Who We Are
With over 25 years of dedicated service in the field of education, Mr. Jeffrey J. Hernandez has established himself as a transformative leader, particularly known for revitalizing underperforming schools. His journey began in Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 1988, starting as a school secretary and swiftly advancing through various roles, including teacher, assistant principal, and principal, in both elementary and secondary settings. Mr. Hernandez has a remarkable history of serving schools with diverse student populations, acting as a catalyst for educational change.
During his tenure as Miami-Dade’s Regional Administrative Director for Curriculum and Instruction, Mr. Hernandez played a pivotal role in reforming 62 schools. His efforts led to a significant improvement in student achievements, with 20 schools enhancing their grades under Florida’s A+ Plan and No Child Left Behind Accountability System. His impact continued as the State Regional Director at the Florida Department of Education, where he implemented critical strategies that improved the performance of 15 out of 16 State Intervene Schools under the Florida Differentiated Accountability Plan.
In 2008, Mr. Hernandez took the role of Chief Academic Officer of Palm Beach County, one of the largest school districts in the U.S., overseeing 210 schools. His leadership turned 10 struggling schools into high-performing institutions, collaborating closely with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during this period for the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative.
In 2010, Mr. Hernandez founded National Academic Educational Partners, Inc., bringing together a team of national experts focused on school transformation. As CEO, he has led significant school improvement projects in Memphis, Milwaukee, Providence, Puerto Rico, USVI and more. His co-authored guide, “The Effective Principal: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results,” in collaboration with the Council of Educational Change, is a testament to his expertise in principalship.
Mr. Hernandez has also served as a lead consultant for various national educational reform initiatives and as a keynote speaker at several leadership conferences. His comprehensive training program in the Clark County School District, focusing on Culturally Competent Leadership and Instructional Training, benefited over 1000 educators.
More recently, as the Principal and Academic Transformation Partner for the Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence, Mr. Hernandez has melded his vast experience with innovative strategies, dramatically enhancing the school’s performance. Under his direct guidance, the elementary campus achieved an “A” grade and the middle school improved to a “B” within a single academic year, demonstrating remarkable progress and being denoted as a five star school for growth.
In 2019, Mr. Hernandez expanded his impact by opening the Educational Management Organization (EMO) division within NAEP, successfully managing two struggling schools in Osceola County. To date, the EMO division manages seven schools both in Florida and Nevada.
In 2023, NAEP received District accreditation from Cognia and has continued its national education reform agenda using its intellectual model R.E.S.U.L.T.S.
Mr. Hernandez’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida International University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Specialist’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from NOVA University. He also holds a Certificate for School Improvement Specialist from the Institute for Performance Improvement. Most recently, he was certified in Artificial Intelligence programs to enhance business and school operations.
As NAEP’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Artur Glants is an integral part of the strategic and operational leadership of the firm and serves as the designee for the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Glants served as a Training and Change Management consultant with Clarkston Consulting and Lead Operations Consultant in the development of several startup firms. Via his experience in change management, short term and long-term strategic thinking, and process restructuring, Mr. Glants has been instrumental in the development of this firm’s service offerings as well as the firm’s ability to implement these services nationwide. This collaborative work has positioned Mr. Glants as a recognized expert in facilitating efficiency and productivity within the world of educational reform and leadership development.
Mr. Glants’ focus on counseling public and private sector clients on the enhancement of project and process management strategies has allowed these clients to enhance the effectiveness of their transformational initiatives in their aim to improve student achievement. He has also served as a Senior Lead Consultant in the development of various districts’ transformational and strategic plans in locations such as the Clark County School District and the School District of St. Croix. Mr. Glants has co-facilitated keynote presentations nationwide on critical topics such as educational leadership, school and district transformation and best practices, and teacher capacity development. Mr. Glants, in collaboration with Mr. Hernandez, was also instrumental in the design and implementation of the comprehensive training program delivered in Clark County School District focusing on Culturally Competent Leadership and Instructional Training that serviced over 1000 educators. Mr. Glants has personally trained small and large school districts alike on Culturally Responsive Teaching, Cultural Intelligence, the Bennett Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, and has also facilitated dozens of school-site cultural rounds and walkthroughs to support leaders with empowering their schools with a culturally competent adult and student culture. Mr. Glants is also responsible for the project management and communication structures established within NAEP partner schools including but not limited to the design of a customized Google Drive Folder Sharing Structure, project-status tracking spreadsheets, and more.
In addition to working closely with Mr. Hernandez in the design and implementation of transformation and acceleration strategies for Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence in 2018, In July of 2019, Mr. Glants and the NAEP team fused NAEP’s instructional and operational processes and strategies to deliver a full gamut of services required for a comprehensive and intensive full-school transformation and reform effort for Victory Charter Schools 6-12 and Victory Charter K-8. From the full revamp of the school’s internal and external communication processes including the use of technology, to the major enhancement of the school’s enrollment and Human Resources system, Mr. Glants has developed a comprehensive skillset helping guide school leaders, teachers, and other staff members through clear and precise processes and monitoring structures.
During his time in education an with NAEP, Mr. Glants has served as Interim Assistant Principal in a charter school in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Principal in Tampa, Florida, helping transform and sustain the performance of these schools with his focus on strategic planning and human capital management and leadership.
Mr. Glants holds a Master’s in Business Administration and Organizational Management from Florida Atlantic University and received a bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Mr. Glants also holds a Certificate for School Improvement Specialist as certified by the Institute for Performance Improvement. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Russian.
Jazmin Burgos is an esteemed education professional currently serving as the Chief of School Operations for National Academic Educational Partners, Inc. With a career spanning over a decade, Jazmin has demonstrated a strong commitment to educational excellence and leadership.
Jazmin embarked on her educational journey in 2010 when she began her career as a teacher in the vibrant educational landscape of Miami-Dade County. Recognizing the importance of continual growth and expertise in the field, she pursued and successfully earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Curriculum Development from Florida International University.
In 2016, Jazmin transitioned into the role of an Instructional Coach, where she showcased her passion for supporting teachers in enhancing their instructional methods. During her tenure in this position, she provided invaluable guidance to educators, fostering an environment of collaboration and professional development.
In 2018, Jazmin’s leadership capabilities were further recognized when she accepted the role of Assistant Principal at a K-12 school in Osceola County. Serving in this capacity until 2019, she played a crucial role in school management, curriculum oversight, and student success. Her dedication and effective leadership did not go unnoticed, as she assumed the position of Principal in the same school in 2019.
For three years, from 2019 to 2022, Jazmin excelled in her role as Principal, demonstrating a commitment to creating a positive learning environment and promoting academic achievement. In 2022, she took on the position of Executive Director of Operations, where her strategic vision and organizational skills contributed to the overall success of the educational institution.
Building on her extensive experience and multifaceted expertise, Jazmin assumed her current
role as the Chief of School Operations in 2023 for National Academic Educational Partners, Inc. In this pivotal position, she oversees a wide range of responsibilities, including facilities management, budgetary considerations, and the seamless coordination of various operational aspects to ensure the efficient functioning of the educational institution.
Looking forward, Jazmin Burgos is poised to continue making significant contributions to the field of education. Her goal is to further enhance the operational efficiency of educational institutions, creating an environment that nurtures both the academic and personal growth of students and empowers educators to excel in their roles. Jazmin’s dedication to educational excellence and her proven track record of leadership make her an inspiring figure in the realm of education.
Andrea Adkins is a multi-faceted professional who prides herself on operational excellence, and employee relations. She leverages ten years of experience to contribute strategic insights and operational excellence. Andrea has exceptional talent acquisition, employee relations, training, and policy development skills. Her expertise lies in fostering positive workplace cultures, resolving conflicts, and implementing programs that enhance employee engagement and productivity. Her approach to employee engagement is steeped in continual knowledge and research of what works for the organization and building solid teams.
Ms. Adkins holds a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Georgia Southern University. She is currently seeking her SHRM certification through a commitment to ongoing professional development. She maintains up-to-date knowledge of counseling methodologies, HR best practices, and legal compliance, ensuring the delivery of ethical and practical support in educational and corporate settings.
Driven by a profound belief in the potential of individuals to thrive given the proper guidance and support, Andrea combines a compassionate approach with strategic insights to create meaningful impacts in students’ lives and within organizational dynamics.
As part of the NAEP Team for three years, Mrs. Adkins has diversified employee retention, recruitment, and culture for each team. Her dedication to a personalized approach to Human Resources, allows for her to practice advocacy while teaching others. Her desire to improve the connection between leaders and team members fosters a deep sense of continual learning and growth within the profession. Mrs. Adkins is your out-of-the-box thinker when it comes to supporting your staff and her partnership serves as a catalyst for all department success.
Tina Childers has been a pivotal member of the National Academic Educational Partners (NAEP) team since 2019. She is serving as the Chief Academic Officer. Her significant contributions to our organization have centered around fostering student-centered learning and delivering high-quality math education for all. Tina emphasizes a math philosophy that goes beyond mere answers, focusing on the why, strategies, and methods to enhance everyone’s understanding of the profound connections between math and the real world. Tina’s approach to math education goes beyond achieving high state scores; it’s about fostering a deep understanding of mathematics that benefits both students and teachers. Her philosophy has resulted in a wealth of knowledge that extends beyond standardized assessments, creating a meaningful and lasting impact on the educational experience for everyone involved.
In her educational roles she has been actively involved in several different state-level initiatives, including facilitating math standards training and standards writing for the Florida Department of Education. Tina’s commitment to education is further evident in her engagement with various state committees, such as the GADOE Standardized Assessment Item Writing & Review Committee and the TDOE Assessment Task Force. Tina gained diverse experience throughout her educational journey by working in rural, urban, suburban, state and collegiate settings. This exposure indicates her adaptability and ability to navigate various educational environments, contributing to a well-rounded professional background.
Over Tina’s educational leadership she has collaborated with numerous leaders and teachers and impacted thousands of students, striving to ensure top-notch math instruction. She actively engages in lesson planning, models effective teaching strategies, curriculum development, conducts professional development sessions on TN State Academic Standards, GA State Mathematical Standards, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Florida’s B.E.S.T. Mathematical Standards. Tina’s dedication to elevating math education shines through her work, making a lasting impact on both educators and students alike.
Throughout her career she has done many different leadership roles. Tina has held a multitude of roles in the education sector, showcasing her versatility and expertise. Her experience spans from teaching and serving as a math chairperson, instructional coach, and item writer to taking on leadership positions such as district coordinator, principal, and curriculum writer. Tina has also contributed to educational resources as a textbook editor and has been actively involved in professional development coordination and facilitation in the field of mathematics. This diverse range of roles underscores her extensive and well-rounded background in education.
Tina is not only a dedicated educator but also a provider of support for National Board candidates and a workshop facilitator. Her involvement in technology integration, blended learning, and commitment to best practices in math education showcases her versatility and passion for advancing the field. Overall, Tina Childers is a dynamic professional contributing significantly to the field of mathematics education through teaching, leadership, and collaboration.
Tina Childers is an accomplished educator and leader with a diverse background in mathematics education. She is working on completing her Ed.D in Mathematics from Lee University. She currently holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Lee College, Master of Science from Concordia University. She is certified to work with Teachers Development Group and is a National Board Certified Teacher and Facilitator.
Ms. Marissa Gracia was called to begin her career in education in 2005. Throughout the course of her career she worked with various levels within the school system, beginning as a classroom teacher at the elementary school level and soon taking on the role of grade level lead. In that capacity she led various teams of teachers in creating standards-based lessons, cross-curricular units, and using data analysis to guide instruction.
Her successes as a grade level teacher leader-led her to rise to department chair where she worked with teachers across multiple grade levels in Reading and Language Arts. Through her work, she evaluated and incorporated research-based curriculum and resources which were used in the various grade level pacing guides which she also created. Under this guidance, students repeatedly scored highly proficient in Writing on statewide standardized assessments and demonstrated significant learning gains.
While fulfilling the duties of these roles, she also functioned as a mentor teacher for new and veteran teachers working to improve their craft. As a mentor teacher, she observed others, provided feedback, conducted model lessons, collaborated with teams to design innovative and engaging lessons, and aided in vertically aligning skills and concepts across grade levels in multiple subject areas.
It was through this work that she discovered her love for collaborating with school leaders and empowering others to continue to learn and grow in this field. Subsequently, she decided to pursue her advanced degree and obtained her Master’s in Education Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Reading.
Shortly after completing her degree, she was appointed as an Instructional Coach where she continued to mentor and coach school leaders. Despite the various positions she held throughout her career, Ms. Gracia continued to remain a classroom teacher which allowed her to experience the immediate effects of the program implementation, data-driven instruction, and standards-based lessons she guided and oversaw. Through this lens she was able to further guide and support her fellow educators which led to high achievement scores and learning gains in varied grade levels and subject areas.
As a member of the NAEP team, Ms. Gracia began working as an Instructional Director supporting grades K-12 in all subject areas. Through this work she partnered with and served as an instructional leadership coach for school leaders to strengthen instructional practices and increase student achievement. She worked to support and motivate teams in creating and implementing school-wide change management strategies while building expertise in standards-based and data-driven instruction and teacher development. Such strategies included development of coaching models and practices, as well as training and implementing various departments on the Lesson Study process. Working with school leaders and teachers also included coaching and guiding the effective use of real-time data from assessments to target student misunderstandings, improve teacher practice, and implement effective backwards planning strategies which deepen their understanding of the appropriate state standards. As an Instructional Director, she coordinated and project managed the gradual release of support of professional development, curriculum development, and curriculum sequencing. Beginning first with professional development, the strategies trained and supported varied from conducting professional learning modules, to leading professional learning communities, to coaching individual teachers and school leaders. This process also included modeling meeting facilitation, then observing and providing coaching and feedback to leaders on their facilitation.
While simultaneously supporting Chattanooga Charter Schools of Excellence and Victory Charter Schools, she performed work in various capacities related to curriculum and instruction. This work included managing projects, collaborating, and monitoring completion of tasks including pacing guide creation, evaluating and procuring curriculum, coaching and supporting teachers, and conducting professional development. Throughout these endeavors, she transitioned into the role of Chief Academic Officer and continued to further her work by also actively engaging in interviewing potential employees, hiring, as well as developing and implementing various on-boarding procedures.
Ms. Gracia has also served as a consultant for transformational and strategic efforts across the nation in places such as the Clark County School District, the St. Thomas/St. John School District, and various schools in Miami-Dade County, Osceola County, Hillsborough County, and Hamilton County. This led to her transitioning into the role of Chief of District and School Services. Through this work she has maintained her passion for empowering others in the education field and collaborating with school and district leaders. She continues to train, mentor, and support leaders in all aspects of instructional delivery to incorporate research-based best practices and utilize data to implement effective methods to increase student achievement.
Mr. Mark Viera is a distinguished educational leader passionate about fostering academic excellence and operational efficiency within education. With a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida (UCF), his professional journey began in the legal field, where he gained valuable experience for about a year. However, the allure of education eventually captivated his interests and steered his career path.
Mark’s foray into the educational landscape commenced with National Academic Educational Partners, Inc., where he served as the Director of Accounts Receivable. It was here that he realized his deep-seated passion for education. Transitioning into the classroom, he assumed the role of a social studies teacher at Academic Charter School, specializing in US History and Civics. His dedication and proficiency are reflected in consistently stellar End-of-Course (EOC) scores each academic year, establishing him as an exceptional educator.
Driven by a desire to effect broader change within the educational sphere, Mark progressed to the position of Director of School Operations at Academic Charter School. His leadership and strategic vision were pivotal in the school’s growth and success. Notably, he assumed the helm at Victory Charter Schools, overseeing both 6-12 and K-5 levels as principal. Under his guidance, the school experienced a remarkable surge in enrollment, nearly doubling its numbers, while achieving an outstanding 95% staff retention rate—a testament to his effective leadership and team-building skills, as well as seeing the highest student enrollment rates in both schools during his leadership.
Mark’s professional trajectory reflects a commitment to transformative leadership and operational excellence. In his most recent role, returning to a management post in October, he leads multiple critical areas, including athletics, enrollment, facilities management, and early childhood education. His multifaceted expertise and unwavering dedication continue to drive positive change and progress across various facets of educational administration.
Mark Viera is an exemplary figure in educational leadership, embodying a profound commitment to academic advancement and operational efficacy and fostering a thriving educational environment for students, staff, and the community.
Mr. Lapica graduated from the University of Florida, with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He began his career in education as a High School History teacher, eventually transitioning into the role of Assistant Principal at a Charter School in Miami, FL. He then briefly served as a NAEP Instructional Director working with schools in Clark County, Osceola County, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2018, Mr. Lapica became the founding principal of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School (DDCUS). As founding principal Mr. Lapica led the school’s increase in enrollment from 100 students in year one to 1100 students in year three. Under his tenure, DDCUS was ranked in the top 1% of middle/high schools in the state of Florida and tied for number two in the district and was a finalist in the prestigious Colegio Del Ano competition for its award winning bilingual/bicultural English/Spanish International Studies Program. As principal, Mr. Lapica created and led a successful STEAM program which won accolades such as the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM National Champion in 2020, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM National Finalist in 2021, State Science Fair Champion in 2019, District Science Fair winners in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and multiple honorable mentions in the Toshiba Exploravision competition.
Now serving as the Executive Director of the NAEP Charter School Network, Mr. Lapica has already successfully led all three of the Victory Charter Schools managed by NAEP in their application to become IB World Schools and two of the schools have received their authorization as IB World Schools for the PYP program. Additionally, Mr. Lapica has led the network’s efforts towards system accreditation. Due to his leadership, National Academic Educational Partners is a fully Cognia accredited system of schools.
In leading the network’s expansion in Nevada, Mr. Lapica has been serving as the on-site leader for both the 100 Academy, which has increased proficiency levels by 15% in his first year on-site. Mr. Lapica has also been the lead on establishing a new partnership with PTAA Nevada to open a second school in Las Vegas, NV.
Mr. Lapica is a self-professed nerd and father of three. He loves to read, especially science-fiction, and play video games. He is an avid Florida Gator fan and can often be found espousing the virtues of the Disney Theme Parks of which he and his family are huge fans.
Kiarra officially began her journey in education in 2017, but before that, she owned a tutoring business formed in 2014, that she used as a platform to tutor and mentor students from over 7 different countries and over 298 students over the course of 10 years in various subjects ranging from Math and English to Coding and Reading. She began teaching web and graphic design–her passion subjects–at a local technical school in Orlando, Florida in 2017.
It was there that Kiarra realized her other passion was teaching. She loved all things digital marketing, and being able to teach the next generation about the subject was a dream come true. Kiarra received her Bachelor’s in Graphic Design from the University of West Florida in 2014 and her Master’s degree in Advertising and Branding Media from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California in 2019.
Kiarra is a seasoned expert with over ten years in social media and digital marketing. She excels in platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and has a deep understanding of both the marketing and business aspects of brand development. Her technical skills span with CMS platforms such as WordPress, as well as Adobe Creative Cloud programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects. She is also very familiar with Google Ads and Analytics.
As a former Professor and CEO of KJ Designs, Kiarra has a rich background in teaching and managing digital marketing strategies. As the newest member of the NAEP family, her addition to the team is a significant leap toward elevating NAEP schools’ presence and identity in the community. The NAEP family is confident that with Kiarra’s leadership, she will take their marketing efforts to the next level, further enhancing the NAEP schools’ reputation and engagement.