Dean Leeper
Founder and Executive Director

Mr. Leeper founded the first Kindezi School in 2010 after working as an APS and homeschool teacher. He served as The Kindezi School at West Lake’s principal for four years before moving into the executive director position. He earned his master’s of education degree from Harvard University’s School of Education. Mr. Leeper’s son will enter kindergarten at a Kindezi school for the 2020-21 school year.

Rebecca Chu
Chief of Staff

Ms. Chu joined Kindezi in 2015 and oversees leadership team effectiveness, network projects and initiatives, and board relations and governance. Ms. Chu has a background in non-profit and operations management. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University.

Tricia Farquharson
Chief of Academic Programming

Ms. Farquharson joined Kindezi in 2016. Previously, she worked with the District of Columbia Public Schools as a Program Manager in the Office of Special Education. She managed a team of specialists to support the schools and parents with IEP development, eligibility determination, graduation, location determination, attendance, and truancy. In addition to leadership within the district, she served as Operations Director for an outpatient mental health clinic in Maryland where she built operational systems and procedures to improve service delivery. Ms. Farquharson received her undergraduate degree in History/Secondary Education from Columbia Union College, and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University.

Kimberly Green
Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Green has an administrative, accounting and operations background and previously worked at accounting firms and the Irish Consulate. She joined the Kindezi administrative team in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and economics from Prairie View A&M University. Her family is one of the founding families of Kindezi and all three of her children have attended Kindezi West.

Martine Robinson
Chief Talent Officer

Ms. Robinson joined the Kindezi West Lake team for the 2013-2014 school year as a third grade math and science teacher. She later transitioned recruitment and operations department. Prior to teaching at Kindezi, Ms. Robinson taught in the Metro Atlanta area. She received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and her MSEd from Georgia Southern University.

Drew Waddell
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Waddell joined the Kindezi in 2017. He has a background in operations management and strategy and previously worked at McMaster-Carr and OnePath. Mr. Waddell holds an undergraduate degree in History from Davidson College and received an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. He has three daughters, and the oldest is a current student at Kindezi Old Fourth Ward.

Rajvee Bhalakia
Sr. Director of Academics

Ms. Bhalakia joined Kindezi in 2017 to lead Kindezi’s curriculum and assessment programs. In the 2018-19 school year, Rajvee was Kindezi Old Fourth Ward’s Interim Principal. Prior to joining Kindezi, she worked as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and educational consultant in various states across the country. She has over ten years of building instructional leadership and capacity with building-level and district leaders. Ms. Bhalakia began her career in education as a Teach For America special education teacher. She received her bachelors degree from George Washington University, and holds her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Heidi Williams-Cooper
Sr. Director of Culture & Socio-Emotional Learning

Ms. Williams-Cooper joined Kindezi in the 2015-2016 school year as a founding kindergarten math and science teacher at Kindezi Old Fourth Ward. Additionally, she served as the Kindergarten Chairperson, Gardening Coordinator, and assisted in writing curriculum. In 2016, Ms. Williams-Cooper became the Assistant Principal overseeing grades K-1. Prior to Kindezi, Ms. William-Cooper taught in the City Schools of Decatur for six years. She received her bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Administration from Beulah Heights University.