Our Board

Headshot image of Daniela Grigioni

Daniela Grigioni, Chair

Executive Director at After-School All-Stars DC

BoardChair@briya.org

Daniela Grigioni began working in education as a second career in 1998. A physician by training, she came to the United States from Italy in 1990 with young family. The more she became involved in her three children’s education, the more she realized the importance of contributing to this field. Daniela worked over 20 years for DCPS, and two years at Briya, called Education Strengthens Families Public Charter School at that time. After 8 years at DCPS central office, managing partnerships in the afterschool and summer school space, she transitioned to her current job as Executive Director of After-School All-Stars DC, serving seven Title I schools with free afterschool programming. Daniela was born in Rome, Italy. She holds a medical degree and came to the United States with her family in 1990, living in DC since with her family.

Doris Garay

Doris Garay, Vice Chair

Family Engagement Facilitator/Social Worker

BoardViceChair@briya.org

Doris Garay is a Family Engagement Facilitator Social Worker III for the Department of Family Services in Fairfax, Virginia. Doris holds a degree in Multicultural Adult Education from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in Infant and Family Education/Early Childhood from Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. She has over 20 years of experience working in education and social services in the metropolitan DC area. Doris is a former Briya staff member.

Headshot of Flor Buruca

Flor Buruca, Secretary

Briya student

Flor Buruca is a Briya student in the Two-Generation Program and a 2019 graduate of Briya’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Program. She is from El Salvador and came to the United States in 2005. Flor started taking classes at Briya in 2012, and since has progressed from the Basic 1 English class to the Advanced 1 English class. Flor’s husband, Cristian, is also a Briya student. She has two children who attend a public DC elementary school, where she has been an active parent and member of the PTO. She has also served as a member of Briya’s student council and as a Briya outreach ambassador, and participates in education advocacy with the DC parent organization PAVE. Flor plans to continue studying at Briya and hopes to work as an early childhood educator after earning her CDA credential. She has served as a Briya board member since 2018.

Nishit (Nick) Sheth, Treasurer

Business Manager at Subsystem Technologies, supporting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Nishit Sheth currently holds a Business Manager position with Subsystem Technologies, a Virginia-based firm that provides engineering and management services to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Nishit supports the Surveillance Services group within FAA’s Air Traffic Systems Directorate to help implement the next generation of national airspace capabilities, including future airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS-X) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B, a precise satellite-based surveillance system). Originally from India, Nishit moved to the US in 2006. Nishit received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from University of Maryland. As the son of an active social worker, Nishit followed his mother’s footsteps by serving as a Briya Finance Committee member before becoming a Full Board member in 2016.

Darryl Clay

Chief Operating Officer, Ingenuity Prep Public Charter School, Washington, DC

Darryl Clay is Chief Operating Officer at Ingenuity Prep Public Charter School in Washington, DC. He has several years of finance and operations experience at schools and other mission-driven organizations. Darryl started his career as an accountant at KPMG where he was promoted to manager in Advisory Services. He has also served as an Entrepreneurship Instructor for middle school students (City Gate), Summer Camp Director (National Ten-Point Leadership Foundation), PTO Treasurer (Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School) and Budget Committee Chair (Alfred Street Baptist Church). Darryl holds a BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College, an MDiv from Boston University and an MS.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys cycling through Rock Creek Park, attending live music shows, and amusing his wife (Nafees) and son (Elijah).

Thomas Gerkin

Compliance Analyst, Whitman-Walker Health

Headshot of Judy Mortrude

Judy Mortrude

Senior Technical Advisor, World Education, Inc.

Judy has more than 30 years’ experience developing, delivering, and evaluating workforce education aimed at low-literacy and high-barrier adults.   Judy is a Senior Technical Advisor for World Education, Inc where she directs the LINCS Professional Development Center and will continue supporting state efforts to scale and sustain integrated education and training and assist states in meeting the state leadership requirements set forth in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 223.  She has been a classroom teacher, school administrator, and state agency staff.  Her most recent job was as Senior Policy Analyst and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). Prior to that, Judy co-designed and directed the Minnesota FastTRAC integrated education and training program for the Minnesota Department of Education and Economic Development.

Headshot of Alejandra Sandoval

Alejandra Sandoval

Briya student

Alejandra Sandoval is a Briya student in the Advanced 1 English class. She is from Mexico and came to the United States in 2003 without speaking English or knowing anyone except her husband. Alejandra first began studying at Briya in 2011. She has three children, the youngest of whom is currently part of Briya’s toddler class. At Bancroft Elementary School, where her older children attend, Alejandra is a member of the parent-teacher organization and Local School Advisory Team, attends weekly parent coffee events, and has led fundraising initiatives. She also participates in education advocacy with the DC parent organization PAVE. Alejandra plans to continue improving her English and hopes to attend college in the future. She has served as a Briya board member since 2018.

Todd Shears

Todd Shears

Founder and Owner, BlueSail Advisors LLC

Todd Shears is the founder and owner of BlueSail Advisors LLC, a financial planning and investment advisory in Washington, DC. Todd moved to DC in 1982 after completing his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He spent the early part of his career working for non-profit associations before transitioning to financial services. Todd has been a board member since April 2016 and sits on the Finance Committee. Interestingly, his first job in Washington was with the National Schools Boards Association.

Cara Sklar

Deputy Director, Early & Elementary Education Policy at New America

Cara Sklar is deputy director of Early & Elementary Education Policy for New America. She leads a team working on new ideas for improving children’s birth through third grade learning experiences. Prior to joining New America, Sklar gained education policy experience working at the federal, state, and local levels. She was a federal policy analyst for Zero to Three, an education research analyst for the District of Columbia Government, and the director of research and policy for Briya. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Deborah Spitz

Deborah Spitz

Program Specialist, Office of Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education

Deborah Spitz is a program specialist in the Office of Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education, where she is the team leader for the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge program. She has managed other federal early learning and literacy programs including Even Start Family Literacy. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, where she managed research projects relating to education. She has worked as a policy analyst and grant manager for DCPS and DC PCSB. She received a law degree from Stanford in 1996 and is completing a master’s degree in education psychology at George Mason University.