Mission & Governance
We imagine a world with well-informed, engaged citizens who are motivated to make a difference. In partnership with our diverse faculty, staff, families and the greater community, Stevens Cooperative School students explore, question and communicate in ways that will inspire and shape the future.
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the Stevens Cooperative School. Any parent can run for the Board of Trustees as long as they are a member in good standing. Parents can also nominate other parents for the role. Trustees frequently serve more than one two-year term and are encouraged to do so. It is hoped that after trustees have served some time on the board, they will take on an officer position. The officers of the board form its executive committee and include: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chairs of Development, Jobs, Membership and Strategic Planning. The board can also have up to four non-parents called 'Community Trustees.' This group may include educators, community leaders, alumni parents and local business people.
- Kim Lew, Chair
- Raghu Reddy, Vice Chair
- Becky Egan, Treasurer
- Djenaba Johnson-Jones, Secretary
- Francesca Acocella, Alumni Trustee
- Jeff Adelson-Yan, Trustee
- Keith Barr, Trustee
- Cassandra Bolz, Trustee
- Kate Burke Walsh, Community Trustee
- Gillian Emmett Moldowan, Trustee
- Robert Fornes, Trustee
- Donna Garban, Treasurer Emeritus
- Wykeum Gilyard, Trustee
- Greg Hertzig, Trustee
- Gayle Jones, Trustee
- Frank LeCates, Trustee
- Arik Rashkes, Trustee
- Ron Russell, Community Trustee
- Peter Young, Trustee
Raghu holds a master’s degree in physics from New York University and a bachelors of science in aerospace engineering from Arizona State University. Raghu is a director at Deutsche Bank, where he has been for 15 years. Other positions include COO for a technology division and a research assistant in the Advanced Technology Group. Raghu and his family have made Jersey City their home primarily based on the desire to have their children be graduates of Stevens. Over the years, Raghu has come to realize the importance of the Stevens community and that parents are custodians of this community not just for their own children, but also for those classes which have yet to start school. Raghu has been on the membership committee for the last two years. His son, Sai, is in Stevens' Class of 2021, and his daughter, Siya, is in Stevens' Class of 2023.
Becky is a CPA with Egan Tax & Books Ltd, a firm she and her husband Tom own together; they provide accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses. Prior to accounting, she worked in nonprofit education in Manhattan and the Bronx and holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, and Rutgers University. Originally from the midwest, she has lived in the New York City area since 2004, and the Egan family has been in Hoboken since 2008. Her son Thomas is in Stevens' Class of 2023, and her son Peter is Stevens' Class of 2025. When not doing taxes or playing with the kids, she can be found baking cookies, reading, running and taking lots of pictures.
Djenaba is the founder and CEO of Hudson Kitchen, a business incubator that supports food entrepreneurs. Prior to starting her company, she was the Digital Brand Development Director for W Magazine. She earned a Masters of Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas. Djenaba was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010. Previously, she served on the communications committee and as Parliamentarian. She also chaired the Harvest Festival in the 2008 and 2009 school years. Her son Mason belongs to Stevens' Class of 2016 and Leman Manhattan Prep’s Class of 2020 and her daughter, Nora is in Stevens' Class of 2020.
Francesca Acocella graduated from Stevens in 2005 and currently serves as our alumni board member. Francesca is a Law Clerk to a family court judge in Newark, New Jersey. She earned her J.D. at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with internship experiences in LGBT rights, women's rights, and civil liberties and received her B.A. in political science from Wellesley College.
Jeff was elected a trustee of Stevens Cooperative School in April 2013. He is Co-Founder and President of Levelwing, a digital marketing firm named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. magazine. He is a partner in Third Prime Capital, a director in two early-stage companies, member of the Ad Council for the Association of Downloadable Media and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. Jeff has two children. His son Luke is in Stevens' Class of 2020, and his daughter Delia is in Stevens' Class of 2022.
Keith is currently Chair of the Space Committee, having joined the committee in 2012. Keith holds a Bachelors' Degree with Honors in Interior and Environmental Design and has practiced design, architecture and project management in Europe, Asia and the US. Projects delivered have ranged from not-for-profit to the 700,000 square feet Bloomberg Headquarters in NYC. His son Ashton is in Stevens' Class of 2021.
Cassandra is a Vice President in the credit products team of Barclays' Municipal Finance division. Previously she was Director, Portfolio Management for Public Finance at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, where she helped launch the Public Finance group. Prior to joining the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Cassandra worked at Jeffrey Williams & Co, a mergers and acquisitions and independent valuations advisory firm. Cassandra holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Cassandra served as a volunteer with the New York Junior League from 2006-2012 where she served as Treasurer for the Playground Improvement Project and then as a member of the Financial Literacy committee. Cassandra and Mike Diegnan, her husband, have two daughters, Adrianna and Fiona that are members of Stevens’ Class of 2025.
Kate was the head of school at The Willow School in Gladstone NJ from 2007 through 2013. She retired in 2014 and currently sits on two other boards as well as Stevens' board. She has been on the board of The Willowwood Arboretum since 2012 and joined The Plaid House of Morristown in 2014. Previous to coming to New Jersey, Kate spent three years as Chief Administrative Officer of The French International School in Bethesda, MD. She served as Director of School Based Programs at the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She has over 25 years of experience in education and has worked directly with administrators and teachers from a variety of schools in diverse countries and cultures. Kate has three grown daughters and is the very happy grandmother of four grandchildren.
Gillian is a Counsel at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. Her practice focuses on executive compensation and corporate governance. Gillian advises companies, executives and directors on federal securities law, tax, employee benefits and general employment-related matters, including those arising in mergers and acquisitions transactions and securities offerings. Before joining Shearman, Gillian was a Counsel at Davis Polk & Wardell LLP and a Special Counsel at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Gillian has been an active member of the cooperative, serving on the Membership Committee for two years. Prior to going to law school, Gillian was a not-for-profit development professional. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Barnard College and received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. She has two children - Rachel, Stevens' Class of 2024, and William, Stevens' Class of 2026.
Robert is currently a Managing Director at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, where he has worked for 15 years advising community banks around the country. In addition he has raised financing for many schools across the country. His previous board experience includes the Port Liberte Condo board, which he served on for ten years. He and his wife, Danielle, have been active members of the cooperative for eight years, serving in many roles over the years. Their son, Robert, is in Stevens' Class of 2018, and their daughter, Jolie, is in Stevens' Class of 2021. Robert currently holds an MBA from Bernard Baruch College.
Donna was elected in 2008, and served as treasurer 2014-2017. She also has served on the school’s finance, space, search, finance and technology, committees and as chair of the investment and development committees.She worked as a municipal bond specialist for 25 years, most recently at Green Coast Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs. In 2014-2015, Donna was an Encore Fellow working at Green City Force in Williamsburg as Head of Business Development. She also worked as a consultant to Mercy Corps and JP Morgan. in social impact investing and municipal bonds respectively. Donna is the co-owner of Little City Books in Hoboken. Donna served on the investment committee of Cornelia Connolly School on the Lower East Side. She was elected Trustee of The Jubilee Center in Hoboken in 2007 and served as chair in 2009/2010. She has three children. Her daughters Penelope and Petra graduated from Stevens in 2014 and 2016 respectively, and attend Grace Church School. Her son, Perrin, is in Stevens' Class of 2018.
Wykeum currently serves as Managing Member of Jackson Oliver Capital Partners, a business accelerator and impact investor focused on providing strategic guidance and counsel to companies, organizations and entrepreneurs seeking to significantly impact the lives of people around the globe in a positive way—socially, educationally, physically and financially. Wykeum served as a member of the Board of Directors of East Atlanta Kids Club, a nonprofit, out-of-school time tutoring, mentoring and enrichment program for under-resourced girls and boys ages seven to 17. Wykeum holds an MBA from The S.C Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, an MS in Management from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ and a BS in Marketing from Hampton University in Hampton, VA and is a certified PMP®.
He and his wife Amy have three children, Simone, Stevens’ Class of 2022, Sydney, Stevens' Class of 2024, and Jackson, Stevens' Class of 2027.
Greg is a Managing Director for Oz Management with a global focus on hard-catalyst investing. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University. He has two children at Stevens, Sadie, class of 2024, and Nate, class of 2027. He is also an active member of the school's development committee. He recently participated in the Haymakers for Hope boxing competition, which raises money and awareness for cancer research.
Gayle is currently an Executive Director in Marketing at JPMorgan Chase. Her work involves brand and advertising campaigns across all retail products and services. Gayle holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and was a television producer for 17 years before joining JPMorgan Chase. During her television career, she had the honor of producing at four Olympic games, working in news at CNN and producing HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Gayle currently has a daughter in Stevens' Class of 2024 and a son class of 2027.
Frank LeCates is an entrepreneur with twenty years of experience in web tech and ed tech. Frank co-founded Silverpoint, a provider of website solutions and software for schools that is now a part of Finalsite, and advises other tech startups. A Stevens family since 2008, Frank's family spent two years at the American School of Barcelona before rejoining Stevens in 2016. Frank and his wife Justine have two daughters, Cora in Stevens’ Class of 2018 and Claire in Stevens’ Class of 2021.
Arik is a Managing Director in Houlihan Lokey's Corporate Finance business, focused on the insurance sector. Before joining Houlihan Lokey in 2015, Arik was a Managing Director at The Blackstone Group, advising clients across the financial services sector. Before joining Blackstone in 2012, Arik worked at Deutsche Bank, where he executed transactions in the insurance space. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Arik worked at Citi for eight years, where he held positions within the Corporate and Consumer divisions.
Arik holds a B.A. in Finance from Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York City. Arik has four children. His son Daniel is in Stevens' Class of 2018, and his daughter Natalie is entering Stevens' Class of 2021. His daughters, Bar and Libby, are 4 and 2 years old.
Ron is the former chair of the school’s Space Committee. He is the founder and principal of Urban Architecture LLC, a Jersey City-based architectural and interior design firm with extensive experience in school design, mixed-use high-rise urban architecture and historic preservation. Ron was a member of the Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission for 10 years, two of which he was chairman. His son, Ian, belongs to Stevens’ Class of 2013 and Packer Collegiate High School’s Class of 2017.
Peter is currently a proprietary trader at Koyote Capital. Previously, he worked as a senior trader at Diamondback Capital and as a sales trader at Citigroup and J.P. Morgan. Before his career in finance he served in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Captain. Peter was a member of the Head Search Committee at Stevens and currently serves as Chair, Head of School Evaluation Committee, and on the Audit Committee. Peter and his wife Keita have two sons, Peter III (PJ) in Stevens' Class of 2015, Robert (Robby) in Stevens' Class of 2019, and a daughter Kaci in Stevens' Class of 2022.