Founder & Executive Director
Paul Morrissey leads the founding team at Compass Rose. His dedication to his mission is evident in his career trajectory, from teacher, to leader, to school founder.
Paul most recently completed a Fellowship with Building Excellent Schools, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting leaders as they open great schools in areas of high need across the country. Prior to his Fellowship, Paul worked in a turnaround school district in Lawrence, MA. Paul has also worked with a charter school network, teaching and then leading a school in Phoenix, working on the network’s New School Development team to found new schools, and then founding and leading a new middle school in Washington, DC.
Paul received a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.Phil. in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin (IE).
Board of Directors
Arturo Herrera, Jr., is the Manager of Strategic Planning at VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority where he oversees the department responsible for long-range and capital planning. His professional work experience is concentrated in multimodal transportation planning and capital project development & management. While in college, he worked for various educational programs such as the Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (PREP) and federally-funded TRIO Programs, where he saw first hand the benefits educational enrichment can have on at-risk and first generation college students. Mr. Herrera may bring to the Board an expertise in facility planning, strategic planning, and transportation planning, but with it comes his passion for providing opportunities through education.
Claudia Hernandez is an attorney at De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendariz, LLP. She practices immigration and civil law and has successfully litigated numerous cases. Claudia is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Baylor Law School. She was a fellow at the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy (LCLD) and is an alumna of the Latina Leadership Institute (LLI). Being a first-generation American and the first in her family to graduate high school, Claudia knows firsthand how education can transform one’s life, and for that reason, she has involved herself in projects that promote schooling. She has provided testimony to the Texas Senate Committee on Education, been involved in education litigation, and is currently a part of the leadership committee for the GED Endowment and Scholarship Program which seeks scholarships to cover GED courses and exams for low income students.
Christian has been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years – launching her boutique public relations service in Detroit. Upon relocating to San Antonio, Christian met and married Uchennaya Ogba. They became business partners before their honeymoon. Christian has worked to expand conversations around city development, urbanism, entrepreneurship, and transit.
Don Barfield is an Associate Director of Westat, and prior to this role was the President and Founding Partner at Edvance Research. He has more than 35 years of executive leadership in public, non-profit, and for-profit educational organizations, and his guidance has resulted in the successful delivery of major research and development initiatives locally and nationally. He has given expert testimony to Boards of Education at the state and local levels, Congressional testimony, participated on state assessment and accountability technical advisory panels, the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon schools panel, a National Research Council committee, and numerous Boards of Directors (San Francisco Education Fund, BSCS Publishing, Bay Area Planned Parenthood). Mr. Barfield has worked in the area of school desegregation for over 30 years and has participated as an expert to the Federal District Court in a number of cases nationally. He has also produced and managed many program evaluations at Barfield Associates (Principal), WestEd (Deputy Director) and San Francisco Unified School District (Assistant Superintendent). Mr. Barfield served as Vice President of Educational Products for Harcourt Assessment, Inc., with responsibility for building new educational assessment products, including content development, research, psychometrics, and editorial, related to the company’s broad range of education assessments, such as achievement (summative and formative), ability, and diagnostic and language proficiency tests.
Kayleigh Colombero is the Superintendent of Étoile Academy Charter School. She was part of the 2016 Building Excellent Schools Fellowship, a rigorous, yearlong, comprehensive training program in urban charter school creation and leadership.
Growing up in a financially unstable home, Kayleigh experienced many personal challenges on her path to college. Luckily, Kayleigh had a few mentors that pushed her to succeed in the face of much adversity. She set her sights on Smith College, an elite private college, which she eventually attended on a scholarship.
Kayleigh has eight years of experience in education as a middle school and high school teacher, an instructional coach, a department chair, a team leader, and as the executive director of a youth-development nonprofit.
Kurtis Indorf currently serves as the Founder and Managing Partner of Build the Future, LLC and as Executive Director of Instruction with Great Hearts Texas. As the Executive Director of Instruction with Great Hearts, Kurtis launched and leads a new strategy and team to support strong instruction and achievement across Great Hearts’ growing school network in Texas.
Previously, Kurtis served as the founding Deputy Chief of Academics, San Antonio with KIPP Texas. On July 1, 2018, the KIPP regions in Texas merged to create KIPP Texas Public Schools educating over 27,700 students in 52 schools. Prior to the merger, he served as the Chief Academic Officer and Chief People Officer at KIPP San Antonio.
Before joining the KIPP family, Kurtis was the founding Executive Director of The Achievement Network in Colorado building partnerships with district and charter systems across the state to develop leaders’ skill and practice in data-driven teaching and learning. Also in Colorado, he served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Charter School Institute’s board of directors, an independent state agency and the only state-wide charter authorizer in Colorado.
Earlier in his career, Kurtis served in four founding school and system leadership roles at Achievement First, a public, charter management organization running 29 schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. He started his career teaching English Language Learners in Phoenix, Arizona through Teach for America.
Kurtis lives in San Antonio with my wife, three daughters, and dog. He received a Master’s of Science in Education from Arizona State University with a focus in secondary English curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor’s of Science from Ithaca College in Integrated Marketing Communications and Legal Studies.
Mitchell Walker received a B.S. in accounting and finance from Trinity University, where he was also a member of the men’s basketball team. Mitchell currently serves as Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending for Jefferson Bank in San Antonio, where he has worked to provide facilities and working capital financing to charter schools in San Antonio. He previously dedicated time as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas and KIPP San Antonio’s finance committee, and currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Grand Canyon Conservancy.
Saamra Mekuria-Grillo is the founder of Formation Ventures, a startup that is dedicated to dramatically increasing the number and success of Black entrepreneurs starting in high school, through educational and new venture support programs. Prior to founding Formation Ventures, she was the Chief Operating Officer at the Pahara Institute, where she oversaw Program and Institute Operations. Previous to Pahara, Saamra was a consultant at Bain & Company, where she worked with clients in education, private equity, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. Saamra started her career at Google, and spent over a year in India, as one of the founding team members of Google’s Hyderabad office, where she focused on training and growth of Google’s customer service sales and operations team. Holding a deep belief in the power of education to provide transformative opportunities to young people, Saamra has served on multiple charter school boards, including the Mission Preparatory School in San Francisco, CA and the East Bay Innovation Academy in Oakland, CA. She holds an MBA with a certificate in Public Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where she double majored in History and International Studies. She is also a proud graduate of the Boston Latin School, the first public school in the United States. Saamra lives in San Antonio, TX with her husband and her two sons.
Tino Morenz, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, has worked in software engineering for over a decade, both in Ireland and in the US, where he has helped localize Office programs into over 100 languages, built tools to protect customer privacy, and currently works on detecting and mitigating cyberattacks as part of Microsoft’s Cloud Security team. As a German native who earned his undergraduate degree in Process Informatics from the Berufsakademie Glauchau in Germany and his MSc in Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing from the University of Dublin, Trinity College in Ireland, Tino brings a unique perspective forged by experience in two distinct educational systems and in two different languages. He is currently navigating the waters of raising a bilingual child in the American school system, providing another layer to his engagement with diverse educational establishments.