Monument Academy Public Charter School


Emily Bloomfield

CEO and Co-Founder


Co-founder Emily Bloomfield is leading the start-up of Monument Academy. In this role she oversees the Principal, works with the Principal to identify appropriate facilities, develops and maintains key partnerships, undertakes development work, leads strategic initiatives to scale the work of the school and helps lead student recruitment.


Emily brings deep knowledge of the public school sector – both traditional and charter – resulting from her years of serving on the D.C. Public Charter School Board and as an elected member and President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.


She has experience in strategic planning, marketing, business, recruiting, staffing and working in startups through her work at CitySearch,, the LA Times and other organizations. Emily has a BA from the University of Chicago, an MPA from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and an M.Phil in Economics for Oxford University.

Marlene Magrino

Founding Principal



Co-founder Marlene Magrino was selected as principal of Monument Academy at the end of June, following a rigorous recruitment process involving a search firm and a number of qualified candidates. She is employed full time leading the development of curriculum, staff evaluations, hiring, professional development and the establishment of all facets of the day and residential life of students. 


Marlene brings extensive experience developing the skills of instructional leaders and teachers through her most recent role as the Director of the Aspiring Principals Program at New Leaders and her prior role as Director of School Partnerships with a national consulting firm. She began her professional career as a teacher/counselor at a residential wilderness-based program for at-risk youth where she recognized that education and personalized learning can transform the future for youth that have not been effectively served in traditional school settings.  


At the school level, she has held positions as teacher, assistant principal, and campus director in charter and private schools in Texas and DC.  Marlene is a New Leaders graduate herself and holds an MS in Educational Administration.  She is committed to transforming the life outcomes for DC’s highest risk students by delivering a personalized educational experience for every child. Marlene has a B.A. from American University and a MS in Educational Administration from Trinity University.


Dr. Melissa Smith

Director of Well-Being


Melissa Smith, PhD, will be leading the well-being program at Monument Academy. She is currently engaged in creating universal and tiered well-being services for students, as well as developing effective policies and procedures for staff. Dr. Smith is a clinical psychologist who specializes in work with traumatized youth, particularly youth from foster care.  


As foster care alumna herself, she intimately understands the experiences and needs of foster youth. She also has experience as a foster parent.  She is trained in providing individual, group, and family therapy as well as psycho-educational, psychological, and neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents. She has presented at research conferences on topics such as treatment approaches for foster youth in schools, trauma informed care for foster youth, and college adjustment for foster care alumni. She has worked in multiple school and outpatient settings, including The Kennedy Krieger Institute, The University of Maryland Parent Consultation Clinic, and the Washington Jesuit Academy, as well as many public charter schools in the DC area.


Dr. Smith received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The Catholic University of America with a concentration in Children, Families, and Cultures. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at The Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA.

Kenneth Walker

Director of Student Culture


Kenneth Walker brings years of operational and management experience in workforce development to his role as Director of Operations. He rose quickly through the ranks of KRA Corporation, where he started as a Program Coordinator and within 5 years became the Director of Out of School Youth Training Programs. He then worked for 3 years at Sasha Bruce YouthWork, Inc. as the Director of Workforce Development, Youth Programs. As part of his work he has led recruiting, training, employee counseling, grant-writing, budgeting and planning. Ken earned a BS in Finance and a BS in Marketing from Old Dominion University and a Master’s in Business Administration from George Mason University.

Antwan Hayes
Director of Academics
Antwan Hayes hails from Newark, NJ where he was raised by his mother and grew up with his older brother and two younger sisters. As a kid, Antwan excelled at the sport of basketball earning a basketball scholarship to the University of New Haven. At New Haven, Antwan earned a sports management degree with aspirations of getting into sports agency and/or sports marketing. During summers off from college, Antwan went back home to Newark to substitute teach which ignited his love for teaching and the population of students he serves.
After graduating, Antwan pursued his MBA but knew that teaching and education was his passion so he applied for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency and Johns Hopkins University and got into both programs. In Antwan's first year teaching at Garrison Middle, he facilitated the special education self-contained program where he learned that education should be specialized, differentiated, and individualized for all students’ not just students with learning disabilities. This mentality caused Antwan to be the liaison between special education and general education at Garrison Middle often coaching teachers on differentiating and making the curriculum accessible to all learners. As a self-contained special education teacher from 2011 - 2013 at KIPP Ujima Village Academy, he garnered results with his students which made him a potential candidate for Assistant Principal. After only 2 years of teaching at KIPP, Antwan transitioned into leadership where he led the lower school his first year and was responsible for 360 students and managed over 24 staff members. Antwan just completed his 3rd year as Assistant Principal at KIPP and will be transitioning into his role of Director of Academics at Monument Academy. At KIPP, he learned that traditional education in public and charter schools needs to be revamped and has realized that we need to do things different to service students that experience the trauma of poverty.
Antwan brings his educational philosophy that all students have the ability to learn and students need exposure to develop academically and socially. Antwan believes students should be exposed to the most challenging curriculum in a way that it is accessible to them. Antwan will support the staff in this capacity through coaching and modeling. From a more abstract and intangible perspective, Antwan believes students should travel, meet people, experience different cultures, and have a change of scenery to broaden their horizons and shape their view of the world. Antwan share the ideals and commitment of Monument Academy and he will be an asset to the entire school.