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.
Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships
Rebecca Ervey first joined Prep for Prep in 2006 and now has the role of Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, where she oversees fundraising and designs partnerships with mission aligned organizations. Previously, she served as Prep’s Director of Professional Advancement where she led the development of over 4,500 paid internships with several hundred companies in close collaboration with Prep’s Alumni, Board of Trustees, and Associates Council. Rebecca’s prior experiences include serving as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives for Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), where she raised funds and built partnerships to launch their career and alumni programming, and managing technology programs across CUNY schools, where she developed internships with early stage start-ups and helped build a tech incubator. She also spent years in Seattle, Washington, where she focused on workforce development initiatives including managing federal and state grant programming at the community college level. Rebecca is a graduate of New York University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. She volunteers as class parent and serves on the IAC Foundation Scholarship Committee.
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 inquiries for 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.
Aisha Shah joined Prep for Prep in 2008 as an Undergraduate Affairs Officer, supporting the academic and campus transitions of college students, before joining the Counseling Department the following year to work with students in grades 7 to 12. Since then, she has served in a variety of roles within the department, including Upper School Post-Placement Counselor, Outplacement Manager, and Associate Director of Counseling, ultimately assuming her current role of Interim Director of Counseling in 2021. As the Interim Director of Counseling, Aisha leads a team of dedicated Counselors and works collaboratively with our independent day and boarding school partners in support of all Prep students’ emotional well-being and academic success. She holds a BA in Religion from Bates College, where she was a two-time All-American in squash.
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.
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.