Zeta Network Leadership

Emily A. Kim, CEO

Emily Kim has a decade of experience in education - as a teacher, in special education and early intervention, and on the senior management team of Success Academy Charter Schools, a world-class NYC nonprofit charter school network.  Ms. Kim studied at the Teachers College, Columbia University (Ed.M., Teaching of English), the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. & M.A., English), and Columbia Law School (J.D.).  She is the mother of three boys and a dedicated charter school parent.

Paola Zalkind, Managing Director of Academics

Paola Zalkind's commitment to educational excellence began in the classroom, as a kindergarten teacher.  During her school's first testing year, 97% of students passed the New York state assessments, ranking in the top 1% of all New York Schools.  After serving as an Assistant Principal, she became the Founding Principal of Success Academy Union Square Elementary School and then Managing Director of Schools, managing a large cohort of elementary and middle schools.  She has conducted numerous widely acknowledged trainings for principals of various experience levels and in various school settings.  Her primary training focus is on personnel management, teaching leaders how to get rigorous outcomes through their teams.  Ms. Zalkind is a Teach for America corps member, and holds an M.A. in Politics and Education from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Law and Society (Literature minor) from American University.

Jessie M. Ferguson, General Counsel & Director of Special Projects

Jessie Ferguson has dedicated the majority of her career to improving educational outcomes for high-needs students, both as an attorney and as an educator.  Ms. Ferguson previously served as Legal Counsel for Success Academy Charter Schools, where she provided advice on matters involving special education, facilities, construction, teacher certification, and general compliance.  Prior to joining Success Academy, Ms. Ferguson practiced in the Executive Compensation group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.  Ms. Ferguson taught Head Start preschool as a Teach For America corps member.  She received her J.D from New York University School of Law and her B.A. in Music and Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College.