Mark works with an amazing team at GripTape, helping our young people to be true drivers of their learning and development and to seize great opportunities to grow, lead, and serve.

He has spent a considerable portion of his career directly developing and supporting hundreds of school leaders throughout the U.S. as Executive Director of multiple organizations. He has advised and led educational efforts all across the country as well as served on multiple boards, including the Council of Chief State School Officers and Chiefs for Change. He began his career as a teacher, and as principal went on to lead the dramatic turnaround of a low performing school.

Before joining the family at America Achieves, Mark was the Secretary of Education in Delaware. During his tenure, Delaware youth significantly improved their academic achievement, college access and success soared, high school dropout rates reached the lowest point in history, and the high school graduation rate increased to a record level.


Catherine is the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing operational, programmatic, and research activities as a member of an extraordinary team at GripTape. She is passionate about engaging with youth and adult partners to design solutions that empower young people to chart their paths to success. She has worked with educators, administrators, and technologists to create innovative programs and tools that support powerful, effective learning. Most recently, Catherine worked on the product, research, and editorial teams of an ed tech company after serving as Program Director for an educational nonprofit that brought engaging, project-based learning to underserved communities.

Catherine studied at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and in Paris, France. Today, she lives in New York City where she and her husband raised their two children. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading Civil War biographies, comparing Crossfit bruises with her husband, or practicing her French with anyone who will indulge her.


Ariel is the Program Manager for GripTape. She enjoys being a member of an enthusiastic team that emphasizes youth-driven learning. Ariel began her career as a middle school teacher in a DC charter school. While in the classroom, she became adamant about validating the culture, values, interests, and lived experiences of her students.

It was this experience that sparked her initial interest in youth-centered learning and compelled her to pursue her graduate degree in Sociology and Education. As a graduate student, Ariel also served as an Instructor at the Opportunity Network, an Arthur Zankel Urban Fellow at Teachers College Community School, and a Teacher’s Assistant at the Center for Research and Public and Leadership. Ariel received her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University and A.B. from Princeton University. She is passionate about resolving issues of educational inequality, deepening her spiritual walk, and has an insane obsession with Broadway shows, concerts, and dance.