Ombudsman Leadership

Rudolph Flores
Senior Vice President, Operations, Ombudsman Educational Services

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Rudolph Flores
Senior Vice President, Operations, Ombudsman Educational Services

As Senior Vice President, Operations, Rudolph Flores provides oversight, leadership and direction for ESA’s Ombudsman Educational Services Division. Mr. Flores has extensive operations experience, he worked in public education for 20 years serving in a variety of different roles from educator to a key executive in the operations division. Mr. Flores has spent the last several years in the private sector as both an entrepreneur and consultant in the areas of education, technology, healthcare and commercial real estate development. Mr. Flores holds an MBA in International Business from San Jose International University, Costa Rica, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and is a recent graduate of The Disney Way of Leadership and Business Excellence – Disney Institute, Orlando, FL.

Caroline Damask
Vice President, Financial Operations

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Caroline Damask
Vice President, Financial Operations

Ms. Damask has been Vice President, Financial Operations of Ombudsman Division since October 2010. She is responsible for providing direction and leadership to the accounting/finance department, managing accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting and financial analysis functions while focusing on sound internal controls and best practices. She previously served in the positions of Controller, Director of Finance and Assistant Controller of Ombudsman from June 2003 to September 2010.  Prior to joining Ombudsman, Ms. Damask held various management positions in accounting and finance in both public and private companies in a wide variety of industries.  Ms. Damask earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Illinois State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Heather Achtemeier
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources

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Heather Achtemeier
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources

Heather Achtemeier earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She serves as the human resources representative for the Ombudsman division, providing assistance with employee benefits, the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers compensation and unemployment, with a primary focus on employee relations, recruitment and retention.

Heather joined Ombudsman in 1998, previously serving as an attendance coordinator and human resources project manager. Heather has proven experience in overseeing the recruiting, hiring and retention of highly qualified teachers and staff and ensures employment compliance. She has provided leadership in the training and development of the Ombudsman leadership team. She has focused on employment law, performance monitoring, employee relations and mediation. As the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources with years of experience in the field, Heather has the proven ability to provide quality staff support, strategic direction, quality performance monitoring and professional development to all staff.

Finn McLaughlin
Vice President, Curriculum and Instruction

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Finn McLaughlin
Vice President, Curriculum and Instruction

Ms. McLaughlin earned her Master’s in Education from DePaul University, with focus on Language, Literacy and Specialized Instruction, and holds certification in Special Education, English, Reading and Social Studies.  Ms. McLaughlin also served as a Graduate Assistant at DePaul University and was responsible for managing the Reading and Learning Lab, which served students K-12 in the community.  Part of this responsibility also included tutoring college students who struggled with reading, organization, and test taking skills.

Ms. McLaughlin began her career as an Ombudsman teacher in 1998, advancing to site director and then regional manager for Illinois and Arizona.  As Assistant Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction, Ms. McLaughlin focuses on curriculum development, implementation and evaluation for all Ombudsman learning centers, and oversees the curriculum training function for all teachers and staff.  Ms. McLaughlin successfully developed and implemented a course structure that ensures academic standards are met in all areas, and courses are paced to ensure teachers can work with students to set goals for academic success.  Ms. McLaughlin implemented evidence based instructional strategies across the organization, and continues to provide professional development for teachers in this area.

Janice Zagorniak
Assistant Vice President, Integrity Assurance

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Janice Zagorniak
Assistant Vice President, Integrity Assurance

Janice completed her undergraduate studies at the State University in Potsdam, NY with a degree in education and psychology and earned her Master’s degree in elementary education. During her career at Ombudsman, Janice has demonstrated strong educational and practical experiences in a wide range of positions of increasing responsibility including: teaching, administration, quality and accreditation.  Strong communication skills, both oral and written help her build an inclusive team environment.

Matthew Schwartz
Assistant Vice President, Facilities

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Matthew Schwartz
Assistant Vice President, Facilities

Matthew Schwartz started working for Ombudsman in 1998 as a charter school director. In 2000, he was promoted to regional manager and was named director of center development and support in 2006. Most recently, in 2014, Mr. Schwartz was promoted to assistant vice president of facilities for ChanceLight Behavioral Health and Education, where he currently oversees new construction and facility maintenance for all of the company’s divisions.

Through the years, Mr. Schwartz has managed dozens of centers, opened the first of many Georgia centers and spearheaded a new department in charge of overseeing the construction of new Ombudsman centers. Since 2006, under his leadership, the Ombudsman facility department has assisted in opening or relocating approximately 200 facilities. Mr. Schwartz received his master’s degree in education from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill., and Bachelor of Science degrees in both history and sociology from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

Harold Ragland
Director of Infrastructure

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Harold Ragland
Director of Infrastructure

Harold has been with Ombudsman for 15 years in the roles of IT Manager and Director of Projects. Harold is responsible for oversight of information technology strategy for the organization, developing and implementing the policies and goals for the IT department

Melinda Barber
Executive Assistant

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Melinda Barber
Executive Assistant

Ms. Barber provides high-level support to Rudy Flores, Senior Vice President of Operations and as Office Manager to the Arizona administrative office of Ombudsman.

She is a seasoned Executive Assistant with more than 25 years in office administration. Prior to joining Ombudsman, Ms. Barber held executive assistant positions in the medical field supporting a VP, CNO, CMO and CEO.

Ms. Barber received her A.A.S. in Organizational Management and is a Certified Administrative Professional and acting member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) organization. The International Association of Administrative Professionals is a member-driven association that is committed to enhancing the success of career-minded administrative professionals through education, community building and leadership development.

Sue Fila
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

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Sue Fila
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

Sue Fila has been a member of the Ombudsman team since 1999. She has held several management positions at Ombudsman, including director, regional manager and assistant director of center operations. In 2008, Sue was promoted to vice president of center operations, with responsibility for providing leadership, quality assurance, managerial and administrative support to all regions and centers. Sue also leads the accreditation process for Ombudsman learning centers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the Pennsylvania State University and holds a certificate as a school improvement specialist.

Binky Michele Jones
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

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Binky Michele Jones
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

Binky Jones began her career with Ombudsman in 2000 as a center director for Metro Charter, one of eight schools operated by the company in Arizona.  She has served in several positions for the company, including Regional Manager of Arizona and Assistant Vice President of Operations.  In 2013, Jones was promoted to Regional Vice President and is responsible for providing overall leadership, quality assurance, and strategic direction for the Ombudsman Charter Schools. Jones has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Education and Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  She currently holds a K-12 Arizona teaching certificate in vocational education and an Arizona Principal’s Certificate.  In 2015, she was elected President Elect of the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium and currently holds that position.

Mackenson “Mac” Petit
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

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Mackenson “Mac” Petit
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

Mac has 13 years of experience, 11 in leadership in the education field with Ombudsman Educational Services. Mac earned his B.A. in Physical Education and Coaching and has spent several years working with secondary students in alternative settings. Mac works with more than 20 school districts across the state of Georgia to provide alternative education services for at-risk students.

Scott Russell
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

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Scott Russell
Regional Vice President, Center Operations

Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University. Scott has been employed with Ombudsman for 13 years in the roles of instructor, site director, operations manager, Assistant Vice President and is in his second year as Regional Vice President of the Northeast and South Central Region. Scott is responsible for oversight of operations of the centers in his region, state and contract compliance and leadership and development of staff.

Lori Smith
Assistant Vice President, Special Education

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Lori Smith
Assistant Vice President, Special Education

Lori holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  While a Special Education teacher in Illinois, she obtained her Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.) degree from National-Louis University.  She began working for Ombudsman Educational Services in 2009 as the Director of Special Education.  During her tenure, she acquired her Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Educational Leadership from DePaul University in Chicago.  In 2016, Lori was promoted to Assistant Vice President, Special Education.  She is responsible for the management of contractual agreements with partnering entities, including districts and stakeholders.  Lori assures that programs are operating in compliance with state and national regulations specifically for students with disabilities.

Rachel Black
Program Administrator

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Rachel Black
Program Administrator

Rachel joins Ombudsman as Program Administrator for the Joe Foss Alternative and President’s Academy programs in Sioux Falls. These programs enroll a total of 400 students. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Augustana University and her Masters of Science in Professional School Counseling from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She earned an Education Specialist- Principal degree from the University of Sioux Falls, where she was also presented the Servant Leadership Award in 2016. Rachel brings 12 years of comprehensive experience as a 7-12 English Language Arts teacher, school counselor and success coordinator to her director position.

Alexis McNece
Area Supervisor

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Alexis McNece
Area Supervisor

Alexis hold a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University of Fullerton, a Master’s in Secondary Teaching, and a Master’s in Secondary School Administration from Lindenwood University.  Alexis began her employment with ESA in 2001 as a site director in St. Louis City.  The following year she became an area supervisor and remains in that capacity today.  Alexis is responsible for the oversight of Missouri center operations, leadership and development of staff.

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