Our Fugees Family of educators, administrators, and professionals are all champions of our mission of Leveling the Playing Field for young refugees. Across multiple campuses and a network office, they ensure that every student who commits to the Fugees Academy Creed receives every tool they need to achieve success. Use the buttons above to learn more about our educators, administrators, and support staff.
LUMA MUFLEH, CEO & Coach
Luma Mufleh is the inspirational CEO and Founding Director of Fugees Family, Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses the power of soccer, education, and community to empower refugee children to successfully integrate into the United States. Luma is a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero whose story has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Forbes and more. According to Tom Brokaw, the Fugees are “a perfect example of what this nation is supposed to be about, which is to provide a refuge for the refugees.”
The Fugees’ story began in 2004 when Luma took a wrong turn while driving through the town of Clarkston, Georgia and noticed a group of boys playing soccer in the street. She learned that these children were refugees from war-torn countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan. That summer, Luma made fliers announcing tryouts for the Fugees soccer team. In the years that followed, the soccer team grew into something much larger — a school, a tutoring program, a summer camp, a college prep program, and, most importantly, a community and support network. The Fugees were chronicled in the bestselling book “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John.
A lifelong social entrepreneur, Luma has created several programs and initiatives that have gainfully employed, educated and empowered refugees and immigrants in her community and beyond, with the Fugees Academy serving as a national model for refugee education. While only 20 percent of refugee students graduate from high school in Georgia’s DeKalb County, the Fugees Academy has a 90 percent graduation rate. These types of results helped earn Luma the 2016 Cournelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Manhattan Institute.
A Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent, Luma received her U.S. citizenship in 2011. Her story – and the story of the Fugees – illustrates both the American dream and the very real challenges of integration and discrimination that so many face today. Luma received her B.A. in Anthropology from Smith College and recently completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
EMILY FUTRANSKY, Chief Academic Officer
Emily Futransky is the Chief Academic Officer for Fugees Family, Inc. Since 2011, Emily has worked with Fugees students and staff in roles ranging from volunteer, teacher, curriculum consultant, professional development coach, and mentor. Emily served as accreditation coordinator during the 2012-13 school year, leading the organization in a rigorous self-study process, which ultimately led to Fugees Academy earning its designation as a SAIS and AdvancED-accredited independent school. Prior to joining Fugees Academy, Emily was the founding Assistant Upper School Head at the Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn, New York, where she previously taught students with language-based learning disabilities for eleven years. Her belief in the importance of access to excellent education for all children is at the heart of her work, and she is thrilled to focus her energies on the Fugees Academy network. She holds a BA in Government from Smith College and a M.Ed. in general and special education from Bank Street College of Education.
TIFFANY BEVERLY, Director of School Leaders
Tiffany Beverly is the Director of School Leaders and is based in Columbus, Ohio. Tiffany earned a B.A. in Psychology from City University of New York and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Georgia State University. She served as a Teach for America Corps’ Member in Miami, FL. where she taught for two years. Tiffany joined Fugees Academy as a teacher in 2012, served as the Vice Principal of Fugees Academy from 2016-2018, and the Principal for the 2019 school year.
MALCOLM CREAGER, Accounting Manager
Malcolm “Mac” Creager is the Accounting Manager of Fugees Family, Inc. Mac attended Otterbein University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant by the State of Ohio. He gained experience in public accounting as an auditor and tax preparer for a regional CPA firm in Columbus, Ohio. Mac also served as a Corporate Tax Auditor for the City of Columbus and has over 18 years’ experience working as the CFO of social service non-profit agencies in the central Ohio area. He is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, a graduate of The Community Action Leadership Academy, and a regular contributor to the Licking County Humane Society.
JANEYA HISLE, VP of Operations
Janeya has over 20 years of experience in business services, operations and management of independent schools and non-profit organizations. She has worked extensively in the Pennsylvania charter school community and has experience in virtually every function of school operations - from budgeting and risk management to food service and lesson planning.
She received a B.S. in Communication Sciences from Howard University and an MBA with a dual concentration in Entrepreneurship and Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University.
Janeya is a certified Project Management Professional, a member of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and an active volunteer for several youth organizations. Her lifelong mission is to help build and operate highly effective, joyful places of learning where children and families are respected and empowered.
MAGGIE MITCHELL SALEM, VP of External Relations
From 1990-2, Maggie lived with a Syrian family in Damascus as a Fulbright scholar. That experience had a profound impact on her life and near-30-year career. As Vice President of External Relations for Fugees Family, she advances our mission through strategic marketing and communications as well as fundraising and development. Most recently, Maggie was Press Secretary and Director of Communications & Marketing at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) in Baltimore, Maryland. From 2009-2019, she served as Executive Director of Qatar Foundation International (QFI), bringing together high school students from the Americas and the Middle East, facilitating interactions across geographic and social boundaries whether in person or virtually. Previously she was MENA Regional Director at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with programs in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen. She led the Communications and External Relations Department at the Middle East Institute.
Prior to MEI, Maggie was a Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State where she served as a Staff Assistant to Ambassador Martin Indyk at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel; and, as a Special Assistant to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Psychology. She is on the board of Nudge Lebanon, which advances behavioral economics theory and best practice in the Middle East.
HALEY ANICETA ELIGIO, Development and Communications Manager
Haley Aniceta Eligio is the Development and Communications Manager for Fugees Family, Inc. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Haley earned her B.A. in Psychology from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio with minors in both Anthropology and Music. Prior to joining the Fugees Family, Haley worked in Development, Events, and Sales at Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, a rural non-profit dedicated to visual arts education on Maui.
CORINA SANCHEZ, Operations Manager
Corina Sanchez is the Operations Manager at Fugees Family. Corina previously served as the Program Coordinator/AmeriCorps Site Supervisor for the organization. Corina holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
RAPHAEL MULEMBA, School Leader
Raphael Mulemba is a School Leader of the Fugees Academy in Clarkston. Born in D.R.Congo, he fled the 1996 war in Congo to a camp called Nyarugusu in Tanzania. He lived there for 12 years before his family was resettled in the United States in 2008. He joined the Fugees (soccer team) in 2009 as a player and then assisted as a coach and a summer intern. He speaks Four Eastern African country languages; Kibembe, Tchiluba, Kifuliro, and Swahili. Prior to coming back to Fugees, he served as a Processing Coordinator at TPI Composites and also as Swahili interpreter for Lutheran Services Resettlement Agency and Des Moines Public Schools in Iowa.
BETH LUCAS, School Leader
Beth Lucas is a School Leader at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. She previously taught Middle School English for 2 years at the school. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and English from Vanderbilt University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Instruction & Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. Beth began her teaching career in 1993 working with inner-city youth in Memphis and has since taught in a variety of settings all around the country. Her previous job before coming to work at Fugees was working with ELL students on the US-Mexican border.
JAY ATKINS, Social Studies
Jay Atkins teaches Social Studies at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. Before coming to the Fugees Academy, Jay taught classes in anthropology at Perimeter College at Georgia State University from 2012 to 2018. He holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the New School for Social Research and a bachelor’s in anthropology from Georgia State University. As an instructor, Jay is passionate about helping students develop a critical understanding of
the modern world and the historical processes that created it.
KENDALL BARKSDALE, College and Career Counselor
Kendall Barksdale is the College and Career Counselor at Fugees Academy. She is a proud Harlem, New Yorker who is passionate about poetry and inspiring others to become a better version of themselves each day. Kendall earned her Bachelors of Arts in English from Clark Atlanta University and her Master’s Degree in Education from Fordham University. Prior to joining Fugees Academy, Kendall taught Middle School English for four years to ELL and Non-ELL students of The Bronx, New York.
KAVITA CHAUDHARY, Science
Kavita Chaudhary teaches Science at the Fugees Academy. in Clarkston, GA. Kavita holds B.S. in Science & Math and completed her M.S. with Physics as major from Agra University at Agra, India. Just after finishing her graduation she started as a High School Science and Math teacher and has more than six years of teaching science and math to high school students. In addition to teaching, she is an expert in planning and implementing curriculum based on principles of science. She has hands-on experience in creating of engaging lessons in order to develop critical thinking skills.
WILLIAM CHESTER, Math
William Chester teaches middle and high school Mathematics at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. A 21-year veteran of the United States Navy, William earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis in 2002. He was employed as a Project Engineer for DuPont Industries until the Spring of 2005 when he transitioned to the education sector as a Middle School Mathematics teacher. William relocated to Atlanta in 2007 and began teaching in the Clayton County School system where he remained until 2014. William received a Master’s degree in Teaching from National University in 2011 and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Education.
JEREMY COLLINS, English
Jeremy Collins teaches English at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. Jeremy has taught English at the collegiate and high school levels for over ten years. Working with first-generation college students in dual-enrollment classes, he has extensive experience in mentoring and leadership roles for “at-risk” student populations. Jeremy holds a M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Georgia and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. His writing has received recognition and mention from the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, and Best American Sports Writing among others.
STEPHANIE HINES, English
Stephanie Hines teaches English at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. She began her teaching career by teaching English as a foreign language to students in China for two years. Following that, she taught English as a second language in Spain for a year while obtaining her Master’s degree in Education before moving back to the states. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Professional writing from Kennesaw State University. She continues to pursue her passion in teaching English to students who come from different backgrounds.
STEPHANIE McCARTT, Yoga
Stephanie McCartt teaches Yoga to Middle and High School students at the Fugees, Academy in Clarkston, GA. She a 200-hour yoga teaching certification and 95-hour Grounded Kids yoga certification in addition to continuing education hours. Stephanie graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in psychology and has served the health and wellness, fitness and creative industries for more 20 years.Through her work, she strives to empower students both students and adults to tap into and harness their inner creativity energy to live powerfully, authentically and purposefully.
BRYAN McDOWELL, Art
Bryan McDowell teaches Art at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, GA. He is a fine artist, digital artist, and art educator. Bryan earned his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and his Master's in Art Education from City University of New York. Bryan worked in the New York City public schools as an art instructor for over 17 years, where he dedicated his time fostering a positive learning environment and artistic development for children through a variety of creative ways.
JASON RODGERS, Music
Jason Rodgers teaches Music and Composition at Fugees Academy. Raised in Philadelphia, Jason holds a B.A. in Piano Performance and a Masters of Music in Conducting, both from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He went on to earn a Professional Studies Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Orchestral Conducting. Jason’s conducting debut was at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, NC, and he has since served as a conductor and guest conductor both nationally and internationally.
NARALY SERRANO, Computer Science and Math
Naraly Serrano teaches Computer Science and middle school Mathematics at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, Ga. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Family, Youth, and Community Science from the University of Florida. Naraly began her teaching career working in the northside of Jacksonville, Fl as a middle school science teacher. She began her time at Fugees as an Americorps - Project Rise member for 2 years before transitioning to a teacher position. She aims to inspire student interest in the growing field of computer science and all that it can offer them.
LEWIS MAKOR, School Leader
Lewis Makor is a school leader in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Khartoum, South Sudan, he fled to Egypt with his family when he was eight years old. At age eleven, Lewis, his siblings, and his parents came to the United States through the UNHCR refugee resettlement program. In 2004, he joined the Fugees Family soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia. Being part of the team is what helped Lewis become fluent in English, and also what gave him the confidence to start speaking up. After graduating from Tucker high school in 2013, Lewis played soccer for Georgia Gwinnett College and continued coaching young Fugees. He continued developing his technical and leadership skills as part of a construction team in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2019, he joined the leadership team of Fugees Academy, where he focuses on character- and community-building, student life, athletics, and recruitment. He is fluent in Arabic.
CELESTE FURGESON, School Leader Fellow
Celeste Ferguson, a Fugees Academy School Leader Fellow in Columbus, Ohio, is passionate about ensuring that every single child has access to high quality, meaningful K-12 educational opportunities. She earned a B.A. in International Studies from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Fugees, Celeste taught English and Social Studies in Mexico, Los Angeles, and Columbus. While in Los Angeles, Celeste served as a founding teacher and Head of School at Endeavor College Preparatory School supporting high quality educational experiences for K-8 students in East Los Angeles. Furthermore, as a Teach Plus Fellow, Celeste participated in research to inform and shape national policy designed to support the retention and development of highly effective teachers. She is an instructional leader who is driven by the belief that excellent education is key in opening the doors of opportunity and hope.
KEVIN NAHABAKOMEYE, School Leader Fellow
Kevin Nahabakomeye is a school leader fellow in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Gitega, Burundi, he fled to Tanzania with his family at the age of 2. He lived there for 2 years before his family was resettled to the United States. In 2006 he joined the Fugees Family (soccer team) before becoming a coach and summer intern. Before his return to Fugees, he attended college at Georgia State University where he studied international business and was an after school teacher at a school In GA. He is fluent in Kirundi and Swahili. Kevin will be moving to Cleveland to open the third Fugees Academy.
ANN CLAVIN, English
Ann R. Clavin teaches English, science and social studies at Fugees Academy, Columbus, Ohio. Ann has a B. A. in 'Applied Conflict Management' from Kent State University and a M.ED in 'Middle Childhood Education', with additional certificates in Reading and Environmental Based Learning from Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, Va. After graduating from Kent State she headed to Europe and taught in Pristina, Kosovo where she was the lead teacher for a newly formed primary school. Her next step was to return to the U.S. teaching in private and public schools. The orient called to her curiosity, and she moved to China, where she taught middle school for six years. After returning again to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia she served as a dorm parent and teacher in a private K-12 school with a large international body of students from all parts of the globe. Ann, an established fibre artist, uses her creative talents with her students exploring the world of science, ancient cultures and the world around us while building the skills of reading and writing.
AMY CHIVINGTON, Music
Amy Chivington teaches Music at Fugees Academy in Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of Otterbein University and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Music Education from The Ohio State University. She has been a music educator in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio. She has published articles in the Choral Journal, Music Educators Journal, and the Triad, and she was recognized by the Vocal Arts Network with an Ovation 2003 Award for her contributions to the art of singing in Ohio.
MONA FAYED, Math
Mona Fayed is a Math Teacher at Fugees Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Mona earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering . She worked as an Electrical Engineer from 1998 to 2008. She then worked as a Math Teacher and Coordinator for the next 10 years. Mona served as a tutor at Math Plus Academy for 8 months before her work at Fugees Academy.
SHARON GEORGE, English
Sharon George teaches sixth grade English. She grew up in a town of 400 people in southeastern Montana. Sharon earned teaching degrees in English, Speech Communication, and Spanish in Montana, then became certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Capital University after she moved to Ohio in 2000. She has taught high school students as well as sixth graders, and was honored to be the Montana Speech and Drama Coach of the Year. Her fondness for learning about others have led her to classes and workshops in the United States (OSU International Affairs Institute on Human Rights in a Global Perspective, Ohio University's Global Teachers’ Conference, Roots and Dreams: American Multiculturalism, and Somali Women’s and Children’s Association's Somali History, Language, and Culture, among others). She has also enjoyed learning about the educational systems of other countries during her participation in the Fulbright Memorial Fund Seminar in Japan, Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminars in Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico, and King Juan Carlos Fellowship for the Quincentennial at the Universidad de Madrid. Believing that curiosity can be contagious, Sharon urges her students to carefully observe the events of their lives, their reading, and the world around them, and to stretch their thinking at every opportunity.
ANITA MAHARJAN, Art
Anita Maharjan is an art teacher at the Fugees Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Originally from Nepal, she moved to the US to pursue higher education. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas, and holds a Master’s degree in Fine Arts with a teaching certificate from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Anita is a practicing artist and has exhibited her work in many cities in Texas and Ohio, including the Columbus Museum of Art. Before joining Fugees she taught art as an adjunct professor at Columbus College of Art and Design. Anita’s background allows her to bridge the cultural gap between parents, staff and students at the Fugees Academy.
Felicity Osei-Darkwa teaches Math at Fugees Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Born and raised in Ghana, Felicity earned her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Art Education with a teaching certificate from the University of Education, Winneba-Ghana. Also, she holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Youngstown State University. She has published an article in IJEL about student’s performance in Art. Felicity has 10 years of teaching experience in Art and Math. Before joining Fugees Family, Felicity was a long term Math substitute teacher for Columbus City Schools working with ELL students.
KASS YOUNG, Yoga
Kass Young teaches Yoga and English Support at Fugees Academy in Columbus, Ohio.