The LEANLAB team is comprised of a small group of passionate individuals, dedicated to supporting education innovators and finding the very best solutions to the most endemic problems in K12 education.
A native of Kansas City and the daughter of two community organizers, Katie Boody has worked in public education in KCMO since 2008. Seemingly always involved in the "startup" phase of organizations, Katie was a charter corps member of Teach For America Kansas City, a founding member of C.A. Franklin's middle school team in Kansas City Public Schools, a founding teacher at Alta Vista Charter Middle School School, and eventually, a founder of LEANLAB. Katie taught middle school math for five years and later worked as an instructional coach. Holding a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in dance, an M.Ed. in Middle School Education, and an Ed.S. in Education Leadership, Katie is interested in exploring the unique intersections of urban education, creativity, community building, entrepreneurship, and the hospitality of Kansas City BBQ. Katie has been recognized as a 2017 NextGen Leader, Techweek 100 (2015 & 2017), Leadership for Educational Equity Public Leadership Fellow, and is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Teacher Residency.
Director of Innovation Programs
Descending from a family of entrepreneurs and the daughter of a lifelong educator, it makes sense that Stephanie would find herself working where education and innovation intersect. She discovered the burgeoning Kansas City startup scene while pursuing her MBA at UMKC and proclaimed “I’ve found my people!” Prior to joining LEANLAB, she worked in the higher education sector as the Operations Manager for the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School of Management and managed E-Scholars—an early-stage accelerator program at UMKC. Stephanie is passionate about the arts and spent six years marketing nationally touring Broadway shows. In her free time, Stephanie attends as much theater as possible and is a busy mama of three. Stephanie holds an MBA from UMKC and a B.S. in Journalism, Strategic Communications from the University of Kansas, William Allen White School of Journalism.
Manager of collaborative Partnerships
David Muhammad was born and raised in greater Kansas City. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2008, with a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education. In 2012 he received his Masters Degree in Education from Baker University. He spent eleven years teaching on the Shawnee Mission School District and currently operates a Martial arts school (Integrity Martial Arts Academy) with his father. A musician, he co-founded a non-profit music program (The Depot Academy) that offers recording scholarships to area youth and has released several music projects. In 2017, he received the Crescent Peace Society’s education award for his diverse efforts in the teaching field. He specializes in leading what he calls “Courageous Conversations” and has conducted several workshops and given keynote addresses. He is married to Aisha Sharif and they have two daughters.
Manager of Innovation programs
Rohan Pidaparti is a firm believer in the idea that it takes making meaningful connections across lines of difference to solve intractable societal problems. As such, he is excited to recruit and retain the next class of K12 fellows for LEANLAB as the Manager of Innovation Programs and be part of a larger effort to make transformational change in education. Prior to joining the LEANLAB, he taught 7th grade math at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School as a corps member with Teach for America. Rohan Pidaparti holds an A.B. in Political Science from Harvard College and a Masters of Education from the University of Missouri at Saint Louis.
Manager of Research & Impact
Erin completed a PhD in Political Science from the University of Colorado Boulder where she conducted research on policy reforms and community efforts to reduce violence in Latin America. She has been a university instructor for ten years, including 4 years teaching in Mexico at the Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. She brings a background in community organizing and school social work in the Chicago area where she completed a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She received a B.A. from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas and played basketball for the Bethel Threshers. She is a mother of two young girls and she enjoys playing tennis and traveling.
Operations Coordinator VISTA
Mary holds a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In her previous work, she traveled to a variety of schools teaching skills students needed to transition from high school into the community. Mary worked with students to set goals related to college, immediate employment, and housing. During her work in the classroom, she saw students and teachers frustrated with the regular school curriculum. They often would become tired and disinterested in the activities. Many students didn’t have the motivation to get a passing grade. Knowing this, Mary was even more motivated to ensure that the transition topics challenged and excited them each week, and eventually came to care deeply about education innovation. These experiences have informed her work at LEANLAB. Mary’s other passion is spending time with her cat Princess—who recently celebrated her second birthday with a party.
Marketing and Fund Development Coordinator
Alexander graduated from Pittsburg State University with a B.A. in Technical Writing. He has worked with both private and nonprofit entities as a freelancer, exploring a passion for design and writing that places accessibility and clarity at the forefront of all work. Alexander’s current work at LEANLAB and outside pursuit as a musician is a perfect melding of the values instilled from his parents—a children’s librarian and a folk musician.
LEANLAB Board of Directors
Our board is composed of industry leaders who oversee the LEANLAB vision; a group with a zealous and singular commitment to see that all children have equal access to stellar education.
Chairman of the Board
Director of Community Health Initiatives at Children's Mercy Hospital
Co-Founder CEO of Netchemia,
Co-Founder, Managing Director of Novel Growth Partners