We are a non-profit organization committed to boldly accelerating student potential.

Our staff, volunteers, and partners work together to provide the individualized supports that each student needs to be successful from elementary school all the way to the workforce.

Leveraging an equity-based model, data, and strong partnerships within the Education Continuum, shift_ed ensures evidenced-based supports reach students with the greatest need. We want students to see that anything is possible and find success in their diverse educational and career pathways.

crop of young man working on laptop

About Us


shift_ed boldly accelerates student potential.



shift_ed will transform communities through diverse educational and workforce pathways.

shift_ed’s roots began in community activism. Students, parents, and business and community leaders in Guilford County wanted to create an education continuum that supported students and graduates at every level birth to career. They started a journey that has evolved over time and has strengthened and expanded through an equity lens. Through strategic partnerships and bold action, shift_ed drives success for students, families, the workforce, and communities.

In 2013 Representatives of Guilford Education Alliance, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, High Point Community Foundation, and Guilford County Schools came together to reshape the education continuum in Guilford County. After a robust community-wide undertaking, involving volunteers from all corners of Guilford County and one of the most successful fundraising efforts in the county’s history, Say Yes to Education chose the area for its third chapter in the nation.  Generous supporters throughout the county also recognized the potential in this movement, and quickly made financial commitments totaling more than $25 million dollars.

In the fall of 2016, the first GCS graduates began their college careers with support from the organization, and since that time gradates of every GCS high school have secured millions of scholarship dollars to prestigious colleges and universities all over the country.

On July 1, 2018, Guilford County became the first community in the country to locally own and operate its SYTE chapter allowing expansion of services to every part of the county. Services include: tutoring for students K-8th grade; career exploration for middle schoolers; free ACT and SAT classes, college application assistance and financial aid guidance for high schoolers; and scholarship and career support for graduates.

Recognizing the need for more supports, especially with the onset of a worldwide pandemic beginning in 2020, the organization increased services to include additional tutoring and career exposure opportunities; and in 2022 increased tutoring for elementary students, rolled out a mobile innovation lab for middle schoolers, and new programs for high schoolers dreaming of college. These expanded supports, from elementary to career, and strengthened partnerships within the Education Continuum allow shift_ed to walk with students on their diverse pathways to success, sometimes for 10+ years of their journeys.

Today shift_ed aims to reshape what is possible for our students and our community. Our work starts in schools and stretches into community centers, workplaces, play spaces, and dining rooms. Students are at the very core of everything we do, and when we invest in them our communities prosper.


Opportunity_ providing exposure to possibilities and creating diverse pathways for students to find success in the workforce and in life

Equity in Action_ intentionally eliminating barriers and providing individualized support for students with the greatest need

Bold Collaboration_ strong partnerships, shared language, shared metrics, shared impact/outcomes

Excellence_ believing in each person’s capacity for greatness

Agility_ responding to critical mission-aligned needs with a commitment to do things differently when necessary



At shift_ed, putting Equity into Action requires a reflection on where we have been, where we are currently, and where we want to be in the future. What equity requires is intentionality around:

  • increasing transparency regarding access to learning opportunities
  • investing our resources to expand access to supports, job pathways, and mobility for those with the greatest need
  • ensuring representation aligns with our community’s diversity
  • considering new ways to elevate voices and distribute agency to students and families

Board of Directors

Courtney (Payne) Benfield
Senior Vice President, Bank of America Triad Market Manager 

Louise Brady
Partner, Piedmont Capital Partners

Dr. Larry Czarda
President, Greensboro College

Trey Davis
Assistant City Manager, City of Greensboro

Jakki Davis
Founder and CEO, D-UP

Alan Duncan
Vice Chairman, NC State Board of Education

John Englar
Former Burlington Industries Executive

Michael Halford
Guilford County Manager

Cyril Jefferson
Principal Consultant, Change Often; Ward 1 Representative, High Point City Council

Jason Jones
Assistant County Manager for Quality Government, Guilford County

Chartarra Joyner
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Budget and Planning, North Carolina A&T State University

Willie Kea
Senior Process Engineer, Luxfer Gas Cylinders; GCS parent

Cathy Knowles
Vice President, Development & Donor Engagement, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

William Laney
Financial Advisor, Pinnacle Bank

Paul Lessard
President, High Point Community Foundation

Bobby Long
Partner, Piedmont Capital Partners

Lauren Mitchell
Director of Marketing & Communications, Business High Point

Alice Moore*
Community Volunteer

Mindy Oakley
Executive Director, Edward M. Armfield Foundation

Dr. Whitney Oakley
Superintendent, Guilford County Schools

Robert Pompey Jr.
Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, NC A&T State University

Mildred O. Poole
First Donor to shift_ed; Community Volunteer

Wendy Poteat
President & Chief Executive Officer, shift_ed

Dominick Robinson
Chief Student Services Officer, Guilford County Schools

Steve Russell
Partner, Turning Point Litigation

Walker Sanders
President, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

Penny Simmons
Director, Global People and Development (HR), Brand Image and Licensing, Ralph Lauren

Dawn Spencer
Program Coordinator, High Point Schools Partnership



Our Staff

Wendy Poteat

Wendy Poteat, MPA

President & Chief Executive Officer

Wendy Poteat grew up in Caswell County, NC in a little community named Sweet Gum. She spent two years at NC A&T and graduated from Guilford College with a degree in Criminal Justice and African American History.

Her career began at the Greensboro Partnership as the Government Affairs Manager. Then she spent time as COO of A United Community, Director of Government Affairs at the Winston-Salem Chamber, and Executive Director of The Forsyth Promise United Way of Forsyth County. Poteat came to shift_ed in June 2019.

Three sons, PJ, Tré, and Walter keep Poteat busy, as do her three dogs: Chocolate, Lola and Marley. She loves to nosh on seafood, and if you’re lucky you might hear her singing in the office. Poteat is a published author and a certified sports mom.

“I am passionate about shift_ed, because I believe in the core of the mission,” says Poteat. “I believe that all students have the ability to be successful if provided access to equitable tools to succeed. I believe that shift_ed has a long-term impact on social mobility and workforce development for Guilford County. I believe that the team at shift_ed is committed to creating lifelong impact as an organization dedicated to the entire county.”

Email: wendy@shift-ed.org

Amanda Rosemann

Amanda Rosemann

Chief Impact Officer

As a North Carolina native, Amanda Rosemann attended college at Meredith College in Raleigh where her passion for education began. After completing a dual degree in Biology and Psychology, she moved to the Triad in 2012 to begin her professional career.

Rosemann has spent her career in the non-profit sector working to better education outcomes for students and families in the Triad. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Engagement at United Way of Forsyth County where she oversaw the organization’s community relations, engagement efforts, special events, affinity group development and fundraising efforts. In this role, Amanda led the Women’s Leadership Council’s investments in education initiatives focused on increasing the graduation rate from 70% in 2007 to 90% by 2020. Previously, Amanda served as a behavioral therapist at ABC of NC, a specialized non-profit school for children with autism. She joined shift_ed in July 2019.

When Amanda is not pursing her professional passions, she enjoys spending time traveling with her husband, Dan and their two dogs Jake and Louise. “shift_ed’s mission of preparing students for success in college, career and life aligns perfectly with my passion for improving lives, equity and access for individuals via education,” Rosemann says.

Email: amanda@shift-ed.org

Elizabeth Paul

Elizabeth Paul, J.D.

Vice President of Donor Impact

Growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, Elizabeth Paul set her sights on a career in law. She earned her undergraduate degree at USC Columbia, and her law degree at the Charleston School of Law, but it was politics, not law, that started her on her fundraising career path. After fundraising for statewide and mayoral races back to back, she became a full-time fundraiser first with Trident United Way and then with Sea Island Habitat. “Access to education has always been a common thread throughout my work: in politics, in my non-profit roles, and of course at UNCG.”” She moved with her family to Guilford County in 2017.

As the daughter of a long-time public school educator, Paul says the opportunity to work for shift_ed was one she couldn’t let pass. “We have the unique opportunity to fund something that is going to transform lives today and generations of lives in perpetuity. Who wouldn’t want to get behind that?” Paul shares her time with her husband, two young boys and beagle, Patches.

Email: elizabeth@shift-ed.org

Brandi Kennedy

Holly West-Pauley


Holly grew up in Erwin, NC, graduating from Harnett County Schools before making her way to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media with a minor in history.

Her career began as a local newspaper reporter covering K-12 and higher education, exploring issues from the achievement gap to teacher pay to tuition costs. She worked briefly as a magazine editor before transitioning to nonprofit marketing. She supported economic growth at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, then parents and children in her work with Family Service of the Piedmont.

A storyteller at heart, Holly started working with shift_ed long before she joined the staff, as first a member of the communications committee and later, on the board. “The throughline in my career is a passion for sharing people’s stories and a desire to learn something new every day,” she says.

The High Point resident shares her free time with her husband, Dan, three cats (Pearl, Watson and Leo) and a Boston terrier puppy named Violet. She’s a DIY’er, avid reader and explorer. During COVID, she taught herself embroidery.

Like many shift_ed scholars, Holly is a first-generation college graduate. “I love that shift_ed works with students starting in elementary school to set them up for success in college and in life, eliminating some of the personal and systemic barriers that might otherwise keep them from achieving their full potential,” she says. “shift_ed’s programs make kids excited about learning, and that is just so fun to see!”

Email: holly@shift-ed.org

Brandi Kennedy

Brandi Kennedy, M.Ed.

Director of secondary & postsecondary programs

Brandi Kennedy grew up in Winston-Salem, NC and attended UNC Chapel Hill. She then went on to obtain her Master’s at UNC Greensboro. Currently she is doctoral student at UNC Greensboro studying Educational Studies. Go Heels, and Go Spartans!

Following college graduation Kennedy had the opportunity to serve as a College Advisor in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District with a nonprofit called the College Advising Corps. This experience inspired her to bridge the gap in equitable opportunity for marginalized students. She also worked with TRIO programs as a college counselor and served at a variety of higher education institutions including Elon University & Salem College. Kennedy is a dog mom to a big baby puppy named Marley who weighs 40 lbs.

“I am passionate about shift_ed, because I believe every student deserves access to college and career opportunities,” Kennedy says. “The mission and core values of shift_ed work to combat inequity within our community, and I am glad to be a part of an organization that works to support students from classroom to career.”

Email: brandi@shift-ed.org

TaJuana Robinson

Chris Huntley

Manager of Primary school programs

Chris Huntley was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina and is a proud graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While at N.C. A&T, he studied Marketing and Business Administration. AGGIE PRIDE!

Huntley worked in advertising, retail, and then found his passion in teaching, spending 11 years working in Guilford County Schools as a business teacher. Huntley also coached basketball, tennis, and track. He was nominated for teacher of the year and voted coach of the year. “Teaching and coaching was very gratifying because it allowed me to see students shine and excel,” he says. Huntley has a passion for helping young people grow not only as students, but also as people.

The Guilford County native enjoys traveling and relaxing with his beautiful wife and daughter. He loves playing golf as much possible and being outdoors.

“I am very excited and passionate about shift_ed and the opportunity to help our youth realize their potential and dreams,” he says. “Together, we can help them be successful and be prepared for their futures.”

Email: chris@shift-ed.org

TaJuana Robinson

Kaitlyn Faili

Manager of Database and Data Analytics

Kaitlyn was born South Carolina, but grew up in Oklahoma and North Carolina, spending much of her adult life overseas in Japan. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Project Management.

Before joining shift_ed, Kaitlyn worked in real estate and as a professional photographer. She spends most of her free time with her son, Ezra and dog, Toby. She loves reading, interior decorating, and anything outdoors, especially camping or a day at the beach.

“It joins my passion for technology with my passion and love for people and helping others,” she says about her work at shift_ed. “It also creates opportunities for accelerated growth, self-accountability, and a culture where our team is like a family. I could not be more excited to be part of this mission!”

Email: kaitlyn@shift-ed.org

TaJuana Robinson

TaJuana Jackson

Executive Assistant & Office Manager

TaJuana Jackson was born in Arkansas and raised by her mom in Indianapolis, IN. She is the oldest of five, and a proud aunt to her nieces and nephews. She went to Indiana University – Bloomington where she received her BS in Sports Management. Before coming to Guilford County, Robinson was a Leasing Administrative Assistant in Atlanta, GA. She joined the shift_ed team in August 2019

Jackson has two daughters: Summer and Danielle. She loves seafood, and you will often see her in her favorite color- red (Go Hoosiers!). She is also a Girl Scout mom, so hit her up for cookies!

“I love that I can be hands on by interacting with our families and actually see the results our programs have on students, parents, schools and the community,” says Jackson about shift_ed. “It’s awesome to work with such a dedicated group of people that have so much passion for education and providing services for the community.”

Email: tajuana@shift-ed.org

Rosemary Plybon

Rosemary Plybon


Rosemary Plybon grew up just outside of Greensboro and graduated from Northwest Guilford High School. A journalism and mass communication, she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and set out for a career in TV News.

As a rookie reporter in Savannah, GA she covered everything from homicides to shuttle launches, and worked behind the scenes of the premier of the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Her career took her to Wilmington, NC where she worked for three years as a morning anchor before returning home to anchor WFMY’s The Good Morning Show for almost ten years. She joined shift_ed first as a volunteer and then as Communications Director in 2018.

Plybon is married with four children. She’s a passionate advocate for water safety and the opportunity for every child to learn to swim; she has taught lessons to children and adults for more than 25 years. She loves Guilford County and is an active volunteer for the Greensboro Children’s Museum, Enrichment Fund for Guilford County Schools and GCS 2nd Grade Learn to Swim Program

“Dreams are what childhood is all about, and educational opportunities should be available to support those dreams for all children,” says Plybon. “Through bold collaboration, we can change outcomes for not just children, but the whole community.”

Email: rosemary@shift-ed.org

Essence Largent

SEO Scholar Advisor

Essence grew up in Lenoir, NC and came to Guilford County as a proud Aggie. With a BA in political science, she’s now working on her master’s in public administration.

North Carolina A&T isn’t just her alma mater, it was home to her first job. She worked as an assistant director helping students select and apply for the program that best fits their career goals.  After five years with the university, Essence moved into the classroom teaching 10th and 11th graders.

Her love of learning and seeing that spark in young people led her to shift_ed. “I truly believe in boldly accelerating student potential and helping students find what their passions are. They should have every opportunity available to them.”

Essence loves to travel, shop, spend time with her mom and Godchildren and serve as a mentor to students.  If you hear singing in the office, it might be Essence; she has a beautiful voice.

Email: essence@shift-ed.org

TaJuana Robinson

Amanda Mehl

Elementary Program Coordinator

Amanda grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her parents and two sisters. She attended University of Missouri majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Family Science with certifications in Multicultural Studies and Leadership. In Missouri, she was a full-time substitute teacher, serving on the Student Mental Health Awareness board, and as Vice President of Programming and the Chapter President for a non-profit organization called College Mentors for Kids.

2019 brought her to Greensboro as a Teach for America Corps member and elementary school teacher. Mehl says she immediately fell in love with North Carolina and working in Guilford County. “I am a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and education.”

Mehl says she likes cooking using in-season produce from her weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market. She and her partner, Vernon love adventure and exploring the Triad’s beautiful outdoors with their two dogs, Zeus and Jax. “My favorite part of living in North Carolina is the proximity to both the mountains and the beach.”

“Our team believes that educational opportunities unlock every child’s potential to build a bright, successful future. It is rare to find a group of people who have a collective vision and drive to see our community thrive the way our team does. shift_ed engages in deep, meaningful work and refuses to let the inequities of the world stop the growth of our students from child to adult. I could not be more grateful and proud to be part of this incredible team working to make a big impact within Guilford County and beyond.”

Email: amandamehl@shift-ed.org


Recruitment & 9th Grade Student Advisor

Job Title: Recruitment & 9th Grade Student Advisor
Department: SEO Scholars
Report to: Director of Secondary and Post-Secondary Programs
Organization: shift_ed

About shift_ed:
shift_ed is an education-based non-profit organization committed to boldly accelerating student potential. Our staff, volunteers, and partners are dedicated to the classroom to career success for students. We use an equity-based model to provide evidence-based, impactful, and consistent services making sure students who need the most are offered the most support from elementary school through high school and college.

As a part of the Classroom to Career Success Model, shift_ed has partnered with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) to facilitate the hybrid version of the SEO Scholars Program. SEO Scholars is a free eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college–with a 90% college graduation rate. In high school, we offer
intensive year-round academic preparation via a carefully-calibrated, rigorously-assessed course of supplemental education. Scholars also receive one-on-one mentorship, enrichment opportunities, SAT/ACT prep and strategy courses, academic tutoring, and individualized guidance through the college application and admissions process.

Weekly Schedule: Tuesday – Saturday (some evening hours required as dictated by the programs’ needs)


Under the strategic direction of the Director of Secondary & Post Secondary programs, from July-February, this position implements the recruitment & admissions strategy, including recruitment from public triad high schools and project manages the admissions process to assist in building a competitive SEO Scholars class that meets target goals set by the Director of Secondary & Post Secondary Programs. From March – June, the 9th Grade Student Advisor will work directly with incoming Scholars to provide individualized guidance and support and implements quality advisory programming and effective intervention strategies to successfully meet goals for student outcomes. As a key player in the onboarding process for incoming Scholars, the Recruitment & 9th Grade Student Advisor sets the foundation of key habits, knowledge, and mindsets that allow Scholars to successfully leverage the opportunities offered within the program.


Recruitment and Admissions

  • Manages a portfolio consisting of a portion of High Schools, including school partner relationship management, facilitates recruitment presentations and application workshops, and provides individual support to prospective applicants. Successful management of the recruitment portfolio should result in meeting target application numbers and demographic goals, set by the Director of Secondary & Post-Secondary Programs, in addition to fostering school partner relationships.
  • Executes admissions strategy and timeline to ensure the timely execution of key milestones, sustainable documentation of processes and data, and the successful selection of a competitive incoming class.
  • Independently reviews incoming applications and makes recommendations for advancement in the admissions process.
  • Facilitates interviews for prospective Scholars on Saturdays from January – February.
  • Contributes to deliberation sessions with the team and works with senior staff to select the final class.
  • Facilitates engaging and informative orientation sessions for parents/families and

Program and Student Management

  • Successfully onboard incoming Scholars class by establishing a culture of high expectations, providing individualized guidance and support, and implementing quality advisory programming to meet target retention, attendance, and assignment completion goals during Saturday and weekday programming from March – May. This includes developing content for Opening Circles, PM Hour, etc.
  • Works with the Director of Secondary and Postsecondary Programs to ensure the translation of data from the Recruitment & Admissions cycle is used to strategically advise and support students through their first semester at SEO Scholars.
  • Tracks progress and manage qualitative and quantitative data to make evidence-based decisions to improve Scholar performance and engagement, including making recommendations and ensuring that Scholars successfully follow through with additional support and services. Engage parents, guardians, and school partners as needed to improve student performance and retention.
  • Participates in effective transition meetings with the 10th-grade team to support a successful transition of Scholars between grade levels.
  • Works occasional evenings, dependent on program needs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred)
  • Minimum 2 to 3 years of related professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work with low-income students and students of diverse
    backgrounds, including demonstrated cultural competency
  • Teaching experience preferred


  • Supportive and collaborative team player
  • Excellent interpersonal awareness
  • Forward-thinking, data-driven, results-oriented
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Adaptable, particularly in fast-paced environments with shifting priorities
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Able to empathize with colleagues and individuals from a range of backgrounds and
  • Passion for closing the opportunity gap for underserved and underrepresented students
    and young professionals
  • Able to work a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and some nights as dictated by
    programming needs
  • Bilingual Spanish/English is highly desirable
  • Proficient with Excel and experience working with small to medium-sized databases


shift_ed offers employer-paid health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and life insurance as well as a 401K match of up to 3%.


Job Classification: Full-time
Pay: salary commensurate with experience


  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Vision insurance
  • Work from home

Physical setting:

Tuesday to Saturday

Applicants should apply by emailing careers@shift-ed.org a copy of resume/CV and letter of interest.