The Ensemble Team is Growing: Introducing Our New Principal Coaches

As part of our Learning While Leading program, each participating school principal engages with an experienced practitioner principal coach. We are excited to formally introduce our Ensemble team of principal coaches! These four individuals bring a wealth of experience from school, district, and CMO leadership, and they have the coaching skills and strategies to help our Learning While Leading principals effect change for English learners. Each coach has come on board this summer with Ensemble, and they are quickly getting up-to-speed with our programs, grants, and schools. 

Kettisha Jones, Lead Principal Coach

Kettisha holds a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston. Previously, Kettisha was the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education at Pflugerville ISD and a principal for Houston ISD. She is currently a School Systems Leadership Fellow. Kettisha coaches our Learning While Leading principals in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Kettisha will also lead the principal coach team to ensure consistent, high-quality coaching across all schools.

Julio Contreras. Principal Coach

Julio holds a master’s in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. Previously, Julio has worked as a bilingual teacher, assistant principal, principal and district leader at Chicago Public Schools, and for the last 7 years, a Principal Supervisor at Tulsa Public Schools and KIPP San Antonio. Most recently he has served as a Principal Supervisor Trainer at New Leaders for New Schools and is a recognized 2016 USA Education Week Leader to Learn From for his approach to Principal Supervision. Julio coaches our Learning While Leading principals in Dallas

James Waller, Principal Coach

James coaches principals in leadership and instruction. James holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Previously, he oversaw the ICEF View Park family of schools and ICEF Inglewood Middle School as Vice President of Second Student Achievement. He also served as Principal at Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. James coaches principals in Los Angeles.

Sherre Vernon, Principal Coach

Sherre previously has worked as the Chief Academic Officer for THRIVE Public Schools, as a Principal for Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, and the Dean of Student Culture at Ánimo Western Middle School, a Green Dot school. Sherre has worked in education for over twenty years and has a deep commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.


If you are interested in receiving support from our principal coaches, please reach out to Ensemble CEO Elise Darwish at The Learning While Leading program is supported by Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about the Learning While Leading program and how you can become involved, please contact Katherine Hamilton (


Related post

SHARE this