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 Director of Teacher Coaching and Development 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.
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.
Rashaun Reid is a Director of Leadership Coaching and Development. He works at Skyrocket because Skyrocket is focused on developing teachers and leaders in order to improve student outcomes. The vision is crystal clear, the values are lived, and staff members are empowered to lead. Rashaun has served as an Assistant Principal and Principal in high performing turnaround schools and as a Director of Academics and Chief Academic Officer, where he coached and managed school leaders and executives. These roles taught him that success is best achieved when mission, vision, values, and team members are aligned. In his spare time Rashaun enjoys traveling to new countries with beautiful beaches.
Samantha Levine is an Instructional Coach at Skyrocket. Sam joined the Skyrocket team so that she can build teacher skill sets to ultimately make them more confident in their craft and more effective in instruction. It brings her great fulfillment to be able to help teachers see the change in their students' educational experiences for the better. During her previous experience as an instructional coach, school leader, and special educator, she learned the importance of knowing a student's strengths, setting goals for student outcomes, and that the details matter! These experiences molded her into the coach she is today. In her free time, Sam can be found exploring a Philadelphia playground with her toddler, trying out a home DIY project, or playing a competitive board game with friends and family.
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.
Shay Reitz, Ed. D.
Dr. Shay Reitz is an Instructional Coach at Skyrocket Education. Dr. Reitz joined Skyrocket Education because of a community of coaches and leaders who believe in the tangible, actionable steps to impact student outcomes with a focus on equity. As a founding instructional coach, director of instructional coaching, leadership team member, educational consultant, department chair, and teacher, she learned that compassion and trust lead to the strongest buy-in when they are tied to immediately applicable solutions and tangible results. Shay earned her Doctor of Education and founded an academic writing company. In her spare time, Shay enjoys physical activities such as indoor cycling, practicing yoga, barre, and strength training. She loves going for walks and eating pizza with her husband and their new baby!
Stacey Sonbert is the Director of Operations at Skyrocket Education. She shares in Skyrocket Educations’ belief that all children deserve the best education, and ensuring that teachers and leaders are adequately prepared is crucial to that belief. As the Operations Director, her role is pivotal to the success of our team as she supports and oversees all of the operational aspects of the organization. Stacey is no stranger to the stresses and challenges of running a successful operation. She comes from a long and successful career in the Sports and Fashion industry, serving in multiple director and managerial roles. Stacey has a unique talent for operational efficiencies, complex problem solving, and just getting stuff done! In her spare time, you can find her exploring new restaurants in New York City, binge-watching crime shows, and traveling.
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.