Staff

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Amber Arellano
is the executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest. Arellano has more than two decades of experience in journalism and public policy. As the founding leader of the Education Trust-Midwest, she directs work on Michigan education research, policy and public engagement.  Previously she was a columnist and editorial board writer for The Detroit News, where the National Association of Hispanic Journalists named her Commentator of the Year for what it called her influential coverage of Michigan education.  Her journalism work included reporting on the Detroit Public Schools, race relations in Michigan, and immigration in California and Mexico.  She spent several years serving in the policy sector, including work at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Executive Office.

Arellano holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.  She began her career as a Michigan public high school teacher after earning her bachelor's degree in secondary education, American history and journalism from Michigan State University.  She is the first person in her family to attend college, and has mentored and taught students ranging from elementary school to high school.  She had the pleasure of teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan State University’s respected School of Journalism. She serves on the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation’s board, Michigan Economic Center’s Investor-Leadership Council and the Prosperity Coalition’s Leadership Council.   

Nicole Fury is the operations assistant at Ed Trust-Midwest.  Fury comes to Ed Trust-Midwest having completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from EMU.  She holds a Master of Science degree in human resources and organizational development, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management with a human resources concentration. Nicole’s graduate work gave her the opportunity to become familiar with a non-profit organization, The Buster Foundation, for which she volunteers her time and talents.  Nicole’s energy, desire to work with people, and her advocacy makes her particularly well-suited for being a part of the team at Ed Trust-Midwest to help all Michigan students.

Donnell Green
is the operations manager for The Education Trust-Midwest.  Donnell's broad business experience affords her the opportunity to handle operations, human resources, grant management and office liaison work.  A native Michigander raised in Waterford and currently residing in Rochester, Green holds a bachelor's degree from Oakland University in elementary education (certified K-8), and has completed coursework toward her master's degree in early childhood education at Oakland University.  While completing her degree in elementary education, Green worked in diverse classrooms ranging from Detroit, Pontiac, Oxford and Rochester to work with Michigan students.  She is a proud mother of two students in Michigan public schools.

Sunil Joy
is the data and policy analyst at EdTrust- Midwest.  Upon completing his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Sunil spent three years as a community organizer and recruiter with the national non-profit network, Direct Action and Research Training Center. Most recently, Sunil completed his Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, where he studied education access, workforce development, and quantitative analysis and research. Sunil is a native Michigander, and is passionate about ensuring fairness and equality for low-income students.

Sarah Winchell Lenhoff
is the director of policy and research at Ed Trust-Midwest.   Lenhoff has deep experience in education inside and outside the classroom, particularly in the areas of instructional improvement and teacher evaluation.  In her research career, Sarah's mixed-methods work has focused on teacher evaluation, instructional improvement, school reform and civic education. She co-authored a chapter on assessing teachers for tenure in the 2010 book Teacher Assessment and the Quest for Teacher Quality Lenhoff recently defended her dissertation for a doctoral degree in educational policy from Michigan State University.  Her dissertation focuses on externally-sponsored instructional improvement in Michigan, a timely topic for educators and policymakers.

Lenhoff also taught reading, writing, and journalism as a middle school teacher in New York City Public Schools and ran an after-school program for high school students through a unique public-private partnership. In addition, she has also worked as a research analyst and policy interviewer for The New Teacher Project and as a graduate instructor in MSU's teacher preparation program.  She has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Hinman Graduate Fellowship, and honors from the American Education Finance Association (AEFA) and the University Council for Educational Administration.  She has presented papers at American Educational Research Association, AEFA, and the University of Georgia. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and women's studies from the University of Georgia and a master's degree in teaching from Pace University.  Sarah grew up in Kansas but is now a proud Detroit city resident.

Michelle Richard
is the director of government affairs at the Education Trust-Midwest. She works with state, regional, and local leaders as a partner and resource to raise student achievement for all Michigan students and close our state’s educational opportunity gaps.

Prior to joining ETM, Michelle was a senior consultant at Public Sector Consultants in Lansing, where she specialized in Michigan’s P-20 education system including early learning and development, teacher quality, and special education. She worked with clients to bring research, policy, and practice together to achieve better outcomes for students statewide. At PSC, Michelle was most proud of her work in early learning and development, where she worked with the Office of Great Start to write Michigan’s first successful Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant.

Michelle is a teacher by training. She taught first grade in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She also was a substitute teacher in Macomb and Oakland counties. As a graduate student, Michelle interned for the Massachusetts Secretary of Education, where she worked on school district consolidation efforts.

Michelle holds a BA from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.