Dr. Laura Vilines
Founder/Executive Director of the St. Louis Teacher Residency
The St. Louis Teacher Residency recruits and trains talented second-career entrants and college graduates to become effective teachers in high-needs schools throughout the St. Louis region. As Founder & Executive Director, Laura is responsible for the development, design, and implementation of the teacher residency program which began serving traditional public and charter schools in summer 2018.
Prior to this work, Laura co-founded STEM Preparatory Academy, a charter school network located in Nashville, Tennessee. At STEM Prep, Laura worked as a founding school leader and later as the network’s Chief Academic Officer. In her time at STEM Prep, Laura designed and launched the Nashville Newcomer Academy, a first-of-its-kind partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools to serve English Language Learners from throughout the district. For this work, STEM Prep was awarded the Inspiring Innovation Award from the Nashville Public Education Foundation in 2016. In her time as CAO, STEM Prep was consistently named a Reward School, performing in the top 10 percent of schools in the state.
Laura holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy and a Master’s degree in Education Policy from the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. Laura is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and she began her career as a Teach For America - St. Louis Corps Member, teaching high school English.
VP of Education, Policy, and Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood St. Louis
Angie Postal is the Vice President of Education, Policy, and Community Engagement for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. Angie manages sex education programing, grassroots organizing, movement building, Affordable Care Act outreach, and electoral operations, for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, ADVOCATES, the Political Arm of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and Planned Parenthood Votes – St. Louis and Southwest Missouri. Before coming to Planned Parenthood, Angie was the Political Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. She began her career working on electoral campaigns including former state senator Joan Bray’s 2002 state senate race in St. Louis County. Angie is a former delegate to India and Pakistan with the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Angie holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration, both from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Angie is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the honor society for public policy administration, as well as an alumnus of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life and the Midwest Academy for Organizers. Angie is a life-long Missourian and lives in Jefferson County. She leads her kids’ Navigator Scout troop and spends as much time outdoors hiking, exploring, and camping with her husband, daughter, and son as possible.
Founder of Kagunda Women
Bonnie Pell Moser is the founder of Kagunda Women, a not-for-profit cooperative in rural Zambia focused on empowering women and children through education, economic opportunity, skills training, and sisterhood. Bonnie graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education and a Master of Landscape Architecture. She began her career as an urban designer before joining the U.S. Peace Corps in 2015. While serving in Zambia, Bonnie partnered with 14 women in her village who wanted to make a difference in the lives of their families—especially for their children. Kagunda Women formed as a result and for the next two years the group undertook extensive sewing and business skills training. The cooperative, which hand stitches women’s accessories and home goods, now sells in products in Zambia and the United States. The women not only earn an ethical wage but provide scholarships for 40 children in their community. They also built a community library where they staff an English and literacy teacher and train other women in business and artistry. Bonnie returned to the U.S. in 2017 to work as a multimodal transportation designer for Toole Design Group and continues directing Kagunda Women. Her experience in the Peace Corps taught her to refute the notion that you can only pursue one career or passion and she soon hopes to add the title “farmer” to her roster.
Michelle Lagaspi Sanchez
NGO Director of the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls
Michelle Legaspi Sanchez is the Executive Director of the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Legaspi Sanchez is a non-profit professional with fifteen years of experience in program evaluation, project management, development, advocacy, research, and case management experience in various settings across the sector. The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls was created in 1996 to respond to the vital needs and issues affecting women, girls, and their families in Chester County. CCFWG has raised awareness about the critical needs of women and girls, and has awarded over $2 million to 65 non-profit organizations. Legaspi Sanchez received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters of Public Health from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine both in 2008. She is a board member for the Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, where she is also a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.