Board of Trustees

Briya’s Board reflects our community – students, educators, professional experts, and community members.

Together, our Board, staff, and student leaders set strategic priorities for our school and ensure its sustained success for years to come.

Officers

Charlotte Baer, Chair

Educational Consultant, Retired

BoardChair@briya.org

Charlotte Baer is a lifelong educator who has worked in many adult education settings, developed school curriculum, and taught at the university and high school levels. She first became involved in adult education in Boston where she worked with the Massachusetts State Department of Education, supporting ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners and creating curriculum frameworks to inform adult education standards. Charlotte came to D.C. as a consultant in 1998 and provided support to nonprofits offering adult education. Prior to Briya becoming a charter school, Charlotte monitored class structures and outcomes, visiting several times a year to check progress. She volunteers at two public gardens in the city.

Doris Garay, Vice Chair

Family Engagement Facilitator/Social Worker, Fairfax Department of Family Services

BoardViceChair@briya.org

Doris Garay is a Family Engagement Facilitator/Social Worker III for the Department of Family Services in Fairfax, Virginia. Doris holds a degree in Multicultural Adult Education from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in Infant and Family Education/Early Childhood from Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. She has over 20 years of experience working in education and social services in the metropolitan D.C. area. Doris is a former Briya staff member.

Alejandra Sandoval, Secretary

Briya student

Alejandra Sandoval is a Briya student in the Advanced 2 English class. She is from Mexico and came to the United States in 2003 without speaking English or knowing anyone except her husband. Alejandra first began studying at Briya in 2011. She has three children, two of whom previously attended Briya with her. At Bancroft Elementary School, where her children currently attend, Alejandra is a member of the Local School Advisory Team and active in the PTO, parent coffee events, and fundraising initiatives. She also participates in education advocacy with the DC parent organization PAVE. With improved English skills, Alejandra hopes to attend college in the future.

Bill Bletzinger, Treasurer

Retired

Bill Bletzinger has over 40 years of nonprofit management experience in arts administration, health care, and education, with an emphasis on supporting immigrant populations. Bill’s career included serving as CFO of Mary’s Center and, most recently, as Director of Finance for Briya until his retirement in 2019. With a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Theatre Administration from the Yale School of Drama, Bill continues his lifelong interest in theater by studying the history of the Elizabethan stage. Bill also has an MPH in Community-Oriented Primary Care from George Washington University and is a committed advocate for immigrants’ health and well-being.

Brenda Martinez

Private Deal Analyst, Amazon

Brenda Martinez is currently a Private Deal Analyst for Amazon. In her current role, she performs contract reviews, pulls relevant data and performs analysis for leaders on her team using QuickSight. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University in Business Management. While she was still a student at Catholic, she worked during the summer and the semester at Briya as an Administrative Assistant and upon graduation became a Finance and Business Administrator.

Brittany Pope

Economic Security Supervisor, Bread for the City

Brittany Pope serves as Economic Security Supervisor at Bread for the City, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC, which provides comprehensive services to DC residents living with low incomes, while also striving to help them develop power to determine the future of their own communities. She leads the Economic Security team, which focuses on coordinating, supporting, and advocating for guaranteed income projects and policy change. Prior to joining Bread for the City, Brittany was a Student Services Coordinator at Briya. This enriching experience inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work from Catholic University, with a concentration in Social Justice and Change. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Brittany believes in uplifting the residents of our city and striving for a just society for all.

Cara Sklar

Deputy Director, Early & Elementary Education Policy at New America

Cara Sklar is deputy director of Early & Elementary Education Policy for New America. She leads a team working on new ideas for improving children’s birth through third-grade learning experiences. Prior to joining New America, Sklar gained education policy experience working at the federal, state, and local levels. She was a federal policy analyst for Zero to Three, an education research analyst for the District of Columbia Government, and the director of research and policy for Briya. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Daniela Grigioni

Executive Director, After-School All-Stars DC

A physician by training, Daniela Grigioni began working in education as a second career after involvement with her children’s schooling raised her interest in contributing to the field. Daniela worked over 20 years for DCPS, and two years at Briya. After 8 years at DCPS central office, managing partnerships in the afterschool and summer school space, she transitioned to her current job as Executive Director of After-School All-Stars DC, serving seven Title I schools with free afterschool programming. Daniela was born in Rome, Italy. She holds a medical degree and came to the United States with her family in 1990, living in D.C. with her family.

Flor Buruca

Briya student

Flor Buruca is an Advanced 1 English student at Briya and a 2019 graduate of Briya’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Program. She is from El Salvador and came to the United States in 2005. Flor’s family embodies two-generation education: her husband, Cristian, is also a Briya student and their two children attend a DCPS elementary school, where Flor is an active parent and member of the PTO. She has also served as a member of Briya’s student council and as a Briya outreach ambassador and participates in education advocacy with the DC parent organization PAVE. Flor plans to continue studying at Briya and hopes to work as an early childhood educator.

Jennifer Huang

Finance Lead, EdOps

Jennifer Huang is a Finance Lead under the New Market Division for EdOps. With experience in financial reporting, internal control, budgeting and facilities accounting, she currently performs as an outsourced CFO for a portfolio of 5-8 schools across the national finance team client base. Prior to her current role, she had worked closely with Briya, as a Finance Specialist at EdOps, for almost 8 years. She holds a master degree in accountancy from George Washington University.

Ji Sung Yang

Corporate Services Senior Analyst, Inter-American Development Bank

Ji Sung assists and advises the Deputy Secretary of the Inter-American Development Bank. She has experience in communication and stakeholder engagement and works on the coordination and preparation of institutional events. Prior to her career in multilateral development banks, Ji worked in the shipping industry as a manager of a small Korean consulting firm for international P&I Clubs. Ji was a Brent Scowcroft Fellow at the Aspen Strategy Group and also worked as a political analyst at the Korean Embassy in Washington. She holds a degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University.