Dr. Cecilia Cunningham
Is the founder and director of the Middle College National Consortium. She was principal of the original Middle College at LaGuardia Community College from 1981 until 2002 and was co-director of the first efforts funded by The Ford Foundation to replicate Middle College High School in the late 1980s.
Middle College High School, under Dr. Cunningham’s leadership, was the first public Early College High School to work with underserved students. Dr. Cunningham is also a founder of the New York Performance Consortium, a network of New York State schools committed to using multiple measures for graduation for high school. In 1993, she started the Bank Street Principals Institute to prepare more women and people of color to take leadership roles in New York City schools.
She holds a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BS in mathematics from St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ. She won the McGraw Hill Prize in Education in 2004 and the Reliance Award for Leadership in 1994.
Terry Born joined the staff of Middle College National Consortium as a leadership and literacy coach and designer of its unique Student Leadership Initiative, annually bringing together students from all MCNC member schools after they complete local social justice projects.
Before joining MCNC, she had a long career in NYC public schools as a teacher of English language arts, theater, art, and humanities, spanning middle and high school. She also worked with adults at Bank Street School of Education’s prestigious Principals Institute, instructing future leaders in curriculum development. In 1993, she founded The Robert Wagner Jr. Secondary School of Arts and Technology in Long Island City, Queens, serving middle and high school students.
She also works as a leadership and humanities coach for the Institute for Student Achievement, another national advocate for preparing underserved populations for entry into higher education.
Tony joined the MCNC family in January 2010 and presently is in charge of planning for MCNC’s Winter Principals Leadership Conference and the MCNC Summer Professional Development Institute. His portfolio includes being a liaison with partner schools, in charge of partner school memberships, and responsible for the various administrative tasks required to run a complex organization.
For the six years previous to coming to MCNC, Tony was Program Manager for High School Transformation at the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA). In that capacity he managed all programmatic aspects of opening new small high schools and small learning communities; was responsible for a large professional development, multi day, summer institute that served 900 attendees at 3 separate sites; acted as a liaison between ISA and its schools and ISA and the NYC Department of Education; and assisted schools with managing and spending their grant money.
The bulk of Tony’s career was spent as a math and career education teacher and an assistant principal at Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College. At Middle College Tony was involved in all aspects of the school’s restructuring, was chairperson of the Career Education Department, and was parent-outreach coordinator.
Susan Doyle is the program coach at MCNC, as well as serving as a member of the Executive Board and Executive Team. She also served on the Smart Scholars Advisory Board for New York State and a variety of leadership committees for the Buffalo Public Schools.
Her career began as a high school special education teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools for 11 years before moving into the role of assistant principal at a comprehensive inner-city high school for four years. She returned to her first school, Buffalo Traditional, an inner-city 5-12 magnet school, serving as principal for the next nine years. In 2003, she was asked to open a new school in Buffalo—Middle Early College HS—and remained there for the 17 years until her retirement in August 2020.
She attended State University College at Buffalo, earning a BS and MS in Special Education – Learning and Behavior Disorders as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Administration. She is certified as a School District Administrator (SDA) and School Administrator Supervisor (SAS).
Mattie Adams Robertson
Mattie Adams-Robertson is an MCNC program coach, where she has also served as a board member since 2012. Prior to her time at MCNC, she opened Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (HTPA) on the campus of Los Angeles Harbor College in 2002 as one of the first Early Colleges in the world. After more than fourteen years at HTPA, Mattie opened Compton Early College in 2015 where all of their 2019 graduating seniors were accepted into four year colleges. For more than 17 years, Mattie has served as a pioneer in dual enrollment, speaking at conventions for MCNC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Council of Great City Schools, California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges, and California Association of Black School Educators.
She has served as an ambassador for College in High School Alliance, a founding member of the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges, and an advisor for the California Association for Black School Educators. Mattie has worked for several secondary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, having served as a mathematics teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and, in 2014, principal for the day. Mattie currently works as an educational consultant and a national presenter on replicating early/middle colleges and enhancing college and career readiness through dual enrollment. As a volunteer, Mattie dedicates numerous hours to schools, church and community.
Dr. Jaqueline Ancess
Dr. Jacqueline Ancess is an MCNC Executive Team member and program consultant, having collaborated with MCNC on multiple projects for over 25 years while at the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was co-director. Her research has focused on education reform, assessment, accountability, and social-emotional learning. Recent publications include Culture, Community, & Restorative Practices: Teaching the Way Students Learn Best at Bronxdale HS (Learning Policy Institute, 2019) and Social Emotional Learning and Social Justice Learning at el Puente Academy for Peace & Justice (Stanford University, 2015).
For more than 20 years she worked in the NYC public school system where she was an English teacher, junior high school principal, and district administrator for innovation. She received a New York Alliance for the Arts Schools & Culture Award.
Celia Brätt is an Administrative Assistant at the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC). For six years, Ms. Brätt has provided organizational assistance and support to the MCNC leadership and its 40 member schools, largely informed by her varied experiences working in school settings as an after-school coordinator, credit recovery specialist, teacher aid, and substitute teacher.
She has also worked as a professional hairstylist in different sectors of the fashion industry and holds a license in Cosmetology and Barbering. Ms. Brätt lived abroad in Argentina and speaks Spanish fluently.