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Our Team

Mike Chalupa
Mike ChalupaDirector
Before Mike was selected as the full-time Director of City Neighbors Foundation in 2018, he was the Academic Director of all three City Neighbors schools. That role included educational leadership, staff evaluation, hiring, curriculum development, facilitating collaboration, solidifying administrative and policy structures, and serving as the primary liaison with the District. He also served as the leader of our founding school, City Neighbors Charter School, for eight years, where he created an environment rooted in the school’s vision and mission. Prior to joining City Neighbors, Mike 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, where he also served as a classroom instructor and program coordinator. Mike 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 and is a father of three.
Stephanie King
Stephanie KingBusiness Manager
Stephanie has more than 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 skilled in identifying organizational needs, then implementing and coordinating strong organizational systems and processes to address those needs.
Gwendolyn Unoku
Gwendolyn UnokuProgressive Ed Summit Coordinator
Gwendolyn has coordinated City Neighbors’ annual Progressive Education Summit for the past three years, helping to create a memorable event for more than 400 educators each year. Gwendolyn is a Community School Coordinator at Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School through Child First Authority, a leader in 21st Century School transformation that engages families, students, educators, partnerships, and communities to provide quality afterschool programming to 1,200+ students in Baltimore City. She is a graduate of Troy University and Johns Hopkins University. She is experienced in building partnerships and alliances with educational institutions, for-profit, non-profit, private, and community-based organizations.
Justin Eames
Justin EamesFab Lab and IT Manager
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.
Cheyanne Zahrt
Cheyanne ZahrtPrincipal, City Neighbors High School
Cheyanne brings a wealth of experience in working with teachers, students, and parents. During her five years as Assistant Principal of City Neighbors High School, she demonstrated a strong stand for children, teachers, families and our mission and vision. 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.
Jabari Bush
Jabari BushAssistant Principal, City Neighbors High School
Before joining City Neighbors, Mr.Bush had more than 11 years of experience as an educator, all of them spent within Baltimore City Public Schools. He spent his first 7 years in education as an elementary school teacher, teaching all subjects from 2nd to 5th grade. Later, he transitioned to the role of Educational Associate where he helped in developing systems to assist in analyzing math data and scaffolding student learning. Jabari earned his Bachelor’s degree from Long Island University in Urban Education; his Master’s degree is from John Hopkins University in Administration and Supervision.
Shyla Rao
Shyla RaoPrincipal, City Neighbors Hamilton
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
Kate SeidlPrincipal, City Neighbors Charter School
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. 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 including serving as the Literacy Specialist and Librarian, taught in classrooms from K-8, served as substitute Principal when called upon, was as creator and director of the City Neighbors Childrens’ Summer Camp,served on innumerable Board committees, run countless clubs and extracurricular activities, is a parent of two CNCS graduates, and has contributed to CNCS in countless ways.