Our Leadership Team
LeeAndra Jamison, Executive Director
Ms. Jamison joins the EPIC team with years of experience in redesigning school culture and driving strong outcomes for students. Prior to joining EPIC, she served as the CEO of Civitas Education Partners. LeeAndra also spent ten years with the Chicago Public Schools. She served as Principal of Bronzeville Scholastic, Assistant Principal at King College Prep High School and a Math Teacher at Whitney Young Magnet High School. Before beginning her journey into education, she spent 10 years as a Civil Engineer in some of Chicago’s largest firms (Parsons Brinckerhoff, A. Epstein & Sons, and Patrick Engineering). After designing roads, highways, gas stations and bridge inspections, she decided to take her skills and share them with the children of Chicago.
Roshaun Bowens, Interim Co-Principal
Roshaun Bowens is from Nashville, Tennessee and is the son of Olivia and Johnny Bowens. He is a proud HBCU graduate from Tennessee State University. There he was a 4 year captain of the basketball team and graduated with honors. After graduating undergrad with a B.S. in Psychology, he traveled overseas to play professional basketball in Europe. After retiring, he attended Adler School of Professional Psychology and received his Masters degree in Counseling Psychology in 2008. That same year he began his journey with Chicago Public Schools. For over the last decade, he has served the students of CPS in multiple roles, including a teacher, counselor, school level administrator, and Central Office representative. Mr. Bowens is also a Licensed Professional Counselor. He is passionate about mental health and committed to ensuring that our school is equipped with Social Emotional Learning systems and structures that promote student development.
Dion Steele, Interim Co-Principal
For over twenty-five years, Dion Steele has been a youth and community advocate, administrator, entrepreneur, and an educational tour de force. He comes to EPIC Academy with over 10 years experience in school leadership; serving as Director of External Partnerships and the Extended Day Program at University of Chicago Charters, and as Assistant Principal and Principal at Urban Prep Academies. He has taught at Hales Franciscan, Urban Prep Academies, and University of Chicago Charters to name a few. In recent years, Dion has served as a college professor, teaching an Introductory course in Ethics for students pursuing careers in Law. Dion Steele earned his Bachelors at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and his Masters at the University of Chicago.
Stefanie Burby, Director of Social Work Services
Stefanie L. Burby, MSW, LCSW has worked with children and families for the past 10+ years in various roles. She currently serves at Epic Academy as the Director of Social Work Services, where she has worked with our students for the past two years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois and Indiana. Ms. Burby has extensive training in trauma responses and behaviors, has led social skills and process groups with children and teenagers, and has worked in the school, outpatient Mental Health, and foster care settings. In addition, she recently launched her own private practice, (S. Burby Mental Health Consulting) and provides mental health services to clients added to the work she does with our students and families at Epic Academy. Ms. Burby loves serving others and has a strong passion for working with teenagers. She believes wholeheartedly in the potential and ability of children and youth who have been marginalized, overlooked and unheard. It is her life's work to assist others with realizing their full potential to be happy, healed and whole, and to have healthy lives to impact multi-generational growth in their families and communities.
Kamesha Hayes, Special Projects Manager
Hayes graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and is presently earning her Masters in Educational Leadership from Louisiana State University. Hayes has a background in tutoring, mentorship, teaching, and program management. She considers herself a student-focused leader, with an emphasis on student voice, student needs, and student dreams. Hayes can be reached at email@example.com for collaboration efforts and student support programming.
Kevyn Harmon - Senior Director of Finance and Administration
Kevyn is an accomplished business leader with experience at elementary, high schools, and district offices (public and not-for-profit) Highly skilled in a variety of administrative functions including school relations, finance, contract management, purchasing accounts payable, and payroll. He is a qualified leader with a proven ability to identify, analyze and collaborate with staff to increase the effectiveness of organized workflows and control costs through expertise in developing and managing human capital, audit readiness, student services, facilities, information technology, fixed assets, and social media. Past administrative roles include school business/operations manager, regional business manager, and director of accounting and operations.
Mark Kobek, Director of Coaching and Data Strategy
Mr. Kobek has served EPIC Academy for the last six years as an environmental science teacher, the Science Team Content Leader, and currently as the Director of Coaching and Data Strategy. As a non-traditional student himself, Mr. Kobek challenges the status quo in how we traditionally view education, pushing innovation and creativity to best meet the needs of all students. Before joining the team at Epic, Mr. Kobek attended South Suburban College and Illinois State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Earth and Space Science Education with an Endorsement in Physics Education. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Kobek’s experience in education has allowed him to work in various school settings, including bilingual kindergarten, suburban high schools, a juvenile detention center, traditional CPS schools, private schools, and now charter schools. Mr. Kobek is excited to utilize his experience to continue to elevate EPIC Academy and the surrounding community.
LaKesha Lockett, Director of Development and Communications
LaKesha brings nine years of experience to her role at EPIC Academy, previously holding various communications and development positions for nonprofit organizations serving children and families. Driven by a passion for continued learning, LaKesha received a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Wisconsin Parkside in 2016 and a certificate in Fundraising and Development from the University of California, Davis in 2021. LaKesha has a BS in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University. With a commitment to community involvement, LaKesha has spent her time as a youth mentor, serving on a local board and participating in various programs as an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Lolita Paul, Dean of Graduation
Lolita has served as EPIC's Dean of Graduation since January 2021. Before joining the team, Ms. Paul possessed over a decade of experience serving in student-facing roles within secondary and post-secondary organizations. The first and only college graduate within her immediate family, Ms. Paul is a graduate of National Louis University, where she earned a Bachelors in Applied Behavioral Science. Ms. Paul believes education is the foundation needed to expand one's knowledge base, career, and ultimately the rest of their life. As a result of this belief, she has dedicated most of her career to motivating, empowering, and inspiring Chicago youth to strive for high school academic success and beyond.
Margaret Smith - Director of Specialized Services
Margaret is an educator passionate about the importance of education, technology, and data-driven decision-making to deliver student learning. She is most interested in building a new school community that promotes critical thinking and collaboration between stakeholders in order to promote a better tomorrow for all learners today as well as throughout their educational experience. Her goal is to become an influential leader by continuing my personal and professional development with a primary focus on instructional pedagogy; curriculum design; instructional technology use; and teacher leadership practices, tools, and resources. Her goal is to improve student achievement at every level by using data to identify and support student growth opportunities
Victor Taylor, Director of Operations
Victor was born and raised on Chicago's South Side and is a proud product of Chicago Public Schools. After high school, Victor left Chicago and went off to Wisconsin to play football and more importantly be the first in his family to earn a degree from a four-year University. Before Victor joined the Epic family, he was the Director of Operations/Special Projects for a top 5 Chicago law firm for 30 years. Victor, along with his wife, continues to mentor and support young children/adults in any way possible. Mr. Taylor is a proud father of five and passed on the legacy of higher education to all of them. All five children have attained college degrees and are engaged in trying to improve our community.