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School Leaders

Roxbury Prep Mission Hill Campus Leaders

Sarah Hempleman
Ms. Hempleman started her career teaching 7th and 8th grade at Harlem Academy, a New York City middle school. During this time, she studied at New York University where she received her master's in education. Sarah joined Uncommon in 2013 at Roxbury Prep Dorchester Campus as a 5th grade reading teacher.  Since then, she has served in a variety of roles including Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, 5th-8th ELA Teacher, Instructional Leader, and Instructional Fellow.

Rhett Smith
Director of Operations
Before joining RPC as the Director of Operations, Mr. Smith was a program director at a summer camp with the YMCA in Raleigh, NC. He also brings experience as an analyst in the financial sector. Mr. Smith holds a B.A. in Economics from Sewanee University of the South and an M.B.A from Georgetown University.



Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone Campus Leaders

Nikhil Bhatia
As a Teach for America corps member in Chicago, Mr. Bhatia taught high school science before moving to Boston and joining Roxbury Prep. When he joined RPLS, he was a teacher, instructional coach, and grade level chair before stepping into a school leadership role. Mr. Bhatia holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Political Science and also completed a school leadership program at the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Val Joell

Ms. Joell is from Philadelphia, PA.  Before joining Uncommon Schools, she was a founding Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at UP Academy Kennedy in Springfield, MA. Prior to that, she taught 7th grade math at UP Academy Boston. In her free time, she loves going to ballet and modern dance classes, reading, and dabbling in running. Ms. Joell graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Urban Studies and Africana Studies, and earned her masters in effective teaching from the Sposato Graduate School of Education. Ms. Joell is passionate about creating joyful, rigorous learning environments in which all children, regardless of background, develop their identifies as deep thinkers and powerful problem solvers who achieve at high levels on the pathway to college and beyond.

Jon Beck
Director of Operations
Mr. Beck is the Director of Operations at Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone and has been since the fall of 2016. Prior to his time at RPLS, Mr. Beck was a 6th grade math teacher at Roxbury Prep's Mission Hill Campus. He also served as the school's Math Department Facilitator, Instructional Leader, Communities and Activities Coordinator, and Co-Director of Summer School. Before he joined Roxbury Prep, Mr. Beck worked for Explo, a non-profit organization that runs academic summer programs. Mr. Beck holds a B.A. in Politics from Ithaca College and an M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.


Roxbury Prep Dorchester Campus Leaders

Dan Cosgrove
Before coming to Roxbury Prep, Mr. Cosgrove was a teacher and instructional coach at Uncommon Schools Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. He joined LPBS as a Teach for America corps member and taught grades 3-4 before becoming an instructional coach for science and history teachers. He then became Dean of Students for LPBS’ Middle Academy. Mr. Cosgrove earned a B.A. from Trinity College, a Master’s in Education from the  Relay Graduate School of Education, and completed the Relay GSE National Principals’ Fellowship.

John Verrilli
Director of Operations
Before joining Roxbury Prep, Mr. Verrilli worked for nearly three decades in broadcast news, serving as News Director at two CBS stations, KDKA in Pittsburgh and WBZ-TV in Boston. He is excited to bring his management experience to the Operations Team at RPDC and is dedicated to closing the achievement gap for students in Boston. Mr. Verrilli holds a B.A. in History from Lafayette College.



Roxbury Prep High School Campus Leaders

Shradha M. Patel
Ms. Patel previously served as Principal and Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone. Prior to joining RPHS, she was the Middle Academy Director at Uncommon Schools Excellence Boys Charter School in Brooklyn. Before leading Excellence Boys, she served as the 8th Grade History Teacher, Enrichment Coordinator, and Graduate Services Coordinator for six years at Roxbury Prep’s Mission Hill campus. Ms. Patel holds a B.S. in Education from Brown University and an M.A. in History from Tufts University.

Eliza Jackson
Co-Director of Operations
Before joining Roxbury Prep, Ms. Jackson spent time working in Financial Services at Bloomberg in NYC. Almost six years ago, she transitioned to LPOH (an Uncommon Elementary School) in Brooklyn to teach 4th grade. After moving to Boston, she worked as the Director of Special Projects of RPHS before transitioning into the Director of Operations role at RPHS. She is a graduate of Connecticut College with a BA in English and of Columbia University Teachers College with an MA in Curriculum Development and Teaching.