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Ian Rowe: Founder and Chief Executive Officer

A proud product of NYC public schools, Ian Rowe is a social entrepreneur who has worked for more than 20 years in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, to effect positive change in the lives of young people worldwide. In addition to his ten years as CEO of Public Prep, Ian co-founded the National Summer School Initiative, recently featured by NPR as an innovative example of online learning. Ian is also Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Charter School Growth Fund and held leadership roles at Teach For America, the White House, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and MTV Social Impact. 

Bill Stroud: Founder and Chief Academic Officer

Bill Stroud serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Vertex. Bill was the Founding Principal of the International Baccalaureate School for Global Education located in Queens, NY. The Baccalaureate School for Global Education is perennially ranked by US News & World Report as one of the best high schools in New York and the country.

Joyanet Mangual: Founding Principal


Joyanet Mangual was born and raised in Chicago. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in 2010. In 2012 Joyanet received her Master's of Science in Education (Special Education). A Teach for America Alum, Joyanet started her career in Brooklyn as a Special Education teacher. She then joined  Chicago Bulls College Prep, a high-performing charter school in the Noble Network in Chicago, and then joined Democracy Prep Endurance High School in East Harlem in  2015 as the founding Special Education teacher. She then became the Assistant Principal for several years before joining the Vertex team. She is excited to build a joyous and academically rigorous school at Vertex with high expectations and high support. 

Robert Smith: IB Coordinator

Our founding International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator has been working in International Baccalaureate schools since 2001, and has been actively involved in training administrators, teachers, parents, and students about the IB and how to implement the IB since 2004. Bob has implemented the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) in public and private schools here in the US and internationally in Asia. He believes that an IB education develops inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people who can respond to today’s challenges with optimism and an open mind.

Karina Pleitez: Director of Operations

Karina Pleitez, our Director of Operations, is originally from Chicago. She has bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from The University of Chicago. Karina comes to Vertex after seven years as Director of High School Admissions & College Completion at Public Prep. She is excited to be part of the Vertex team.