KIPP Leaders

Our Leadership

KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools

Our executive leadership team members come from a diversity of backgrounds and bring deep experience in education as well as the private and military sectors to their work at KIPP. One thing they, and all of our team members, have in common is the strength of their belief in our mission and our KIPPsters.

KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools leadership
KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools leader

Kinnari Patel-Smyth

Executive Director

Kinnari oversees all aspects of our regional academics, finances, and operations. She joined KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools’ team and family in 2012 as the Chief Academic Officer, a role she held for two years. Kinnari got her start in education as a teacher in both Fort Worth and Atlanta. After teaching for six years, Kinnari became a dean at Explore Charter School in Brooklyn. The following year, she was selected to participate in New Leaders for New Schools, a national principal training program that allowed her to complete her principal residency at Explore Charter School. Kinnari went on to serve as principal of the school for five years, after which she transitioned to Managing Director of Program for the Explore Network. Kinnari has a MSEd in Educational Leadership from Pace University in New York, and a BA in Elementary Education from Salisbury University in Maryland.

Ellison Leader

Erika Ellison

Chief Financial Officer

Erika oversees our region’s financial health and sustainability. Prior to joining KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools’ team and family in March 2015, Erika was the Budget Director for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she led the annual budgeting process for the large urban school district, which houses 85,000 students and is supported by an operating budget of $1.3 billion. Erika was also previously the Executive Director of Finance and School Operations for Touchstone Education, a start-up charter school network in New Jersey. In addition, she has held leadership positions with Victory Education Partners, where she was the Director of Operations and Finance, and Mastery Charter Schools, where she oversaw a $40 million operating and capital budget.

Prior to entering the field of education, Erika worked with Bank of America in several capacities, including consumer banking, small business and treasury, performance consulting, training and development, and change management. Erika has an MBA in Finance and Strategy from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Howard Mitchell Fellow, and a BA in English from Harvard University.

Hudak Leadership at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools

Ryan Hudak

Chief Operating Officer

Ryan oversees the business operations of our eight schools and regional office. Ryan began his professional career as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Following six years of military service, Ryan worked in Silicon Valley in various manufacturing and operations roles. After completing his MBA in 2005, he began a career in urban education reform focused on school operations. Ryan worked at Chicago Public Schools and DC Public Schools in various operations leadership roles and as an Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where he focused on investment strategy and management assistance for the firm’s Los Angeles ventures. Ryan joined KIPP Metro Atlanta as COO in 2016 after five years serving as COO at KIPP San Antonio. Ryan holds a BS in Economics from the United States Military Academy and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and is an alumnus of The Broad Residency in Urban Education.

Rigby Leader at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools

Katie Rigby

Chief Academic Officer

Katie oversees curriculum, instruction, assessment, data collection, coaching, and college readiness across our region of eight schools. Katie got her start in education as a 2004 Teach For America – Charlotte corps member. An Atlanta native, she joined KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in 2006 as a Science teacher at KIPP WAYS Academy. In 2008, Katie helped found our regional shared services team, transitioning to the role of Curriculum Specialist, eventually going on to serve as Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and most recently, as Managing Director of College Readiness. Katie has an Ed. M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a BA in Communication from Wake Forest University.

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