Board of Trustees


Kaye Savage – Founder 

Kaye Savage began her career as a certified special education teacher working with low-income students in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Her passion to make a difference led to policy research work at the Urban Institute and later into the public service arena concentrating on local and federal government programs targeting urban economically distressed communities. Kaye worked in the White House on the Historical Black College and Universities (HBCUs) Initiative. Most recently, she served the Program Manager for the District of Columbia Family Education Network, a special parent training initiative of Fight for Children.  She has also worked as the National Director for the 21st Century School Fund and as special Project Manager on a staff augmentation contract in the Office of Facilities Management of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Kaye began her college education at Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia and completed her undergraduate work with high honors at Howard University where she also earned a Master’s of Science degree with distinction with a concentration in developmental psychology. Kaye was an Intergovernmental Fellow during her tenure at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and earned her MPA from the University of Southern California. Kaye is a Building Excellent Schools Fellow and member of the Board of Trustees for the National Coalition of Girls Schools and National Network of Schools in Partnership.


Deborah Lockhart – Chair

Ms. Lockhart’s expertise lies in the areas of human resources, marketing, and technical services. She has successfully launched and operated programs for corporate entities for more than two decades. Among the clients served, both domestically and internationally, are the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Washington, DC; Riverside Hospital/Riverside Treatment Services, Inc., Washington, DC; Orion Marketing & Engineering Services, Frankfurt, West Germany; and International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Riverside, CA.

Ms. Lockhart’s most fulfilling achievements are those associated with the success of the many young people that she has been fortunate enough to mentor and assist in their development. She also counts among her achievements the development of the Human Resources Department for a major hospital, including its recruiting, hiring, orientation and training, and retention of personnel functions; the establishment of a broad-based marketing and technical services firm for sales and installation of office products, telephone systems, intercom systems, and other support services; and spearheading the development team transitioning the human resources system at one of the largest airport facilities in the United States from a family of antiquated software and hardware systems to a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art system affecting hundreds of employees at multiple base sites; and the development of a student program which seeks to optimize the potential of young people.

Ms. Lockhart’s undergraduate and graduate degrees are from California State University in Northridge, CA. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in human resources at Villanova University.


Elizabeth J. Heider – Vice Chair 

Elizabeth Heider is Senior Vice President of Green Markets for Skanska supporting the development, design, and construction of high performance green/LEED projects throughout their lifecycle. Her 34-year career encompasses all phases of design and construction from master planning through project closeout as architect, construction manager, cost manager and VE facilitator.

Ms. Heider founded Skanska USA’s Green Council which marshalls all of Skanska’s sustainable preconstruction and construction capabilities nationwide, encourages and supports training and technical competency, coordinating sustainable expertise and information. In addition to leading Skanska USA’s eco-efficient building initiatives, Ms. Heider remains involved at the project level, participating in projects ranging from the Energy Optimization Curriculum for the United Nations School and value management work on the United Nations Renovation, both in New York City and pre-construction support of the Oregon Sustainability Center and The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s new Environmental and Education Center in Virginia.

One of ten women named “pioneer in green building” by the Green Economy Post, Heider served as 2012 Chair of USGBC’s Board of Directors. From 1999 to 2004 she was an Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America. She is an alumna of The University of Virginia and its Graduate Program in Venice, Italy.


Valerie Holt – Treasurer

Valerie Holt is the Vice President for Audit for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.  Her responsibilities include providing audit services to ensure that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has an effective system of internal controls for its accounting, finance, administration, operations and technology management.  She also oversees the conduct of the annual financial statement audit.

Ms. Holt previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and the Controller for the District of Columbia, as a Director for the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, and as a Deputy Director for the District of Columbia Public Housing Authority.  Her 30 years plus work experience also includes eight years of public accounting experience including two “Big Four” firms.  Ms. Holt holds undergraduate degrees from George Washington University (B.A in accounting) and Eastern Michigan University (B.S. in Sociology) and a Master Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Ms. Holt is the President of the Association of Airport Internal Auditors.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Internal Audit Institute and the Associate of American Airport Executives. She is the past president and state representative for the Greater Washington Area Government Finance Officers Association.  Ms Holt also served as the past chairman of the Committee on Auditing and Financial Reporting and as the President of the Black Caucus of the Government Finance Officers Association of North America.


Bridget Bond – Secretary

Bridget Bond, a professional administrative manager with more than 25 years of experience, works at a law firm where she serves on the Public Policy Committee and coordinates various morale boosting events for the team. Previously, Ms. Bond worked in the Procurement and Legislative Affairs fields in the federal government.

Bridget volunteers as a Girl Scouts of America, Daisy Troop Leader. For more than 10 years, Ms. Bond has been a mentor for teenage girls and at-risk-youth, working to strengthen families and give our youth a voice.   Ms. Bond is the mother of two children, one of whom is a second grade scholar at Excel.  Determined to make a difference in the lives of not only her children but in the lives of young girls, Ms. Bond continues to embody her commitment to education. Ms. Bond is thrilled to contribute her knowledge and time to Excel and our scholars.


Laura S. Caldwell 

Laura serves as the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish, Mid-Atlantic.  She manages a team of professionals to generate millions of dollars through special events, major gifts and annual fund program.  Her efforts create once in a lifetime experiences for children who have life threatening illness.

Laura’s rich history of successful fundraising effort’s includes work at The March of Dimes, The American Liver Foundation, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Her proven track record of developing successful media plans, establishing strategic direction and engaging corporate support have created new market opportunities for advancement.


Vito John Germinario 

Vito Germinario is the President/Partner of the architectural wall systems company GPR, Inc. in McLean, VA.  He also is the managing partner of Trinity Partners, LLC, a McLean consulting group.  Throughout his career, Mr. Germinario has held major leadership positions in architectural wall systems companies in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.  Some of his partnership projects include: Andrews Air Force Bard Visitor’s Quarters, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Bicycle Transit Center, Herbert Hoover Building Renovation, International Monetary Fund, The Ronald Reagan Building, World Bank Restoration and Renovation, IBM Corporate Headquarters, and Pennsylvania Station Central Control.

Mr. Germinario is also a member of the National Italian American Foundation, St. Peter’s Preparatory School, and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for children suffering from brain tumors by pairing them with high school and college athletic teams.


Pamela G. Montgomery

Pamela G. Montgomery is the Director and Chief Counsel of the Office of Education and Sentencing Practice at the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C.  She is responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives to meet the Commission’s training goals.  Ms. Montgomery previously served on active duty as an attorney in the US Army Judge Advocate (JAG) Corps and with the Georgia Legal Service Program.

Ms. Montgomery volunteers as a literacy tutor for Prince William County Literacy Council, serves on the Steward Board of Bethel A.M.E. Church, and has served on the boards of the National Bar Association, the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, and the Thurgood Marshall Building Child Development Center.  Ms. Montgomery is a graduate of Carleton College and the University of Georgia School of Law School.


Malcolm Poole 

Malcolm Poole is a professional educator with more than 13 years of experience. Currently, he works in education policy as a Senior Project Associate for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), where he oversees national initiatives to improve student achievement, increase graduation rates and improve student fitness, health and well-being. Mr. Poole specializes in working with at-risk-youth and special needs students. Prior to joining NASBE he worked in various administrative capacities, most recently as an Assistant Principal and Dean of Students in the District of Columbia Public Schools. He began his education career as a Special Education Teacher in Camden, NJ.

Mr. Poole received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Mount Saint Mary’s College, where he still holds national titles in Track and Field. He also holds a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from George Mason University. He is the father to one very bright and precocious daughter, the apple of his eye. Committed to improving the lives of youth, Poole mentors several young-men and works with youth to improve their health and physical condition through exercise and nutrition. Recently appointed to serve as a member of the Board of the Excel Academy for Girls, Poole is pleased to share his knowledge and resources with the Academy and its students.


Dr. Edwin Witt Powell

Dr. Edwin Witt Powell is a seasoned executive and program developer with more than ten years of leadership and experience in human services and education.  Currently an Assistant Professor/Educational Psychologist at the Howard University School of Medicine, Dr. Powell’s experience includes appointments to the District of Columbia Board of Nursing Home Administrators and the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights.  Dr. Powell has several years experience working with adjudicated youth and young adults and has been responsible for the reform, development, and administration of treatment programs for emotionally disturbed and mentally retarded adolescents in the District of Columbia Public School System.

Dr. Powell is a frequent speaker and presenter on topics including special education, psychosocial development, behavioral monitoring, multiple intelligences, and community health systems.

Dr. Powell received his B.A. degree from Rutgers University, M.A. degrees from College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD and Liberty University, M.Ed degree from Howard University, and his Doctor of Arts in Education in Education from George Mason University.