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, Carparts.com, 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.
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.
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.