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Julie Jackson

Managing Director

Julie Jackson, former high school Principal and founding elementary school Principal, has taught mathematics to urban NJ students for over 10 years. Jackson moved quickly from full-time teacher to a leadership role at North Star Academy, serving for two years as Dean of Students and then leading the development of the high school program as its Principal. In 2002, she was the recipient of a Dodge Leadership Award for principals who have shown strong leadership and initiative. Julie was named 2012 Administrator of the Year by the New Jersey Charter Schools Association and won Teach For America’s prestigious Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership in 2013. Through workshops and speaking engagements, Julie has trained thousands of teachers and school leaders across the country. As Managing Director she oversees instruction at all Newark and Brooklyn Uncommon elementary schools.

Before coming to North Star, Julie taught Language Arts and Math at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Paterson for four years, where she co-chaired the school improvement team, coached a competitive girls basketball team, and was honored in 1998 as Teacher of the Year. She earned a B.A. in Communications from Shippensburg University (1992), an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from William Paterson University (2002), and did graduate work in African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She began her career as a Teach For America corps member, where she also served as a professional development advisor.

Michael Ambriz

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Ambriz joined the North Star family in May 2008 and serves as its Chief Operating Officer. In this role he is charged with all non-instructional aspects of North Star’s work and supporting its growth to serve as many Newark students as possible. Immediately prior to joining our staff, he served as the Managing Director, National Institute Operations for Teach For America, where he was responsible for overseeing all marketing, admissions, technology, human resources, and finance projects related to corps member training. While at Teach For America, he helped to launch two inaugural training sites before then driving operations for the then six summer institutes. Ambriz holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and originally hails from California. He hopes to someday invent a machine that will transport LA weather to the East Coast.