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Board & Staff

Board of Trustees

Craig Battle, Founder
Tucker Capital
Gregory Little, Esq.
ELC Chief Trial Counsel
Ellen Frede, Ph.D., Senior Co-Director
National Institute for Early Education Research
David Long, Esq.
Fred Frelow
Frelow & Associates
Rebecca Spar, Esq.
Special Education Attorney
Vincent Giordano, Former Executive Director
New Jersey Education Association
Justice Gary Stein
Pashman Stein

Janel George, Esq.                                          Georgetown University Law Center

Clifford G. Stewart, Esq.
The Law Office of C. Gregory Stewart
Lindsey Heck, Esq.
Department of Justice
Steve Swetsky, Executive Director
New Jersey Education Association


David Sciarra, Esq.
Executive Director

David Sciarra oversees and directs ELC programs and activities. A practicing civil rights lawyer since 1978, he has litigated a wide range of cases involving socioeconomic rights, affordable housing, shelter for the homeless, and welfare rights. Read More

Since 1996, David has litigated to enforce access for low-income and minority children to an equal and adequate education under state and federal law and has served as counsel to the plaintiff students in New Jersey’s landmark Abbott v. Burke case. He also conducts research, writes, and lectures on education law and policy in such areas as school finance, early education and school reform. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated magna cum laude in 1978 from Temple University School of Law.


Elizabeth Athos, Esq.
Senior Attorney

Elizabeth Athos’ law practice focuses on issues related to special education, residency, school discipline, bullying, and New Jersey school funding. Read More

Elizabeth joined ELC in 1997, after working as a Legal Services attorney in New Jersey. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 1990, she was awarded the Ronald B. Atlas Outstanding Attorney Award by Legal Services of New Jersey, and in 2014, she received the CAP Legal Advocate Award from New Jersey Child Assault Prevention.


Nicole Ciullo
Research & Policy Associate

Nicole Ciullo assists with policy research and communications. She also manages day-to-day administrative operations and oversees ELC's fundraising efforts and annual events. Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Nicole served as the Fundraising & Events Intern at One Simple Wish and as the Communication & Development Intern at Habitat for Humanity of Trenton. Nicole received a B.A., cum laude, in Spanish and Sociology from The College of New Jersey, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark.


Jennifer Doeren
Director, Partnership for Equity & Education Rights (PEER)

Jennifer directs PEER, a project of ELC and a national network of lawyers and organizers fighting for education equity in their states. Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Jennifer worked as a senior program officer for policy with Elev8, a national community schools initiative. She has also worked in human rights with the Anti-Defamation League and has advocated on behalf of vulnerable communities both in the United States and internationally with UJA-Federation and other partners. Jennifer has also been involved in political campaigns, including as a staff member of the Democratic Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C.


Danielle Farrie, Ph.D.
Research Director

Danielle Farrie maintains an extensive education database and conducts analysis to support litigation and public policy for ELC and partner organizations. Read More

Before joining ELC, Danielle conducted research in the field of urban education on such topics as school choice, racial and economic segregation, and reactions to racial integration, and coauthored peer reviewed articles on parental involvement among low-income families. Danielle has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Temple University.


Diane Gayoso

Diane Gayoso is ELC's receptionist. She previously worked at 360 Staffing as a recruiter. She is a member of Newark's Science Park High School PTSA.


Stan Karp
Director, Secondary Education Reform Project

Stan Karp works to monitor and support implementation of effective middle and high school reform in New Jersey’s urban districts and to engage a broad group of stakeholders, policymakers and the public in efforts to reduce dropout rates, increase graduation and college participation rates, and narrow gaps in educational achievement and opportunity. Read More

Stan comes to ELC from his staff position in Paterson, New Jersey, where he taught English and journalism for 30 years. Stan is also an editor of the school reform journal Rethinking Schools and has published widely on school reform and educational policy.


Ruby Kish
Skadden Fellow

Ruby Kish works to address the education rights of justice-involved youth through direct representation. Her practice focuses on issues of special education, school discipline and educational rights of incarcerated youth.  Read More

Prior to law school, Ruby worked as a special education advocate as well as for the Town of Secaucus where she created inclusive recreation programs for both adults and children with disabilities. Ruby received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Maryland. She graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers School of Law - Newark in 2020, receiving the Eli Jarmel Memorial Prize for demonstrating the greatest interest and proficiency in public interest law.


Sharon Krengel
Policy & Outreach Director

Sharon Krengel oversees communications and legislative, press and community outreach for ELC. She also coordinates the statewide education advocacy network, Our Children/Our Schools. Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Sharon served as Director of the Coalition to Preserve Public Education, an organization of NJ public school districts seeking to change the state's charter school funding law. She also worked as a freelance journalist and an editorial and communications consultant to non-profit organizations and for-profit firms.


Wendy Lecker, Esq.
Senior Attorney

Wendy Lecker oversees ELC's work in New York. Read More

Wendy was a staff attorney at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) in New York. She has also worked as a consultant in education finance and policy for The Rural School and Community Trust and Connecticut Voices for Children. She is currently an education columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Before joining CFE, Wendy was a staff attorney at both the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, in the Bronx, and at My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence agency in White Plains. She also served as the Assistant Legal Director and House Counsel for the American Jewish Committee. Wendy has a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University. She is the former president of the Stamford Parent Teacher Council.


Jessica Levin, Esq.

Senior Attorney

Jessica Levin is the Director of Public Funds Public Schools, a national campaign to ensure that all public funds are used to support public schools. She joined ELC as a Skadden Fellow focusing on English Language Learner students.   Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University, an M.Phil. in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.


Gregory Little, Esq.

Chief Trial Counsel

Greg Little leads ELC’s efforts to enforce the education rights of public school children through legal advocacy and litigation throughout the nation.   Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Greg was a partner at the international law firm, White & Case. During his 35-year career as a trial lawyer he served as lead counsel in more than 50 trials in state and federal courts and achieved favorable outcomes in some of the most high profile commercial disputes in the country. At White & Case, he coordinated the firm's substantial pro bono commitment to ELC. He has also served on the ELC Board of Trustees since 2013. Greg received his J.D. from University of Tennessee College of Law and his B.A. from Drew University.


Theresa Luhm, Esq.

Managing Director

Theresa Luhm is an Attorney and the Managing Director of the Education Law Center.  Her work is focused on school funding equity, safe and adequate school facilities and accountability, and she is part of the ELC legal team responsible for representing the interests of the 300,000 plaintiff school children in the Abbott v. Burke litigation.

Read More

Theresa has a B.A. with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Rutgers-Newark School of Law. Prior to joining ELC, she worked as a research analyst at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.


Mary McKillip, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher

Mary McKillip leads ELC’s research examining the fairness of state funding systems through analyses of resource equity within states. Read More

Prior to joining the Education Law Center in 2018, Dr. McKillip managed school discipline and health survey data collection and analyses at the New Jersey Department of Education and conducted research on the high school to college transition at the College Board. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois and a M.Ed from Harvard University.


Rebecca Raftery

Harvard Public Service Venture Fund Fellow

Rebecca Raftery works to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in Newark, New Jersey using a combination of direct representation, policy advocacy, and community education. Her advocacy focuses on students of color and students with disabilities, who are disproportionately impacted by exclusionary discipline practices. Read More

Before attending law school, Rebecca was a high school special education teacher in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Rebecca received an A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.Ed. from Boston University, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School


Aimee Roche
Intake Coordinator

Aimee Roche works directly with parents and guardians who contact ELC for legal assistance. Read More

Prior to joining ELC, Aimee worked as a Community Organizer at La Casa de Don Pedro, where she was also responsible for implementing outreach and recruitment for the Abbott preschool program. Her efforts resulted in the enrollment of 2,182 preschoolers into Abbott Preschool programs in Essex County in 2002-2003.


Jitendra Vakani

Jitendra Vakani oversees accounting, financial operations, and retirement and insurance plans at ELC. Read More

Jitendra has a B.A. and a Master’s degree in Accounting & Auditing from India.