Following the announcement last week that NECSN is now New York Charter Schools Association, we’re excited to share several additions to our team.

Announcing Executive Director Yomika S. Bennett

Yomika S. Bennett has just joined the New York Charter Schools Association as Executive Director. Yomika most recently served as Senior Policy Advisor at Capitol Hill Management Services, and prior to that was Assistant Secretary of Transportation to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. She brings with her over a decade of experience in government and the non-profit policy sectors, as well as a deep commitment to education and an excitement to support the great work of charter schools.

As Executive Director, Yomika will be working with elected officials, school leaders, and organizational partners as we advocate for and implement meaningful and enduring improvements to the policies and politics around charter schools in New York state.

Our sincere thanks to Aaron Gladd, who previously served as New York State Director at NECSN, for his dedication to advancing the cause of equity in education for the students of New York state. Aaron has moved on to a position as Chief of Staff at SUNY Empire State College, but remains an advisor, close ally and advocate for our work.
Yomika S Bennett

Announcing Director of Schools and Community Engagement Jon Thatcher

Jon Thatcher joins the team as Director of Schools and Community Engagement, leading regional advocacy and organizing initiatives and is building connections with school leaders— not just to our organization, but between one another. Previously, Jon worked as Interim Regional Operations Advisor for Uncommon Schools Troy Prep, where he managed operations for the three charter schools in Troy, NY.
Jon Thatcher

Announcing Community Engagement Manager Ashara Baker

Ashara Baker is serving as Community Engagement Manager based in Rochester. She has over a decade of experience supporting high-impact youth development programs in that city. Ashara has worked with a dynamic array of nonprofits, including The Villa of Hope, The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester and RACFI-Quad A for Kids. As Community Engagement Manager, she supports parents, educators, and schools on charter community initiatives, and establishes and maintains partnerships with advocates across upstate New York.
Ashara Baker

Now Hiring: New York City Community Engagement Manager

In addition to these three staffing additions, we are also hiring a New York City Community Engagement Manager. This individual will be responsible for organizing community initiatives and cultivating relationships between school leaders, parents, and advocates throughout New York City’s charter school community. If you know of a natural leader with excellent organizational skills who you believe would excel in this role, they can share their interest and a resume by emailing

Please join us in welcoming Yomika, Jon and Ashara to the team!