Our Team

GALS Inc. across the nation

GALS Inc. is committed to preparing a unique and diverse generation of well-educated and motivated young women for innovative citizenship and leadership in our global society. Our team is comprised of people who model the core values and worldview of our work across the nation and around the globe.

 

Our Staff

Liz Wolfson

Chief visionary officer and founder, GALS Inc.

Liz Wolfson created the vision for the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools Inc. 2008. She raised over half a million dollars in angel funding, developed the strategic plan and moved to Colorado to open the flagship schools in Denver. Due to Liz’s leadership, GALS is the first Colorado home-grown educational network to expand beyond the state’s border, as GALS Los Angeles opened in 2016, and GALS Idaho is set to open in 2020. Liz has spent the bulk of her career working for CEO’s and Philanthropists in manifesting their visions and starting up corporate and philanthropic projects locally, nationally and internationally. Former non-profit clients include the Institute for International Sport, The American Montessori Society, The Rose Institute (for homeless youth) and a former Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Former corporate work includes creating the first global communications division for Comverse, a world leader in voice activated systems, and raising seed-funding for TaskMail, the first Jordanian/Israeli high tech start-up company. Liz received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and earned her masters Degree at the Hebrew Union College. Liz believes her passion for comprehensive health in schools stems from her upbringing in the world of competitive athletics where she competed in Division I Field Hockey. Liz considers herself a force in organizational behavior and Whole-Bodied leadership.

Why GALS?

I was looking for a home both professionally and personally that expressed my desire to integrate body and intellect in a way that is organic to the feminine. The idea of shaping the next generation of young women by garnering the power of school every day—to me it is the idyllic implementation of Title IX.

Dhyia Thompson-Phillips

Deputy Chief of Planning and Performance

Before joining GALS Inc., Dhyia served as the Director of Strategy for City Colleges of Chicago where she led the Office of Strategy & Research at Malcolm X College. She was responsible for performance and strategic growth for the merger acquisition of its Healthcare School. Her initiatives increased student completion from 7% to 23% within 4 years by increasing staff-wide data literacy. As an adviser to the President and Chancellor’s leadership team, she developed initiatives for district-wide planning, budgeting, and operational improvement. Prior to MXC, she supported mission-driven organizations as a consultant, first at Huron Consulting Group in their Higher Education and Healthcare practice then later within her own firm. Dhyia considers herself a “unicorn” because she both understands and enjoys working with data and people, equally.  She has a Master of Education in Higher Ed Administration from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Why GALS?

I am the product of a single-gender education and benefited greatly from playing sports in both middle and high school.  Students at GALS are at an advantage because the staff and teachers connect with them as a whole child and not just as a student. GALS concept of engaging the “whole child” also extends into our day-to-day workspace. It’s refreshing to serve an organization that engages me as a “whole person” — not just as an employee. This experience brings me full circle: I’m an alum of an all-girls private high school, St. Scholastica Academy in Chicago, and I competed nationally in rhythmic gymnastics in addition to playing team sports in high school. Single-gender education is such a special and extraordinary experience for young adults in middle and high school. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to grow the GALS legacy.

Jennifer Green

Deputy Chief of Schools

Jenn Green grew up in Denver and has worked in school districts across Colorado for over 20 years, serving as teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, dean, and instructional coach. She is a big risk-taker committed to living her dream, which includes working for the Navajo Nation, joining a circus, performing on stage in New York City, Mexico, and Europe, raising horses, managing community gardens, and building an adobe house. All these experiences inform her teaching and leadership in schools, and she is excited to take it to the next level as part of the GALS Inc. team. Jenn has a BA in Anthropology (Stanford University) and an MA in Education (University of Colorado/Denver).

Why GALS?

When I started teaching, I felt like an undercover agent for social justice, working covertly through the classroom.  Finding GALS has allowed me to fully and unapologetically engage in this radical, transformational work. I feel the calling now more than ever to use my skills and experience to help students grow into the most authentic, empowered, and embodied versions of themselves, so that they can take the lead in creating a more just and equitable world.

Our Board

Barbara Wagner

Head of the GALS Inc. board, educational and nonprofit consultant
Los Angeles, California

  • Head of Marlborough School for 25 years (grades 7-12 independent, college-preparatory girls’ school in Los Angeles, CA)
  • Implemented innovative programs in science, humanities, and social sciences to empower young women
  • Developed a leadership program to provide young women with skills to build their confidence as visionary, capable leaders
  • Expanded programs in science and mathematics education to develop confidence and competence in young women

Why GALS?

I believe GALS Inc. is empowering each young woman in the schools to become the best person and student she can become. The expertise of the teachers and the role-modeling/mentoring they provide is awe-inspiring. The emphasis on Whole-Bodied Education in which the mind and body are integrated is impressive. It is humbling to witness the positive effects on GALS students!

Ken Fisher

Entrepreneur 
Ft Lauderdale, Florida

  • Founder of Nationwide Paging Inc.
  • Founded nonprofit Heal The Planet Together
  • Founder and past Co-Chair of Broward County Real Estate Division
  • Co-Creator One Whole Peace
  • Completed Master’s program in Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica

Why GALS?

I believe that by playing a part in educating, inspiring, and empowering our youth, I can create the largest positive impact within our society and on our planet. GALS Inc. is uniquely positioned to improve the odds of their students to function in the real world and, more importantly, to ensure their success as leaders and create happy, meaningful, and fulfilling lives.

LaRhonda Jackson

Director of Communications, Turner Sports
Atlanta, Georgia

  • Board Chair, Power of Girls
  • Chair of girls’ mentorship programming on behalf of local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Advisory Board Member, Westside Atlanta Charter School
  • Avid writer and storyteller
  • Proud “wanderluster”

Why GALS?

I grew up in a family of boys, and have long known and realized the power of my voice in a room full of men. That foundation has informed my passions as an adult, and I actively seek opportunities to help girls and young women realize the potential of their voice.

Alexandra Merlino

Finance director, CicLAvia
Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Finance Director for CicLAvia
  • Executive Director for Partnership for Responsible Business
  • Served on the founding team for New Mexico Green Chambers of Commerce
  • Founder and CEO of Teres Kids
  • Founder and CEO of Authentics Home

Why GALS?

GALS Inc. creates an inclusive environment where growth is nourished through personalized attention and Whole-Bodied Education during a crucial time in a girl’s life. I’ve become a board member of GALS Inc. to make the opportunity a reality for more girls.