst in strategy and planning. Yahaira graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University and is an Excel Academy alumni.

David Stolow

David Stolow teaches courses for undergraduates and MBAs students on social enterprise and nonprofit management at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.  Prior to joining the BU faculty in 2011, David worked for 20 years in nonprofit management positions in the fields of education, community development, community service, and services for children and families.  David has also served on several nonprofit boards and has consulted widely on financial management for nonprofit leaders. David graduated from Yale University with a major in American Studies and earned his master’s degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.  David’s grandparents and great grandparents who were immigrants in the early 20th century lived in Chelsea and East Boston.

Nery Castro 

Nery is a dedicated member of the East Boston and Chelsea communities. Nery currently serves as a Community Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Nery is originally from El Salvador and the parent of two children at Excel Academy.