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Home Team

Casey Paulus Crews

Casey Paulus Crews

Chief Schools Officer
About

Casey leads the design and implementation of EQUITY’s academic strategy across all K- 12 schools. In this role, she manages the instructional team and works to ensure all EQUITY students receive a high-quality and equitable academic experience that affords them freedom in choosing their future endeavors.

Prior to joining EQUITY, Casey worked as a school turnaround consultant, supporting efforts across the country through principal development, teacher effectiveness support, and school improvement initiatives. Her work has positively impacted teams and students in Columbus City Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Montgomery County Public Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Syracuse City Schools, Baltimore City Schools, Boston City Schools, and numerous charter school networks coast to coast.

Casey began her career in urban education as a Teach for America corps member and teacher in Miami-Dade, Florida. She then set a course for school leadership, working with the Breakthrough Collaborative, KIPP Columbus, and as the turnaround school leader of a K-8 charter school in Cincinnati, Ohio.

While Casey cherishes the work she gets to be a part of in Detroit with EQUITY, Casey is a lover of all things Ohio and lives there with her husband, Trevor. When not at work, Casey is usually spending time with her family, playing with her labs Karalee and Annie, or contemplating projects around the house. She loves a good road trip, high-energy gospel music, and cheering on the Cleveland Cavs.

Cory Chavis

Cory Chavis

Director of Community Relationships
JR Stearns

JR Stearns

Sr. Director of Talent
About

JR Stearns joined the EQUITY team in 2014 as a high school English teacher at Detroit Leadership Academy. Her passion for supporting the social/emotional growth of her students and her experience planning and facilitating adult learning led to her transition to Advisory Coordinator and then Director of Culture at EQUITY’s home office. In her current role as Managing Director of Talent, JR is dedicated to continually supporting employees across the network in pursuing their professional goals. Over the course of her career in education, JR prides herself on her accomplishments in developing trusting relationships with students and colleagues, enabling students to successfully demonstrate their knowledge and growth, and, as a cheerleading coach, providing a space for girls to sustain positive relationships and build confidence.

JR is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, where she obtained her B.A. in English. She went on to earn her M.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University, and though she loves Willie the Wildcat, she will always bleed green.

Kerri Smith

Kerri Smith

Interim Chief Executive Officer & President
About

At EQUITY, Kerri supports the organizations Operations & Business Operations teams through the use of evaluation rubrics and professional learning communities. She works directly with the organization’s President, and collaborates regularly with members of the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout her tenure at EQUITY, Kerri has spent time as a Director of Academics as well as a high school Principal. Before coming to EQUITY, Kerri began her career in education as a home school teacher, special education paraprofessional, and secondary teacher of English and English as a Second Language. Kerri holds a B.A. in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University, and a graduate degree from Wayne State University.

Kerri represents EQUITY because she believes that, regardless of zip code, access to remarkable education is the foundation to success in life. When not working, she enjoys playing volleyball, cooking, and boating. Kerri is the oldest of five children and spends time traveling with her siblings and their families. Kerri is also a karaoke enthusiast.

Michille Few

Michille Few

Sr. Director of Special Education
About

Michille Roper-Few is a Special Educator with over 20 years of experience in Public and Charter Schools. She graduated from The University of Texas at El-Paso and received her teaching certificate in Learning Disabilities from Wayne State University. Michille’s passion for working with students with disabilities started in high school where she would volunteer assisting students who were in need. As a Special Educator, Michille has fought and advocated to make sure all students were given the same opportunity to receive a quality education.

During her tenure, Michille has had a wealth of experience working with students from different backgrounds and diagnosis. Starting as Resource Teacher, she has progressed to a senior leadership role that includes overseeing schools and principals for Equity Education. In her former roles, Michille has ensured compliance of all Federal, State, and local requirements, organizes/facilitates professional developments, and coaches/supports staff, students, parents, and community on Special Education, Section 504, and the Mckinney -Vento Act.

Michille’s professional and personal belief is simple; never stop believing, because when we do, all hope is gone. While Michille is not at work, you can find her courtside cheering on her son, Dan, as he follows in Michille’s footsteps as a center on the basketball court.

Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell

Sr. Director of Programs
About

Sarah joined EQUITY Education in July 2015 and is Managing Director of Programs. In this role, she works at the intersections of operations, finance, and academics supporting the organization’s capacity to allocate resources in a way that maximizes their impact for students and families.

A Michigan native who resides in Detroit, Sarah has education experience in both charter and traditional public schools. Sarah started her career with as a high school Social Studies teacher with Baltimore City Public Schools where her students scored over 20 percentage points above the city average on the state government exam. Following her teaching in Baltimore, Sarah has worked in a variety of capacities including Acting Principal, Instructional Coach, Dean of Teaching, and Data Analyst. Sarah was also a participant in the selective Achievement First School Leader Immersion Program in New York City. She attended both Illinois Wesleyan University and Johns Hopkins University.

While not at work, Sarah explores museums, gluten-free eating in Detroit, and walking her dog, Bea.

Tyler Shaw

Tyler Shaw

Chief of Staff
About

Tyler Shaw joined the EQ home team in 2016 with a depth of experience in urban public education at all levels.

Tyler began her career as a special education teacher within a Title I high school in the Baltimore County Public School System and as a graduate of the alternative certification, Baltimore County Teacher Residency Program. In addition to her role in the classroom, Tyler embraced a variety of leadership opportunities which included serving as a school-based PBIS team lead working to develop a program for positive behavioral supports. The program became a model for improving school climate in schools with urban and transient populations as recognized at the National PBIS Leadership Forum in 2012 and the International Conference on Positive Behavior Supports 2013. Tyler left the classroom to serve at the district level as a consultant teacher for the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program in Baltimore, MD; a pilot program to systematize and improve the teacher evaluation process across the district. In 2013 Tyler relocated to Detroit, Michigan where she continued her coaching and leadership experience as a Professional Lead for Teaching and Learning at a public charter schooI. She also served as a leadership coach, responsible for fostering growth in teacher leaders as they drive student achievement through Leading Educators national non-profit in partnership with the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan. Tyler holds her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s in Teaching from Goucher College.

When Tyler is not in the pursuit of equity and excellence with her EQ team she’s spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling, and exploring all that Detroit has to offer.