Each June, the Board of Directors holds an annual meeting to nominate members, select officers and recognize members who are ending terms of service. The nominations and roles are effective beginning July 1.
Leona Lucas, Board Chair – Leona Lucas is a retired Senior Technical Director from AT&T. She has experience working for AT&T, Southwestern Bell and the Missouri Higher Education Learning Authority. She volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister, Girls Incorporated and St. Louis Crisis Nursery. She is a member of Telephone Communication Pioneers and the AT&T Community Network Mentoring and AT&T Aspire Mentoring programs. She has a degree in business administration and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University. She is the owner of Lucas Consulting LLC specializing in leadership development, supervisory training/coaching, Human Resource training, mediation specialist, SWAT analysis, Customer Service analysis and training. Ms. Lucas joined the Board in June 2014.
Jack Williams., Ed.D – Vice Chair Jack Williams has served as an interim leader for two charter schools: Preclarus Mastery Academy and St. Louis Language Immersion Schools. He has over 10 years of experience as a building principal and 16 years of experience as an assistant superintendent. As assistant superintendent, he has served in the areas of curriculum and instruction and human resources. He is currently an assistant professor in the School of Education at Maryville University. He has leadership and volunteer experience as a member of the Rotary Club of Overland for 20+ years as well as serving on the Board of the Ritenour Pride and Promise Foundation and the Ready to Learn Organization. His experience is extended and not limited to strategic and school improvement planning, budgeting, leadership development, evaluation of professional and classified staff, and curriculum planning. He has a Bachelor of Education degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology from Lincoln University, a Master of Elementary School Administration from Saint Louis University, and a doctorate degree in Educational Administration from Saint Louis University.
Essence Owens, Secretary – Essence Owens is a former parent at Confluence Academy-Old North. Her interest in serving on the board represents her principles of giving back to the community and a love of learning. She is a volunteer member of the Confluence Strategic Planning Curriculum Sub-Committee. She has more than 15 years of experience in customer service, with 11 years of experience in managing, scheduling and training staff. Her management experience includes working with municipal and government agencies. Ms. Owens earned an associate degree in information systems at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Columbia College. Ms. Owens joined the Board in April 2016.
Odis Johnson Jr., PhD – Dr. Odis Johnson Jr., Professor, Departments of Sociology and Education (Joint) Associate Director, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity (CREE) Professor, Brown School of Social Work (Courtesy), Faculty Scholar, Institute for Public Health Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his appointments at Washington University, Dr. Johnson chaired the African American Studies Department in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland and was a Faculty Associate at the Maryland Population Research Center. Dr. Johnson’s research examines how neighborhoods, schools, and public policies related to social inequality, youth development, and the status of African American populations. His work on these topics has earned him a National Academies Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the first won by someone in the field of education in the history of the interdisciplinary competition, and the 2013 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association, the leading professional association of education research. Grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and American Educational Research Association have supported Dr. Johnson's research, leading to a better understanding of how policies have sought to influence neighborhood differences in school functioning and achievement, and of the policy and residential dynamics related to the status of African American males in particular. His most recent work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and uses multilevel statistical methodologies to assess neighborhood risk propensity factors related to adolescents’ educational self-concept and persistence. Dr. Johnson serves on the editorial boards of the Review of Educational Research and the Urban Review makes frequent appearances in media outlets and serves as an advisor to governmental agencies and school systems to improve the lives of young people, urban neighborhoods, and social services.
Lance LeComb – Treasurer As Community Development Executive, Lance LeComb is responsible for communicating Ameren Missouri's community and economic development programs and energy product and service offerings. He also liaisons with Ameren Missouri operations as it responds to local service issues and plans for impending construction projects. Drawing on his extensive public affairs and policy development experience, Lance works to facilitate partnerships and develop solutions that advance the shared goals of Ameren and the communities it serves. With primary responsibility for the St. Louis metro area counties of Lincoln, St. Charles, and Warren, Lance serves as the point of contact for local government officials and community leaders to foster collaboration and understanding of public priorities, local initiatives, and constituent needs as they relate to the delivery of Ameren services. In 2020, Lance joined Ameren Missouri from his public affairs consultancy, LeComb Consulting, LLC. Prior to consulting, he served in leadership roles with St. Louis County and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. With over 25 years of experience in government affairs, stakeholder relations, media relations, issues management, and crisis communications, Lance has a record of creating outcomes to difficult challenges that are respectful and inclusive. Possessing a deep commitment to strengthening our shared metropolitan community and creating understanding amongst diverse stakeholders, Lance has and continues to serve in leadership positions with numerous civic and professional organizations. Lance graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and has continued his studies through post-graduate programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the Kellogg School of Management Executive Education at Northwestern University. He is also a graduate of FOCUS St. Louis’ Leadership St. Louis Program.
Shiela Ward., PhD – Shiela Ward is a principal at the Ferguson Florissant School district and over 20+ experience in a teaching position. She has experience in implementing and developing school improvement plans. She has served as a leader in providing effective instructional and curricular leadership to increase student achievement, and maintain a positive school and learning environment. She is is very involved and has often collaborated with classroom teachers, parents, or other school personnel in solidifying and building relationships to help progress student needs and achievements. Shiela also has many certifications including: Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Learning Disability and Special Reading, Cognitive Coaching, Administration (K-8)., and Comprehensive Intervention Model. She has a doctorate's degree in Educational Leadership, Masters of Arts in Educational Processes, and a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders.
Carlisha 'Charli' Greene – Charlisha 'Charli' Greene is a senior leader with the Boeing Company, having over 20 years of experience in areas, namely supply chain and governance. Her longevity with Boeing has allowed her opportunities to understand business strategy and execution across several disciplines and regions nationwide. Charli enjoys making a difference in the community and does so through her service as Boeing's university relations focal for Florida A&M University, a volunteer with Urban League St Louis and Oklahoma City, and an advocate with several other local outreach efforts.
Delesha George – Delesha George grew up in the city of St. Louis and returned home in 2012 from Washington, DC. Delesha has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations and is now a Program Specialist for the Steward Family Foundation at United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Delesha tries to live by the saying, “We rise by lifting others”, always keeping in mind that helping and understanding others is a way of life. She feels strongly about community building and is in support of giving all children access to a quality education. Delesha feels that children should have the overall support they need to succeed beyond school, but the school resources are extremely vital to their success.
As a mom of a high school freshman, Delesha is very active with her daughter’s school’s parent organization. She is also a member of FOCUS St. Louis and the East St. Louis Chapter of Jack and Jill. She recently completed the Neighborhood Leadership Fellows Program and is currently in the Fall 2020 Cohort of CORO Women in Leadership.