Meet the New 2019-2020 School Principals

The 2019-2020 school year is fast approaching. As parents are getting ready to wrap up summer vacation and begin preparations for the new school year, we would like to introduce you to YES Prep’s new school principals.

Please note that beginning this new school year, YES Prep will move away from the title “School Director” to the traditional “Principal” title.

(In campus alphabetical order)

YES Prep Eisenhower – Andrea Citchen

CitchenOriginally from St. Louis, MO, Citchen has had a passion for education since kindergarten. At the tender age of five, she knew she was going to be a teacher. Her teaching journey began in Indianapolis as an elementary school teacher. Prior to joining YES Prep four years ago, Citchen spent nine years with KIPP where she served as a teacher, Dean and Assistant School Leader. In 2015, she and her husband relocated to Houston where her first three years she joined YES Prep Northside as the High School Dean of Students for two years and then transitioned to the role of Director of Student Support. This past school year, Citchen served as the Resident School Director at YES Prep Southside.

I look forward to meeting all of you, working alongside of you to do this incredible work, and of course, graduating our founding class in 2020! Let’s go Eagles!”

Former principal, Jamie Downs, has transitioned to his new role as the principal of YES Prep Southside.

YES Prep Fifth Ward – Antonio “Tony” Castillo

Antonio CastilloTony has demonstrated his commitment to the YES Prep mission through his leadership building a strong culture at Southwest, co-founding YES Prep’s largest school opening at Southside, and impacting the staff, families, and students at Brays Oaks as the Assistant School Director. He most recently joined the School Director Residency program and has been preparing for this opportunity through his work at Brays Oaks before transitioning to Fifth Ward this semester.

Barb Campbell, the former principal, has transitioned to serve as YES Prep’s Manager of Family Engagement.

YES Prep Hobby – Chase Sander

Chase SanderChase most recently served as the School Director of YES Prep Hoffman. Prior to joining YES Prep Hoffman in 2016, Chase served as the Operations Manager at YES Prep Fifth Ward for three years. He also worked for Teach For America, coaching teachers at both HISD’s Apollo 20 Program and at YES Prep. He also served students in the Rio Grande Valley in 2009 as a Teach For America Corps Member. Chase is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and a former Fellow in both the Leading Excellence Insight and Aspire Programs.

Chase is the founding principal for our new campus. To learn more about the new campus, click here.

YES Prep Hoffman – Justin West

Justin WestJustin West has been with YES Prep for the past eight years. This past school year, Justin joined the founding class of YES Prep’s School Director Pipeline where he served as a resident school director at YES Prep Northbrook High School and served as interim school director towards the end of the 2018-2019 school year at YES Prep Hoffman.

Chase Sander, former principal, will serve as the founding principal for YES Prep Hobby.

North Central – Jeff Osborne

Jeff OsborneJeff was born and raised in Titusville, Florida.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida. From there he taught in Memphis with Teach For America and then found his way into charter organizations in Denver with DSST Public Schools. Jeff also worked at Denver Public Schools before moving to Houston, which is when he started working for YES Prep. He served as the Director of Academics at North Central and last year went through the School Director Residency program this past school year.

I’m excited to once again be a part of the Trailblazer family, to fight for justice with those that will support and push me to be the best possible Principal for the North Central community.”

Former principal, Michelle LaFlure, will serve as a founding YES Prep Elementary School Principal.

YES Prep Northbrook H.S. – Gregory Little

Gregory LittleGregory was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor’s from Ursinus College. In 2010, he joined the education field a Houston Teach For America Corps member. In his nearly eight years at YES Prep Fifth Ward, Gregory served as a grade-level chair, Athletic Director, Dean of Students, Director of Student Support, Resident School Director, and teacher. Most recently, he had the opportunity to learn from the high bar of excellence that has become a trademark of YES Prep North Central as a Resident School Director. Gregory has also completed his M.Ed of Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in 2012.

YES Prep Northrook H.S. has created something special and I am humbled that I can build upon the strong foundation that has been set.”

Gregory fills the position formerly filled by Bryan Reed, who transitioned out of YES Prep at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Southside – Jamie Downs

Jamie DownsJamie previously served as the School Director of YES Prep Eisenhower. Prior to this position, Jamie worked as the interim Director of Academics at YES Prep Hoffman. Jamie was a 2007 Houston Teach For America Corps Member, who taught 6th grade English Language Arts at Fondren Middle School. He then worked for TFA in Kansas City before returning to Houston to attend the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program and teach at YES Prep North Forest. Jamie later worked as an Assistant Principal at Sharpstown High School in HISD.

Former principal Ashleigh Fritz has transitioned into her new role as a YES Prep Head of Schools.

YES Prep Thrive – Morgan Watson

Morgan WatsonNew Director of our Thrive program, Morgan is originally from the Bay Area, California and settled in Houston after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Her journey in education began in 2014 on staff at Teach for America-Houston.

Morgan worked in operations and special projects initially at YES Prep Northside, before transitioning to help the Thrive team launch the first charter school disciplinary alternative education program in Texas – YES Prep Thrive.

Former Thrive Director Amanda Rawlings, transitioned to serve as YES Prep’s Managing Director of School Culture.

To meet and read the bios of all of our principals, click here.

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