New To The Ranks

Over the past three weeks, RePublic welcomed three new senior members to our team. 

Ben LaBolt officially joined RePublic's national Board of Directors. A communications strategist and founding partner of The Incite Agency, Ben has empowered organizations across industries to be more targeted, proactive, and agile, and has equipped them to tackle significant customer and public policy initiatives. LaBolt's work has crossed sectors, ranging from Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Eli Lilly and McDonald’s to advocacy groups like Bloomberg Philanthropies, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Autism Speaks. In 2015, LaBolt was named to PR Week’s 40 Under 40 list of industry leaders who “get results, never settle, and represent the future of communications.”

For the prior decade, LaBolt managed press relations for candidates and elected officials from the city to the national level.  He served as National Press Secretary for the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign, and as the Communications Director for Rahm Emanuel's successful campaign for Chicago Mayor.

LaBolt worked on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), then-Congressman Sherrod Brown's successful campaign for the US Senate (D-OH), as well as for US Senator Barack Obama (2007 - Senate Press Secretary). He was the Deputy Press Secretary for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. During his tenure at the White House at the inception of the Obama administration, POLITICO named LaBolt “one of the best sources...for intelligence on what the media are thinking and what story lines reporters are likely to pursue." He served as a spokesman for the efforts to confirm Justices Sotomayor and Kagan to the Supreme Court.

LaBolt also serves as an adjunct instructor in Crisis Management at NYU’s School of Professional Studies and as a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and a native of LaGrange, IL.

RePublic hired Kevin Heffel as the organization's first Chief Academic Officer. Kevin draws on a diverse background in law and education, most recently as the Senior Managing Director of Instructional Management for Success Academy, the highest performing network of charter schools in New York City.  Kevin managed principals and the instructional team at Success, which grew during his tenure from 14 to 32 schools, serving 10,000 students, who most recently scored in the top 1% and the top 3% of the New York State Math and English Language Arts exams, respectively.  

Kevin started his career as a high school history teacher at a boarding school, where he also served as a coach, theater director, and dormitory parent.  He then practiced intellectual property law in Washington, D.C.. at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Kevin received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.A. from Tufts University.

Last - but certainly not least - RePublic welcomed Rachel Goossen to its leadership team last week as the network's Information Technology Director. Most recently, Rachel spent a year in southern China, teaching English to Kindergarten students, but spent the year prior in the educational technology department at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Texas, one of the first schools to implement a 1-to-1 laptop program in the nation. Rachel spent the three previous years working as both a staff member and Corps Member with Teach For America in Houston, Texas, where she taught for three years.  Rachel graduated cum laude from Mercer University in Georgia with a degree in Political Science and Economics. 

Rachel is energized to be working to propel RePubic forward in the field of educational technology. On this, she states, "I am eager to lead students and staff in our efforts to creatively leverage the devices that surround us each day to achieve unprecedented outcomes."

As we enter the heart of this new school year, these new teammates will be integral to our scholars' success.