Board of Directors

Elizabeth King is the founder and executive director of Agency for Emerging Voices, Inc.. Elizabeth also serves as president of Think Tank Education International, Inc./Elizabeth King Coaching, Inc., a boutique online SAT and ACT preparation and academic coaching company currently serving students on four continents. She is the author of Acing the SAT (Random House/Ten Speed 2016), OUTSMARTING the SAT (Random House/Ten Speed, 2008), coauthor of Lou Imbriano’s Winning the Customer (McGraw-Hill, 2011), and is currently ghost writing a fictionalized memoir for a client in Boston. Elizabeth’s writing, speaking, and consulting roles revolve around examining and cultivating personal development, critical thinking, quality culture, creativity, intelligence, and learning. She writes about those topics on her popular blog Stay Out Of School, which she founded in 2008. She was highlighted by Fast Company Magazine in 2012 as a thriving member of “Generation Flux” and she has appeared as a guest on Oprah Sirius Radio’s Derrick Ashong Experience. The US Olympic team highlighted her interviews with Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran about applying mental toughness to test taking and her thoughts on testing and education have been referenced in the NY TimesWall Street Journal on Campus, and across the web.  Elizabeth proudly serves as a board member for the New York non-profit opera organization North Shore Music Festival, Inc. and the Mount Holyoke College Class of 2001. Elizabeth graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a special Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Economics. She is the recipient of a Mount Holyoke College Class of 1905 Alumnae Fellowship and a Mount Holyoke College Bardwell Fellowship. Purchase Acing The Act »
Amy Benedetto graduated magma cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 2001.  Following graduation she served as a community development volunteer with the us peace corps in Samoa from 2001 to 2003. Following her Peace Corps service Amy received a JD from Brooklyn law school in 2007 and is a current member of the New York State bar association. Amy served from 2007 – 2009 as a judicial clerk in the staff attorneys office of the second circuit federal court of appeals focusing on criminal, civil and immigration appeals. Amy is fluent in three languages and has traveled to over fifteen countries. She takes a passionate interest in cross cultural learning and enjoys immersing herself in diverse cultural experiences.  She currently works in public service in Africa.

Derrell recently finished a two-and-a-half-year commitment as the Executive Director of Better Education for Kids (B4K), a 501c4 organization supporting common-sense bipartisan education reforms in New Jersey. Derrell is also a trustee of We Can Do Better NJ, which supports school choice and a wide range of systemic reforms to improve education for all students.

Success Academy charter schools of New York City recently invited Derrell to join their board of directors. Success Academy opened its first school in Harlem in 2006, serving 165 students, and today celebrates 22 schools serving more than 6,700 children. Before joining B4K, Derrell served as the Executive Director and Director of Communications for New Jersey’s Excellent Education for Everyone (E3). He also led and co-led the research and legal efforts, respectively, for the organization. Additionally, he served on Gov. Chris Christie’s Educator Effectiveness Task Force, which gave recommendations on designing a new, statewide evaluation system for teachers and leaders.

In 2011, Derrell was named to NBC’s “The Grio 100: History Makers in the Making,” and also received the Tri-County Scholarship Fund’s “Making a Difference Award.” In 2012, he was named an “Ed Reform Champion Under 40” by the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Derrell also sits on the board St. Anthony (Jersey City) Catholic high school. Derrell appears frequently in print, radio, and on television to discuss and debate a wide range of education reform issues. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Derrell attended the St. Paul’s School For Boys and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. in English and creative writing.

Ashley Burns is a product of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he self-taught himself how to write while serving as the Sports and eventually Managing Editor of the student newspaper, and occasionally freelancing for the Orlando Sentinel. While his original background was in the art of newspaper journalism, he was eventually guided to a career in magazine editing and writing, as his career includes stints with Industry, aXis and Pageantry magazines. Only, that wasn’t very fulfilling either. It was only after he was offered the opportunity help expand and cultivate a network of pop culture websites and blogs collectively known as UPROXX that he knew he’d found his calling. Ashley is currently a professional writer whose work can be read daily on, where he covers everything pop culture, including movie, sports and TV news. In addition to his daily online work as one of the lead editors of sites like FilmDrunk (movies), Warming Glow (television) and With Leather (sports), Ashley is also writing screenplays that will eventually become blockbuster Hollywood motion pictures that will cause critics to write that they are “life-changing.”
Jessica Goon is Senior Manager of Global Public Relations and Social Media at Avon Products, Inc. where she manages owned and earned media for Avon’s makeup, fashion and accessories categories and the mark. brand. Previously, Jessica served as Associate Vice President in the beauty and wellness division at 5W Public Relations and began her career as a health reporter at a daily newspaper. Jessica attended Mary Washington College where she majored in English and studied in Bath, England in the Advanced Studies in England program in affiliation with Oxford University. She was also an All-American member of the NCAA Final Four women’s lacrosse team. Jessica grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband.

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