Our Executive Leadership Team

Nikki Barnes

Executive Director



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Nikki joined the KIPP MA Team and Family in 2013 as a 6th grade humanities teacher at KIPP Academy Boston Middle School. Nikki has spent her professional career teaching in and advocating for public schools.  She has over 20 years of classroom experience in elementary, middle and high school.

After serving as the Dean of Students at KIPP Academy Boston in 2014, she became the School Leader in 2015.  Under her leadership, KIPP Academy Boston experienced some of the highest student growth in the state of Massachusetts, including three grade levels performing among the top ten schools in the KIPP Network with the highest reading growth on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment

Nikki’s accomplishments as a teacher include being the first Black classroom teacher to earn National Board Certification in the state of Virginia.  She was also one of two teachers chosen to represent the state of Virginia at the National Teacher Forum in 2000 held in Washington, DC. She also has nearly 10 years of experience working in educational non-profit organizations focusing on teacher quality issues and minority community outreach including overseeing a multi-million dollar partnership with The Tom Joyner Foundation to increase the number of fully licensed teachers of color in high minority, high poverty districts.

Nikki is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic University (1991) and Virginia Commonwealth University (2003) where her graduate research around Teacher Leadership led to the creation of the VCU Center for Teacher Leadership.

Nikki is the proud mother of her two children: Adrianna and Jordan, both of whom are teachers at KIPP Boston. 

Emily Taylor

Chief Operating Officer


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Emily (Hepler) Taylor joined KIPP Massachusetts in 2014 as the founding School Operations Manager of KIPP Academy Boston Elementary School in Roxbury, MA. In the role she piloted a K-8 Operations model for the district- combining her team to serve the elementary and middle school in Boston. During her tenure, she oversaw four campus moves, transitioned the schools to the Community Eligibility Provision, and strategically developed the student recruitment and enrollment strategy.

Emily transitioned to KIPP Massachusetts’ Regional Office in July 2018 as the Regional Director of Operations, where she managed the Directors of School Operations as well as the district’s technology team. She was promoted to the Managing Director of Operations in July 2020.

Emily began her career in education as a high school geometry teacher in a traditional school district in Harvey, LA. She transitioned out of the classroom to pursue her passion for school operations as an operations manager at a K-8 charter school in Eastern New Orleans.

Emily has a bachelor of science and dual degree in Psychology and Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Bentley University in the Winter of 2020.

Emily lives in Boston with her husband, Kevin, and their son, Luke and their dog, Sonny.

Steve Pizzimenti

Chief of Finance and Talent Development



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Steve rejoined the KIPP MA team in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer after initially spending three years with KIPP MA from 2012 to 2015.  Steve’s career in education began in 2005 when he served as an AmeriCorps tutor at the MATCH Charter High School in Boston.  In 2010, after spending three years at Boston University working in the Budget, Planning, and Institutional Research Office, Steve joined Teach For America as a Massachusetts corps member, teaching Algebra 2 and Precalculus at Phoenix Charter Academy in Chelsea. Steve then joined KIPP Massachusetts in 2012, where he spent time at the KIPP Academy Lynn Middle School as both a School Operations Director and an 8th grade math teacher.  Prior to returning to KIPP in 2018, Steve spent three years at Boston Collegiate Charter School as Director of Operations and then Director of Strategic Projects.

Steve graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in management and concentrations in finance, information systems, and computer science. Steve also earned two Master’s degrees from Boston University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in public and nonprofit management and a Master’s of Education in curriculum and teaching for high school mathematics.

Steve lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife Cristin and their two children, Zachary and Jocelyn.

Coretta Martin

Chief of Staff


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Coretta Martin joined KIPP Massachusetts in 2020 as the Chief of Staff.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in French from Howard University and received her Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Southern California.

Her career started in Washington DC as a classroom teacher, working with students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. During her years as a teacher, Coretta served as a Yale University National Initiative fellow, Chancellor’s Teacher Cabinet member, District Course Chair for Mathematics and Georgetown Global Curriculum fellow.  Additionally she served as an Instructional Coach and Special Education Coordinator and worked alongside schools with organizations such as TNTP and After-School All-Stars.

With a passion for global education and social justice, Coretta spends time working with international organizations such as Limited Resource Teacher Training, Days for Girls, Rising Academies, and a variety of study abroad programs. In her spare time Coretta enjoys traveling the world, studying, and breaking Escape Room records.

Emily DoBell

Chief Schools Officer


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Emily transitioned spent the last school year (2020-2021) as the Managing Director of Schools at KIPP Massachusetts. She transitioned to Chief Schools Officer on July 1st, 2021.

Emily began teaching in 2006 and taught middle school special education and math for six years before joining KIPP MA as a founding learning specialist at KIPP Academy Boston in 2012. She was then fortunate to enroll in the Fisher Fellowship after which she became the founding principal of KIPP Academy Boston Elementary in 2014. In 2018, Emily transitioned from elementary to high school as the successor principal of KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate. She is eager to apply her experience as a teacher and a principal in her new role, inspired and excited to learn from the new challenges ahead.

Emily lives in Lynn, MA with her husband (Josh), her daughter (Audrey), and her dog (Mac). When Emily is not working with her incredible KIPP MA team, she loves to laugh with her family, cook for her loved ones, and travel.