Lisa Arrastia (Board President). Originally from New York City, Lisa Arrastia is currently Head of Upper School at Brooklyn Friends School. She is a former lecturer in the Writing and Critical Inquiry program at University of Albany, State University of New York and has an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and an M.A. in Education. Her fields of concentration are critical educational studies and critical ethnic studies, and her research examines the intersections of race, social class, and education policy. Lisa has worked as a principal, a consultant, and a teacher in independent, public, charter, and international schools. Lisa is founder and CEO of The Ed Factory; the editor with Marvin Hoffman of Starting Up: Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools (Teachers College Press, 2012); a consulting editor for the journal Schools; an assistant editor for the journal XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics; an advisory board member of New York University’s PACH (Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity); and the founder, designer, and lead educational consultant for the former Minneapolis Teachers Institute, a program that built a network of critical educators committed to creative, democratic classrooms. In all of her work with schools, Lisa focuses on the development of empathic communities where young people have the freedom to think, question, and innovate as they wrestle with the tangled complexities of self, other, and difference.

Gregg Osofsky (Vice President) is the Operations Director of the Watershed Center in Millerton, NY. He holds a B.S. from Stanford University in Environmental Science and Technology and has an extensive background in small business operations, website design and development, and community organizing. In addition to his work with Watershed, Gregg the CFO of Hammertown, his family’s small business, and a member of the Town of Northeast’s Fire Department. Gregg is also a certified Somatics Coach and is passionate is bringing physical practice into people’s lives as a fundamental aspect of personal growth and development.

Jim Shields (Secretary) is an Advisor at Big Picture South Burlington, a full time school-within-a-school where students follow their interests, pursue their learning in out-of-school locations through internships, service learning, and individual and group projects. As an Advisor, Jim works with students to design individualized curricula based on their passions, skills and goals. Jim has a Master of Arts in Teaching, and is certified as a K-12 art teacher and K-12 building administrator. In his 24 years in public education, he’s been a high school art teacher, assistant principal, and digital media teacher, before helping to start Big Picture South Burlington. Jim is married to a Hudsonian, and while his family lives in Burlington, VT, they are regular visitors and sometimes-residents of Columbia County!

Jennifer Stockmeier (Board Treasurer) has been an active community member and resident of Hudson NY where, for the past twenty-two years, she has raised and unschooled her two sons. Through this experience and her involvement in many local organizations, she has developed a strong personal connection to this community.  Her involvement as an educator has ranged from teaching swimming to infants, art and design to school age children, to teaching English as a Second Language to adult immigrants. Adept at number crunching with an understanding of financial narrative, she has run her own business as a freelance bookkeeper for local businesses and non-profit organizations including Omi International Arts Center. Jennifer studied liberal arts at Washington University and architectural design at Parsons School of Design and the Art Academy Frankfurt (Städel Schule), Germany. Since living in Hudson she established the drawing studio at Hudson Opera House and created numerous temporary architectural installations throughout the county with her husband, Wolfgang Stockmeier.  Presently, she works at WSD Inc., an architectural design studio.

Brenda Shufelt is the Program Director at the Hudson Area Library. She has a Masters in Elementary Education from CUNY Hunter and a Masters in School Library Science from SUNY Albany. She worked in the NYC public school system for 25 years at an elementary school in Harlem, first as a classroom teacher and then as a librarian.  Brenda also worked for the NYCDOE Office of School Librarians as a mentor librarian, recruitment speaker and headed a citywide committee that developed a Model of Excellence in School Library Services.  In addition, she developed a community school initiative at her school through funding from the United Federation of Teachers and has spoken on this experience at local, state and national panels.  Brenda has worked as a grant writer on a school- and district-wide level. Experience has taught her that students need to be recognized individually and encouraged to be a team as they learn, and that civics and social justice are studies that most interest and empower them.  

David Hyman graduated with a B.A. in literature from Bard College in 2011. Since then, David founded the real estate company Second Street Dart LLC, and he is currently working toward his Master’s in Clinical Social Work at NYU. David works with various local organizations and schools, including Astor Home in Rhinebeck, and the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, to help raise funds and awareness for programs that support social betterment.

Sonja Okun has two decades of experience developing and leading successful positive youth development intervention programs for justice system-involved youth, including founding and serving as Executive Director of exalt in New York City from 2006-2014. Sonja is currently a Principal at Root Cause, a nonprofit consulting group, and consults independently to several criminal justice-related organizations nationally. Sonja holds both a BA in African American Studies and an MBA from Harvard University. 

Tanu Kumar is an urban planning and policy consultant based in the Hudson Valley, providing planning, research, and program development support to local organizations. She has over 10 years of experience working with government agencies, non-profits, and community-based organizations on land use planning, industrial development and zoning, and equitable economic growth strategies. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development in Brooklyn, NY, and led Pratt Center’s economic development work in NYC for five years. She has a B.A. from Williams College and a Master's in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

To share questions and concerns regarding governance of the Kite's Nest organization, you can contact us.