Meet the Team
Eugenio, Inaugural Director
Eugenio Longoria Sáenz is NAFSCE’s Director of Family Math. He is focused on building an asset-based body of counter-narratives of minoritized people and places that challenge the traditional systemic deficit-based narratives of minoritized communities.
Eugenio is a multi-disciplinarian with a background in Economics, Public Health, Education and Equity. He holds a B.B.A. in Economics and International Business from Baylor University, an Independent Studies M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University, and is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) at PENN State University in Learning and Performance Systems with a research focus on Role Theory and Social Positions.
Eugenio is currently a Teacher Educator as an adjunct faculty at UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration. He is also the founder of BILLY Labs, an experience-centered and design-informed social architecture consultancy. Previously, he was a Deputy Director with Educate Texas at Communities Foundation of Texas, Executive Director of the Eastern North Philadelphia Youth Services Coalition (ENPYSC); Researcher with the World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland), the Human Sciences Research Council (Cape Town, South Africa), and the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy (Penn State). Most importantly, he is a Capacity Builder and Disruptor.
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Vito J. Borrello is the first Executive Director for the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE), appointed in September 2014.
Since its founding, NAFSCE has addressed systemic issues to advance family, school and community engagement as a strategy for child development, student achievement and school improvement. Initiatives include Reframing the Family Engagement Conversation and the establishment of the National Alliance for Family Engagement; the 18-state State Consortium on Family Engagement in partnership with the Council for Chief State School Officers; and its Family Engagement Consortium on Pre-service Educator Preparation. Prior to his current position, Mr. Borrello served as the 19-year president of Every Person Influences Children, a New York-based organization providing parenting education, and family engagement in education programs. Current National Advisory Board Member roles include Scholastic, and the Center for Education Equity. Recent previous national roles include membership on the National Family, School and Community Engagement Working Group; and two completed terms as both an Appointed and At-Large Board Member for National PTA, where he also served on committees for finance, legislation, resource development, strategic planning and leadership recruitment. He is co-founder and Chairman Emeritus for the NY State Family Engagement Coalition. Prior to his NAFSCE appointment, Mr. Borrello was Chairman of the NY State PTA Urban Initiatives Task Force, Steering Committee member of the NY State Parenting Education Partnership, and a past appointee to NY State Education Department workgroups for Teacher Standards, Striving Readers, and Safe Schools. In his home community of Western New York, Mr. Borrello is a past Board Member for the State University of NY at Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention; past Chairman for the Care Management Coalition of Western New York, and past Board member for Buffalo’s Read to Succeed literacy initiative. He is a graduate of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York Fellowship program and a 1998 graduate of Leadership Buffalo. Mr. Borrello has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Wittenberg University and resides in East Amherst, New York with his wife, Maria, and has two daughters, Marisa and Samantha. He commutes to the NAFSCE offices located in Alexandria, Virginia.
Contact Vito at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer McCray is an Associate Research Scientist and the Principal Investigator of the Early Math Collaborative at Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development. The Collaborative provides professional development in mathematics to early childhood teachers nationally, conducts research on the teaching and learning of early math, and disseminates information through its books, journal publications, newsletter, and website. Jennifer’s dissertation, which focused on teachers’ understanding of early childhood mathematics content, won two national awards. Her current research focuses on teachers’ use of language and modeling in the teaching of early mathematics.
Jennifer McCray is an Associate Research Scientist at the Erikson Institute in Chicago where she serves as Principal Investigator of the Early Math Collaborative. She began her career as a preschool teacher, and completed her graduate work at Erikson Institute, the only graduate school in the nation entirely dedicated to child development. As part of her dissertation, she developed the PM-PCK, an interview that assesses teacher knowledge for teaching preschool mathematics. She received two national awards for this work, which has been utilized as an evaluation measure for a large efficacy trial of a STEM-focused preschool curriculum, and adapted for use as a survey for studies on early childhood teacher knowledge and attitude in Germany.
As the founding Director and current Principal Investigator of the Early Math Collaborative (the Collaborative), she has guided its growth from a single professional development project serving a small group of preschool and kindergarten teachers to a collective of adult educators, researchers, and students working with hundreds of teachers throughout the U.S. to improve math instruction for young children. A current major project is Collaborative Math: Creating Sustainable Excellence in Mathematics for Head Start Programs. Through a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the Collaborative will demonstrate the promise of a professional development initiative designed to create sustainable excellence in math teaching in early childhood settings. Jennifer is also the Principal Investigator of a recently-awarded four-year Goal 5 Measurement development grant from the Institute for Education Sciences under the topic of Early Learning Programs and Policies. This project will develop and validate the EQUIP-M, a video-based observational measure of mathematics instructional quality in preschool classrooms. The Collaborative maintains a robust and systematic website (www.earlymath.erikson.edu), developing and curating video and written materials for teachers of young children, and its first book, The Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know, was published by Pearson in 2013. Jennifer is the first editor of a second book, Growing Mathematical Minds: Conversations between Developmental Psychologists and Early Childhood Teachers, published by Routledge in 2018.
Contact Jennifer at JMcCray@erikson.edu
Reyna Hernandez is NAFSCE’s Senior Director of Research and Policy. She is a longtime community advocate who supports education, leadership development, and capacity-building in the Latino community. Prior to joining NAFSCE, Reyna worked as the Community Wellness Director at Latinos Progresando. She also provides strategic support to nonprofits, startups, and school districts independently and as a Changemaker with Innovare SIP. She is adjunct faculty at DePaul University, teaching on issues of Latinos, English learners, and education.
Reyna previously served as an Assistant Superintendent at ISBE for five years, overseeing the Division of English Language Learners, Early Childhood, and family and community engagement efforts. Her previous experiences include Research and Policy Associate at the Latino Policy Forum, Community Education Parent Facilitator at Waukegan CUSD 60, and educational director and trustee at the National Hispanic Institute. She graduated with a J.D. from New York Law School and an A.B. from Harvard University.
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Sherri Wilson is NAFSCE’s Senior Director of Training and Engagement. Sherri is a nationally recognized expert and consultant in family engagement. Formerly, she served as the Director of Consultative Services at Scholastic and was a founding partner of the Center for Active Family Engagement (CAFE).
Prior to that, she served at the Senior Manager of Family Engagement at the National PTA. During her time at the National PTA, Sherri oversaw the implementation of the National PTA Standards for Family School Partnerships and led the Urban Family Engagement Initiative. She was the staff lead and primary author of the Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle. She provided training, information and support to National PTA staff as well as state and local members related to family engagement and the implementation of the National PTA Standards for Family School Partnerships. Ms. Wilson was the Co-founder of the Alabama Parent Education Center and served as Alabama PIRC Director for over fourteen years. She has served on a wide variety of national, state, and local boards and committees and was a founding board member for the National Association of Family School and Community Engagement. Ms. Wilson holds an MBA with a concentration in Marketing, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Marketing, a Family Development Credential from the University of Alabama and is a Certified Grant Administrator and Certified Grant Evaluator. Ms. Wilson has presented information to families and educators in a variety of formats at the local, state and national levels.
Contact Sherri at firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Caspe, PhD, is the NAFSCE’s Senior Research Consultant. She co-leads the Pre-Service Family Engagement Consortium which is a collaborative of national partners and state and higher education teams dedicated to supporting educator preparation in family engagement. Over the past 20 years, she has studied how partnerships among families, schools, and communities influence children’s development in a variety of areas, including language and literacy, and bilingualism, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Prior to joining NAFSCE she worked with the Global Family Research Project and Harvard Family Research Project where she developed tools to support faculty in developing courses on family engagement topics and oversaw a project to amplify family engagement in public libraries. She is co-editor of Promising Practices for Engaging Families in STEM Learning and author of a variety of articles published in journals such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Public Library Quarterly, School Community Journal, Childhood Education, and Young Children. As an advisory member of various national collaboratives, including the Family Math Roadmap Project, she provides insights on the intersection of research, practice, and policy to promote innovative family engagement strategies. Margaret earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, where she currently teaches courses as an adjunct faculty member. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three daughters.
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Fred Ji is NAFSCE’s Senior Manager of Communications. As a communications professional, he specializes in brand building, community management, and cross-platform digital campaign and strategy. Throughout his professional career, Fred has always been passionate about helping education-focused non-profit organizations advance their reach and impact.
Prior to joining NAFSCE, he worked as the Certification and Community Specialist at National Geographic, managing its online learning system and digital community for educators across the world. Fred earned his B.A. in Journalism from Rutgers University, and his M.A. in Communication, Culture, and Technology at Georgetown University.
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Shawn Harris is NAFSCE’s Director of Finance & Operations. A graduate of Howard University with a BS in Accounting, Shawn provides strategic leadership for NAFSCE’s finance functions. He oversees budget and financial planning and reporting, business applications development, as well as procurement services. With over 10 years of finance and accounting management, Shawn brings experience in a broad range of industries, including public accounting, government and nonprofit.
Meet the NAFSCE Team
The Center is proud to be a part of the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE), the first membership association focused solely on advancing family, school, and community engagement. Together, we are making family math an every day experience.