School Leadership

Head of Schools- Interim
Mr. Sanjay Mitchell
 High school principal smiling in front of abstract wall.

Mr. Sanjay Mitchell is coming to Cesar Chavez PCS with over two decades in higher and secondary education. Most recently, he served as Director of Upper School, College & Alumni programs, where he ensured that 100% of seniors were accepted into college and more than 60% persisted and graduated within five years. Sanjay’s work has paved the way for students to enroll in and graduate from the Top 20 higher education institutions, including Stanford University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Pepperdine University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, UCLA, Emory University, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Rice. Sanjay serves on the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) board and the DEI advisory board for The College of the Holy Cross. He previously served on the boards of Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), the college advisory boards for George Washington University, Muhlenberg College, and the community advisory board for The Common App. Mr. Mitchell also served as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY). Mr. Mitchell earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the State University of New York at Albany and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management Executive from Georgetown University. He resides in Washington, D.C., where he is a proud resident of Ward 7.

Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Ashley High
[email protected]


Ashley High grew up in Flint, Michigan and attended high school in Marcellus, New York. After graduating from Alma College in 2005 with a degree in Foreign Service, she joined the New York City Teach For America Corps and taught 6-8 grade ESL in the Bronx from 2005 - 2008. She transitioned out of the classroom and began working at Democracy Prep Charter School as a Special Projects Coordinator, finding operations to be a natural fit for her love of serving students and teachers, creating and improving systems, and discovering efficiencies to maximize resources. Over the next ten years she worked in other charter networks in NYC including Ascend Learning, Uncommon Schools and KIPP:NYC. She spent four years as the Director of Operations at Leadership Prep Bed Stuy Middle Academy with Uncommon Schools where she helped grow the school from 110 scholars to more than 300 over four years and oversaw a 600k physical space plan that helped establish dedicated multi-purpose spaces for MA use, enabling scheduling flexibility within the co-located school building. In 2018, Ashley moved to the D.C. area to be closer to close friends who live in the greater DMV.  She began "Highly Organized," a home organizing business before joining the team at Congress Heights Public Charter School in January 2019 as the Director of Finance and Human Resources.  She joined the Chavez team in July 2019 as the Chief Operations Officer.  Ashley is cat mom to two wonderful cats, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, loves to travel, complete puzzles, read, and spend time with friends. 

Director of Academics 
Ms. Tara Allen 
Middle school principal smiling in front of bushes.

Ms. Allen has 25+ years of Mathematics Teaching experience, Educational Leadership and Instructional Systems Designer (ISD) experience. Ms. Allen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from Lincoln University, a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University. Ms. Allen began her career in education as a middle school mathematics teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. After teaching 3 years in a middle school, Ms. Allen moved to teaching high school; with a transition to an instructional systems designer in conjunction with teaching mathematics at the college level, and then returning back to teaching mathematics at the high school level.Ms. Allen has a comprehensive mathematics teaching background, department chair, leadership, instructional design abilities, combined with strong interpersonal skills and work ethics. During her tenure in education she has proven abilities in team-building and facilitating rapport with peers. With all her professional experience both as an educator and instructional designer, Ms. Allen has shown the ability and passion to build and nurture relationships with faculty, staff, students, parents and external stakeholders.

 Associate Director of Academics
Mr. Joshua Jackson
Middle school principal smiling in front of bushes.

Mr. Joshua J. Jackson was hired as the Chavez School Assistant Principal in the Summer of 2022. Mr. Jackson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Chavez. Before his current position, he served as a middle school and high school social studies teacher, an instructional coach for middle school social studies, and a staff developer for equity. In addition, Mr. Jackson has developed curriculum and provided district-wide professional development for teachers and administrators on various topics. Mr. Jackson is a proud graduate of Bowie State University, earning a bachelor's degree in history. He has also obtained his master's degree from North central University in Educational Leadership. Mr. Jackson is in the final year of his doctoral studies journey at Liberty University, where he is working on a degree in Curriculum and Instruction. 

Director of Student Life & Culture - Upper School
Family Engagement 
Ms. Linda Bernal


Linda Bernal is the Director of Scholar Life & Family and Community Engagement for Cesar Chavez PCS Upper School. Previously, she was the Director of Campus Operations. She is a proud Eagle, serving the Parkside community for 7 years. Prior to that, she worked with DYRS and Georgetown University as the Program Director of the After School Kids [ASK] program working youth on probation. She has been a dedicated youth mentor for 12 years in DC and is passionate about serving DC youth and families.

Director of Student Life & Culture - Lower School
Ms. Stacey Stewart

stewMrs. Stewart has over 20 years of K-12 education experience. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Elizabeth City State University and a master’s in teaching from American University. Mrs. Stewart grew up in North Carolina and moved to Washington, DC, in 1996. She began her career with the Center for Youth Services, Northwest Settlement House, SYEP, and Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club. She transitioned to teaching 7th & 8th-grade science in DCPS and transitioned into working with Charter schools while growing her capacity and love for working with urban schools and at-risk youth. As an educator, she always pushed her students to excel academically and holistically with a college-going vision. Mrs. Stewart has spent significant time as a computer teacher, dean of students, college counselor, and Director of Student Affairs. Mrs. Stewart joined the Chavez family as the Director of Scholar Life and Culture for the Lower School. She will utilize her skills as an educator, administrator, and trained Restorative Justice practitioner to enhance scholar lives while ensuring they meet the school’s mission of attending competitive colleges and using public policy to create a more just, free, and equal world.

Director of Mission Programing
Mr. Clarence Cross III

For the past 10 years, Clarence Cross, III has been a dedicated teacher and college & career manager to youth across the District of Columbia. His ability to build relationships with youth allows him to create long-lasting, meaningful relationships that defy the norm. As a new teacher, Clarence learned that his passion went beyond the classroom, and for years, he dedicated himself as a volunteer to assist dozens of first-generation college school students to ensure that there would be no barriers for college access.In his role as Director of Mission Programming, he is responsible for ensuring that scholars are prepared to successfully compete in competitive colleges and for curating public policy-related experiences for all scholars. On a daily basis, Clarence is tasked with promoting a culture of college acceptance, public policy and advocacy, educating scholars on the importance of college education, and preparing students to excel in college and beyond. Clarence believes that ‘Decision Days’ are crucial because it motivates and inspires the entire student body. It is the highlight of his school year because it showcases the hard work and dedication of teachers, administrators, families, and students.Clarence also has a commitment to international education. He has led multiple high school cohorts to Africa and Asia. Clarence believes that all students (despite their income) should be afforded the opportunity to become avid travelers. Born in Washington, DC, Clarence is a proud product of DC Public Schools graduating from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. Clarence later earned his MBA from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. In his free time, Clarence swims, reads, and travels.

Director of  Performance
Ms. Keisha Hutchinson