Richard Pohlman, Executive Director
Mr. Pohlman has over a decade of experience in the Washington, D.C., education, legal, and policy sectors. Prior to joining TMA, he served as the Chief of Operations and Policy and as Acting Head of School at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. He also served as the Director for the District of Columbia’s Race to the Top program and Attorney Advisor to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Mr. Pohlman was a Presidential Management Fellow at the United States Department of Education, and served as Special Assistant at the United States Attorney’s Office. Also a former teacher, he has had five years of classroom experience working with upper elementary and middle school students. A native of Indiana, Mr. Pohlman earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Indiana University, and a J.D. from New York’s Pace University School of Law where he graduated cum laude and served on the editorial staff of the Pace Environmental Law Review. He lives in the District of Columbia with his wife and two children.
Abdullah Zaki, Head of School
As Head of School, Mr. Zaki is responsible for daily instruction, curriculum development, teacher observation and feedback, academic assessments, and overall academic performance. He brings more than 20 years education experience in D.C.’s public middle and high schools, most recently serving as principal of Dunbar High School. Mr. Zaki earned a B.A. in English from Howard University, a Master’s in Secondary Education from The George Washington University, a Master of Science in Education from Trinity University, and completed an Executive Master’s in Leadership from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Linsey Donovan, Director of Special Education
Mrs. Donovan is a native of Syracuse, NY. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and spent the first 5 years of her career working in Virginia and Washington, DC conducting psychological and educational assessments, counseling students, and providing consultation services for teachers and families. Mrs. Donovan transitioned into special education leadership in order to serve and advocate for students with disabilities on a larger scale. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Le Moyne College and a Master of Arts and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Psychology from University at Buffalo.
Malika Mays, Associate Head of School
Ms. Mays is a native Californian who has been working in the field of education for sixteen years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Clark Atlanta University. Ms. Mays spent the first ten years of her career as a middle school English Language Arts teacher in Atlanta and Washington, DC. Beyond the classroom, Ms. Mays has served in many capacities including guidance counselor, Dean of Students, Academic Director, and Resident Principal. Ms. Mays believes that education is the key to freedom and that high-quality education is a civil right. To this end, she continues to work with students, staff, and families to improve and increase the educational opportunities for children in the communities where she serves. Ms. Mays is excited to working alongside the Thurgood Marshall faculty and staff to serve the students and families within the Southeast DC community.
Sanjay Mitchell, Director of College and Alumni Support
Mr. Mitchell has been working the college admission/counseling profession for more than 10 years. He started at the University at Albany (SUNY) where he served as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Currently Mr. Mitchell serves as the Director of College and Alumni Programs at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS, ensuring that 100% of eligible seniors are accepted into college, 98% complete the FAFSA application, 90% enroll in college immediately after high school, and boast a more than 60% college retention and graduation rate with the alumni support. Mr. Mitchell has presented and served on several committees with the New York State Association of College Admissions Counseling (NYSACAC), National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), National College Access Network (NCAN), and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS). Mr. Mitchell earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University at Albany and currently resides in the Washington, DC area.
Giselle Pole, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships
Ms. Pole manages the school’s fundraising and communications efforts. She has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience in various fundraising capacities with organizations including Washington National Cathedral, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Bishop John T Walker School for Boys, and recently served on the board of For Love of Children. She received a B.A. in Communications from Elon University, and an M.P.A. with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University. She lives in Washington, D.C.
David Schlossman, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Schlossman oversees facilities, finance, and human resources at Thurgood Marshall Academy. He has worked in the nonprofit sector for twenty years, focusing on education and the arts. He has taught students of all ages, including as a lecturer at University of Maryland, College Park. His nonprofit experience includes administration for the Chicago Artists Coalition and Natya Dance Theatre. He earned B.A.s in English and Theatre at Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Theatre from Northwestern University. He was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities.
Stacey Stewart, Director of Student Affairs
A native New Yorker, raised in North Carolina, Mrs. Stewart earned a B.S. in Biology from Elizabeth City State University, and a Masters in Teaching from American University in Washington, DC. She has resided in the District of Columbia for over ten years with her family in Ward 8. Mrs. Stewart served as a science classroom teacher for middle and high school students in both DCPS and DC Charter Schools. Upon joining the TMA family in 2005 she served in the capacity as Computer Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Science Department Chair, Dean of Students, and Summer Prep Enrichment Program Director. She has over a decade of experience in the Washington, D.C., education, leadership, and family and student support. She is an Education Policy Fellowship Program alumni for cohort 2015. Mrs. Stewart continues to advocate and service students and families in her current role as Director of Student Affairs.
Amanda Wilson, Director of Programs
Ms. Wilson is the school’s Director of Programs. She manages all aspects of TMA’s out-of school time programming, including the Mentor Program, Clubs and Athletics, Homework Help, and offsite law-related programming. Ms. Wilson first joined TMA as an AVODAH fellow in 2013 before becoming the Programs Manager; she was later promoted to Director. A native of Philadelphia, she earned her BA in Urban Studies and Communication/Rhetoric Theory from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Wilson believes that learning continues outside the classroom walls, and that all students can benefit from experiential learning opportunities. She is committed to providing students with meaningful extracurricular experiences that will enhance their academic performance. In addition to overseeing Programs, she leads a Yoga Club for students, and practices in her spare time as an instructor. She lives in Washington D.C.
Keisha Hutchinson, Quality Assurance Manager
Ms. Hutchinson is a founding staff member of Thurgood Marshall Academy. As Quality Assurance Manager, she tracks student and school assessment data.