Meet the Team!
Chief Executive Officer
Don Soifer is Chief Executive Officer of the National Microschooling Center, America’s comprehensive resource center, movement-builder and authority for the most exciting new education movement in a generation. He co-created and co-directed the Southern Nevada Urban Micro Academy, the nation’s first public–private partnership microschool
with the City of North Las Vegas, delivering unprecedented academic growth with a previously underserved population of families under pandemic operating conditions.
Chief Innovation Officer
Ashley Soifer is the Chief Innovation Officer of the National Microschooling Center, where she leads direct microschool supports, the development of new programs, and parent and leader outreach. Ashley guides the Center’s movement-building work with parents, educators and community members, including helping organizations and individuals launch microschools that live up to the potential of their diversified visions.
Director of Microschool Leadership Development and Supports
In addition to being an experienced microschool guide, Kathryn is the founder of her educational consulting business the PEACE School Project. Kathryn has spent the past 14 years in education working in a variety of settings and capacities. Most recently through the PEACE School Project Kathryn has been able to share her passion of yoga and mindfulness with students and staff. Certified as a Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher and Mindfulness Educator, she has been able to empower resilient, confident and happy humans one breath at a time. Kathryn is over the moon about becoming a member of the National Micrschooling Center family. She is here to educate, share and advocate for educational choice and freedom!
Senior Fellow, Legal Affairs
Daniel R. Suhr is a senior legal fellow for the National Microschools Center, where he provides legal advice and insights to parents, pod leaders, and policy-makers bringing innovation to education. He's also managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, a national non-profit, non-partisan law firm that represents parents, schools, and allies of education reform. He represents several microschool leaders whose innovative approach to education is challenging education regulation bureaucrats. His other clients include parents in Tennessee and Arizona and schools in South Carolina and Mississippi pushing for educational options. He fought illegal teachers union strikes on behalf of parents in Illinois, Idaho, and Virginia. Whatever the particular case, Suhr and LJC tackle the biggest fights against the toughest opponents on behalf of students.
Beth Vineyard, M. ED.
SEL Affinity Group Leader
Licensed K-8 Teacher
SEL Instructional Designer/Coach &Microschool Director of Programs
Originally from the mitten state (a.k.a. Michigan), Beth attended Grand Valley State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with an emphasis in wildlife in 1998. As a child, she remembers being curious about the world around her and asking lots of questions! After graduating from college, she pursued a career in environmental education, transitioning herself into a Program Director role for eight years at an environmental education nonprofit based in Fort
Collins, CO. There, Beth designed curriculum and led teachers and students on more than 50 international expeditions in Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Tanzania, and the Canadian Arctic.
California Field Coordinator
Lizette Valles, M.Ed., is the founder of Ellemercito Academy, a Los Angeles-based microschool, with a focus on project/experiential-based learning. Her mission is to nurture students who think critically, develop a growth mindset, and demonstrate profound empathy. She is passionate about reimagining education and bringing awareness to out-of-system school models such as the fast-growing small school movement.
West Virginia Field Coordinator
Michael Parsons is the founder of Vandalia Community School in Charleston, West Virginia. Vandalia Community School is a learner-led microschool focused on hands-on and autonomous learning. Vandalia currently serves students from grades one through eight and plans to serve students through grade twelve.