Monica Quiroga Zaslower
Lead Founder and Board of Trustees President

Our Lead Founder has a long history of working for the welfare of Jersey City’s children. She is Board Vice-Chairperson of Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention, serves on the Board of Hudson County Dress for Success, has served for over a decade on the Fundraising & Event Committees of Saint Joseph’s School for the Blind and Hudson Cradle in Jersey City, and assisted with the start-up of BelovED Community Charter School here in Jersey City as a volunteer.

Jermaine Pharmes
Board of Trustees Vice-President

Jermaine also serves on the Boards of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation and Just About Kid’s Education, Inc., and on the Board of Advisors of the Jersey City Chapter of the Salvation Army (where he helped develop that organization’s strategic plan relative to its mentoring and tutoring programs). Presently a realtor, he has also worked as a Business Compliance Manager with the NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc., and with the City of Jersey City as Municipal Court Administrator.

Thomas Gallagher
Board Treasurer

Thomas also serves as a Board Member of Liberty Health, the parent board of the Jersey City Medical Center, Hudson County’s largest hospital. Presently a Vice President in the Real Estate and Specialty Finance Group of Lepercq, de Neulfize & Co., Inc., the New York financial services firm, he formerly worked with the City of Jersey City as Director of its Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce.


Bret Schundler
Founding Group Member

A former New Jersey Commissioner of Education, former COO of The King’s College in New York City, and former Mayor of Jersey City, Bret wrote the initial draft of New Jersey’s charter school legislation and organized the statewide political support that secured its passage. He was the Lead Founder of Golden Door Charter School here in Jersey City (where he also served as a Board of Trustees President), provided assistance that helped with the start-up of several additional local charter schools (for example, providing CDBG grants that enabled Learning Community Charter School to build classrooms at its original location, the former Jersey City Boys Club facility), and more recently has been providing extensive support for the successful founding of BelovED Community Charter School, also here in Jersey City.

Lonnie Sobel
Board of Trustees Member

Lonnie Sobel is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and operated a number of small businesses. He currently operates two Family Fun Centers: one in NJ and one in NY.  Here in Jersey City, he has been the Chairman of the Zoning Board and the Parking Authority and has been an active member of local neighborhood associations.  He is a strong supporter of Jersey City’s charter schools.

Tom Ogorzalek
Board of Trustees Member

Thomas Ogorzalek is a University Lecturer and Chair of the Curriculum Committee in the School of Architecture at NJIT where he is dedicated to innovative teaching strategies and has received the University Excellence in Teaching Award.  He is also a founding partner of Continuum Design and is active with many Jersey City community organizations.