Who We Are

About Accelerate Great Schools

Accelerate Great Schools believes that every child, in every neighborhood in Cincinnati, deserves a great K-12 education.  We identify parent and community needs, grow the number of high-performing school options to meet those needs, and we increase the number and diversity of great teachers and principals.

About Accelerate Great Schools

Examples of Our Work

We strategically invest in improving access to great schools across all sectors (i.e., district, community, and parochial schools). We fund opportunities that will provide more students with tuition-free, high-performing, accountable, and sustainable schools. We also support efforts to strengthen the pipeline of great teachers and principals in our city. Below are a few examples of our work.

Seton Education Partners

Accelerate Great Schools supported the expansion of an effective learning program in four Catholic Inner-City Education (CISE) Fund and Archdiocesan schools. The program allows students to move between small groups with their teacher, personalized and engaging content on computers, and independent learning. This means that students learn at just the right level for them and get extra practice where they need it.

The Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students

Accelerate Great Schools supported the launch of this Cincinnati Public School in Walnut Hills. Spencer, which serves a diverse population of students from throughout the city, offers a rich Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum.

ReGeneration Schools

Accelerate Great Schools has supported the launch of this non-profit community school in Bond Hill. ReGeneration will offer a rigorous curriculum focused on character development and preparation for college.

National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE)

Accelerate Great Schools has supported teachers and principals from the Archdiocese, Catholic Inner-City Education (CISE) Fund schools, and Cincinnati Public Schools to attend NAATE professional development sessions.  NAATE offers rigorous multi-day sessions designed to develop, leverage, and retain the nation’s top educators. 

Principal Development

Accelerate Great Schools has supported multiple initiatives focused on attracting, training, and retaining great principals.  This has included funding fellows in Archdiocesan Schools as well as Cincinnati Public Schools.

Leadership

Brian Neal


Chief Executive Officer

Brian Neal is the chief executive officer for Accelerate Great Schools. Brian leads our efforts to increase access to high-quality schools for underserved students across Cincinnati. Prior to this role, Brian worked as a program officer for the Farmer Family Foundation, a private foundation that invests in causes that promote educational opportunities for underprivileged youth, stability for the economically disadvantaged, and healthcare research.

Brian has worked across all sectors to support students and families in Ohio. Most notable is Brian’s work as the Ohio Director for the SEED Foundation’s Ohio expansion effort, a $60M campaign to launch Ohio’s first public, college-preparatory boarding for underserved children. Brian also led the statewide Ohio Parent Information and Resource Center for United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and he was a founding resource coordinator during Cincinnati Public Schools’ district-wide Community Learning Centers’ launch. Brian’s efforts have led to statewide policy changes, Ohio-specific public-private partnerships, and strong local and statewide community collaborations.

Brian received his bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from the University of Cincinnati. Brian is happily married with four children – three daughters and one nephew.

John P. Scott


Vice President of Partner Advancement

John P. Scott is vice president of partner advancement for Accelerate Great Schools. He has over 15 years of non-profit experience working with organizations such as the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s where he has made an impact in the areas of community engagement/building, partner development, faith-based engagement, human service funding, community health, and diversity/inclusion. John has his B.S. in Urban Affairs from Wright State University and his master’s degree in public administration from Northern Kentucky University.

John is a member of several community boards including the Urban League Community Advisory Board, Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, and is a founding member of the Covington Independent Public Schools Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. He is a native Cincinnatian and currently resides in Covington, KY, with his beautiful wife Sophia, who also works in the non-profit arena. Together they have three children.

Deborah Howard


Vice President of Programs and Impact

Deb Howard is vice president of programs and impact for Accelerate Great Schools. She brings to the role nearly 40 years of experience across the education, nonprofit and corporate sectors. Through her various roles, Deb has touched the lives of thousands of students, educators and leaders in more than 60 school K-12 systems and some 30 institutions of higher education.

Deb held leadership roles with nationally-recognized KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Cleveland Education Fund and the North East Independent School District in San Antonio. Deb holds a BA in English and Communication Arts and a MA in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. She is married to Ron Howard, a professor of nursing at The Christ College. They have two adult children and five amazingly talented grandchildren.

Paige Elisha Lindy


Chief of Staff and Operations

Paige Elisha Lindy has worked in various leadership roles to increase educational outcomes for students. She led instruction as a classroom teacher (9th grade English), has run operations for a national training institute for new teachers, and has served on the board of a non-profit that helps teachers and organizations initiate and run programs to enrich student development and growth.

Paige holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke and brings experience building data-driven strategy development and multi-partner project execution, which she honed while working for five years at American Express. She and her husband have two children.

Latricia Jones


Director of Grants Management & Special Projects

Latricia Jones is a native Cincinnatian who knows first-hand about the importance of quality education as she and her husband navigate the school system for their four children. Through her 13 year journey in the non-profit sector, she has collaborated with key stakeholders and partners in support of education and enrichment initiatives for students and families. She currently serves on community boards dedicated to elevating the educational experience of young people that fosters the pathway to success.

As the Director of Grants Management and Special Projects for Accelerate Great Schools, Latricia ensures effective operations and leads the management of AGS’ grants to partners. Latricia earned a B.S. from Missouri Southern State University and anticipates receiving a MS from Northern Kentucky University in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change in 2020. Latricia aspires to be a change agent in helping others achieve their highest potential.

Board of Directors

Scott Farmer

Co-Chairman
CEO, Cintas

George Joseph

Co-Chairman
President, Joseph Auto Group

Dorothy Battle, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant,
Charting Democratic Journeys

Jeb Head

President,
Atkins & Pearce, Inc.

Mary Beth Martin

Executive Director,
Farmer Family Foundation

Gary D. Mercer

General Manager, Engineering Division
& Vice President, GE Aviation Systems

Laura Mueller

Trustee, The James J. and
Joan A. Gardner Family Foundation

Tom Williams

Partner and President,
North American Properties
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