Leadership Team | New Visions for Public Schools
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Leadership Team

New Visions for Public Schools is comprised of numerous staff members with experience as teachers, principals, and superintendents, bringing first-hand knowledge of New York City’s public schools to our work helping to raise student achievement. Other staff bring expertise in education policy, teacher preparation, data systems, digital technology, community relations, fundraising and non-profit operations. As an organization, we are always learning, designing practical and research-based solutions for public schools citywide.

Mark Dunetz

Mark Dunetz began his career as an educator teaching English as a second language and social studies in New York City public schools. In his two decades working in education, Dr. Dunetz has worked as a program evaluator, an educational consultant and a professor of research methods and educational administration. He first worked at New Visions for Public Schools in 2006 when he supported the implementation of the organization’s first certification program for aspiring school administrators. While at New Visions, Dr. Dunetz also led the design of the first public high school to provide pathways to students from underrepresented communities into well-paid “below the line” careers in New York City’s television and film industry. Dr. Dunetz served as the founding principal of the Academy for Careers in Television in Film from 2008 until 2013 as it developed into one of city’s most academically successful non-selective high schools.

In 2013, Dr. Dunetz returned to New Visions as Vice President for School Support and Operations responsible for leading the organization’s partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the support of 80 partner schools. To strengthen this work, he led a significant expansion of the organization’s data and analytics capacity, the launch of a software development team and the creation of open source high school curriculum in core subjects. In 2016, Dr. Dunetz was selected to replace Robert L. Hughes as the president of New Visions. Dr. Dunetz holds a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of California, Santa Cruz; an M.A. in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages from New York University; and a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in education policy from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Dunetz sits on the boards of the New York City Charter School Center and The Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

Shannon Curran
Chief Schools Officer

Shannon is responsible for guiding the instructional and operations support New Visions provides to its network of 70 district schools.  Before coming to New Visions, she worked as the managing director for school support at the Urban Assembly where she was responsible for all aspects of support services for the UA's 21 small, themed, district secondary schools across NYC.  Shannon's career in public education spans over 20 years and she has had the privilege of serving NYC students as a teacher, district staff developer, assistant principal and as the principal of the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice. She has participated in numerous global education exchanges including a Fulbright Administrator exchange to Argentina and an Educational Seminars exchange program in Brazil.  She holds an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University and an M.Ed in educational leadership from Bank Street College of Education.  Additionally, she recently received her certificate in nonprofit management from Columbia Business School's Senior Leaders program.  

Brad Gunton
Vice President, School Systems & Analytics

Brad first joined New Visions in 2004 as a graduate intern. He supported New Visions’ early data work before moving to Tanzania in 2009, where he managed the research strategy for an NGO studying early literacy and numeracy throughout East Africa, in addition to conducting evaluations for USAID. He returned to New Visions in 2012 and now leads the school systems and data analytics department, which manages the New Visions Data Portal as well as a suite of tools for network leaders. His department creates online tools for leaders in over 300 schools throughout New York City to manage student progress and ensure every student receives the support they need to be successful. Prior to originally joining New Visions, Brad taught English in northern Kazakhstan. He has an M.P.A. from Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University.

Derek Jones
Senior Director, District Schools

Derek joined New Visions in 2012 as a leadership development facilitator, and served most recently as a director of school support, responsible for managing a team of facilitators, coaches and consultants who work closely with the Manhattan/Bronx principals to help them meet their schools' performance targets in all critical areas. In Derek's current role, he leads the day-to-day school support work for New Visions district schools.  He previously worked for the NYCDOE as the founding principal of Excelsior Preparatory High School in Queens for six years, and as a deputy network leader responsible for overseeing leadership, professional development and youth development for thirty-one schools, as well as conducting school quality reviews.  He has an M.S. in multicultural education from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and an M.S. in educational leadership from Baruch College.


Joseph Posner
Managing Director for Human Resources

Joe joined New Visions in 2013 and oversees all Human Resources functions for New Visions for Public Schools and New Visions Charter High Schools, as well as teacher hiring support for New Visions Affinity schools. Joe and his team work to design systems, supports, and experiences that attract, engage and retain highly talented individuals. He brings nearly 20 years of experience working in Human Resources at diverse, mission-driven organizations, formerly serving as the head of HR for the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation and in progressive leadership roles at Safe Horizon, where he served as the senior director of HR. He holds a master's degree in forensic psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from Binghamton University. Additionally, he holds SPHR and SCP certifications in HR and is a licensed trainer. Joe is also a Shotokan Karate Instructor for the Police Activity League where he holds the rank of Yodan.

Cynthia Rietscha
Chief Operating Officer

Cynthia joined New Visions in 2014 as director of finance, responsible for all of the organization's financial functions, including accounting, grants management and budgeting. As chief operating officer, she currently oversees New Visions' human resources, finance, administration and technology departments. Prior to joining New Visions, she served as deputy chief financial officer with the Children’s Aid Society. Cynthia brings more than 20 years of financial management experience in the private and nonprofit sectors, and holds both an Executive MBA from Columbia University and an MPA from New York University. 

Musa Ali Shama
Superintendent of Charter Schools

Ali oversees the New Visions Charter High Schools network. He began his career as an educator at Lehman High School in the Bronx, his alma mater, where he taught fine arts and graphic design. After 13 years as a teacher, Ali took on his first role as a school administrator at Kennedy High School as assistant principal. In this capacity, he led the development of career and technical education programs in a variety of technology related fields. Ali later took on the leadership of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, one of the city’s largest and most successful schools. After leaving the principalship he became the DOE’s director of principal evaluation, overseeing the citywide principal evaluation process, both evaluating principals directly and providing professional development to superintendents. Most recently, Ali served as the DOE’s principal leadership facilitator for Superintendent Donald Conyers. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from CUNY-Lehman College, a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Queens College, City of New York and a bachelor’s degree in art education from C.W. Post College / Long Island University. 

Jennie Soler-McIntosh
Vice President, Community Engagement and Postsecondary Pathways

Jennie Soler-McIntosh joined New Visions in 2001. In her role, she is responsible for leading the organization’s support efforts around family engagement, community relationship building, partnership development for all New Visions district and charter schools and postsecondary readiness. During her tenure at New Visions, she has served on the charter school team and new school creation team. Prior to joining New Visions, she was assistant commissioner for the Beacon Programs at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and brought over fourteen years of experience working with community-based organizations. She holds an M.A. in public administration from Baruch College and graduated from its National Urban Fellows Program.


Jefferson Pestronk
Vice President, Strategy & Development

Jefferson joined New Visions in 2014. As vice president, Jefferson oversees the development of New Visions’ cross-departmental organizational strategy, fundraising and development activities, and external communications. Previously, he managed New Visions’ expansion to support New York City’s Community & Renewal Schools, which increased the number of schools using New Visions Data Tools by more than 150%." Previously, he was director of special initiatives in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, where he was responsible for designing and executing the Investing in Innovation (i3) program, as well as advising on research and development-related policy. He has also been a principal at The Parthenon Group, where he consulted with school systems including New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. He holds a doctorate in education leadership from Harvard University and a B.S.E. in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University.

Daniel Voloch
Vice President, Curriculum and Instruction

Daniel joined New Visions in 2014 and currently leads the curriculum and instruction team. Prior to joining New Visions, he was the managing director of program development for iMentor where he oversaw all aspects of the development and design of iMentor’s program model. Previously, Daniel served as founding director of At Home in College, a CUNY program that aligns senior year coursework with the skills required for success on college placement exams and in first-year college courses, and as director of College Now at Hostos Community College. He began his career as a middle school and high school history teacher. He holds a B.A. in English from Columbia University, an M.A. in English from Brown University and a Ph.D. in urban education with a concentration in education policy and leadership from the CUNY Graduate Center.