Bobbi Macdonald, Executive Director

Bobbi is a founder and served as the first board president of City Neighbors Charter School. She was selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as one of 16 leaders from across the country for the Children and Family Fellowship. Bobbi serves on the Advisory Board of Convergence: Re-imagining Education Project, on the Board of Directors of Hamilton Bank and is past Chair and founding member of the Maryland Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Baltimore Education Coalition. Previously Bobbi taught early childhood education and kindergarten in two University child development laboratory schools, and served as literacy trainer for Head Start and the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Bobbi received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois in Human Development and Family Ecology, and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, in Curriculum and Instruction.

Mike Chalupa, Academic Director

Mr. Chalupa serves as the Academic Director of all three City Neighbors Schools.  Recently he served as the school leader of City Neighbors Charter School for eight years  where he served to create an environment rooted in the vision and mission. Mike’s work includes educational leadership, staff evaluation, hiring, curriculum development, facilitating collaboration, solidifying administrative and policy structures, and serving as the primary liaison with the District. Prior to serving as the Principal of City Neighbors Charter School and Academic Director for the City Neighbors Foundation Mr. Chalupa served as the Executive Director of the GreenMount School from 2000 – 2005 and Dean of Students for St. John’s Episcopal school from 1996 – 2000. Mr. Chalupa has also served as a classroom instructor and program coordinator. Mr. Chalupa has earned his MA of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and his BA of Arts in English and History from Georgetown University graduating magna cum laude. He is also the parent of three children.

Rob Noble, Accountant

Rob is a founder of City Neighbors Charter School and treasurer of the Board. He has expertise in financial management, process management, quality control management, reporting systems and design and data analysis. As principal of REN Consulting Services, he has worked extensively as a financial consultant with many charter schools in the Baltimore area.

Stephanie King, Business Coordinator

Stephanie has nearly 20 years experience developing, creating, and implementing administrative protocols and procedures for grassroots schools. She served as the office coordinator of The GreenMount School, a private progressive school in Baltimore. As a founding staff member of City Neighbors Hamilton, she has worked with all City Neighbors schools, as well as City Neighbors Foundation, since 2008. Stephanie is known for her ability to identify, coordinate and implement strong organizational systems.

Justin Eames, Fab Lab Creator & Director of Technology

Justin has taught in Baltimore City for the past twelve years.  Beginning his career in elementary education, he soon realized that he had a talent and passion for educational technology.  Justin spent the next several years teaching computer technology in local middle and high schools.  Justin has been an advocate for the power that comes with pairing developmentally appropriate technology with classroom instruction and has been involved with several local groups that share this vision.  Justin serves on the board of the local non-profit Code in the Schools, which advocates for the inclusion of computer programming into all levels of K-12 instruction.  Justin was also an inaugural fellow in the Digital Harbor Foundation’s EdTech Link program.  Justin holds Bachelor’s Degree from The College of William and Mary in Philosophy and a Professional Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.

Community Members

Sue Fothergill, Advocacy Chair

Sue is a senior policy associate for Attendance Works, an implementation partner for the Grade Level Reading Campaign. Her responsibilities include managing Attendance Works’ Network to Advance State Attendance Policy and Practice (NASAP), a network of more than 100 organizations from 25 states and the District of Columbia, as well as providing technical assistance at the local and state level. Prior to joining Attendance Works, Sue served as the director of the Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign. Her earlier positions include owner of educationRISING LLC, advocate with the ACLU of Maryland’s Education Reform Project, and co-chair of the Baltimore Education Coalition. Sue holds a B.A. in Public Policy from University of Baltimore.

Will DuBois, Esq., Advisor to the Board

Will’s practice focuses on regulatory and appellate litigation concerning energy, environmental, and education law. In his energy practice, he represents utilities and power producers in state regulatory matters. He also represents clients in environmental matters under the Clean Air Act, facility siting laws ,and other federal and state environmental laws. He has an active education law practice, focused on litigation and contract negotiations on behalf of Maryland charter schools. He is the 2014 Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section and, since 2005, has been a member of the Board of the Maryland Charter School Network. In 2005, Will received the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center’s prestigious Pro Bono Service Award, honoring his extensive work on behalf of City Neighbors and other organizations working to establish charter schools. J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School 2003, B.A., University of Maryland 1999.

School Leadership

Cheyanne Zahrt, City Neighbors High School Principal

Cheyanne brings a wealth of experience in working with teachers, students, and parents.  She has demonstrated a strong stand for children, teachers, families and our mission and vision during her past five years as Assistant Principal at City Neighbors High School.    Before joining City Neighbors, Cheyanne was a teacher in Baltimore City Schools through Teach for America and then a Teacher and the Director of Transition and Student Development at Academy for College and Career Exploration High School.   She possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Religion from Pacific Lutheran University, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Development from George Washington University.

Shyla Rao, City Neighbors Hamilton Principal

Shyla has worked for the past 20+ years toward the goal of leading a progressive, arts-integrated school. She has served as both art teacher and curriculum coordinator in arts-integrated schools in Baltimore City and New York City public schools and arts organizations, working with young people in every grade from K-12. Shyla has also mentored artists and educators in Singapore, Japan, Kenya, and Jamaica. She earned a Doctorate of Education degree at Columbia University, Teachers College, and both a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Shyla served as Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program and focused on helping pre-service art teachers develop self-reflective, collaborative, and community-engaged teaching practices. She believes that education is a form of social action that empowers young people to critically engage with their place in the world and affect change where they deem necessary. Shyla is a board member of Arts Every Day and a founding member of the Baltimore Arts Education Coalition in Baltimore City.

Kate Seidl, City Neighbors Charter School Principal

Kate possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and Society from Brown University and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. She is currently pursuing a second Masters in Educational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University and is set to graduate in October. Previous to her tenure at City Neighbors, Kate taught in Hayward and Oakland, California and in Bloomington, Indiana. She also served as an adjunct Faculty Member at Indiana University School of Education. Kate has a rich history at City Neighbors. Kate has served as the Literacy Specialist and Librarian at City Neighbors, taught in classrooms from K-8, worked as Substitute Principal in cases where one was needed, served as creator and director of the City Neighbors Childrens’ Summer Camp, has served on innumerable committees (Diversity and Inclusion, Finance, Governance, Teacher Hiring, Scheduling and more), run countless clubs and extracurricular activities, has been a parent of two CNCS graduates, and has contributed to CNCS in countless ways.