the risE prep board members   

Jonathan Penn, Chair (

Mr. Penn has been a public servant with the City of East Point for over a decade. Today he serves as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the entire city, working directly with the Mayor, the City Council and the City Manager. In his role, he oversees all staff, services, and programming for the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of East Point. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and the National Parks and Recreation Directors School. He has also completed the Management Development Program as well as the Leadership I and II programs with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute and Fanning Institute respectively. 



Dr. Terry recently completed her 10th year with Gwinnett County Public Schools. Working mostly with Title I schools, she has been a teacher, department chair, curriculum liaison, and positive behavior intervention coach. Dr. Terry earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University, a Master of Education Management degree from Strayer University, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Northeastern University. 


Leonard Neely, Treasurer (

Leonard is a Senior Associate at PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) in the Revenue Performance Management Advisory practice and is focused primarily on project management, revenue cycle operational improvement, and comprehensive hospital reimbursement projects for complex healthcare clients across various markets. His experience includes leadership and supporting roles in the areas of revenue cycle improvement, project management, patient access optimization, strategic reimbursement, health information management (HIM), and ICD-10 readiness opportunities across the continuum of patient care. Leonard holds a MBA degree from Emory University, and a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. 


Iesha Davis, Immediate Past Chair (

Mrs. Davis is a Senior Industrial Engineer of Information Security, on the Global Metrics and Reporting Team. She specializes in statistical modeling, forecasting, algorithmic and process design at Bank of America. Her primary projects include reporting key information security metrics to the Board of Directors for global decision making at Bank of America, developing processes to mitigate risk associated with information security management and designing sustainable policies for stakeholder engagement. As a United States patented designer of algorithms, her professional experience also includes digital marketing, non-profit program management and community development. She holds a MBA degree from Emory University, and a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. She also attended the Summer Graduate Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. 


James A. Bush, MPH, PhDc (

Mr. Bush is the Sr. Education Specialist at Change Healthcare and the Director of Professional Development at N.U.R.S.E. Inc. He brings over a decade of professional experience in adult education and training and development. Prior to that he was a Senior Drill Instructor and Instruction Writer with  The United States Army. He holds Bachelor of Science degree from Bethune-Cookman University, a Bachelor of Science Degree from American InterContinental University, Master of Health Administration degree from American InterContinental University, and is completing is Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration from Northcentral University. 


Linda Gaston Paden (

Dr. Paden is a native of Atlanta that brings over 41 years of experience as an educator and leader. Prior to retiring, Dr. Paden served as the principal at Finch Elementary School and Venetian Hill Elementary School. She also served as the chairperson at C.L. Harper High School. She received her Doctorate degree from Clark Atlanta University, her Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University. She is the president of the National Women of Achievement, Inc. Midtown Atlanta Chapter, and also sits on the Board of the Youth Hope-Builders Academy at the Interdenominational Theological Center, the Meadow Lark Estates Community Association, the Great Travelers Rest Baptist Church, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. 


Amy Jackson (

Ms. Jackson has over ten years of leadership experience in the public and non- profit sectors, working with the Department of Labor as an Employment Services Supervisor, Habitat for Humanity as a Project Manager and a as the Support and Project Coordinator with the GoodWorks State program. She also has over nine years’ experience as an educator, holding certifications in Special Education and Language Arts, which includes working as an Adjunct Technical Instructor South Georgia Technical School, and as a mentor with the Making a Difference Program at Morehouse College. Ms. Jackson holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Technology, a Bachelor’s in Human Resources, a Masters of Business Administration, is currently a Doctoral candidate at Capella University. 


Corey Sheffield (

Dr. Sheffield is an accomplished educator who has been a classroom teacher, department head, and college advisor. He has spent the last 5 years as the Director of College Advisement for KIPP Metro Atlanta. In that role, he is responsible for ensuring the college placement of all KIPP Atlanta’s students. Additionally, he serves as the Associate Director for the 5 Strong Scholarship Foundation, which aims to provide full scholarship to students at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Sheffield earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Voorhees College, a Master of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University, and a Doctor of Education degree from Argosy University. He also earned a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Dr. Sheffield holds a L7 Certification in Educational Leadership, and is member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, the Southern Association of College Admissions Counselors, and the National College Action Network.