Our Executive Board

 

 

President - Lorri Werner

 

 

Lorri Werner is our inaugural President. She has a Bachelor in Accounting from Indiana University and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. However, her career passion and depth of experience lies in project management and information technology implementations for which she has spent the majority of her career. Before staying home to care for her three children and elderly father, Lorri was the Controller for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas and implemented numerous systems for them globally (ERP, Human Resources, Purchasing).Lorri has been a Fulton County Schools volunteer, chaperone, and community advocate for 14 years. She has volunteered for a wide array of her children's programs and local charities. You may have encountered her at the ticket booth for Milton Theatre, the dugouts for AYBA Baseball or the football sidelines with MJE Cheer dedicating countless hours in service to the Alpharetta and Milton communities and their children. Lorri is honored to serve Innovation Academy and be a part of such a tremendous, diverse and talented leadership team. Her goal is to create an experience at Innovation Academy that is beyond expectations, serve the students and faculty daily and leave a legacy that supports future students in the years to come. Lorri welcomes you to share your student's hopes and dreams for the IA experience with her.

 

 

Co-President - Carissa Donges

 

 

Carissa Donges  is our Co-President.  Her background is in IT helpdesk, software implementation and training.  She has served in a leadership capacity with PTAs for the past 10 years as a way to be involved and  make an impact with her children's educational experience.  Along with being part of the PTSO start-up process here at IA, she has also been instrumental in setting up and managing the Fencing Program here.  She and her 9th grade daughter also enjoy serving the community through the National Charity League when their time allows.  Her goal for IA PTSO is to set a strong foundation in place that can be built upon and modified as the school evolves and enrich the overall experience here at IA.

 

VP of Ways and Means - Lara Black

 

 

Lara Black is our 2021 Membership Chair and newly appointed Vice President of Ways and Means. Her son Hayden is a 9th grader at IA this year. She also has a daughter in the 7th grade at Autrey Mill Middle School. Lara earned her degree in Occupational Therapy from Worcester State College and worked as a pediatric therapist for ten years. Lara is originally from New York but met and married a Texan along the way. The Black family lived in San Antonio, TX, Portland, ME, and Baltimore, MD before moving to Georgia almost ten years ago. After a total of three moves in five years, they are happy to call Georgia their home. Lara has been actively involved in volunteering for a variety of organizations and served on the PTO executive board for four years at Wilson Creek Elementary School. She is excited to represent and serve the IA Community.

 

VP of Student Support - Lanisha Schwartzberg

 

Lanisha Schwartzberg is our VP of Student Support.

 

VP of School Support - Laury Rush

 

Laury Rush is our VP of School Support.

 


VP of Community Relations - Rosalind Mitchell

 

 

Rosalind Mitchell is an experienced panelist with a 16-year background in corporate sales, entrepreneurial startups, and motivational training. She has expertise in invigorating communication and relationship building. Her favorite organizational health topics are stress management, conflict resolution, health promotion, relationship issues, life developments and
the workplace, and the psychosocial work environment. 13-years as a psychotherapist and
executive coach her clients have included: Georgia Institute of Technology, National Energy
Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Treasury and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Rosalind combines her wise business sense with her compassionate spirit to provide a comprehensive and powerful therapy/coaching experience. In her psychotherapy and executive coaching practices, her clients include C-suite level executives, professional athletes and entertainers. She specializes in stress management, conflict resolution, relationship building, communication, change management, conflict resolution, individual and couples therapy. Rosalind provides training in change management, communication in the workplace, work/life balance, career focus and women empowerment. Rosalind has a BA in English and an MS in Community Counseling. She is a licensed professional counselor in Georgia. She is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. She has held positions as the Atlanta Alumni Chapter President, Vice President and is currently the Parliamentarian and the University’s Athletic Foundation Chair for the Atlanta Golf Tournament. Rosalind is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc, Metro Atlanta Chapter where she serves on the Protocol Committee and Membership Committee. Rosalind enjoys traveling, cooking, entertaining and being the hostess of any fun event.

 

VP of Communications - Heather Sorensen

 

 

Heather Sorensen is our VP of Communications. She went to the University of Florida (Go Gators!). She worked for a decade in Information Technology with an emphasis in systems and network security. She volunteered for over a decade with Girl Scouts, various PTAs, and food pantries. She's excited to get to know you all and help IA grow future leaders! She wants to know what you'd like to hear about at the school!

 

 

VP of Senior Support - Kim Walsh

 

 

Kim Walsh is the VP of Senior Support. Kim has a Master’s in Social Work, a Master’s in Public Administration from West Virginia University, completed her Educational Leadership Certification at the University of West Georgia, and is a licensed social worker. She has worked in the behavioral health field for many years specializing in mental health, substance use, and child and family services. She spent years as a non-profit executive, director of school social work, and had the honor of serving the Governor and State of West Virginia as the state director overseeing substance use, mental health, and developmental disabilities systems of care. During her time in public service Kim led efforts working closely with health and human services leadership, elected officials, and providers to transform the statewide behavioral health system of care. Since 2017 she has worked for JBS International, Inc. managing a consulting team providing implementation support for federally funded behavioral health and victim service projects in more than 40 states, tribes, and U.S. Territories. Kim, along with her husband Gerry, have two children involved in many things and as such have served as school volunteers while living in West Virginia and Georgia. Together, they volunteered with Fulton County Schools supporting Alpharetta High School Band, Wind Ensemble, and the AHS Counseling Committee as well as Hopewell Middle and Alpharetta High School Orchestras. Kim is excited about the opportunity to serve IA and work with such an incredible team in so doing. The Sr. Support team is hard at work establishing a career center, scholarship options, and an innovative array of resources for students and families to aid in learning about and pursuing academic and career focused endeavors at IA and beyond. Please reach out if you would like to join this important work. Kim and Gerry’s son will be among the first IA graduating class of 2024.

 

Recording Secretary - Ben Clopper

 

 

Ben Clopper is our Recording Secretary and has a 9th grader at IA. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in Civil Engineering and is Professional Engineer, working as a consultant to Georgia DOT and local governments to design roads, bridges and trails. Prior to moving to Georgia he attended a STEM magnet high school in Virginia similar to IA, and he is excited to share his past experiences and engineering background with this new school community.  His past volunteer experience includes the boards of Johns Creek Community Association and Mableton Improvement Coalition, as well as six years of coaching youth soccer.

 

Correspondence Secretary - Aarti Rao

 

 

Aarti Rao is our Correspondence Secretary and 9th grade parent. She supports the functioning of the PTSO by planning the agenda, hosting and co-ordinating meetings of the executive and advisory board as well as meetings of the general membership. As a 24-year resident in the Roswell/Alpharetta area, she is a strong proponent of making STEM education accessible to students at all levels of competency. Professionally, she's a change management leader for technology transformations at a global cloud computing software provider. In their spare time, she and her IA freshman prepare and distribute meals for the homeless in the city of Atlanta.

 

Treasurer - Lisa Beckett 

 

 

Lisa Beckett is our Treasurer.  She graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BS in Accounting. Lisa spent 10+ years as a CPA both in public accounting and the corporate world before taking 10 years off to be a stay at home mom.  During that time, she served as a volunteer in various roles including President with the Medlock Bridge Elementary Foundation.   Lisa has been the Bookkeeper at Webb Bridge Middle School for the last 7 years.  She is looking forward to supporting the IA PTSO's mission through her position. 

 

Parliamentarian - Val Mackey

 

 

Valarie W. Mackey is our Parliamentarian. She has more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of Technology and Talent. Valarie launched her career as a Consultant with Ernst and Young focused on emerging technologies, designing, developing, and deploying cutting edge systems to clients across distinct industries and domains.   She later had a progressive and impactful 12-year career with The Coca-Cola Company as a Technology Leader. In addition to business enablement through technology, she created and executed strategies to enhance the employee pipeline and prepared talent for succession planning. Her passion for expanding the capability of people and companies coupled with her technology skillset now fuels her success as Founder and CEO of WrightNow Solutions, a Talent Development Consultancy. Valarie introduces underrepresented populations to growing, thriving technology careers by providing education, certification opportunities, and unprecedented access to leading corporations. Her holistic approach ensures she meets people and organizations wherever they are and gets them to the next level of success. Her company orchestrates everything from K-12 STE(A)M programming to providing learning experiences for company leaders to increase Digital and Emotional IQ while focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Valarie holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.  She has cultivated Board Leadership experience across numerous community, professional and civic organizations. She was on her kids’ elementary school PTA Executive Board and honored to be on the Innovation Academy PTSO Executive Board as being involved in her kids’ educational experience and trying to enhance the experience for parents, teachers/administration, and all students is a priority for her.

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