Detroit Prep exists to provide a world-class, equitable education that will give all students a foundation of academic excellence and character development while fostering a love of learning and passion for exploring and fulfilling their extraordinary potential as learners, leaders, and world-changers.
Detroit Prep’s work will be urgent and will focus on holistically educating each student. Our work will be guided by these four principles:
Our work is active. We learn by doing and getting our hands dirty. Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating real community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions. Adults are active guides of student learning and active members of their professional learning community.
Our work is inclusive and equitable. Students and adults celebrate the diverse backgrounds of their peers. School leaders work to recruit and attract a population of families and faculty that represents different socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
Our work is excellent. Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking. School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior.
Our work is reflective. Students and adults reflect as they triumph and as they stumble. Students and adults offer direct and sensitive feedback to their peers. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.
co-founder & Head of School
Jen McMillan is honored to be the Head of School, alongside the best team ever! As second grade teacher at Detroit Achievement Academy, our flagship school, Jen led her students to 2.22 years in reading and the 99th percentile for growth nationally in both reading and math. Jen was named Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year in 2015. Born and raised in metro-Detroit, Jen spent seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching high school and middle school, and working in teacher support and development with Teach For America and The New Teacher Project. She earned her BA in Psychology from Harvard University in Massachusetts and her Masters in Education from Alliant International University in San Francisco. Jen loves the environment of constant learning at DP (for kids and adults!), nurtured by our partnership with EL Education--being with our crew brings so much JOY! In her free time, Jen likes running, reading, doing yoga, eating ice cream, and drinking lots of coffee. You can often find her doing all of these things with her husband while snuggling her two baby boys!
Assistant head of school
Sarah is really excited to begin 2019-20 school year as Assistant Head of School! Sarah is one of Detroit Prep's founding teachers. She earned her BS in Elementary Education in 2011 from Central Michigan University. She majored in English Language Arts and double minored in Child Development and Elementary Education. She has her Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. She has taught in kindergarten - 2nd grade classrooms for eight years. Sarah is excited to motivate students to become engaged and excited about their learning experience, and support teachers along the way.
Shanel believes in the power of education and enlightening young minds. After attending Howard University, she returned to her hometown of Detroit and founded Progressionista, a book club program for Detroit girls where they meet a woman professional at each meeting. She grew the program while working in public relations for the last five years and noticed how much passion she had for educating youth. Shanel is excited to transition into education as a Teaching Fellow at Detroit Prep and is ready to not only learn from all of the wisdom of teachers but share her gifts to inspire every child she encounters. She is also a graduate student in library services at Wayne State University, a true book worm, and a lover of the arts.
Kailey Basford is so excited to be teaching Kindergarten at Detroit Prep. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 (Go Green!). She earned a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration Language arts. In her free time Kailey likes to be outdoors, camping, running, and skiing. She also loves to travel and has been to 11 countries so far. She cannot wait to get into the classroom and meet her students.
2nd Grade teacher
Abbey is so excited to be joining Detroit Prep staff for her second year of teaching! She received her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Michigan State University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy from The University of Michigan. After graduating from Michigan State, Abbey found herself working in Detroit Public Schools as a Nutrition and Yoga educator for several years before pursuing an Americorp program called City Year. During her time with City Year she worked as an academic interventionist. In her free time, she loves to go to concerts, travel, practice yoga, ride her bike, or play with her dog Junior!
3rd Grade Teacher
Lauren earned my Bachelors of Science in Education from Central Michigan University where she majored in Social Studies and minored in Language Arts and Middle Level Education. She received her Masters in the Art of Education from Marygrove College where she focused on elementary reading and literacy. She started teaching in 2013 and has taught K-3 and 5-7 throughout her career. She taught in Detroit for three years before moving to Fort Wayne, IN where she taught for two years. She loves being back in Detroit and teaching at Detroit Prep! When Lauren is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. They enjoy riding bikes, camping, reading, and exploring new places.
Jillian is excited to be back for her second year as the art teacher at Detroit Prep! While this is her second year at DP, the 2019-2020 school year will be her seventh teaching in the city of Detroit. Prior to teaching she spent a lot of time in the city as Wayne State University student. She graduated from WSU summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. Outside of teaching, some of things that bring her immense joy are sewing, up-cycling, learning how to cook, reading on her patio, taking care of her garden and walking her dog with her fiancé at the end of the day.
Charla Davis is thrilled to be part of the DP team for a third year! She graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in Studio Art and double minored in Art History and Philosophy. Afterwards, she found herself as an Americorps member in Detroit schools and has been in love with the city ever since. Charla has worked within a myriad of settings to encourage and educate young people both academically and in the arts, and is excited to continue doing so at DP. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her partner, writing, drawing, being corny and singing with friends and family.
1st Grade Teacher
Jackie Gross is so excited to be returning to the Detroit Prep team for her 3rd year as a first grade teacher and member of the leadership team! She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 2009, majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in Language Arts, and her Master’s Degree in Urban Education from National Louis University in Illinois. Prior to working at DP, she lived and taught kindergarten in Chicago for five years. Outside of school, Jackie welcomed her new daughter to her family this past May and enjoys spending time with her and her husband outdoors, reading, relaxing and traveling. Jackie is thrilled to kick off her 10th year in education at Detroit Prep!
Kristin Hurley is delighted to be a member of the Detroit Prep Crew as a School Social Worker for the second year in a row! She earned a BA in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Social Work from Wayne State University. Prior to becoming a Social Worker, Kristin worked in college counseling, and college admissions and recruitment in Washington DC. She is so happy to call Detroit her new home! Kristin hopes to use her knowledge and experience to further Detroit Prep’s mission to help students meet their full potential. When she is not at Detroit Prep, you can find Kristin riding her bike, playing trivia, on the soccer field. She also enjoys singing and silly dance moves.
3rd grade teacher
Susan is a mother, teacher, good friend, and advocate in contributing to the work done to excel the hopes and dreams of Detroit Prep. She earned a B.A. from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana and upon graduation went to work for just over a decade at the Chicago Board of Trade in the industry of agricultural and financial futures. Throughout the suburbs of Fox Valley and rural grounds of Dixon, IL, she changed careers and became a teacher by completing my M.A.T. coursework at St. Louis University at night. Life brought her back to Michigan and professionally coupled with me into the Detroit Public Community School District system on the deep East side of Detroit. Detroit Prep’s exemplar to provide children with an equitable environment to learn, grow and prosper under the tutelage of our founding constituents is where she want to be.
1st grade teacher
Libby Maccani is thrilled to be a part of the Detroit Prep team for the 2019-20 school year. She is excited to be team teaching with Jackie Gross as a first grade teacher. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in Language Arts and Child Development, and her Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Prior to teaching at Detroit Prep, she lived in California and taught 2nd & 3rd grade for 8 years. Since being back in Michigan for the last 8 years, she has stayed home with her kids, Mia, Lucia and Matteo. Outside of school, Libby loves to spend time with her husband and kids. She loves to read, play tennis, run, and travel.
Dan Neil is excited to join Detroit Prep, teaching Kindergarten. He has 9 years of experience in a kindergarten classroom as well as 3 years teaching first grade. Dan received his bachelor’s degree from Olivet College in History and Political Science. He worked in graphic arts and insurance industries before realizing his true calling is to teach students in an urban setting. It was at that time that he attended the University of Detroit Mercy to obtain certification to teach elementary school, but he did not stop there. He continued his education at Wayne State University to also teach Driver Education. Dan was born and raised on Detroit’s eastside and attended Detroit Public School. He lives on a border of Detroit and the suburbs with his wife, Karin (an administrator at the University of Detroit Mercy) and his littermate cats, Jack and Daxter. Dan enjoys spending time with good friends, Tiger Baseball, listening to classic jazz, reading period detective novels, and watching classic movies.
2nd grade teacher
Ryen is thrilled to be joining the Detroit Prep Crew for the 2019-2020 school year. She graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2014 with a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies. After graduating, she joined TFA and has been teaching for the last five years. As she embarks on her 6th year teaching, she is excited to continue inspiring students to achieve anything they put their minds to. She also holds a Master’s of Education in Community Health Education from Wayne State University and is currently finishing up an Education Specialist Certificate in Administration and Supervision K-12. Ryen plans to transition into school leadership soon after she completes her studies. When she’s not working, Ryen like loves to workout, cook, travel, shop, and spend lots of time with her two dogs Jackson and Dakota. She also enjoys game nights with family and friends.
4th grade teacher
1st Grade Teacher
Jennifer Swanson loves our school community at Detroit Prep and feels lucky to spend her third year here as a First Grade Teacher with our incredible students, staff, and families! Jenn grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Philosophy. She moved to Detroit to teach in 2016 and studies Elementary Education at The University of Michigan. Jenn is passionate about igniting her students' natural curiosity and problem solving skills to engage them in challenging texts and math work-- and playing lots of chess! When she's not teaching, you can find Jenn playing with her cats, hitting the gym, or performing improv.
Anna is thrilled to be joining the Detroit Prep team this year as a Teach For America 2019 corps member! She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona where she studied Management Information Systems and Spanish. Anna has experience working with children and adults with special needs and looks forward to implementing this knowledge into her work as a kindergarten teacher. In her spare time, Anna can be found running, reading, spending time with people she loves, or hugging a cactus!
special education teacher
Lewis Butler earned his BS in Economics from Hillsdale College, and his MA in Economics from George Mason University while working at the Mercatus Center, a DC based think tank. While there he worked on various topics, including, small business access to capital, midnight regulations, and governmental transparency. He has done political consulting and is currently teaching economics at Hillsdale College. Outside of economics, he enjoys running, tamales, and consumer technology.
Jared Stasik is Vice President at Detroit Venture Partners, an investment firm focused on growing high-tech startup companies in Detroit. Prior to DVP, Jared spent five years as a consultant at ZS Associates, a leading global consulting firm in sales and marketing strategy. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, graduating with high honors and receiving the distinction of Most Outstanding Graduate Instructor. He completed his Bachelor’s degree from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Sarah Beaubien graduated magna cum laude from Siena Heights University with a BA in English Communications, and earned her law degree by graduating cum laude from the University of Toledo College of Law. After completing law school, Sarah was admitted to the bar in Ohio and Michigan. Sarah is currently an associate and Rohrbachers, Cron, Manahan, Trimble & Zimmerman Co. L.P.A. in Toledo, Ohio, where she focuses her practice on civil defense and business litigation matters. In her spare time, she is the varsity softball coach at St. Mary Catholic Central in Monroe, Michigan, and is active in the Toledo Bar Association.
GREGORY DEMARS, CFA
Gregory DeMars, CFA is the Chief Financial Officer of PrizeLogic, a digital partner for results-driven incentivized consumer engagement programs located in Southfield. Prior to PrizeLogic, Greg was the Senior Vice President of Finance of Credibly, an emerging FinTech small business lender located in Troy. He earned an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a BS from the University of Dayton. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Meghan Moynihan is currently pursuing her doctorate in nutritional science from University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Meghan managed the expansion of federal child nutrition programs with Hunger Free Colorado in Denver. She also volunteered with Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston’s office where education reform was top priority. While food access is Meghan’s passion, her experience as a teacher in California with Teach for America grounds her to the power of education. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and enjoys cheese, camping, and attempting to play guitar.
Lenora Hanks was born and raised in the Detroit area and attended the University of Michigan, earning degrees in French and Political Science. She went on to an 11 year career in Democratic politics, working on both of President Barack Obama's presidential campaigns, and helping to lead Hillary Clinton's 2016 primary campaign as as an early staffer in Iowa. Following the 2016 campaign, she became the COO and Finance Director of Serve America PAC, a political organization that helped recruit leaders with national service and military backgrounds to run for office in 2018, and supported their campaigns strategically and financially. She recently left politics to join her family business - The Associated Management Company, which was founded by her grandfather on the East Side of Detroit in 1970 with a goal of providing quality affordable housing to the people of Metro Detroit. Aside from politics and real estate, Lenora is passionate about 90's hip hop and R&B and every dog she's ever encountered.