Board of Trustees

Harlem Link Board Meeting Schedule

Board meetings occur monthly and are open to the public. The dates are listed below. All meetings begin at 6:15 pm. Board meetings are generally held at the school or offices of board members in midtown Manhattan. The meeting schedule for the 2018-19 school year is below:

Upcoming Meetings:
January 29, 2019
February 26, 2019
March 26, 2019
April 30, 2019
May 23, 2019
June 17, 2019


Past Meetings:
September 25, 2018
October 30, 2018
November 27, 2018
December 18, 2018


Contacting the Board

Harlem Link’s board can be reached in two ways: questions about meetings and committees can be addressed to the school by calling Steven Evangelista at (212) 289-3249. Questions or complaints directed specifically to the board can be emailed to

Harlem Link Board Members

Laura Agrusti


Laura Agrusti is an educational technology professional and member of the board education committee at Harlem Link. She began her career as an elementary and middle school Spanish teacher in New Jersey where she was instrumental in developing the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards for World Languages. After leaving the classroom she worked with IDE Corp. where she coached teachers on data-driven instructional strategies and technology integration. She also worked at BrainPOP where she provided sales support and training. Most recently she managed the professional development portfolios for a variety of digital assessment products ranging from early childhood to adult education and English Language Proficiency at CTB/McGraw-Hill Education and Data Recognition Corporation. She earned her B.S. in Spanish from The Pennsylvania State University and M.A. in Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision from Rider University.

Jonathan Barrett

Managing Director, Luminus Management, LLC

Jonathan Barrett is Managing Director of Luminus Management, a private equity and hedge fund management company focused on the power sector. Prior to joining Luminus, Mr. Barrett was a Director in Salomon Smith Barney's Merger and Acquisition Group. During his six years at Salomon, Mr. Barrett executed in excess of 40 transactions covering numerous industries and transaction structures, including: mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, sales and corporate restructurings. Prior to emigrating to the United States, Mr. Barrett graduated with honors in Accounting from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed two years with Price Waterhouse. Before joining Salomon Smith Barney, he spent four years at NYC based investment management firm, J Epstein & Co. (Wexner Investment Company) and Ossa Properties, an affiliated NYC real estate investment company.

B. Peter Carry

Time, Inc., Ret.

Peter Carry was born in metropolitan New York City and was raised in the small upstate city of Norwich. He attended Princeton University, where he received a degree with high honors in history. While in college he began working at Time Inc., on the editorial staff of Sports Illustrated, where he would be employed for about the next 40 years, except for three years spent as an officer in the U.S. Navy, during which he spent 21 months in the Vietnam War combat zone. At Sports Illustrated he held positions ranging from Reporter to Executive Editor, his post for the final 15 years of his career. He also was executive editor of Discover, a science monthly published by Time Inc. Each magazine won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence during his tenure. In retirement he has done pro bono editorial work for small charities and foundations and historical research. His interests include reading, cooking, playing tennis, watching sports, learning French language and culture, and participating in charitable activities. He is married to the writer Virginia Carry and is the father of two children and two grandchildren. He lives in Harlem.

Ken Catandella

Senior Executive Director, Columbia Alumni Association and University Relations

Ken Catandella has been with Columbia University for more than 14 years in various capacities in alumni relations and development. He currently serves as the Senior Executive Director for Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and University Relations. In his current role, Ken coordinates the administrative and logistical facets for the CAA board as well as many of its committees. He serves as a University liaison to the Columbia University Club of New York and is on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors. Catandella is involved in numerous intra-School activities, as well as strategic initiatives and development programs including Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend, governance and program consultation, and the CAA Strategic Planning process. Originally, he came to the University as the director of alumni relations for Columbia College.

Prior to coming to Columbia, Ken oversaw various alumni relations and development functions at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Sarah Lawrence College and Emerson College among other institutions. Ken is active in the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Catandella is a principal of a boutique consulting firm that advises clients on fine and rare wine auction and cellar prices. Ken and his wife, Victoria Augstine, reside in Long Island City, New York.

Brandilyn Dumas

Real Estate Associate, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Brandilyn Y. Dumas is an associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP. She was formerly an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Her practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions, including the purchase, sale, financing, development and leasing of real estate assets. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2008, where she was a Notes Editor for the New York University Journal of Law & Business. Prior to law school, Brandilyn worked for Teach for America and taught Social Studies at a middle school in Harlem, New York. During this time, she also earned a Masters in Teaching at Fordham University. She received her B.A., cum laude, in Public Policy Studies from Duke University in 2003.

Steven Evangelista

Ex officio, Principal, Co-Founder

Mr. Evangelista began working in public education in 1998, when he became a Teach For America Corps Member. He has taught as a lead teacher in Harlem in the third through fifth grades, and served in several leadership roles, including School Leadership Team service and writing grants to begin and extend community gardens at two school sites. He has also served as a consultant to SchoolStart, a national non-profit that provides organizational and planning support to educators, families and communities interested in launching charter schools. Mr. Evangelista received an A.B. from Georgetown University and an MS.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education where he completed an independent study on a rationale for an urban charter school. In 2004, he completed Building Excellent Schools, a national fellowship designed to train founders of new charter schools.

Hallie Gittleman Smith

Head of Program Development and Evaluation, Kode with Klossy

Hallie is excited to join the Harlem Link Board of Trustees for the 2018-2019 school year. She currently runs the program team at Kode with Klossy, building out a STEAM-focused non-profit that aims to increase the number of young women and girls who pursue leadership opportunities in technology fields. Prior to Kode with Klossy, she spent five years working at Blue Engine, an education non-profit that places teams of teachers in underserved classrooms across NYC to provide a level of rigor, differentiation and personalization that is not possible with a 1:30 teacher-student ratio, thereby improving outcomes both for students and teachers. At that organization, she worked in many roles, including as a teaching coach and a director of evaluation. Hallie began her career as a Teach for America corps member and taught both middle and high school mathematics in Philadelphia, PA. She holds Masters Degree in Education and a Bachelors Degree in Communications both from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband, Zachary, and their dog Murray in Manhattan.

Naheem Harris

Associate, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Naheem Harris is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Finance & Investment Group who concentrates his practice on commercial real estate finance. He has worked on deals involving banks and other institutional investors regarding a variety of loan transactions for portfolio and securitized lenders.

In 2013, he received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. He received his B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from The University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Before law school, Mr. Harris was a consultant for the NYC Department of Small Business Services and tried out for various NFL football teams.

John Reddick

Founding Board Member

John served as a founding board member during the charter application process and transitioned to being a staff member, maintaining his position on the board in a nonvoting capacity. Prior to joining the staff, John served as Vice-Chair of the board. A lifelong Harlem resident, John taught for the Chinatown Planning Council for 21 years and currently also serves as a consultant for the Trust for Public Land and the New York City Housing Authority. He is also a black belt who teaches at the Hoteikan Dojo in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Edward Robinson, Jr.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Edward C. Robinson Jr. is an associate at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. There, his practice focuses on litigation and white collar/regulatory investigations as well as pro bono criminal defense. He formerly worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew L. Carter Jr. on the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2015. Prior to law school, Mr. Robinson was a member of Teach for America. He taught Social Studies for three years at Pelham Academy of Academics and Community Engagement, a middle school in the Bronx. During this time, he also earned a Masters in Teaching at Fordham University. At Pelham Academy, Mr. Robinson co-developed the U.S. history curriculum for use by teachers at Pelham Academy and was awarded the Thurgood Marshall African American Educators Award from North Bronx Section NCNW and NAACP, Williamsbridge Branch. He received his B.A., cum laude, in Government at Harvard College.

Margaret and Corey

“Teachers give students frequent opportunities to engage in rigorous classroom discourse.”

(SUNY renewal report, 2013)