Who is Milestone Democratic School?

If a decision affects you, you have the right to help make that decision.

Membership In Milestone

Students, families, and staff are legally guaranteed the right to vote on issues affecting our school, and to elect our Governance Board, because they are members of the school under our Bylaws. Community stakeholders can also apply for membership as “Friends of Milestone,” so long as they believe in and support the mission of our school.

Are you interested in joining Milestone as a Friend? Contact us for an application!

The School Design Team

Milestone’s School Design Team makes all decisions about what our school will be like. The Design Team is randomly selected by sortition from volunteers from the student body,  caregivers/guardians, and the staff. All decisions made by the Design Team are by consensus, so everyone’s voice is heard. They publish their work in the School Plan.

Headshot of Zeke Bernstein

Zeke Bernstein

I serve on the Design Team because I like to lead and help people.

Headshot Roland Kahl

Roland Kahl

I am a student in Madison, WI. I have been a Design Team member since late September, 2019.

Headshot Genevieve Nadolski

Genevieve Nadolski

I am on Design Team because I want to help school be family-friendly. I want to be on the Design Team to help improve the school. We learn how to start a school from scratch.

Jess Bernstein

I serve on the Design Team because I’m passionate about student-directed learning and am excited to help Milestone make a robust and relevant education possible for a diverse group of students.

Headshot of Gersely Rios

Gersely Rios

I was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. My role in the Design Team is to give experience and feedback for the new culture of our school as a community stakeholder, student, and former designer.

Headshot Victoria Zupancic

Victoria Zupancic

I serve on the Design Team as the representative from the Educators' Cooperative. I sit in this role to learn how to shift the power dynamic of schools from that of authority to student voice.

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Kyen Schrieber

I serve on the Design Team because I believe that the since the majority of the school is students, students should have majority say in what happens.

Ari Lo

I am a student teacher at Milestone Democratic. I serve on the Design Team to facilitate discussions and learn from the students on the team!

The Governance Board

The Board of Directors of Milestone is also known as our Charter School Governance Board. The current Board was elected by the membership of Milestone in December of 2020 and will server through December of 2021.

Headshot of Gersely Rios

President: Gersely Rios

I was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. I am the president of the Board. During my time working at Milestone, I've had the chance to give back to the Latinx community and learn about education.

Clifton Davis

Vice President: Clifton Davis

Milestone is a school that believes in giving students a voice. This is something I'm one hundred percent supportive of which is why I'm honored to serve!!

Headshot Shaya Schreiber

Treasurer: Shaya Schreiber

I am the board treasurer and serve on the finance committee. I believe in MDS's model of centering student/family needs, voices and experiences in curriculum, policies, practices and structures.

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Secretary: Sean M.Z. Anderson

I believe democracy is an act, a practice, and a commitment, and I bring these values to my work on the Board.

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Michael Davis

I am a community-organizer with Freedom, Inc., and a PH.D. student in the Educational Policy Studies Department at UW-Madison. I am happy to serve as a Board Member and general volunteer for Milestone!

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Damita J. Brown, PhD

Milestone shares decision making with youth and embraces a vision of liberation which it practices at every level of the school. As a gay, educator, artist and revolutionary, I am honored to serve.

Headshot of Barb Mergen Alvarado

Barb Mergen Alvarado

I am privileged to be part of the participatory learning process designed by Milestone students since an experiential, critical education is essential to build a more democratic, anti-racist society.

Headshot of Kyen Schreiber

Kyen Schreiber

I serve on the Governance Board to make sure that there is a student voice to be heard in the "Higher Membership".

The Educators' Cooperative

The staff of Milestone is interviewed and hired by the Design Team, and then they organize themselves into an independent, democratic, worker-owned cooperative. As a #TeacherPowered school, the Educators’ Co-op manages and operates the school by sharing administrative duties between themselves.

Eneale Pickett

Eneale is a First Wave Scholar who has been teaching his original course “Dear Masculinity” at Milestone this year. He is joining us to lead an advisory with his creative passions!

Brad Horn

Everything I do in the classroom and hallway starts with listening to the student perspective and hearing what the family/guardian wants and needs.  I also hope to co-create a school publication with student work and to garden with students (I have worked on three organic farms and grow veggies at home).

Sean Anderson

I love how learning happens at Milestone, and all the things we learn together every day. Care and dignity belong to us all. To read more of my background, you can view my portfolio. 

Kate Levine-Freedman

Kate has worked at, and helped to lead, schools that are aligned with Milestone's vision, and now she's making our democratic self-governed school the home for her expertise. And she teaches ELA!

Ari Lo

I believe in Milestone's democratic mission, where everyone has a voice and everyone is given a chance to have agency over their own lives. At Milestone, everyone has the opportunity to flourish in a healthful environment and to live out their authentic identities. Milestone's values align so well with my fierce dedication to righting social inequities and building an inclusive world.

Headshot of Barb Mergen Alvarado

Barb Mergen Alvarado

Janice Schreiber-Poznik

Janice Schreiber-Poznik

Friends of Milestone

Some community stakeholder members of Milestone volunteer to serve as “Friends of Milestone.” Friends make themselves available to support the Design Team, the Educators’ Co-op, and the Board with their expertise, guidance, time, and energy. Thank you, Friends!