The Co-op School’s Board of Trustees governs the school and is responsible for long-term vision and planning. Each Board member leads a committee on which community members serve. The committees are responsible for the development, fundraising, and maintenance of the school, as well as for upholding our school values, including our renewed commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Lynne Davis Adeyemi (she/her/hers)
Lynne Davis Adeyemi is a seasoned communications strategist, having held positions within a number of global media organizations – including Fox Broadcasting Company, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting. She is an expert in positioning entertainment brands by developing strategic brand-building and business-driving campaigns that generate exposure across all media platforms. For the past 14 years, Lynne has served as a key strategist on all brand communications and talent-related matters for Discovery, Inc.’s Lifestyle brands and their various businesses. She holds a BA in English from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in Media Administration from American University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. Lynne currently resides in Clinton Hill with her husband, Sam, and their two children, Taryn and Chad. They have been members of the Co-op community since 2018.
Kathleen Hyppolite (she/her/hers)
Board Vice President
Kathleen Hyppolite is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn and raised in Brooklyn and Queens. She is a seasoned arts administrator, with over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. Kathleen’s expertise is in event fundraising and management and she has worked for New York’s most venerable organizations and institutions, be it in-house or as a consultant.
Kathleen has been a member of The Co-op School community since 2017, joining the Board that same year. She serves as Co-Chair of the Fundraising and Development Committee and is also a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She earned a Bachelor degree in French from Boston College and has a son at The Co-op School. She lives in Bed-Stuy with her partner Drew, whose children also attended The Co-op School.
Victoria Petro-Conroy (she/her/hers)
Victoria Petro-Conroy has been a Prop Stylist and Set Designer for print publications for the last 15+ years. She travels extensively for her work and is inspired by the collaborative process of creating beautiful imagery. Victoria grew up in San Diego, California and attended Catholic schools throughout her childhood. Determined to avoid student loan debt while figuring out her passion in life, she attended Grossmont Community College, where she found her love for photography and filmmaking. She finished her schooling at San Francisco State University, receiving a B.A. in Cinema with an emphasis in Filmmaking. She moved to Brooklyn in the spring of 2000. Victoria has always enjoyed volunteering in her community. She was a Candy Striper throughout high school and while in NYC, became a Citizen Street Tree Pruner as well as an organizer of neighborhood block parties. She joined the board in December of 2016 to help design the new building and is currently Chair of the Finance Committee and sits on the Strategic Planning and Buildings/Facilities committees. She joined The Co-op School community in 2012 and lives in Bed-Stuy with her husband John and two children.
Elizabeth Knauer (she/her/hers)
Elizabeth is an environmental attorney in private practice. She is a principal at Sive, Paget & Riesel, a boutique environmental and energy law firm where she has worked for over two decades. Her practice focuses on environmental impact review and litigation. Elizabeth grew up in Columbia, Maryland and is a graduate of Fordham University (B.A. in comparative literature) and Harvard Law School. Elizabeth lives in Crown Heights with Co-op students Sorley (6th grade) and Saskia (Kindergarten), her husband Brian, and their dog Aggie. They have been members of the Co-op community since 2014, when Sorley started Kindergarten. Elizabeth joined the Board of Trustees in January 2016. She currently serves on the Board’s Finance, Strategic Planning, and Building/Facility Committees.
Hilary Cramer Robinson (she/her/hers)
Hilary Cramer Robinson has worked in the nonprofit sector for fifteen years. As the Director of Major Gifts for JCCA, one of the largest child welfare organizations in New York, Hilary oversees the agency’s individual giving program, as well as events, donor cultivation, and development. Hilary holds a BA in Educational Studies and Sociology from Trinity College and a MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School. She hopes to contribute to the Fundraising Committee and other group efforts during her first year on the Board. She lives in Bed-Stuy with her husband Mike, daughter (a Dragonfly), and toddler son.
Sean Farber (he/him/his)
Sean Farber is a security engineer for an established network and information security firm, operating in the United States and Europe. Sean designs cloud, on-site, and hybrid network infrastructure, and develops automated threat detection and mitigation solutions. His clientele includes major retailers, hospitals, universities, and municipal government agencies. Sean has previously served as general manager for food cooperatives employing 70+ employees. During his cooperative tenure, Sean worked with Boards of Directors to implement a policy governance model. Sean was born in Brooklyn and he grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. Sean lives in Crown Heights with his wife, Valerie, and their daughter, Amelia, a third-grade student at The Co-op School. They have been part of the school community since 2017.
Octavia Figueroa (she/her/hers)
Octavia is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. She is the product of an independent school education and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Religious Studies. She is a Vice President at BNY Mellon and has been a product manager in financial services for the past nine years, focusing on providing cash management solutions to other financial institutions. This is her first year on the Board and she is currently an active member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, as well as the Strategic Planning Committee. She and her husband, Eric, live in Bed-Stuy and are the proud parents of Eric III (a LadyBug) who has been a part of The Co-op School for the past two years.
Ann Fraioli (she/her/hers)
Ann Fraioli has 20 years of public and non-profit education experience in New York City. Ann is currently the Director of Education at Billion Oyster Project, located on Governors Island. She moved to NYC in 1996 to attend Barnard College. After graduating from Barnard with a B.A. majoring in environmental history and minoring in education, Ann started teaching at P.S. 126, a public middle school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Later, Ann earned an M. Ed. in educational leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. Ann was a founding teacher of New York Harbor School in 2003, where she taught a field science class to freshmen for ten years, before joining BOP in 2014 to write curriculum and train middle school teachers. In 2017, Ann transitioned to the role of Director of Education. Ann is a tall ship sailor, a Coast Guard licensed captain and a mother of two. Ann joined the Co-op community in 2016.
Kristina Hoge (she/her/hers)
Kristina has 20+ years of non-profit management and fundraising experience. She has worked for over a decade at The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival, one of the world’s leading arts and cultural institutions. In her current position as Senior Director of Development, she oversees all fundraising, strategic planning, board governance and operational development. Kristina hopes to use her experience and time to help secure the future of The Co-op School for years to come. On the board she is the Co-chair of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She and her husband Jake live in Bed-Stuy and are proud parents of two boys at the school (First grade, Katydid). Her family has been part of The Co-op community since 2017.
Steve Jean-Baptiste (he/him/his)
Steve was born and raised in East Flatbush Brooklyn by Haitian immigrant parents. He went to High school in Park Slope and attended Long Island University (downtown Brooklyn) where he studied Business Administration & Finance. Steve spent several years in sales & customer service before switching over to the TV/Film industry eventually becoming an Assistant Director. He lived in Clinton Hill for six years before moving to Bed-Stuy a few years ago with his wife Nyanza, his son Coltrane & dog Riley. They have been members of The Co-op School community since 2017 when Coltrane started pre-school (he is now in First grade). This is Steve’s first year on the Board and he is a member of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and the Neighborhood Outreach Committee.
Manuela Mozo (she/her/hers)
Manuela has 20+ years of experience working in the contemporary art and culture sector. In her various roles she cultivated and managed relationships with artists, curators, collectors, institutions, and nonprofit organizations, while producing exhibitions and fostering community partnerships. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a MA in Contemporary Art Theory and Cultural Studies from NYU. This is her first year on the board, and Manuela is the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and sits on both the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and Neighborhood Outreach Committee. She and her partner Derrick have lived in Crown Heights since 2012, and their daughter Saia has been at The Co-op School since 2013 and is currently in Seventh grade.
Emily Rodriguez Ross (she/her/hers)
Emily Rodriguez Ross has been an attorney for the past 12 years. Emily was raised in Brooklyn, NY by her Puerto Rican father and Honduran mother. She received a full scholarship to attend the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania for two years and graduated magna cum laude from CUNY’s Bernard Baruch College with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication. Emily has over ten years of professional experience as a Budget Analyst working for Guardian Life Insurance and Columbia University’s Office of Management and Budget. She holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Rutgers School of Law – Newark. While in law school Emily co-founded the Street Law program which is a community outreach program where law students volunteer in Newark public schools facilitating discussions about legal issues with high school students. Emily began her legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department, Family Court Division. There, she worked as a juvenile prosecutor where she investigated crimes committed by children between the ages of 7 and 15 years old in Brooklyn, NY. After being promoted to Senior Counsel and Team Leader of the Juvenile Rehabilitation and Community Safety Team in the Bronx Office, Emily led a team that handled all the juvenile crime in the 44th precinct. This role allowed her team to connect with all the stakeholders in the precinct community with the goal of reducing juvenile recidivism. Currently, she works in the Workers’ Compensation Division where she represents the City’s interest in claims brought by injured workers. On the board, she is the Chair of the Community Outreach Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. She, her husband Anthony and their daughter Gabriela “Gaby” live in Clinton Hill. They have been a part of the Co-op community since 2018.
Andy Shapiro (he/him/his)
Andy Shapiro is a Managing Director at PJT Partners and has worked in the financial services industry for 20 years, including roles at Credit Suisse, Sandler O’Neill and Citi. He advises companies in the financial services and financial technology industries. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Andy has a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the University of Virginia. Along with his wife Anna and two children Noah (K Lions) and Sophie (3s Katydids), Andy has been a member of the Co-op community since 2017 and a resident of Bed-Stuy since 2014.
Sara Siddappa (she/her/hers)
Sara Siddappa is Assistant Principal for the Cypress Hills Community School, the only school-wide dual language program serving students 3K-8 in District 19. An innovative model that was started by a BIPOC contingent of parents, Sara joined the faculty in 2002 and was instrumental in growing the middle school division, which prioritizes admissions for Spanish-speaking students new to the country. As a New York City Teaching Fellow she honed her craft co-teaching grades 5-6 before moving into a shortage area, dual language math grades 7-8. She transitioned to the role of instructional coach centering the social-emotional development of young-adolescent immigrants. In her current role, Sara is responsible for strategic planning and partnerships, teacher development, program design and operations. She is the proud daughter of an immigrant, grew up in a bilingual household in eight states and four countries. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Michigan, a M.S. Ed from Brooklyn College, and an Ed. M. in Education Administration from Bank Street Graduate School of Education. Sara is Co-chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and sits on the Strategic Planning Committee. She and her husband Madhu live in Bed-Stuy with their child Joaquín. Their family has been part of The Co-op School since 2018.
Melba Nicholson Sullivan (she/her/hers)
Dr. Melba Nicholson Sullivan is CEO/Founder of Freedom Flow Solutions, LLC and Sage Psychological Services, PLLC, which focus on reducing stress and building resilience at home, at work, and in community. As a licensed clinical-community psychologist, Executive Coach, and vocalist, she uses theater arts, contemplative practice and body-based approaches to navigate systemic oppression while promoting resilience and liberation. Melba grew up as one of three Black children in her graduating class of 300 in Deerfield, IL. She earned her BS in Psychology from Howard University and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed postdoctoral studies in child and family trauma and social policy at Duke University, as well as global mental health at Harvard Medical School/Instituto Superiore di Sanita’. Prior to creating her own companies, Melba worked for more than 20 years in nonprofit leadership and as clinical faculty at Northwestern University, Bellevue Hospital Center, NYU School of Medicine, and Ackerman Institute for the Family. She created a university counseling center at American University of Nigeria, in Yola, Nigeria. Melba is Co-Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and sits on the Strategic Planning Committee. She, her husband Jamal, and their son Kai, live in Bed-Stuy. They joined the Co-op community in 2019.
All members of The Co-op School—students, families, and staff—contribute to the development of our unique culture and participate in improving our community and beyond. Read more about The Co-op Commitment here. The elected members of the Board participate in committees to advance the needs of the school and the goals of our greater community.
Building & Grounds Committee
Members: Victoria Petro-Conroy, Elizabeth Knauer
The building and grounds committee oversees all activities associated with the operation, maintenance, safety and security of all buildings, grounds, furnishings and equipment owned by the school – except items expressly the responsibility of another committee. As needed, the committee assists the Head of School on matters relating to the building, facilities, and grounds.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Members: Sara Siddappa, Kathleen Hyppolite, Steve Jean Baptiste, Melba Sullivan, Octavia Figueroa, Kristina Hoge, Manuela Mozo
This committee collaborates with stakeholders across the Co-op School community to promote a diverse and inclusive community that engages equitable processes across admissions, hiring, curricular development, and support for diverse learners, families, and employees. In order to be successful and effective in this endeavor, this committee must reflect the diversity of the school community. This committee aims to equip the Co-Op School and all stakeholders with the means to lean into courageous conversations and actions that support the development of the school’s anti-racist/anti-oppressive strategies and promote its liberation practices.
Fundraising & Development Committee
Members: Kathleen Hyppolite, Kristina Hoge, Hilary Cramer Robinson
The role of the fundraising/development committee is to oversee the school’s overall development plan and fundraising to include organizing, monitoring, and evaluating efforts by the Board to develop philanthropic revenue that ensures the school’s financial ability to carry out its mission
Neighborhood Outreach Committee
Members: Emily Rodriguez, Manuela Mozo, Steve Jean Baptiste
Members of the neighborhood outreach committee are stewards of the Co-op School, responsible for fostering goodwill within the surrounding Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Its mission is to forge relationships and collaborate with local organizations as well as council and district leaders in an effort to develop meaningful partnerships that support the community while honoring the school’s mission and core values.
Strategic Planning Committee
Members: Sara Siddappa, Elizabeth Knauer, Victoria Petro-Conroy, Octavia Figueroa, Ann Fraioli, Manuela Mozo
The role of the strategic planning committee is to consider where the school is currently, to boldly envision where we want the school to be in the next three to five years and to create a realizable plan for achieving those goals. The planning process also includes identifying the school’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Trustee & Governance Committee
Members: Sean Farber, Lynne Davis Adeyemi, Ann Fraioli, Melba Sullivan
The primary responsibilities of the trustee and governance committee are to determine the membership of the Board and measure the quality of performance of the Board as a whole and of individual Board members. It assures that the Board as a whole has the skills and experience necessary to steward the institution and ensures that each Trustee carries out his or her responsibilities as specified.