Our Advisory Team
John co-founded Rocketship Education, where he served as CEO from 2005 to 2013. Rocketship combined classroom and online teaching serving 3,500 students across 7 schools and became the highest-performing low-income school system in California. John advises Sora on organizational development and school processes.
A veteran in virtual education, Linda was a member of the leadership team for the largest global higher education network with Laureate Education for over 10 years. She was an Executive Vice President at Connections Academy and led strategic initiatives on innovation in learning models for K12.
Lisa McGuire has served as a teacher, department chair, and director of admissions for schools for multiple years. At King’s Ridge Christian School in Georgia, she helped acquire partnerships and impactful resources for the school as part of their experiential education, encouraging students to take on internships while in school.
Brandy is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) who holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus on behavioral sciences and health education from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University, Oxford, OH. Her mission as a counselor is to help her students realize their strengths, and embrace who they are so they can confidently navigate through changes in their life or career.
Lead Humanities Expert
Michael has an extensive educational background in the humanities, paired with 5 years of teaching experience at high school and college levels. Michael is currently a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Staffordshire University, and has earned a M.T.S in Historical Theology from Emory University. He works with students on their individual projects, while simultaneously educating them in writing, reading, critical thinking, and other humanities related skills needed to excel in their future endeavors.
Lead STEM Expert
Carolyn started off her career as a software engineer. Eventually, she decided to get her Masters in Mathematics and moved into teaching, serving as a high school math teacher in multiple schools. As a teacher, she believes in making math project-based and teaching real skills like coding in the classroom. Carolyn is working with students on their individual projects, while also helping them incorporate math and science skills.
In the beginning of 2018, three Georgia Tech students came together to begin working on an ambitious project.
What would the ideal high school look like?
From their own experience in high school, Garrett Smiley, Wesley Samples, and Indra Sofian knew that schools today were completely out of date. They didn’t focus on building the right skills, they weren’t good learning environments for most students, and they didn’t prepare students for the real world. Yet, they had succeeded in spite of that.
Prior to Sora, Garrett co-founded charities that built wells in developing nations and taught financial literacy concepts to foster kids. Indra worked as a venture partner at Contrary Capital, a university-focused venture capital firm and started an organization called The Intern Project that hosted a community of interns in cities around the country. Wesley co-founded a creative agency called Elevate Media and served as Co-Director of a student entrepreneur organization called Startup Exchange at Georgia Tech.
After many, many months of research and conversations with teachers, school founders, developmental biologists, entrepreneurs, and students, their findings matched their hypothesis: high school needed to be imagined from the ground up.
Thus, they started Sora Schools.