Our board partners with staff leadership to ensure that Capital City is the kind of place where students can learn, grow, and excel.


Anne Wallestad
Capital City Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Capital City is governed by a Board of Trustees. Our volunteer Board provides oversight, support and expertise for the successful operation of the school. The Board of Trustees meets bi-monthly. While meetings are public, the Board reserves the right to hold closed executive sessions when dealing with confidential matters like personnel issues.


2016-2017 Board Members

Alison Arnold

Alison Arnold currently serves on the board of the Washington Performing Arts Society where she is a member of the Education Committee and the Governance Committee. She is also on the executive board of the Reston Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. During the last two years, she has served as treasurer of the organization – creating and managing the chapter’s budget. In addition to these duties, she is a past President of the Parents Association at Maret School and a former member of the Trustee Board.

Her professional experience includes teaching business law at Kennesaw State University and practicing corporate law, at Hale and Dorr (Boston) and Kilpatrick and Cody (Atlanta) law firms.  She received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and her M.B. A. degree from Harvard Business School. She also holds a BA in Economics from Harvard-Radcliffe College.  Over the past 20 years,  Arnold has enjoyed being involved in the schools of her three sons.


Maggie Boland, Parent Trustee

Maggie Boland has been the Managing Director of Signature Theatre since 2008. In addition to her leadership and management responsibilities, she is also the primary liaison to Signature’s Board of Directors (of which she is also a member).

Prior to joining Signature Theatre, Boland spent nearly 10 years at Arena Stage in increasingly senior positions, beginning as Marketing Director, responsible for Arena’s earned income, and assuming oversight of the organization’s Annual Fund and Next Stage Campaign in subsequent seasons as the Director of External Affairs. She also spent several previous years working in development for Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.

Boland currently serves as a member of the League of Resident Theatres’ Executive Committee. She graduated from Boston College and lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter, who is Capital City student.


Jean-Claude BrizardBoard Chair

Jean-Claude Brizard is Partner and Vice President at Cross & Joftus, where he focuses on transforming under-performing school systems and  education-to-career policies and practices.  Prior to Cross & Juftus, he was President of UpSpring Education Group, a network of highly experienced education practitioners and not-for-profit leaders who work to develop proof points in education and whose goal is to support the strategic, instructional and operational work of school superintendents, public charter leaders and education organizations across the US and abroad.

During 2013, Brizard served as an advisor to the College Board leadership team, developing the organization’s career readiness initiative. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester, NY School District.  Under Brizard’s leadership, both the Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester City School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. He introduced a comprehensive change agenda across the Chicago Public Schools, including closing a significant budget gap of more than $1.3B over two fiscal years while preserving core reforms and investing in classrooms.

Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn, and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for secondary schools.

Brizard is a Fellow of the Broad Center and of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. He holds a Master in Science Education and Bachelor in Chemistry from Queens College and a Master in School Administration and Supervision from the City College of New York.


Kristi Craig 

Kristi Craig is the Director of Private Markets for the Georgetown University Investment Office where she is part of the team responsible for the investment of Georgetown’s endowment.    Prior to joining Georgetown, Craig led business development for the Small Business Investor Alliance, the premier organization of lower middle market private equity funds and investors.  Craig was the Senior Investment Officer for the US SBA’s SBIC program from 2002 to 2011, where she led due diligence and review of private equity and mezzanine funds. Craig’s experience early in her career included venture capital fundraising, start-up corporate development, and business consulting.

Craig earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Georgetown University and is a CFA charter holder.  She resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and two children.


Sarah Dillard

For the last decade, Sarah Dillard has been working to improve U.S. education. She currently serves as the CEO of SPD Advisory, where she provides strategic advice for education clients. Previously, Dillard has worked on the policy team at the U.S. Department of Education, the founding team at the National Math and Science Initiative, and the management team at Quad Learning. She’s contributed to two big district transformations (New Orleans and Memphis), overseen the development of a student services function that dramatically increases community college graduation rates, and taken a successful local program to national scale while maintaining impact.

Dillard holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics, magna cum laude, from Duke University where she was an A.B. Duke Scholar and won the Holton Prize for education research. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School where she was a Reynolds Fellow and a George Fellow.

In addition to serving on the CCPCS board, Dillard is a founding member of both the Alumni Advisory Council at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and the advisory board at Guild Education.


Alix Guerrier

Alix Guerrier is a co-founder of a new educational web company, LearnZillion. Prior to founding LearnZillion, he was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice, where he advised school systems and foundations on strategic matters. His previous work experience includes: teaching in and directing an after-school program in one of Boston’s public housing projects; working as a member of the housing group in the public finance department of an investment bank in New York; and teaching full-time for several years, including in an international school in Brazil.

He most recently taught math at a public charter high school in San Francisco, and subsequently served on the Board of Trustees for the school. He currently sits on the board of Guidestar. Guerrier has an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a Master in Education from the Stanford University School of Education. He graduated from Harvard University with an AB in physics. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, D.C.


Rochanda Hiligh-ThomasParent Trustee

Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas has over 17 years of legal experience serving the District of Columbia community. As the Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), she is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the legal services division of the organization, including the supervision of legal staff, partnership development, fund management, and client services. Her work has focused on juvenile justice and AJE’s school discipline project.

Prior to working with AJE, Hiligh-Thomas was Assistant Director for Legal Operations at Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP). In her position at NLSP, she spearheaded the organization’s legal initiatives, monitored staff compliance with Legal Services Corporation regulations, and had a proven track record of effectively representing the legal needs of the client community. Hiligh-Thomas holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of the District of Columbia David Clarke School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Tuskegee University. She is the parent of two Capital City students.


Raël Nelson James 

Raël Nelson James is the Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion, at The Bridgespan Group. Previously she was the Director of Board Recruiting at Charter Board Partners with over 10 years experience working at DC nonprofits. Nelson James was also the Interim Director of Development at The Fishing School, an out-of-school time program for underserved DC public school students in Wards 6, 7, and 8. Prior to that, she was the first-ever Executive Director of LIFT-DC, where she expanded the anti-poverty organization into the District’s bilingual communities and east of the Anacostia River.

Nelson James is thrilled to be returning to the education field, having previously managed KIPP DC’s foundation and corporate relations and served as the Program Director at Operation Understanding DC, a leadership development and dialogue program for Black and Jewish high school students. Nelson James is a native Washingtonian and holds a Bachelor in Political Science from Tufts University.


Nick Rodriguez

Nick Rodriguez is the Principal at Delivery Associates, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing delivery to the American education sector, where he focuses his work on governments in Africa and the Americas. Previously, he co-founded and served as a Director for the U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDI) and helped to build and maintain a network of K-12 education systems that are changing the way they work to better serve students. He is also co-author, with Sir Michael Barber, of “Deliverology 101,” a field guide for education leaders that is the basis of EDI’s approach to implementation.

Rodriguez began his career in education over a decade ago when he served as the student member of the California State Board of Education and as a youth advocate and trainer with the California Association of Student Councils.  Prior to joining EDI, he was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Company’s education practice, where he advised education leaders on policy and implementation at the district, state, and national level in the U.S. and abroad.

Rodriguez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Stanford University and a Master in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a British Marshall Scholar.


Fred Sherman

Fred Sherman is the Chief Operating Office of Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program, overseeing the organization’s three international offices in the U.S., China, and India. He has held senior leadership positions for a combined 10 years for organizations such as BoardSource and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. While at BoardSource, he designed and implemented new financial dashboards to provide transparency for board of directors and senior management. He also successfully managed the design and build-out of a $2 million, 16,000 square food office space renovation.

In addition to his senior management experiences, Sherman is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He also currently serves as Treasurer on the Advocates for Youth Board of Directors. Sherman holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.


Anne Wallestad

Anne Wallestad is President & CEO at BoardSource, a national organization focused on strengthening nonprofit boards and inspiring board service. Throughout her 15-year career in nonprofits, she has worked closely with boards to strengthen board leadership and organizational capacity, particularly in the critical area of fundraising, and is a passionate advocate for board service as an essential strategy for positive social change.

Prior to joining BoardSource’s leadership team in 2008, Wallestad led fundraising and volunteer management efforts at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute, and has held leadership positions with a number of other local and national organizations.  Wallestad holds a BA from Drake University, and currently serves on their Washington, DC regional advisory board.  She lives in Washington, DC’s historic Capitol Hill neighborhood.