Purpose Built Schools Team

Greg Giornelli
Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Built Schools
Purpose Built Schools

Greg Giornelli has worked on transformational projects at the city and neighborhood levels for more than 20 years, playing diverse leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors. Currently, he is leading a start-up initiative, Purpose Built Schools, to replicate the successful Drew Charter School model, primarily in Atlanta, but also in three other communities around the country. He previously served as President and COO of Purpose Built Communities.

From 2002 – 2010 Greg worked for the City of Atlanta in various capacities in the administration of Mayor Shirley Franklin, including Chief Operating Officer, President of the Atlanta Development Authority and Chief Policy Officer.

Greg was the founding Executive Director of the East Lake Foundation (1994-2001), the lead non-profit organization that developed and continues to implement a bold, innovative and successful model of community revitalization that helps families break the cycle of poverty. In this role, he oversaw the redevelopment of the East Lake Meadows public housing project into a revitalized mixed-income community. This successful transformation included Atlanta’s first charter school, a new YMCA, a child development center, the East Lake Junior Golf Academy, and a number of health and wellness programs for neighborhood families.

Greg is also an attorney who has worked in private practice and as an Assistant District Attorney for DeKalb County, located in Metro Atlanta.

Christina Perry
Purpose Built Schools
Ryan Shepard
Purpose Built Schools

Ryan was born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. He earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Morehouse College in 2008. While at Morehouse, Ryan served in several organizations and leadership capacities, including the Morehouse College Honors Program, the Student Senate, and the Student Government Association as the 2007-2008 Vice President. He also worked closely with the Morehouse College Leadership Center, including as an Oprah Winfrey South Africa Fellow. Ryan founded an international community service program called The Arché during the 2006-07 school year. The organization selected students for year-long fellowships where they designed and implemented service learning programs abroad, in countries including South Africa, Lesotho, and Colombia.

In 2008 Ryan joined Teach for America as a corps member in the Atlanta Metro Region He was a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher in South Fulton County at Seaborn Lee Elementary. In 2010, he was a Reynolds Foundation Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership. While at Harvard, Ryan also served as Student Government Association President. In 2011, Ryan earned a Masters of Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

After graduate school, Ryan returned to Atlanta to join McKinsey & Company before taking a role as an internal consultant in the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. In 2015 Ryan became the youngest person in the city’s history appointed as Clerk of Court and Court Administrator for the City of Atlanta Municipal Court. Ryan currently serves as President of Purpose Built Schools of Atlanta. The organization is in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools to manage a cluster of four schools through a K-12 turnaround effort.

Outside of work, Ryan enjoys international travel, cooking and volunteerism. He serves on the board of the nonprofit Full Court Peace, an organization that promotes conflict resolution through basketball domestically and abroad. Full Court Peace works with community members in cities like Belfast, Juarez, Havana, and Bridgeport. Ryan is the founder of a social impact organization called The Human Capital Theory (HCT). HCT is a movement that creates engaging and responsible approaches to community-based economic development.

Barbara Preuss
Head of Schools
Purpose Built Schools

The Head of Schools is Barbara Preuss, a 30-year veteran of APS. Ms. Preuss most recently served as the Principal at the Drew Charter School Elementary Academy for the past nine years. During that time Ms. Preuss led Drew to its current position as one of the consistently highest-performing schools in the city and the state. As head of Schools, Ms. Preuss will be responsible for Purpose Built Schools instructional program; all four Principals will report to her.

School Principals

Jovan Miles
Thomasville Heights Elementary School

Jovan Miles has served as an inner city and urban educator for over 13 years. He completed all of his post-secondary education at Georgia State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, a Master’s Degree in Educational Research, and a Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Mr. Miles’ professional areas of expertise include math education, culturally relevant pedagogy, teacher and leadership development, and the common sense use of data to make decisions about teaching and learning. His hobbies include motorcycling, gardening, and reading.

Lenise Bostic
Slater Elementary School

Ms. Lenise Bostic will be the Principal of Slater Elementary School starting Fall 2017. She has spent 11 of her 17 years in education with APS. At APS, she served in a number of leadership roles, including assistant principal at Toomer Elementary and Morningside Elementary schools. She most recently served as Dean of Academics at Thomasville Heights Elementary School, the school’s lead instructional position.

Mr. Luqman Abdur-Rahman
Price Middle School

Mr. Luqman Abdur-Rahman will remain the Principal of Price Middle School. He has held numerous leadership roles in APS and is the current principal of Price Middle School, which will help to ensure a smooth transition as Purpose Built Schools begins operating the school. At Price Middle School, Mr. Abdur-Rahman has led the implementation of a school-wide social emotional learning program to address the emotional needs of both students and staff. He has also spearheaded the cultural and instructional shifts necessary to create sustained growth in student achievement in the Carver Cluster.

Yusuf A. Muhammad, Jr.
S.T.E.A.M Academy at Carver

Yusuf A. Muhammad, Jr. was raised in Brooklyn, New York.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Secondary Social Studies and African American Studies, and a graduate degree in Education (Reading K-12), from the State University of New York at Cortland.  He also earned a graduate degree in African and African American Studies from Cornell University.

After completing his studies, Yusuf returned to Brooklyn, New York, and entered the teaching profession.  He spent 8 years as a Social Studies Teacher at the Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development.  In 2010, Mr. Muhammad applied and was accepted into the New Leaders Aspiring Principal’s Program.  He spent the 2011-12 school year as a Resident Principal at Bronx Bridges High School while taking coursework towards his School Building Leader License at Baruch College.  After completing his residency, he returned to the Benjamin Banneker Academy as an Assistant Principal and Acting Principal.

In 2013, Yusuf accepted an offer to lead City Polytechnic High School.  He led the innovative 9-14 school through its transition to a Pathways in Technology (P-Tech) program where students gained Work Based Learning experiences and graduated with an Associate’s Degree.

In 2016, Yusuf transitioned to Atlanta with his family to lead George Washington Carver High School, and he will continue as the Principal of the S.T.E.A.M. Academy at Carver.