A passionate teacher and education leader, Ruth has more than a decade of experience serving in senior leadership positions at independent schools in New York City and Chicago. Prior to joining Prep for Prep, Ruth was Associate Principal at Francis W. Parker School, overseeing educational programs and operations for 900+ students in Chicago. She was a key member of its senior leadership team and created new initiatives including an endowed speaker series, and brought Dwight Vidale's Young Men of Color Symposium to the Midwest. Ruth has taught Prep for Prep students while at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI), where she first served as an English teacher and later returned as High School Principal to oversee the expansion of the campus and student body.
Ruth earned her BA in English Literature from Connecticut College and her MA in English and American Literature from Brown University. She founded the Administrators of Color in Independent Schools Conference and also serves on the board of The Dovetail Project, a nonprofit that helps young African-American and Hispanic men with fatherhood.
A member of Prep's Contingent XII, Jackson Collins, Ed.D., served as Prep's Director of Counseling before assuming his current role as Associate Executive Director. He came to us from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he most recently served as the Upper School Dean of Students and Associate Head of the Upper School. A member of the Upper School Admission Committee, Jackson also chaired the Upper School History Department. Prior to Shipley, he worked at The Episcopal Academy where he served as Upper School Form Dean, history teacher, and basketball coach. Jackson began his professional independent school career at his alma mater, Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, where he was the Coordinator of Interscholastic Athletics.
Jackson graduated from Amherst College and earned a Masters in Education Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College Columbia University and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson serves on the Board of Managers for the Oakwood Friends School and on the Board of Directors of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. He also founded and operates Nine Nickels, a nonprofit organization inspired by his grandmother to promote socioeconomic progress through education and opportunity.
With over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Kerry joined Prep for Prep to oversee the development of a comprehensive strategic fundraising plan, enhance and broaden alumni engagement, and create an effective brand strategy for marketing and communications at Prep for Prep. She came to Prep from Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) where she was the Vice President of Development. In her three years at SEO, she increased overall annual funding by 65%, developed new individual major gifts, secured six- and seven-figure institutional support, and advanced strategic engagement of alumni and other donors. Kerry began her fundraising career in the arts culminating in development leadership positions at both New York City Opera and The Morgan Library & Museum, before transitioning to the education sector and broadening her role in both development and communications at Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation’s oldest community music school.
A native New Yorker, Kerry graduated magna cum laude from New York University, majoring in art history and economics.
Sharon Madison joined Prep in 2015. She came to us from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies where as Chief Operating Officer she oversaw the $50-million sale of the Federation's landmark building and staff's relocation to new headquarters while also overseeing finance, facilities, IT, and human resources. Prior to the Federation, Sharon held several executive roles at Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation including Director of Administration, Director of Development, and Business Director. Her corporate experience includes marketing and account management work at Saatchi & Saatchi, Time Warner, and Verizon as well as serving as the COO/CFO who helped to turn around a unionized commercial cleaning company with Fortune 100 clients. A native New Yorker, Sharon is a graduate of Hamilton College where she serves as a Charter Trustee. She has also served for more than a dozen years on the Board of the Children's Aid Society.
Cindy has been developing close relationships with Prep students, independent school partners, college personnel, and colleagues for over two decades. She originally joined Prep in 2000 as an Undergraduate Affairs Officer before transitioning to the role of College Counselor four years later. When she left to obtain her master’s degree, Cindy returned during the summers to teach Psychology in the PREP 9 Preparatory Component. After serving as Executive Coordinator for George Washington University’s study abroad programs, she returned to Prep in 2010 as Director of College Guidance and in 2018 joined the executive leadership team as Director of Leadership Development Opportunities. Cindy has also taught and served as an academic advisor at CUNY's Guttman Community College.
Cindy is a graduate of Hamilton College, where she is a member of its Alumni Council and serves as Vice Chair for the Committee of Equity and Inclusion. She holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University and a certificate in Human Resources Fundamentals from Baruch College.
As Prep for Prep’s Director of Admissions, Johanna oversees the recruitment, testing, and admissions process for nearly 4,000 annual applicants to the program. Johanna came to us from New York’s Poly Prep Country Day School where she was Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid. A Brooklyn native, Johanna is an alumna of Poly, which currently enrolls over 40 Prep students. Having returned to the school in 2009 to work full time, Johanna held positions of increasing responsibility in the Admissions Office focusing on the middle and upper schools. In addition to serving on Poly's Administrative Council, she coached JV Softball and co-taught Senior Leadership, a senior elective class which a number of Prep students have taken over the years. Johanna earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College, where she led the Varsity Softball team, and her Masters in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nikole Smith became the Director of the Prep for Prep Preparatory Component in 2004. Prior to joining Prep for Prep on a full-time basis, she served as Dean of the junior class and Diversity Coordinator at Poly Prep Country Day School, where she was a member of the history department for eight years and coached championship volleyball teams. Her association with Prep for Prep began in 1989 when, as a student at St. Andrew's School, she became acquainted with PREP 9 students. From 1989 to 2004, she served as a PREP 9 advisor, chaperoned college trips, and taught both Prep and PREP 9 students. In July 2014, Niki assumed her current role of Director of Academic Programs and now oversees both the Prep for Prep and PREP 9 Preparatory Components. Nikole holds a BA in Psychology, Education, and African American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and has completed work towards her MA in Sociology and Urban Education from Columbia Teacher’s College.
As Prep for Prep's Director of Counseling, Ivan Tatis oversees the academic progress and personal development of over 700 students currently enrolled in independent day and boarding schools. He joined Prep in 2010 as a Post-Placement Counselor, and in 2015 was promoted to Senior Counselor and Financial Aid Manager before assuming the role of Assistant Director in 2017. In addition to counseling responsibilities, Ivan managed the annual Boarding School Retreat and helped Prep families navigate the financial aid process, applying for and securing the funds needed for their students to attend independent school. Ivan is a graduate of Baruch's Masters in Public Administration Program and Connecticut College, where he serves as a Director of the College's Alumni Association Board.
ADMISSIONS & ACADEMIC PROGRAMS 163 West 91st Street New York, NY 10024 P: 212.579.1470
LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS & ADMINISTRATION 328 West 71st Street New York, NY 10023 P: 212.579.1390
Prep for Prep develops ethical and effective leaders who reflect our diverse society for the enduring benefit of all.