summerLEAP Executive Directors
Lindsey Brown: Director, summerLEAP at Allendale-Columbia
Lindsey earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and master’s degree in Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport and holds New York State Teacher Certifications in Primary Education with a Bilingual Extension, Spanish (7-12), and English (7-12). She has been in the field of education for eight years, and at Allendale Columbia School for five, where she teaches Spanish 6, 7, and 8. Before coming to Allendale Columbia, Lindsey worked in community health and taught in the Upward Bound Program at the University of Rochester.
Lynn Gatto: Executive Director, Horizons at Warner
Lynn Gatto taught elementary school in the Rochester City School District for over thirty years. Lynn’s success with urban students has been recognized with many local and national awards. Among those accolades, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Toyota Tapestry Award, New York State Teacher of the Year, and Disney American Teacher. Upon her retirement, Dr. Gatto began her second career as the inaugural Executive Director of the first Horizons program to be hosted by a university on the campus of the University of Rochester. She is also an assistant professor at the Warner School of Education, where she is the Director of Elementary Education.
Heather is responsible for hiring and evaluating staff, working collaboratively with community partners to ensure services are aligned with the unique needs of the youth and population being served. She oversees partnership, curriculum and training. Prior to her work at EnCompass, Heather was a special education teacher at the Norman Howard School as well as School of the Holy Childhood. She has extensive experience working in and leading programs for diverse and underserved youth. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum with teaching certification in special education.
Robin Mitchell: Exeuctive Director, Horizons at Harley
Robin is the executive director of the Horizons at Harley program. He joined Horizons after eight years of leadership and management experience with the Special Olympics of New York, consisting of program and curriculum development, fundraising, grant writing, budget management, and staff management. He has a strong background in building inclusive programs in elementary school settings, including the Rochester City School District. Robin has a B.S. in Communication and Media from Loughborough University in the U.K. and an M.S. in Inclusive Education from Nazareth College.
Susan is the director of the School of Education’s Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education at SUNY Geneseo and Executive Director for the Rochester Young Scholars Academy at Geneseo. Her work at SUNY is aimed at cultivating culturally responsive teachers through seminars and other related activities. She is a program facilitator for Real World Geneseo, a diversity retreat that won the Bronze NASPA award in 2013 and coordinates weekly seminars for the Center. Currently the grant-funded work being done at the Xerox Center also includes providing direct services in tutoring and enrichment for students in Rochester as well as providing scholarships to diverse teacher candidates. In a prior position, Susan was director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Clarkson University where she helped enroll and graduate under-represented engineers and those with other technical majors.
Kathy Olmstead, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the department of Education and Human Development at the College at Brockport where she teaches courses in literacy education methods and literacy research. Kathy has an abundance of teaching experience. She has worked as a classroom teacher (in preschool, kindergarten and third grade), a reading specialist, as well as an ELA instructional specialist for students with disabilities grades K-8. Kathy has served as the director of the college’s Summer Literacy Institute, where she worked with interns to provide rich and engaging literacy experiences to diverse learners from local communities. Kathy is committed to developing authentic and meaningful learning environments that connect schools with families and communities.
Luis A. Perez: Director, Program Support & Expansion
Mr. Perez, a NYS licensed social worker, is a Rochester native of Puerto-Rican descent. Prior to joining GRSLA full-time in 2016 as the Director of Program Support and Expansion, Mr. Perez served as the Executive Director of the Horizons at Harley program. In 1987, while employed by the Eastman Kodak Co., Luis and his wife Pamela began an outreach program to urban students that would transform their lives. As a result they have committed the past 25+ years to helping low-income, inner-city children be successful both academically and in life. Mr. Perez served as an Assistant Pastor at Bethel Christian Fellowship from 1990-2006. In 2001, Mr. Perez founded and became the Executive Director of HOPE Initiatives, CDC, a faith-based community development corporation serving Monroe County. Mr. Perez currently sits on the Board of Directors for Young Audiences of Rochester and as an Advisor to the Early Childhood Education Quality Council, and is a past board member with numerous agencies including the United Way of Greater Rochester, MetroCarlson YMCA, Camp Good Days and Special Times, and Genesee Settlement House. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Social Work at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Annmarie Urso: Exeutive Director, Soaring Stars Summer Program at SUNY Geneseo
Dr. Annmarie Urso is an associate professor in the School of Education at SUNY Geneseo. A 30 year professional in Education, Dr. Urso taught 20 years in rural K-12 schools in New York state as an elementary education, special education, and reading teacher. Her research interests are in cognitive profiles of children who struggle with reading. She is a learning disabilities specialist and an educational diagnositican. Dr. Urso is the president of the NYS Chapter for the Council for Exceptional Children and represents Institutes of Higher Education on the NYS Education Department’s Commissioner’s Advisory Panel on Special Education.
Stephanie White: Executive Director, Horizons at MCC
Stephanie White has been a certified teacher in the Rochester City School District for over 18 years after earning her B.A in African American Studies from S.U.N.Y. Brockport and M.A. in Literacy Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. As a native of Rochester, NY and an alumnus of RCSD, she is passionate about providing quality education for inner city youth. Stephanie was a teacher, Academic Coordinator and Program Coordination for Horizons at MCC before taking on the role of Executive Director.