Backbone Support Staff

Backbone Support Staff

The Backbone staff serve as network weavers to help cultivate Partner alignment, enable data-informed, peer-to-peer accountability, facilitate collaborative action, and steward advocacy for sustainable, systemic change.

Backbone staff work to connect multiple entities into a seamless network of student support. We are process experts trained in results-based accountability, continuous improvement, complex systems change, equity, research, business operations, project management, communications, data strategy, human-centered design and group process facilitation.

Ann Mathieson
Chief Executive Officer

Ann Mathieson is the founding Executive Director of the Marin Promise Partnership. Ann is passionate about educational equity, innovation and community. She also serves on the Bay Area Board of Peer Health Exchange and is a Steering Council Member of New Schools Venture Fund. She was formerly a trustee and Board Chair of the Marin Community Foundation and was elected twice to the Kentfield School Board where she served as President. She was a co-founder and President of the Bay Area “I Have a Dream” Foundation, a college access program for underserved students. Ann worked for 15 years as a marketing executive, first at Hallmark Cards and then with Collagen Corporation. Ann has a BS from Indiana University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Ann can be reached at ann@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Cameron Hunter
Sr. Director, Data and Operations

Driven by a deep commitment to cross-sector collaboration, Cameron’s leadership experience in consulting, data analysis, and project management spans nonprofits, governmental organizations, and social enterprises. Prior to joining Marin Promise Partnership, Cameron worked with Schaffer & Combs, a social-sector management consulting firm based in San Francisco, specializing in strategic planning and impact evaluation. There, following his service as a Coro Fellow in Pittsburgh, PA, Cameron supported clientele in multi-stakeholder environments to develop and apply strategic frameworks within the environmental sustainability and fashion industries. Cameron’s commitment to educational equity spans back to his early days; his first-ever job was serving as the Children’s Librarian in his small town of Bedford, New York. On the weekend, you’ll likely catch him at an outdoor bluegrass concert, watching the latest David Simon series, or playing pub trivia. Cameron holds a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College.

Cameron can be reached at cameron@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Michael Looft
Director of Technology

Michael has over 20 years of leadership experience spanning the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors. He is passionate about leveraging his substantial background in software and data analysis, capacity building, and partnership development to create educational equity for everyone. Most recently, he spent five years at the crowdfunding organizations Kiva and Lendahand, including serving at the board level. He has also spent time in the classroom teaching computer literacy to adult immigrant populations, at a low-income community center and to residents at a shelter for battered women. Michael holds an A.S. from De Anza Community College, B.S. from San Francisco State University, and graduate degrees from St. John’s College and Harvard. In his spare time he volunteers as a construction crew leader at Habitat for Humanity and spending time with his son.

Michael can be reached at michael@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Shelley Hamilton
Director, Research & Communication

Shelley Hamilton brings 20+ years of both practical nonprofit management and consulting expertise to her work designing and facilitating collaboration and communications at Marin Promise Partnership. She has a proven track record using written and visual communication tools to build bridges across people, institutions and sectors. Prior to working for the Partnership, Shelley was CEO of MarinSpace and a strategic planning consultant in a wide variety of fields from social purpose real estate and information technology, to civic engagement, cross cultural education, and environmental sustainability. Shelley has worked with United Ways, the Marin Community Foundation, Fort Mason Center, The Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Performing Stars of Marin, and the Aging Action Initiative. Shelley has been an Affiliate Researcher with the Institute for the Future, a founding board member of the national Nonprofit Centers Network and a local Planning Commissioner. She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Organizational Design from Fielding Graduate University and, in 2020, was elected to the Ross Valley School Board where she serves as Board President.

In addition to visual facilitation, Shelley’s adaptive leadership approach weaves together her background in complexity science, Results-based Accountability (RBA), and cultural anthropology. She is committed to living her values of compassion, courage, integrity and justice in all aspects of her life. When she’s not inspiring and supporting collective impact, you’ll find her hiking/running the trails behind her house in Fairfax, CA, sailing or paddle boarding the San Francisco Bay or traveling to visit relatives in Mexico.

Shelley can be reached at shelley@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Juliet Schiller
Director, County-wide AntiracisM Action

Dr. Juliet Schiller is the Director of County-wide Antiracism Action at Marin Promise Partnership. Juliet embraces her mixed cultural roots with family history from Fresnillo, Mexico, Wind River Tribal land and Southern Europe. At Marin Promise Partnership, Juliet leads antiracism assessment, goal-setting, and facilitation across the Partnership. She also directs the Early Grade Literacy Team and is co-developing a countywide teachers of color pipeline. Prior to joining Marin Promise, Juliet was a professor of education, Board President for Canal Alliance and Vice-Chair of the Marin Human Rights Commission. Juliet is deeply involved with Survivor’s International for survivors of political torture. She serves as an advisory board member for the African Human Rights Coalition. She earned a doctorate with a double major in International and Multicultural Education/Human Rights Education and Learning & Instruction from the University of San Francisco. Juliet spends her free time with her husband and three kids, writing a novel that takes place during the San Francisco Gold Rush, and painting with oils and acrylics. If there is an artistic or creative pursuit to be found, you can count on Juliet to dive in!

Juliet can be reached at juliet@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Maria Niggle
Director, Early Childhood & Community Collaboratives

Maria Patricia Niggle MSW, is an English language learner who came to the United States when she was 3 years old. Her passion for equity in education is the product of her struggles to achieve within systems that were unprepared for diverse learners. She is now a dedicated social worker, co-founder of Abriendo Caminos (an immigrant Leadership Program) and a longtime facilitator of the West Marin Collaborative. Director of Early Childhood and Community Collaboratives for Marin Promise Partnership, she brings years of experience in Early Childhood Education Research, program development and collective impact.

Maria can be reached at maria@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Elizabeth COOPER
Director, College & Career

Elizabeth Cooper is the Director of College & Career for Marin Promise Partnership. She is a graduate of the Tamalpais Union High School District and University of California, Berkeley. She feels a deep commitment to serving her community by working toward educational equity and has been working for Marin Promise Partnership since 2017. She had formerly worked in school administration, athletics and as a college & career specialist and has worked in many Marin County schools including Archie Williams, Tamalpais High School, Marin Academy, and San Domenico. She facilitates the Future Ready Initiative: College, Career & Beyond and oversees the implementation and scaling of Success Networks, site-based collective impact groups, across Marin County. She was a College of Marin and transfer student herself which inspired her to work toward making college and career pathways more accessible to all and holds a B.A. in English Literature from UC Berkeley. She is also a youth volleyball coach, science fiction fan, and loves helping students with college application essays.

Elizabeth can be reached at elizabeth@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Robin Pendoley
Director, County-wide Collaborative Action

Robin is an educator with expertise in social impact leadership, educational equity, and nonprofit management. A Bay Area native, he grew up in the public schools in Vallejo and San Rafael, California witnessing the inequity and injustice of our education system. Prior to joining Marin Promise Partnership, Robin served in various positions in a diverse array of public schools, including as a teacher and administrator. He then spent thirteen years founding and leading Thinking Beyond Borders, an educational institution developing social impact leaders rooted in critical consciousness. Robin holds a BA in International Development Studies from UCLA and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has a spouse and daughter, and he can often be found running the trails of Marin County.

Robin can be reached at robin@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Tenisha Tate-Austin
Director, Collaborative Action

Tenisha Tate-Austin is originally from Southern California, where she graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. She has also obtained a Master of Social Welfare Degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master of Education Administration degree from Cal State Dominguez Hills. Prior to joining Marin Promise Partnership as Director of Collaborative Action, Tenisha had over 17 years working in schools across the state with ten plus years in school leadership. Her professional experience includes serving as a middle school teacher, a psychiatric social worker, Assistant Principal, and a Principal throughout the K-12 continuum.

She most recently served as Principal of Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael, CA, where she led her staff in creating a Diversity, Equity and Leadership Elective Course and restructured the 6th Grade Exploratory Wheel to focus on identity, diversity, social justice and action. In addition to the seventeen years spent in the formal education system, Tenisha also spent two years in supporting equitable educational outcomes when she created, founded and launched a non-profit organization, 2 Gen Equity. 2 Gen Equity was designed to be a two generation program that simultaneously focused on the educational attainment of transitional aged mothers and their young children. Tenisha is also the CEO of Critical Friends, a consulting and coaching firm supporting leaders to improve their ability to make decisions through an equity lens.

In March of 2022, Tenisha spoke at the White House as an advocate for housing equity. She was invited to introduce Vice President Harris, who shared the PAVE (Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity) Action Plan. Tenisha has always remained committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. As an educator, she has a proven record of improving school cultures as well as the teaching and learning process. Considering her professional and personal experiences, Tenisha is uniquely suited to help support principals/school leaders in implementing a vibrant community school model.

Tenisha can be reached at tenisha@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Ana Bell
MANAGER, COLLEGE & CAREER

Ana has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology. One of Ana’s biggest passions is to provide equality, equity, and support to oppressed and misrepresented populations. As an immigrant who moved to the United States when she was 4 years old, Ana has simultaneously observed and experienced some of the disparities that exist within the systems and institutions she has been a part of. From the individuals she has met, and through her own personal experience, she has become dedicated and motivated to eliminate the barriers and challenges that marginalized populations face.

Ana can be reached at ana@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Sarah Seitchik Sebastian
Manager, Partner Engagement

Sarah joins Marin Promise Partnership after years of community engagement and collective impact in Sonoma County as a coFounder of TIDE ( Team for Inclusivity, Diversity & Equity in Education). Sarah graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Community Studies and Education. After her post graduate work organizing groups, events and art education in Habana, Cuba, Sarah returned to California and continued her experience in outdoor education and non profit development. Sarah concurrently began a successful decades long Real Estate career. Sarah is dedicated to co-creating an expansive vision of community cultural wealth models as well as repaying the debt owed to communities who have been marginalized through educational equity. Sarah is a first-generation daughter of an Argentine immigrant and a Jewish father. Sarah is the mother of 3 beautiful children who are biracial & white, nonbinary, neurodiverse and brilliant. Sarah’s privilege gives her access to successfully navigate the white bodied supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal systems and she understands the responsibility of leveraging her privilege to do harm reduction work and make space for reconstruction. Sarah is profoundly humbled daily by the incredible discomfort and joy found in the practice of anti racist equity work and she fills her cup by swimming, climbing and sharing meals with friends, family and community. Sarah is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Sarah can be reached at sarah@marinpromisepartnership.org

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CHERAMIE JOHNSON
Manager, Partnership Culture & Operations

Cheramie Johnson is a California native who grew up in some of the most diverse, resilient, and under-resourced areas in the state. Her early interactions with marginalized neighbors, family members, and friends sparked a deep interest in working for social change and against racism. Since moving to Marin in 2003, Cheramie has worked to increase educational equity in the county through a variety of roles, including as an adjunct professor, tutor, mentor, and volunteer. In her free time, she serves as a union representative and teaches service-learning classes; she is also the project director for a developing organization in Central California that works with people who have experienced oppression to decolonize higher education.

Cheramie can be reached at Cheramie@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Brandon Johnson
Manager, Collaborative action

Brandon Johnson is a Marin County native who comes to Marin Promise Partnership to continue his lifelong pursuit of educational equity in his community. He is a facilitator for multiple initiatives including the San Rafael Success Network, the Marin Educators for Equity Initiative(MEEI), the San Rafael High School CTE Educator Pathway, along with helping to manage Community Schools work involving San Rafael City Schools. His past roles within the community have included being an organizer and activist, student mentor, as well as a former school board candidate and advocate of addressing systemic issues and removing barriers that impact marginalized students. Brandon prioritizes youth voice to guide his work and seeks to embody anti-racism in his everyday life. Brandon spends most of his off time either connecting with nature or coaching local youth basketball.

Brandon can be reached at brandon@marinpromisepartnership.org

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Rommel Carrera
Manager, Collaborative action

Rommel Carrera joins the Partnership’s Backbone staff with over 15 years’ experience in nonprofit management focused in program management and operations. Rommel is passionate about climate justice, education, immigrant rights, civic engagement and empowerment, and collective impact.

Rommel can be reached at rommel@marinpromisepartnership.org

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