Executive Staff

Dean Leeper

Founder and Executive Director

Mr. Leeper founded the first Kindezi School in 2010 after working as an APS and homeschool teacher. He served as The Kindezi School at West Lake’s principal for four years before moving into the executive director position. He earned his master’s of education degree from Harvard University’s School of Education. Mr. Leeper’s son will enter kindergarten at a Kindezi school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Jocelyn Alter

Chief Academic Officer

Ms. Alter joined The Kindezi Schools in 2016 to lead our work developing teachers and leaders, and our team creating a rich, challenging curriculum for our students. Prior to joining TKS, she worked at the national education non-profit, TNTP and the New York City Department of Education. At the NYCDOE, she held a variety of leadership roles, including as the chief of staff for the the Division of Academics, Performance, and Support that oversaw instruction, accountability, and operational support for NYC’s 1,800 schools. Ms. Alter started her career in education in a Head Start classroom and holds her master’s degree in Public Policy from New York University. Ms. Alter's son will enroll in The Kindezi Schools as soon as he's old enough - in the 2019-2020 school year. 

Elizabeth Broderick

Chief External Relations Officer

​Ms. Broderick joined The Kindezi Schools in 2017 and oversees fundraising, marketing, communications, and Board development for the network.  Her experience prior to TKS includes consulting and internal roles at Bain & Company and managing external relations and strategy for KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools.  She earned her bachelor's degree from Bates College and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Kimberly Green

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Green has an administrative, accounting and operations background and previously worked at accounting firms and the Irish Consulate. She joined the Kindezi administrative team in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and economics from Prairie View A&M University. Her family is one of the founding families of Kindezi and all three of her children are current students.

Rajvee Bhalakia

Sr. Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Ms. Bhalakia joined Kindezi in 2017 to lead Kindezi's curriculum and assessment programs. Prior to joining Kindezi, she worked as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and educational consultant in various states across the country. She has over ten years of building instructional leadership and capacity with building-level and district leaders. Ms. Bhalakia began her career in education as a Teach For America special education teacher. She received her bachelors degree from George Washington University, and holds her master's degree in Educational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.  

Alaina Chipman-Leeks

Sr. Director of Culture & Socio-Emotional Learning

Ms. Chipman-Leeks joined the Kindezi Schools in 2017 to lead the Socio-Emotional Learning Department. Her past experiences include Inclusion and Special Education teacher, Instructional Coach, Intervention/RTI Coordinator, New Leaders for New Schools Resident Principal, Assistant Principal, KIPP Fisher Fellow, and Turnaround Principal. Ms. Chipman-Leeks graduated from Spelman College with a BA in Early Childhood Education and earned her M.A. from New York University in Special Education.  

Tricia Farquharson

Sr. Director of Educational Support Services

Ms. Farquharson joined Kindezi in 2016. Previously, she worked with the District of Columbia Public Schools as a Program Manager in the Office of Special Education. She managed a team of specialists to support the schools and parents with IEP development, eligibility determination, graduation, location determination, attendance, and truancy. In addition to leadership within the district, she served as Operations Director for an outpatient mental health clinic in Maryland where she built operational systems and procedures to improve service delivery. Ms. Farquharson received her undergraduate degree in History/Secondary Education from Columbia Union College, and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University.

Rebecca Chu

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Ms. Chu joined Kindezi in 2015 as an Executive Assistant to our Executive Director, Mr. Dean Leeper. In 2017, she transitioned to the Director of Strategic Initiatives where she oversees the network projects and initiatives. Prior to Kindezi, Rebecca managed the operations at hi-rise properties across Atlanta. She earned her bachelors degree from Kennesaw State University.

Devon Victoria Hagos

Director of Studios & Specials

Ms. Hagos joined Kindezi West Lake as a 5th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in the 2014-2015 school year. That year, she taught Drama and Debate specials and helped to write and produce whole school productions. In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, Mrs. Hagos has a background in acting, directing, playwriting, technical theatre, and arts management.  She is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and a winner of their Theatre Department's highest honor, the Randall C. Marsh Award. Mrs. Hagos holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Southern California.

Martine Robinson

Director of Talent

Ms. Robinson joined the Kindezi West Lake team for the 2013-2014 school year as a third grade math and science teacher. She later transitioned recruitment and operations department. Prior to teaching at Kindezi, Ms. Robinson taught in the Metro Atlanta area. She received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and her MSEd from Georgia Southern University.  Ms. Robinson's two children attend Kindezi.

Drew Waddell

Director of Finance

Mr. Waddell joined the Kindezi in 2017. He has a background in operations management and strategy and previously worked at McMaster-Carr and OnePath. Mr. Waddell holds an undergraduate degree in History from Davidson College and received an MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School. He has three daughters, and the oldest is a current student at Kindezi Old Fourth Ward.

Elizabeth Talaska

Associate Director of Development

Ms. Talaska joined Kindezi in 2013. Immediately prior, she worked in the for-profit sector as a project manager for a financial publishing company, but her love for nonprofit work began as a child with her involvement with Gilda's Club Nashville and later during an internship with Georgia Public Broadcasting. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree from Agnes Scott College in English literature and creative writing.