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Wisconsin Team

Acelero Learning recruits the highest quality staff possible.

Our team is the best equipped to serve your children, your family, and your community. We are proud to say that all of our teachers have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or equivalent and our senior leadership team is comprised of experts in education, health, finance, and operations. Our growing board of directors is made up of respected community leaders, educators, attorneys, financial managers, and Head Start parents.

Senior Leadership Team

Christina Herrera has over 20 years of experience in childhood education and began her career with Acelero Learning in 2008 at our Clark County delegate in Las Vegas, NV. She now serves as Acelero Learning Wisconsin’s Executive Director. Christina’s educational leadership drives strategic planning and collaboration across our Head Start services areas as we strive to close the achievement gap and build a better future for children. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from California University, Chico.

Karina Benitez  joined Acelero Learning Wisconsin in 2018 as the Director of Monitoring and Compliance. Prior to Acelero, Karina worked for Centro Hispano Milwaukee – Head Start as the Assistant Director for Compliance, where she created and managed comprehensive policies, procedures, and ensured the program followed compliance guidelines from the Office of Head Start and DCF.  Karina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Jessica joined Acelero Learning in 2017. Jessica leads the family engagement work done in partnership between enrolled families and family advocates, along with ensuring full student enrollment at all centers in Wisconsin. Before Acelero, Jessica worked for 10 years at the City of Milwaukee Health Department in the Family and Community Health Division. During her tenure, she provided leadership and oversight to a wide range of programs including WIC, home visiting, health insurance, breast cancer and cervical cancer screening, men’s health, teen pregnancy prevention, and infant mortality prevention. Jessica continues to serve on various boards and coalitions committed to improving the health and well-being of all families.

Ramel Hill joined Acelero Learning Wisconsin in 2013 as our Director of IT and Operations. He oversees the management of operational areas that enable our programs and centers to run efficiently and effectively. Ramel ensures that our sites are safe and healthy environments that meet all applicable federal, state, and local licensing and health codes/regulations. In addition to our centers, Ramel is responsible for our transportation fleet, storage facilities, and administrative offices. He also oversees all construction projects with all of our locations in Wisconsin. Ramel is also the lead in IT with Acelero Wisconsin with support in technology. He has worked in a variety of education-related positions throughout his 10+ year career and enjoys helping others achieve their goals. Ramel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

Briana Proby joined Acelero in October 2021. As the Human Resources Business Partner she focuses on ensuring Acelero Learning’s  leaders are making the best decisions for the well-being of staff and families.  Prior to joining Acelero, Briana worked for the U.S. Government in their Human Resources department for several years and also worked in the HR Department for Allstate. Briana has her Bachelors in Health Care Administration and Masters in organizational Psychology.

Board of Directors

Shebaniah Muhammad is the Executive Director of 21st Century Preparatory School. Shebaniah has been in the field of education for 24 years. He has worked in various aspects of public K-12 education. Shebaniah worked in Kenosha Unified School District in various roles. Those roles included principal of Grant Elementary, assistant principal at Tremper High School, dean of students at Indian Trail Academy, dean of students and teacher at Lincoln Middle School. He began his career in education as Parent Liaison and Gang Prevention Specialist at the Lincoln Center, Kenosha WI in 1997.

Over his 21 years in education, Shebaniah has been active in the community going beyond the walls of the school. He believes in bridging the gap between school and the real world, making education a partnership between the school, home and the community. He is currently a member of the Wisconsin State ACT Council and Racine Community Health Center board of directors. He is Co-coordinator of the Mahone Fund Scholarship Committee, Power Up committee. Shebaniah is also a member of the State Superintendent Equity Council.

In college he was elected to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities 1996 and 1997. In May 2015 he received the Phi Kappa Delta Distinguished Leadership in Education Award. Under his leadership, Grant Elementary became a Title 1 School of Recognition for Beating the Odds 2 years in a row, 2016-17 and 2017-18. Shebaniah was awarded the Signature Award by the Mahone Fund in 2018 with the name of the award being changed to the Shebaniah B. Muhammad Signature Award. Shebaniah’s biggest honor and proudest moment is being a father to his daughter, Leah.

Earnestine Willis is the Kellner Professor in Pediatrics / Director of the Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Dr. Earnestine Willis has established her career in maternal and child health and has practiced in urban communities facing health disparities for more than three decades across several large cities. She has led numerous successful initiatives including early literacy promotion; oral health improvement; adverse birth outcomes through a community-based life course perspective; child advocacy; school-based health services; emergency preparedness; supporting lactation in the workplace for women returning to work; and effective interventions to address health disparities.

In addition to her roles as Professor and Director, Dr. Willis has a secondary appointment at MCW in the Institute of Health & Society (IHS). Under Dr. Willis’ leadership, MCW’s Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (CPTI) was initiated as a local collaboration with five higher education institutions and 10 community-based organizations. Before coming to MCW, Dr. Willis spent 15 years directing a federally qualified look-alike health center at the University of Chicago.

She has a longstanding track record of advocating for children and has taken on various leadership roles to document the social and health needs of children in underserved neighborhoods and has designed effective interventions to address health disparities for low-income families. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for the Community Health Improvement for Milwaukee’s Children (CHIMC) project, which is funded by NIMHD/NIH, and she serves on the boards of the Penfield Children’s Center, Acelero Learning – Wisconsin, and National Government Services, Inc. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Willis was the Chair of the State of Wisconsin Tobacco Control and Prevention Board and led the state in the development of its tobacco prevention program. She is the recipient of the Community Impact Award from the Medical Society of Milwaukee County.

Dr. Willis completed medical school training at Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral training for her master’s in public health at Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her pediatric residency training at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. In 2012, she was recognized for her exemplary community efforts by being awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University. She completed fellowships in general pediatrics and leadership development, and was a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship.

Darcy K. Schwartz is the Senior Finance Manager of Information Services and Delivery at Rockwell Automation. Schwartz is a business professional with over 20 years experience in accounting, finance, internal audit and management.  Schwartz currently supports the finance activities for one of the business segments for Rockwell Automation in lifecycle services, information services and delivery.  Previously Schwartz was Sr. Finance Manager of Global Supply Chain and Sr. Manager of General Audit with Rockwell Automation and prior to that Director of Audit Operations and Internal Control with Veolia Environmental Services North America and she has also held several positions while increasing responsibilities with each at Veolia Environmental Services, JohnsonDiversey and the Village of Mount Pleasant.

Schwartz considers herself a world citizen having visited approximately 60 countries with some being multiple times as a part of her career and recreational experiences.

Schwartz is dedicated to her profession and she has achieved several professional certifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and she is a current member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).  Schwartz earned a Master’s degree in Management with a concentration in Professional Accounting from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Bachelor of Science – Business Management in Accounting and Finance from University of Wisconsin – Parkside Kenosha.

Miles W. Hartley is a partner at Guttormsen & Hartley, LLP focusing in the areas of personal injury, civil and business litigation and worker’s compensation.

Miles joined Guttormsen & Hartley, LLP in 2006 after graduating Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School.  He also obtained his Bachelors of Arts Degree in 2002 from UW-Madison.

Born and raised in Southeast Wisconsin, Miles is thrilled to make Racine, WI his home with his wife and three children.  Miles is an avid sailor and loves racing sail boats on Lake Michigan. When he is not on the water, Miles enjoys coaching his kids’ softball and soccer teams.

Miles has taught college level legal course at both Cardinal Stritch University and Carthage College.  Additionally, Miles believes strongly in community and civic engagement. To that end he has served as the President of the Friends of the Kenosha Public Museums, Inc., Vice-Chair of the Kenosha Housing Authority, and as a board member of the United Way of Kenosha County. Further, Miles has been actively involved in volunteering through the Kenosha Area Business Alliance mentoring program, the United Way of Kenosha County Readers are Leaders Program and the ECLA Outreach Center’s Legal Clinic.

Michelle Fox is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Founder and Director of Outreach 4 Healthy Teeth.

Michelle has been a registered dental hygienist serving Southeastern Wisconsin since 2007. She began her career in private dental practice and soon realized that there were many people in our communities who have little or no access to essential dental care. In 2019, with a grant from the Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile organization, Michelle developed a school-based dental sealant program. Currently, Outreach 4 Healthy Teeth provides preventative services to the little scholars who attend Acelero Learning Centers and the secondary grade levels in Kenosha Unified School District schools.

She attended the dental hygiene program at Milwaukee Area Technical College, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated top of her class in 2007. In 2006 she was elected by her professors to Sigma Phi Alpha, the dental hygiene honors society. She also received the Lamp of Knowledge, an award that signifies her exemplary scholastic achievements. As a member of the Wisconsin Dental Hygiene Association, she understands that unity strengthens a community.

Michelle was born and raised in Illinois. In her early adult years, she was fortunate to have traveled to amazing places like Alaska and Germany, where she learned the value of people and their cultures. In 2001, Michelle found her way to Wisconsin and settled in the Kenosha area which she now calls home. Driven by her love for Southeastern Wisconsin, she works to deepen her roots in its community and serve its people.

Todd Nienhaus is the Senior Pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship church in Racine, Wisconsin, which was founded and incorporated in February of 1992. He was appointed Co-Pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship on November 4, 2006 and installed as Senior Pastor on April 14, 2019.

Pastor Todd Nienhaus is a life-long resident of Racine, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in December 1987 with a BA in Sociology and minors in Political Science and Economics. Since graduation, Pastor Todd built a multi-faceted career in several vocations. Along with pastoring, he worked in several social service organizations for youth and assisted families, as a coordinator and recruiter in workforce development, and as a web and publishing professional for global security companies.

Pastor Todd is currently serving as a Success Coach for the STARTS Now program for Racine County Workforce Solutions. He helps Racine County residents obtain vocational training and assists in removing barriers to success in careers and lives.