Our Staff

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Todd Mann is in charge of elevating awareness of the importance and value of magnet education. Mann’s immediate background has been STEM focused. He has served as the Executive Director of the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools, an association representing the leading high schools in the country that specialize in STEM approaches and outcomes, since Fall 2013.

His career spans both association management and work in the private sector. Previously, he served in a leadership role at the National Restaurant Association. He later led a large trade association in the construction industry. Mann’s business background was as an entrepreneur, having started up three companies. He was one of six people to create the concept of placing full-service bank branches in supermarkets. Subsequently, he pioneered an educational TV channel over the Internet, made possible by patenting technology from a company he took public. Mann spent the first few years of his career on Capitol Hill. 

Mann was among the first men to attend Vassar College, where he graduated cum laude and later served as a Trustee. He completed a financial executive education at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. A resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, he served as an elected official on its Village Council. He is married to Susan Stockdale, a children’s book author and illustrator, and they have two grown children.

Todd may be reached at todd.mann@magnet.edu

Director, National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL)

Kelly Bucherie
 recently served in the position of Assistant Superintendent/Academic Manager, where she supervised and coordinated the operations, program procedures, processes, and public relations of the Magnet Schools, Career and Technical Academies, and College of Southern Nevada High School campuses in Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, Ms. Bucherie supervised the Department of Magnet and Career and Technical Academies, open enrollment, flexible budgeting for schools with granted autonomies, middle school curriculum initiative, and implementation of National Academies Foundation year of planning (YOP) schools. 

Her most recent work with the Public Education Foundation of Las Vegas, Executive Leadership Institute, has used her expertise in building administrative capacity with principals throughout the State of Nevada. She has further worked with the State's Regional Professional Development Program to deliver Nevada Educator's Performance Framework training to district administrators and teachers. As a team member of several previous NIMSL projects, Ms. Bucherie has consulted with districts providing program evaluation and action plans. Additionally, Ms. Bucherie was featured in WestEd's online tutorial for the Department of Education for an Evaluation Toolkit for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program.

She has served as the project manager for a MSAP federal grant and has worked to implement several magnet programs. Ms. Bucherie presents and trains locally and nationally on a variety of topics including theme integration, data dives, curriculum development, and supervision and evaluation. She also has evaluated magnet schools and programs in her previous district and at the national level. 

Kelly may be reached at kelly.bucherie@magnet.edu

Photo of Legislative and Communications Manager John Laughner

Legislative & Communications Manager

John Laughner
 joined Magnet Schools of America in 2010. He is responsible for building federal support for magnet schools by developing working relationships with Members of Congress and their staff, White House officials, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, and other national education groups. He also manages MSA's monthly eChoice newsletter, website, and social media tools.

Prior to joining Magnet Schools of America, John was the Legislative Director for the Committee for Education Funding, the nation’s largest and oldest education coalition. In this role, he led the education community’s advocacy efforts to increase federal funding for our public education system.

Mr. Laughner has experience working in the private sector. He worked for the lobbying firm, FBA, Inc., where he identified federal grant opportunities for universities and colleges, and assisted with congressional appropriations. He was a Legislative Coordinator at Stateside Associates, where he tracked and analyzed state legislation on behalf of multiple Fortune 500 companies. John also spent two years at the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid Office of the Ombudsman, where he helped resolve student financial aid disputes. He began his career in Washington, DC by working for several members of Congress.

Mr. Laughner earned his Bachelor’s degree in American Politics and Policy from the University of Central Florida, and his Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.

John may be reached at john.laughner@magnet.edu 

Director of Operations

Judy Shen, Events Coordinator
Judy Shen
 joined Magnet Schools of America in 2007. She currently handles all aspects of conference planning, as well as office-related operations. In addition, Ms. Shen oversees the awards programs and manages MSA website content.

Ms. Shen graduated from the University of Maryland (College Park) with a B.A. in Communications. After graduation, she taught English overseas in China to a senior class at Hwa Nan Women’s College in the province of Fujian. Upon her return to the DC metropolitan area, Ms. Shen managed her family’s restaurant and eventually worked as a Special Events Assistant for the entertainment franchise Dave & Busters. Ms. Shen joined MSA, because she strongly believes in providing the best education possible to all students.  She knows first-hand the potential each child has when they are fully engaged in something they are interested in. She has been involved in educational programming since her high school days. Starting in 12th grade, Ms. Shen managed city-run afterschool and summer programs, designed to integrate the kids and families of diverse economic backgrounds into the community.

Ms. Shen was a varsity volleyball player at the University of Maryland. She remains physically active, playing, tennis and volleyball. She also enjoys watching movies, attending concerts and spending time with her family.  A Renaissance woman, Ms. Shen has taken courses in diverse fields, including art, automotive repair, education, and piano. She has also completed a massage therapy training program. 

Judy may be reached at judy.shen@magnet.edu

Director of Finance

Melanie McNulty
brings 22 years of outstanding experience in the accounting and finance fields to Magnet Schools of America. She turned a summer job with the direct mailing firm of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co (CMS) into a full time Staff Accountant position upon graduation from college.  She then transitioned from CMS to the real estate software firm, Interealty, where she was promoted to Financial Accountant.  McNulty later worked at Statoil Energy while earning her MBA. Upon graduation, she worked as the Controller of the U.S. division of BRL Hardy USA, an international Australian-based wine company. For the last 13 years, McNulty has provided accounting and financial services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations including Fairfax CASA, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the American Studies Center.  She is particularly skilled in streamlining line budgetary processes and procedures for her clients. A resident of Northern Virginia, McNulty is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s and also earned her MBA from Marymount University. She enjoys music and traveling in both the U.S. and abroad.

Melanie may be reached at melanie.mcnulty@magnet.edu

Administrative Assistant

Fawzia Ampaware
recently joined Magnet Schools of America as an Administrative Assistant. Ms. Ampaware assists the Director of Operations in managing the activities of the national office. In addition, she provides general administrative and clerical support, as well as oversees all administrative aspects of membership and conferences.

Ms. Ampaware graduated from Frostburg State University in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology and a focus area in pre-pharmacy. She previously worked in the Student Support Service Office at Frostburg State University, and was also a digital imaging specialist at Best Buy Inc. At Frostburg, she was a member of the Pre-med Society, Black Student Alliance, and Student Human Resource Management (SHRM). Ms. Ampaware enjoys giving back to her community. She has been a student volunteer at Erickson Living Retirement Community where she visited patients in dementia wards for research and also assisted the staff in organizing events that best suited the patients. Ms. Ampaware shares the same vision as Magnet Schools of America and believes it is important that everyone has the right to a high-quality education. 

Fawzia may be reached at fawzia.ampaware@magnet.edu