Diverse skillsets create strong leadership

Brian King

Founder and Executive Director

Brian King was born and raised in the metropolitan area of Detroit, MI. He attended Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Language, Literature and Writing. Mr. King also attended the University of Michigan and completed his Masters of Arts in Secondary Education.  After completing graduate school, Mr. King relocated to Georgia.

Once in Georgia, Brian began his career as an English teacher. He would later move into school leadership. As a leader, Mr. King held roles as an Instructional Coach, Principal-In-Residence, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal.

Brian was raised to believe that education changes lives. Life and career have also taught him that a quality education can provide generational change for a student and their family.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and children, watching sports, participating in sports, reading, and traveling.

Dr. Nichelle Stone

Associate Director of Operations

Dr. Nichelle Stone, an Atlanta native, will relocate from Jacksonville, FL to return to her Georgia roots and oversee the facilities and operations of Liberation Academy as its Associate Director of Operations.  She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from her various roles in the corporate and education sectors, including Customer Service Representative, Senior Strategic Buyer, Project Manager, Director, and Educator.  Dr. Stone holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis on Educational Technology, from University of Phoenix, an MBA in Marketing from Clark Atlanta University, and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.  

Brandon Gwaltney

Board President

Brandon has over 5 years of experience in homebuilding customer service, construction, and procurement. He is a strong communicator with strengths in de-escalation, budget management, and building strong partnerships to achieve business outcomes. 

Brandon is also an advocate for service. As a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, he has always sought opportunities to serve. Brandon is passionate about education and the advancement of black and brown communities. The Liberation Academy board is fortunate to have him as a member.

Nicole Long

Vice President

Nicole Long is a proven Finance Business partner, Facilitator, Speaker and now entrepreneur with 20 + years of progressive experience in finance and accounting. Before becoming the owner of Twinkle Toes Nanny Agency West Cobb, Nicole was a highly accomplished finance and accounting leader for Fortune 500 companies such as General Motors, Coca Cola, and AT&T. 

Ms. Long also has years of experience in board leadership as a board member for the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the National Association of Black Accountants-Atlanta. Nicole is passionate about education and excited about impacting the lives of young people.

Rae Oglesby

Board Secretary

Rae Oglesby is a data-driven storyteller with a passion for social justice, equity and service. She started her career as a broadcast news journalist, working for a decade at CNN and local stations in Atlanta and Charleston, South Carolina before transitioning to nonprofit marketing and communications. She currently serves as the Vice President of Membership and Communications at UpTogether, a nonprofit organization that invests in the initiatives people with low incomes are taking to accomplish their goals. 

Darrell Springer

Board Treasurer

Darrell Springer is a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Atlanta Wealth  Management. He specializes in working with corporate professionals, executives, and  privately held business owners assisting them with comprehensive wealth  management solutions and investment advisory services. 

Darrell graduated from Georgia State University, J. Mack Robinson College of Business with a B.B.A in Finance and Marketing. A Houston native, Darrell now resides in Atlanta  where he is active in his community serving several charitable organizations including  Novaturient as a board member, Emerging 100 of Atlanta, and United Way African American Partnership.

Lorlita Spann

Lorlita Spann has dedicated her entire career to service. She brings a diverse array of skills to the board. She brings years of experience working with families and students as a counselor. She eventually moved into a manager role where oversaw a team of counselors.  

One of the many skills she possesses is project management and analysis. Currently, she is working as a Program Manager for Web MD.  Her commitment to service has been instrumental to Liberation Academy and the community. Her dedication to service and the advancement of education for underserved communities led her to the Liberation Academy Board. We are fortunate to have her.

Jamal Cooper

With over ten years of charter school experience, combined with business & real estate acumen, Jamal supports the development of academic programs, policies, and initiatives. Jamal works diligently to develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs, providing expertise in continuous improvements in discipline and inspiring curricula such as Project-Based Learning, Positive Behavior Intervention, and Support (P.B.I.S) and 21st Century instruction. Mr. Cooper also has additional experience specializing in business development, client development, and profit optimization.

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