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Team 2

Michael Vea


Michael Vea, doctoral resident, joins Transcend’s School Design Services team. Michael’s career began in 2001 with Teach For America where he spent four years as a 5th grade teacher at Public School 128 in New York City. In 2005, Michael co-founded KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem. At KIPP, Michael taught 7th Grade American History, developed the Nonfiction Studies program, and was awarded the Kinder Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007.

After 14 years in the classroom, Michael consulted on a national level for LitLife PD. LitLife, through achievement-focused professional development and customized content, allowed Michael to provide critical and cohesive classroom support for teachers.

A Filipino-American, Michael is committed to expanding educational opportunities for children in the Philippines, serving as the founding Co-Director of U.S. Strategy and Recruitment at Teach for the Philippines. He holds a B.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Teaching from Pace University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in education leadership (Ed.L.D.) at Harvard University.

Stacey Wang


Prior to joining Transcend, Stacey Wang served as the Advisor of the Superintendent and Director of Personalized Learning for Oakland Unified School District where she collaborated with system leaders, school leaders, teachers, parents, students, and the broader community to transform schools from traditional models to personalized learning schools impacting over 7,000 students. Before that, Stacey worked at Monitor Deloitte in the strategy practice where she helped Fortune 100 companies and education nonprofits design strategies for large scale organizational change. As part of her work in innovation, she ran a team at the Center for the Edge developing pragmatic frameworks for systemic innovation  (more about the work can be found at DU Press).

Stacey's interest in education sparked over a decade ago when she helped a San Francisco school in the Tenderloin develop a ten-year growth strategy. From there, Stacey joined the Board of Trustees for Leadership High School, a high-achieving public school and became an Education Pioneer fellow developing quality community pilot schools for Oakland Unified. Stacey pursued an MBA at Columbia Business School with a focus on social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management and has an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Most recently, Stacey completed the Broad Residency and received her Masters in Education Leadership. Stacey has consulted numerous education organizations such as Education Pioneers, SF Ed Fund, and the NYC DOE. She was also a runner up at SF Start Up Weekend 2013: Next Gen Schools. 

Stacey lives in the Bay Area with her partner who constantly inspires her to increase innovation and optimism in education. 

Crystal Ward


Dr. Crystal Palmero Ward believes in the unbounded potential of all children and is dedicated to creating the schools and systems that ensure all children reach their individual excellence and fulfill their most audacious dreams. Crystal’s fire for educational justice was ignited after attending an elite private school for high school after 10 years in public schools across the country. In prep school she witnessed and experienced the life-altering differences of America’s intentionally inequitable designed school system. After college, Crystal started her career in Washington, DC as a 6th grade Science and Social Studies Teacher. Though many kids thrived in her classroom, she witnessed students entangled in unfair disciplinary policies that negatively impacted their grades, investment and self-esteem. This drove her to leadership as the founding Dean of Culture of Achievement First Endeavor Elementary in Brooklyn, NY. Crystal’s school gained network and regional recognition for exceptional student achievement, parent satisfaction, and high teacher retention. Due to strong results, Crystal was promoted to oversee strategy, vision, and implementation of culture across 32 schools and 3 states as the Director of School Culture. Currently, Crystal is a School Design Partner at Transcend.

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Rebecca Weinhold


Rebecca joins Transcend leading operations to support early-stage school design work. She began her career in education working to support Operations at Harlem Children’s Zone and took the skills she learned there to support Leadership Prep Brownsville, a part of Uncommon Schools in Brooklyn, New York. After completing the Uncommon Schools Operations Fellowship, Rebecca was the founding Director of Operations and Co-Leader of Leadership Prep Canarsie also an Uncommon school.

After seven years working in urban education Rebecca wanted to learn more about schools operating in rural areas and the challenges they face which led her to KIPP Gaston Pride High as the Director of School Operations. Most recently Rebecca was the Director of Operations at KIPP Academy Nashville. Rebecca graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with degrees in Music and History.

When she is at home in Florida, she plays her bassoon with and serves on the board of the Melbourne Municipal Band. Rebecca makes sure to take time to travel as often as she can in order to ski, hike, camp, and read as many books as she can along the way.

Oliver Wells


Oliver began his career in the movement for educational excellence and equity as a Teach for America corps member, teaching middle school mathematics in South Atlanta, GA. The son of a high school math teacher, his interest in new school models was sparked while volunteering at his father’s high school in the Bronx, NY and grew along with his own experiences in the classroom. Prior to joining Transcend, Oliver was an Associate at The Raben Group, where he focused on a wide range of issues including, education reform, criminal justice reform, and diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting for private sector and non-profit organizations. He holds an BA in Political Science from Tufts University and currently resides in Washington, D.C..

Jenee Henry Wood

Jenee joins Transcend leading work in organizational strategic clarity and internal operational effectiveness. Prior to joining Transcend, she was the Vice President of Knowledge at Teach For America, where she oversaw a variety of programmatic functions from content and pedagogy, to leadership development, to knowledge management and learning teams. Before leading the national knowledge team, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Chief Knowledge Officer and led organizational learning and alignment around the evolution of the Teaching As Leadership framework. She was a teacher in Atlanta Public Schools, where she worked with middle school aged students with learning differences and special needs. In 2011, she was awarded the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching. Jenee began her work in nonprofits at Oxfam Great Britain, an international development charity fighting global poverty. There, she worked in strategy and online communications, advising and developing early social media strategies for engaging youth in issues of poverty, inequality and climate change. She studied Economics and Russian at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and Wadham College, Oxford University. While living in the United Kingdom, she also served as a cellist in the Oxford University Orchestra and is a life member of the Oxford Union debating society. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.