Doug Elmer, Director
Doug Elmer began his career as a Teach for America corps member, serving as a ninth-grade English teacher at Central High School in Newark. He quickly progressed to become a high school instructional coach in Philadelphia before joining Talent Development in 2003. During his eight years with Talent Development, Elmer has managed school reform projects in 20 districts nationwide, both recruiting new schools and districts to partner with Talent Development and leading the implementation of the Talent Development model. He has overseen teams of Talent Development instructional facilitators and worked with hundreds of school administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers. He has both helped to turn around existing schools and played a key role in opening new high schools in Chicago and Detroit.
Jessica Herman, City Year Deputy Director
Jessica Herman joined City Year in 2005 as a corps member at City Year Chicago and was promoted to various leadership roles during her six years there, including senior corps member, manager of the inaugural civic engagement team, and founding Diplomas Now program manager at the Chicago Talent Development Charter High School. Herman most recently served as program manager for two teams, including continuing her work with a Diplomas Now team at Chicago Talent Development Charter High School. She is a graduate of the 2010 LEAD City Year program manager class and was selected to participate in the 2011 pilot of the PEAR Impact/Rally Relationships, Youth Development and Academic Success program for City Year program managers. Herman graduated from the University of Kansas in 2005 with degrees in sociology and communication studies.
Kathy Nelson, Talent Development Deputy Director
Kathy Nelson began working with Diplomas Now partners in 2009 to launch the pilot sites in Philadelphia. She began her work at the Center for Social Organization of Schools (CSOS) at Johns Hopkins University in 2000 as manager for the Talent Development Middle School program. Prior to her work at CSOS, Nelson worked with several other education nonprofits in the Washington, DC, area, including Close Up Foundation and the Council for Basic Education, and with a school leadership program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also has taught secondary social studies in Bureau of Indian Affairs high schools in the Navajo Nation; in Switzerland, and Spain. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Utah.
Sheila Drummond, Communities In Schools Deputy Director
Before becoming deputy director, Sheila Drummond briefly served as Diplomas Now’s operations manager and spent 25 years with partner organization Communities In Schools, working in both local and national capacities. Drummond is the co-founder and former executive director of Baltimore Community School Connections, a group that strives to promote effective, accountable school-community partnerships. Drummond graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and has a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Bridgeport.