Committed to Excellence
Drew Sippel, Executive Director, capstone education group
Drew has been deeply involved with the Binghampton neighborhoods for more than 14 years. For the past three years, he has strategically focused on the Binghampton area to develop the socio-economic and educational capacity of the area. He has been a board member for both the Binghampton Development Corporation and Service Over Self, both self-sustaining organizations making a difference in the Binghampton community as well as affecting thousands of volunteers’ lives by highlighting the brokenness of the city and the need to thoughtfully address the issues of the city.
Drew accepted the position of executive director of Capstone Education Group (CEG) after studying the education needs of the community for the past several years. “We want to work to eliminate injustice and oppression, and I believe that it is unjust for a child to be destined to receive an inadequate education simply for being born in a particular neighborhood. A child born in the inner city of Memphis has a 40 percent chance of dropping out of high school before graduating, and if the child does graduate, he or she will receive a high school education that equates to an eighth-grade education of a suburban student. That is unjust and I am committed to fighting this issue as the director of Capstone Education Group.”
Drew has researched and visited many of the highest-performing urban schools in the country, as well as attending the Building Excellent Schools program in Boston, Massachusetts. Recently, he received a master of arts in education from Union University. He is bringing the best practices from these schools to Cornerstone Prep and Lester Prep, learning from the success of others.
He has a very clear picture of success for a Cornerstone Prep and Lester Prep students. “Our school will be successful when a student graduates from the eighth grade, attends a challenging high school, receives a scholarship to a prestigious university, and then returns to Memphis with a degree to invest his or her life serving this community as a leader in his or her chosen field, seeking to improve the lot of the people of this city.”
This exciting and long-term vision motivates Drew to make CEG schools life-changing schools for students, families, and the Binghampton and Frayser communities.
Alex Wrobel, Director of Data and Technology
Alex Wrobel joins our team as Capstone Education Group's Director of Data
and Technology, where he is responsible for measuring how each school is performing
across different key measures, integrating data systems, administering state and
district standardized tests, and all technology oversight as well as day-to-day
tech operations. He and his wife have lived in Binghampton since they moved to
Memphis in the summer of 2012, and he thoroughly enjoys living where he works.
Prior to working at Capstone, Alex earned a Master’s in Urban
Education from Union University as a part of the Memphis Teacher Residency
program where he was a resident chemistry teacher. During his undergraduate studies, Alex
worked as a tutor in chemistry and statistics as well as a research assistant
in inorganic chemistry building his strong analytical skills and a love for
Alex’s favorite part of his job is being able to work across all
schools and levels within the organization from students and teachers to school
leaders and volunteers to build a strong, data-driven culture. One day Alex
hopes to use his love and knowledge of running to coach a cross-country and
track team at the Lester campus.
Angie Cramer, Principal, Cornerstone Prep - Lester Campus
Angie Cramer is ecstatic to join
the Capstone family as the new Principal of Cornerstone Prep - Lester Campus. She is humbled and ever grateful for this opportunity to join this school community.
Angie was born and raised in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri and moved to
Memphis just over ten years ago. She and her husband, Steve, are the proud parents
of two boys, Tommy and Ben. She is a life-long educator having taught
special education in first grade through high school, both first and
third grades in general education classes, and has served as the director of
children’s ministries for a small church before her most recent position as principal.
Angie holds bachelor degrees in Elementary Education (K-5) and Special Education (K-12) from
the University of Missouri and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from
Christian Brothers University. Four
years ago she joined an organization called New Leaders and served as the
Resident Principal at Shannon Elementary. She was then named the Principal of Kingsbury Elementary and served
there for three years, just before coming to Cornerstone Prep. At
Kingsbury she and her team worked hard, seeing awesome results over her three
year stay, closing subgroup gaps
by as much as 14% with the ELL population and made double digit gains in all
academic areas. While under Angie's leadership, they were also named a TN Reward School for the past two academic years for being in the top 5% in the state for student growth.
have learned that the same type of work has been happening here at Cornerstone Prep
and the momentum is building," Angie says. "Cornerstone Prep certainly
has a lot to be proud of, and I believe there is a great foundation set here on
which we can continue to build together. I
believe that the future is bright for Cornerstone Prep and the
Binghampton community. I am looking forward serving alongside each of you, on
Brearn Wright, PRINCIPAL, Lester prep
Brearn Wright, a native Memphian, is the founding principal of Lester Prep. He has been in the field of education for over 18 years serving as a social studies teacher, instructional resource teacher and a principal in Montgomery County Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools and Providence Public Schools. Most recently, Brearn was the Associate Director of Education Services with Shelby County Head Start, ensuring quality instruction for 2,200 students in Shelby County.
Brearn graduated from Lake Forest College, where he majored in History and minored in African American History. He holds a Master's of Education degree from Harvard University and another Master's of Science in Administration degree from Trinity University. As an alum of New Leader for New Schools, Brearn is thrilled at the opportunity of implementing the practices learned from the program that will lead to educational excellence at Lester Prep and educational equity in the city of Memphis.
Diana Bey, principal, cornerstone prep - denver campus
Diana Bey joined
the Cornerstone Prep team as a founding Kindergarten teacher, later
holding the position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction for
Cornerstone Prep - Lester Campus. Diana previously taught at Veritas Classical
school, where she facilitated and taught fourth grade students. Prior to this, Diana taught Kindergarten at a Memphis charter school and taught in Michigan.
Diana now serves as the Principal of Cornerstone Prep - Denver Campus, which opens in August 2015 in Frayser.
She has had the privilege of becoming an
active member of the Frayser Exchange Club, attending meetings and
getting to know the community of Frayser. She looks forward to learning
more from the amazing families, students and community
partners at Denver.
Diana graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where she majored in math and minored in science. She has
a teaching certification from the
State of Michigan, where she is Highly Qualified K-5 and Science 6-8 and
also has teaching certification from the State of Tennessee in
Diana brings a combination of passion,
mission fit and experience to the school. When Diana
originally saw the job posting for her original position, she
immediately called her husband and said, “This school describes my
heart.” Diana said, “This will allow me to teach the way I believe teaching
should be done in terms of format and structure. I look forward to spending years and years watching this school grow.”
Jacqueline Rowe Fields, Assistant Principal, Cornerstone Prep - Lester Campus
Jacqueline Rowe Fields is the director of community and family relations. Jacque returns to her hometown and joins Cornerstone Prep after serving as a college administrator in Michigan. As director of community and family relations, Jacque is charged with enriching community life by weaving together the natural talent and human resources that flourish in Binghampton. She describes Binghampton as her old “stomping ground” and is excited to serve in a neighborhood she loves and respects. Having already established strong partnerships with stellar programs like the Lester Community Center, Refugee Empowerment Program and Parents As Teachers, Jacque says, “I’m eager to start building relations with the real super stars of Binghampton – the kids and their parents. I believe Cornerstone Prep will be good for Binghampton, and I believe Binghampton will be good for Cornerstone Prep.”
Sandra Williams, Director of student culture, Cornerstone Prep-Denver Campus
Sandra Richardson Williams joins our team as the Director of Student Culture at Cornerstone Prep-Denver. Sandra has a passion for training and
empowering people to reach their potential and desired level of success and looks forward to bringing her love for leading to our school.
As an educator and consultant, Sandra specializes
in advocacy, mediation, and motivational speaking. She is a native Memphian, wife, and mother
with degrees in psychology (BA), counseling (MS), and organizational behavior
and management (DBA). Sandra has worked in
leadership positions with educational and social service organizations
including Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Youth Villages, University of
Memphis, Porter-Leath, Children’s Museum of Memphis, and Mississippi Boulevard
Christian Church. She also involved with
numerous civic and professional committees and organizations.
combination of education, work experience, community involvement, and life
skills provide an enriching educational proficiency and the abilities to work
with diverse groups of people with empathy, tact, and diplomacy. These experiences prepared her to develop
relationships and partnerships while imparting knowledge and skills. Her philosophical perspective embraces a demonstrated commitment to
providing vision and leadership in order to achieve efficiency and
effectiveness; working from a collaborative and strengths-based perspective
that seeks consensus in an environment that serves people and the greater
Sandra is thankful for the opportunity to serve the students and families of the Frayser
community and looks forward to building upon the rich history of Denver
Patricia Burns, Manager of Operations
Patricia Burns became the assistant director of community and family relations at Cornerstone Preparatory School in February 2013 before becoming the manager of operations. She previously served as Lester community liaison for Christ Community Health Services from October 2000 through February 2013. Patricia provided reading intervention, taught character education, led a Girl Scout Troop, conducted an after school Bible club, took students to summer camps and led a summer Vacation Bible School in the Binghampton community. She brings a wealth of experience and community knowledge to Cornerstone Prep.
“My desire for the students in Binghampton has not changed in these 13 years: to receive the quality education that every child deserves, without regard to his or her ZIP code”.
Patricia earned a bachelor of arts degree in human development and learning from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and a certificate in biblical studies from Covenant College in Coventry, England.