Opportunity 180 is proud to welcome six new fellows into the third cohort of its Design to EdRupt “Explore” fellowship. Design to EdRupt looks to disrupt the current educational landscape by surfacing and supporting underrepresented K-12 education leaders who seek to reimagine the future of learning. The program invests in big, bold ideas and elevates leaders from historically underserved communities – especially critical in our community with one of the nation’s most diverse student populations.

“Our fellows’ diverse leadership matched with the development this opportunity offers will help create new learning environments,” said Tamara Shear, Chief Program Officer for Opportunity 180. “These fellows have demonstrated an entrepreneurial mindset and a strong commitment to lead in a way that will benefit students, families, and our community for years to come.”

Over the next five months, fellows will pressure-test their ideas and concepts with stakeholders in the education community, including students, families, nonprofit organizations, funders, and community resource providers. They will also access high-performing schools and interact with their leadership teams, as well as develop their leadership capacity through coaching. The fellowship culminates with the Showcase event in May, when fellows will present their finalized school and program concepts to community leaders and stakeholders.

The new cohort joins nine alumni fellows, nearly 80% of whom identify as people of color, with a rich and diverse background of experiences and perspectives to shape the fellowship and impact our local education ecosystem.

The six fellows of Design to EdRupt’s third cohort are:


Trinise “Polaryss” Crowder – Trinise is an educator and hip-hop artist, and will empower youth through the transformative power of critical thinking with an intentional movement program she’ll be developing through the Design to Edrupt program.




Vita Johnson – With 10+ years of experience in developing, case managing, and implementing therapeutic interventions for youth and adults with physical or mental health challenges, Vita has a passion for creating innovative programming that helps close the gap in education performance. She’ll be harnessing this passion as she develops her program to serve grades 6-12.




Shivaun McCloud – As an educator, school administrator, and parent, Shivaun’s venture will build upon her professional journey, as well as her longtime youth and family advocacy efforts, to serve grades 3-8. Her venture will be focused on educating behaviorally challenged youth.




Scott Thomas Pasieka – Scott is a licensed professional counselor and school counselor, taking his experience in the education sector, as well as the health sector, to develop an elementary school with wraparound services for kids.





David Sabey – As a classroom teacher, instructional coach, scholar/researcher, and parent, David is developing a framework for competency-based grading for grades 6-12 that builds upon his commitment to making school a meaningful, enjoyable experience.





Jessica J. Sullivan Cimino – An educator with 17 years of classroom experience, Jessica’s passion is in providing accessibility to science and art integration and is developing a K-8 school to provide those experiences to underrepresented students.