Board & Staff

2017 Board of Directors

The MeckEd Board of Directors operates independently from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the CMS Board of Education, and public charter schools. The board is comprised of business, educational and community leaders who are passionate about public education and its role in developing a vibrant community and a strong economy. Board members serve a three-year term and may serve two consecutive terms.

Wes Jones
ai Design Group

Erik Lioy
Grant Thornton

Richard Nichols
Immediate Past Chair
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 

Keith Butler
Duke Energy

Madelyn L. Caple
Wells Fargo

Chris Cope
Allen Tate Mortgage

Sheryl Craun

Michael Giles

Shana Jackson
Belk, Inc.

Bill Leonard
Carolinas HealthCare System

Sid Levy
Extended Stay America

Curt Shaw
Novant Health

Pawanjit Singh
Premier, Inc.

Charles Walker
Intelligent Technologies


MeckEd Staff


Torrie BurgessTorrie Burgess | Career Pathways Advisor, Vance High School

Torrie Burgess joined the MeckEd team in March 2017 as the Career Pathways Advisor at Vance High School. Torrie received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University NC A&T in 2011 and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Most recently, she worked with Communities and Schools as an Elementary School Site Coordinator at Statesville Elementary.  Torrie enjoys spending time with her 10 year old son Malaki, traveling and being active by playing sports.

Contact Torrie:


Andrew Chadderton | Career Pathways Advisor, Independence High School

Andrew Chadderton joined MeckEd in July 2015 as a Career Pathways Advisor at Independence High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Communication Studies and Spanish from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Andrew’s passion for education stemmed from his experience studying abroad in Santander, Spain at the University of Cantabria. After college, he went into the field of education for English as a Second Language (ESL). He worked as an ESL Assessment Retention Specialist and Instructor at Cape Fear Community College and an ESL Assessment Evaluator and Teacher Assistant for New Hanover County Schools. His passion for teaching led him to a life-changing opportunity to teach abroad in South Korea.  After returning to the USA, Andrew worked as a Partnership Coordinator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which instilled him with a passion to connect the schools with surrounding organizations through community outreach.

Aside from his educational fervor, Andrew enjoys playing the electric bass, basketball, soccer, photography and sharing those interests with others. Andrew is enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with students and assist them in their transition to become upstanding global citizens.

Contact Andrew:


RDanisHeadshotwborderDr. Ross Danis | President

Ross Danis is the president of MeckEd, an independent non-profit dedicated to ensuring access to educational opportunity for all children in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.   Dr. Danis’ service as a teacher, staff developer, supervisor of instruction, school principal, district administrator, foundation executive, university dean, and non-profit leader, is fueled by his abiding belief in the power of public education to transform lives.

Ross has been successfully challenging the status quo since he collaborated on the design of a non-graded high school in the late 1970s.  As a staff developer at the Academy for the Advancement of Teaching and Management in the 1980s, he provided high impact professional development for teams of teachers across the Garden State.  While serving as a K-8 principal in the 1990s, he demonstrated his commitment to choice by launching the first multi-age primary program as an option to the single graded program in a public school.  During the same period of time, Ross created a county-wide professional development consortium; published a practitioner focused Action Research journal; was a founding board member and president of the Principals’ Center for the Garden State; taught leadership seminars for school administrators across the deep south of the United States; and dismantled archaic and ineffective ability grouping practices in a large suburban school district. In 1997 he was the subject of a PBS documentary on leadership called “Quicksand and Banana Peels:  A year in the life of two principals.”

In 2000 Ross became the education program director for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. During his decade at Dodge he continued to develop and support programs, practices, and implementation strategies to raise student achievement.

Ross has served as an appointee to the education task forces, commissions, and education policy transition teams of four governors and six education commissioners. He has taught educational leadership, critical and creative thinking, and data- driven instruction to educators in 36 states and seven countries on four continents.

Today, as the president of MeckEd, Dr. Danis continues to empower educators, policymakers, and community members with the knowledge and resources necessary to ensure that all children receive the education they deserve.

Contact Ross: 704.335.0100;


Jennifer GeyerJennifer Geyer | Career Pathways Advisor, Garinger High School

Jennifer Geyer joined MeckEd in August of 2013 as a Career Pathways Advisor at Garinger High School. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Ethnic Studies from Davidson College. Prior to MeckEd, Jennifer served as an AmeriCorps ACCESS member for two years working with immigrants and refugees. Her first year with AmeriCorps was at the Center for New North Carolinians as a Project Assistant for Thriving at Three where she helped mothers with children under three years old prepare for school. Her second-year placement was as a Resource Center Assistant and College Access Para Todos Coordinator at the Latin American Coalition where she discovered her passion for working with students and helping them attain their goals of higher education. After AmeriCorps, Jennifer worked as a Bilingual Site Coordinator for Communities In Schools at Vance High School for a year and a half where she gained invaluable experience working within the school system and connecting students to community resources.

Along with her passion for working with youth, Jennifer is an avid salsa and samba dancer. She is a proud member of Rumbao Latin Dance Company and Movimentos de Samba Dance Company where you can find her performing at local festivals and events. Jennifer is excited about developing work-based learning opportunities for students at Garinger and helping them discover their ideal pathway to success!

Contact Jennifer: 980.343.6450; |


AnisaHenrywborderAnisa Henry | Director, Career Pathways

Anisa Henry joined the MeckEd team in July 2015 as the Career Pathways Advisor at Vance High School.  Anisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University. She has almost 10 years’ experience working with youth in various settings across the country, including the United States Army Child Development Centers as an Assistant Director. Most recently Anisa served as a Youth Services Case Manager for ResCare Workforce Services-Inspire Youth Program. As the Youth Services Case Manager, Anisa provided WIA and career readiness services to students attending Vance and Garinger High Schools. One of Anisa’s greatest passions is working with youth and providing them the tools necessary to achieve their goals.

Anisa enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her husband and herseven-year-oldd Yorkie.

Contact Anisa:


omarheadshotborderOmar Parkes | Career Pathways Coordinator

Omar joined MeckEd as the Career Pathways Coordinator in July 2016. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Johnson C. Smith University in 2002. He has more than 11 years experience working in various aspects of WIA/WIOA programs. Most recently, he worked for 9 years at ResCare Workforce Services – The Inspire Youth Program as an Intake and Marketing Specialist. During that time, he worked diligently to develop and maintain a presence in the community to increase awareness of program services. In addition, Omar expertly facilitated the enrollment process for each individual youth who participated in the program. He is excited about the opportunity to impact the lives of young people who are still in school so that they will have a more focused path upon graduation. Omar is incredibly passionate about working with young people to help them accomplish their goals. He is motivated by his lovely wife Toni and their 3 children Victoria, Nathan and Anthony.

Contact Omar: 704.335.0100;


img_0006Rashaan Peek | Senior Manager, Assistant to the President

Rashaan joined MeckEd as the Sr. Manager, Assistant to the President in December 2016 after serving as a MeckEd consultant for five months. Certified in Non-Profit Management, Rashaan boasts over 20 years of non-profit experience ranging from social services to economic development organizations.  She is currently the chair-elect for the Girls on the Run Charlotte Board of Advisors and is an active volunteer with youth and women’s organizations around the city.  As a parent of a CMS student and two CMS graduates, her passion to ensure all students in Mecklenburg County have access to an excellent public education is personal.

Rashaan will work closely with the president, the board and staff to make sure MeckEd’s story of education, work workforce development, and advocacy is an exemplar of best practice in the field and across the nation.  When not working, Rashaan enjoys reading, traveling, and morning walks with her Rottweiler, Kolby.

Contact Rashaan: 704.335.0100 x222;