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Board Members



Barbara Crain-Major is the President of the Advocates for Innovative Schools, Inc. Board of Directors.  She is the third person to hold that office in the school’s 13 –year history.  Ms. Major is known throughout the country as a trainer in Undoing Racism through the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Locally Ms. Major is a renowned community activist.  She was elected to her office in June of 2018.  She has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans.

Stephen Goodly is the Vice-President of the Advocates for Innovative Schools, Inc. Board of Directors. He is an Assistant principal at McDonogh 35 High School and a former Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year. Mr. Goodly has a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern University in New Orleans and a Master of Administration and Supervision with a focus on Educational Technology Leadership degree from Southeastern University.


Cheryl J. Beaco is a former Orleans Parish School Board Principal and Teacher.  She has a special interest in middle school students.  Beaco holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University and a Master of Arts Degree from Tulane.  She is certified as a K – 12 Principal.  Ms. Beaco has been on the Advocates for Innovative Schools, Inc. Board of Directors for 3 years.  She serves on the Finance, Academic, and Facility Committee.   She is also the Board’s Secretary.


Ora Lee Wiley is a former Recovery School District Elementary School Principal.  Pre-Katrina, Ms. Wiley was a Title I Staff Developer and Curriculum Coordinator in the New Orleans Public School system.  She has a Masters of Arts degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction and Supervision of Instruction from Xavier University.  Ms. Wiley chairs the Governance Committee.  She is also a member of the Academic Committee.


Debra Perkins Adams Joined the Advocates for Innovative, Inc. Board of Directors in May 2018. Ms. Adams has a B.A. in Special Education with a minor in Student Personnel Services from Bennett College in Greensboro, ND. She also has an .A. from Xavier University. She worked for the Orleans Parish School Board and the Recovery School District as a Human Resources Administrator. Ms. Adams is a writer, public speaker, and staff developer.Ms. Adams is the Chair of the Academic Committee and a member of the Finance Committee.


Melissa R. Johnson joined the Board of Directors in May of 2019. She is the President and Owner of an accounting and management consulting firm. Ms. Johnson Received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Xavier University, an MBA with Finance Concentration from Tulane University and is a Masters in Finance student at Tulane.


Marcia McWilliams was selected for membership on the AIS Board of Directors in June of 2019.  McWilliams’ professional career was spent as an Insurance Executive.  She is chairperson of the Governance Committee and a member of the Academics Committee.  Ms. McWilliams is also the President of the Lake Kenilworth Home Owners Association.  She attended Loyola and Florida State Universities for a B.S. majoring in Accounting and a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles.