We are a group of like-minded practitioners who work to strengthen the capacity of school systems and leaders to drive educational excellence and equity. At Skyrocket, we believe that leaders and teachers are the biggest determinant as to whether or not students are successful, and that is why we are wholly committed to rigorously and urgently training, coaching, and supporting leaders and teachers. Because every child deserves an excellent education and every second counts.
Amy Blescia-Cascarina is a Director of Leadership Coaching and Development at Skyrocket. She joined Skyrocket to make a BIG impact on students. She fundamentally believes that coaching teachers and school leaders to be their best selves inevitably leads to students reaching their fullest potential. Amy has worked in education for over 20 years, in mostly high needs communities. She has learned that educators want to do well by their students, but sometimes they don’t know how. It is her role to support them in learning how. In her spare time, Amy likes to cook delicious food, watch movies with her family, and if she could, ride her Peloton bike all day!
Antonio Vance, Ed. D.
Dr. Antonio Vance is Skyrocket’s Chief Schools Officer. Dr. Vance joined Skyrocket with only one intent in mind: to remove the barriers for underserved students by ensuring leaders and teachers are adequately prepared to hold up a high bar of expectations for their community. As a former teacher, school leader and Executive Director for a charter network, he is well versed in the challenges that schools face in their journey to achieve outstanding student outcomes. He is equally versed in how to overcome those challenges in practical, no nonsense ways. In his spare time Antonio enjoys being active (Indoor cycling, tennis), geeking out over science news, and traveling to new destinations.
Atiya Harmon is a School Leadership Coach at Skyrocket. Atiya joined Skyrocket because of the clear, concise, and effective approach to making school leaders and teachers better. She has served in every leadership capacity in schools, most recently as a principal in NYC, After using the Skyrocket model in 2016 as a school leader, her style of coaching changed which led a struggling teacher to Teacher of the Year within 2 years. In her spare time, Atiya watches Bob’s Burgers, cult documentaries, and spends time with family and friends. Atiya is the Founder of Black Girls Love Math, an education nonprofit committed to eliminating racial and gender inequality in K-12 mathematics.
Caitlin has held a variety of impactful roles in Philadelphia schools and education non-profit organizations for nearly 15 years. Most recently, she was Program Manager and Operations/Communications Manager at Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, where she was proud to be among the founding team members. In that role, she worked to create and coordinate leadership development programs for principals while simultaneously supporting organizational and operational development and growth. Prior to this, she was a high school math teacher and department chair in the School District of Philadelphia. Caitlin is grateful to be part of the Skyrocket team and aims to provide the most efficient systems, structures, and supports to maximize the team's impact on leaders, teachers, and students. In her spare time, you can find her hanging out with her family (i.e. chasing around her two incredible daughters).
Charles Ware, Jr.
Charles Ware, a School Leadership Coach at Skyrocket, is fueled by an unwavering conviction that schools wield immense power in molding globally conscious individuals. Throughout his professional journey in high-needs public and charter schools, Charles has dedicated himself to channeling his fervor for diversity, equity, and inclusion into empowering school leadership teams. His mission is to cultivate vibrant educational environments where every student can flourish. Beyond the realms of work, Charles loves chasing after his two incredible kids, Charlie and Finley. And, of course, as a Houston native, he passionately cheers for his beloved (albeit somewhat beleaguered) Houston Texans.
Elisa is an educator with nearly a decade of experience working across traditional public, public charter, and independent schools in both rural and urban environments. After teaching high school statistics for many years, she has a particular passion for making secondary math culturally and socially relevant. In her previous role, she designed curriculum and led professional development in a charter network of 250+ schools to share that mission with teachers across the country. In her work both as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, Elisa has consistently led students to and supported teachers in measurable success year over year, including doubling the growth measure for her Algebra 1 students in her first year in the classroom. She joined Skyrocket because she saw how intentional the model is with its clear action steps that could demystify teaching and offer educators at all stages of their career a path to the joyful, rigorous, affirming classroom environment all students deserve. When she's not in a school building, she can be found enjoying live music, exploring a new country, or spending time with her giant family, which is full of fellow educators.
Matthew Glass is a Director of Teacher Coaching and Development at Skyrocket. Matthew joined Skyrocket because of a shared commitment to significant change and improvement in education for kids, and in so doing, push everyone involved, from employees, to partners, to be the best versions of themselves. One of the things he learned in his previous work as a Director of Instructional Coaching and Director of Academic Coaching, is that clarity is kindness (to paraphrase Brene Brown), and that at Skyrocket, the clarity, the mission, and the values of the organization are rooted in being clear and kind in the best interests of kids. In his spare time, Matthew likes to read, binge-watch shows on Netflix with his wife, walk his bulldog Bunk, and suffer in his fandom for all Philly sports.
Michael Sonbert is the founder and CEO of Skyrocket Education. Michael started Skyrocket to provide a more precise and intentional path for school leaders and school teams to develop their teachers, build their own capacity, and to run excellent schools. As a teacher, instructional coach, and director of strategic partnerships for Mastery Charter Schools, he experienced up close the impact that pinpoint coaching can have on a teacher or leader's practice. Michael is the author of the Amazon best-seller, "Skyrocket Your Teacher Coaching" and co-host of the podcast, "Informal Observations." In his spare time, Michael likes listening to pop music, jumping in the North Atlantic Ocean in the winter, and wrestling with his three children.
Sharifa is a career educator and leader who is innately invested in the ability and success of all students and young people. Prior to joining Skyrocket, Sharifa was a Manager of School Investments tasked with managing a $75+ million school investment portfolio inclusive of 65+ schools across the city of Philadelphia as well as a Program Director creating and leading professional development and coaching to 1/3 of all school and district leaders in the city of Philadelphia. Throughout her 15+ year career, Sharifa has had the honor and privilege of serving some of the nation’s finest students in both traditional public and public charter schools in New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, New Orleans, Memphis, and Philadelphia. Since starting her career as a social studies teacher, she has moved on to be an Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Sharifa is a New York native, when she is not supporting leaders and driving transformational outcomes with young people, can be found traveling the world or exploring Philadelphia with her beloved pup Marley.
Tiffany Holmes, Ed. D.
Dr. Tiffany Holmes is a Director of Leadership Coaching and Development at Skyrocket. She joined Skyrocket to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and partnership that leaders and teachers need to create highly functioning schools that are creating the educational experience that all students deserve. Tiffany has been a teacher, a lead teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, and a principal manager. She often thinks back on how much more effective she could have been had she been coached as a young teacher. She was lucky to have coaching as a new leader and she wants to offer that same level of support and development to other leaders. In her spare time, Tiffany spends time with her daughter and her dog. She loves working out and listening to audiobooks. Tiffany holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.