Michele Mason

Executive Director

Michele Mason serves as the executive director of the Newark Charter School Fund.

A New Jersey native, Michele is a longtime advocate for high-quality education options throughout the state. Prior to joining NCSF, she served as the deputy director of JerseyCAN, a nonprofit education research and advocacy organization that advocates for high-quality education for students regardless of zip code.

In 2002, Michele became the first director of college placement at the KIPP Academy in the Bronx, NY. She spent the next 10 years supporting first-generation college-bound students at KIPP and other institutions, including two years as the director of college access and success at Newark's North Star Academy. She also spent two years leading the alumni affairs team at Teach for America-N.J., where she was charged to motivate and inspired almost 1,000 TFA alumni across the state.

In 2014, the Black Alliance for Educational Options named Michele a Bailey Sullivan Leadership Institute Fellow, a yearlong fellowship that prepares and advances the skills of educational leaders to serve as passionate and effective advocates for change.

Michele is a member of the governance committee of Catholic Partnership Schools, where she helps identify, recruit and engage prospective trustees the partnership’s mission to strengthen and sustain the educational excellence of the Catholic, K-8 schools that serve the children of Camden, N.J.

Michele received her bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, where she was a four-year letter winner as a member of the varsity soccer team and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She has an advanced certificate in nonprofit business management from Washington University-St. Louis, and a master's degree in education policy and management from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

Aileen Philbrick

Chief Operating Officer

​Prior to joining NCSF, Aileen Philbrick had a 14-year career with EdisonLearning Inc. After joining Edison in 1998, she served in various capacities and leadership roles.  She facilitated teacher training across EdisonLearning’s network of schools nationwide and designed and executed training programs for school start-up personnel. As a member of Edison’s Philadelphia team in 2002, Aileen was the vice president of operations for the regional team that launched the diverse provider model in the School District of Philadelphia. Most recently, she served as vice president of business systems, reporting to the chief operating officer. She led the operations team’s efforts to monitor monthly results against goals and convened teams focused on the start-up and renewal of school contracts. In addition, she led departmental budgeting and efficiency efforts. Aileen holds a Master of Arts in English Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from The College of the Holy Cross. She and her husband, Mike, have three children.

Zachary Maher

Quality Schools Analyst

Zach came to NCSF through the Education Pioneers Analyst Fellowship. A New Jersey native and the child of two educators, he is excited to be back in his home state.

Prior to starting with NCSF, Zach was a Micah Fellow through Life Together, a social justice-oriented program of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Through this program, he was placed with the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard and Christ Church Cambridge, where he coordinated a prison mentoring program to provide support to inmates earning a degree from Boston University while incarcerated.

Before his time in Boston, Zach worked as a Fulbright English Teaching assistant in Berlin, Germany in Neukölln, a district known for its population of lower income and immigrant families. He taught at Schule an der Windmühle (“School at the Windmill”), a special school for students with conduct disorders. Zach graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics.

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