Meet The Team
Dr. Nicole Boykins
Dr. Nicole Belt Boykins is a proud New Orleans native who attended public schools and thus believes in the power of an excellent education. As a first-generation college graduate, she began her educational career as a first-grade teacher. Surrounded by a great school community, she has had the pleasure of serving in many leadership capacities, including instructional manager, academic dean, and resident principal, before serving as a school principal. Dr. Boykins currently serves as a founding principal at KIPP East Academy. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Masters of Arts in Teaching, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Boykins remains equally as passionate about uplifting her community as she felt when she entered the classroom 13 years ago.
Latavia Jones is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is a proud mother of two boys and now resides in Houston, Texas. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Louisiana State University where she gained a passion for helping others within the education system. She received her Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Kansas in 2019. She has been an educator for 6 years and has taught in a variety of grade levels and diverse schools. Latavia now serves as a Literacy Interventionist for grades PK3-5th grade. Ms. Jones has continued her passion for helping others in education both inside and outside the classroom. She has partnered with school leaders to help form and improve school culture and relationships. She has a passion for helping others master standardized testing and has mentored children, young adults, and educators on test-taking strategies. Ms. Jones is eager to help others grow within every aspect of education.
ACT & TEST PREP COACH
ELA CONTENT LEAD
As a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Terika Newton, stands firm on relational concord and the affordability of upward mobility. She has carried this charge of action coupled with activism as a social science scholar into public service in the education field. As a former Secondary English educator, she brings her expertise in curriculum, instruction, procedural learning, and cognitive research with over 8 years of experience working with students to foster independent and innovative thinkers and writers. She has a heart for growth and prosperity in undervalued communities and individuals. It is her belief that education is the pillar of success that doesn’t end with academic knowledge but life skills are at the forefront. On her journey at Glen Oaks High, Louisiana State University, and Southern University, she met educators and individuals who ignited a fire and used that same torch to inspire. As an education consultant and coach, working with diverse individuals and designing for individuals' needs are of the essence of her work, yet she is constantly hungry for the breadth of knowledge to perfect her craft. To do this work is an honor.
Mendrek D. Solite, Jr. is a native of White Castle, Louisiana. He began his teaching career in 2016 in New Orleans, LA teaching 5th, 6th, and 7th grade mathematics. In his first two years of teaching, Mendrek received several awards, including ‘Kid’s Choice: Teacher of the Year’ and awards for having the highest student growth and proficiency in mathematics across the network. The following year, he took his expertise and wit to the 5th and 6th grade students at Advantage Charter Academy in Baker, LA. During his time in the classroom in Baker, he continued to earn much deserved recognition for his scholars’ academic performance, such as being named a finalist for the Teacher of Excellence Award across the charter’s network of 91 schools in 9 states. Mendrek is now entering into his third year as the Assistant Principal of Middle School at Advantage Charter Academy and has been selected to join the National Heritage Academies Principal Prep Program. Scholastically, Solite has earned two degrees. He has a Bachelors degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Southern University A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also has a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Louisiana State University at Shreveport.
MATH CONTENT LEAD
Jordan Cotton is a native to Federal Way, Washington. Graduating with a Bachelors degree in Sociology with minors in Writing and Solidarity & Social Justice from Gonzaga University, Cotton lended his degree to work within the education system with a mission to provide quality education for all students and to advocate for equitable policies and practices. Cotton began his teaching career as a 4th grade ELA teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana and currently works back in his hometown as a Secondary Educator teaching English, World Language and ELL ourses.