School Leadership Team

Nicholas Leonardos, Executive Director,

Mr. Leonardos is an experienced educator who has a proven record in educational leadership. A 2006 Milken National Educator, he understands the teaching and approaches needed to ensure improved academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students. Nick has served as an administrator at schools in Cambridge, Stoneham, Kingston, Waltham and Boston, MA. He has helped two schools reach Level One status. Nick has a BA in History from McGill University and a M.Ed. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Nick was a 1991 Corps Member with Teach for America and taught four years in the city of Houston.


Robert Gignac, Chief Operating Officer,

 Mr. Gignac joins LCCPS after nearly ten years working in municipal and independent school finance & operations leadership positions. Most recently, Mr. Gignac served as the Director of Finance & Operations of an independent school in Cambridge. Born and raised in the City of Lowell, he attended the Lowell Public Schools and the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Gignac is very active in the community. At 21, he was elected to the Lowell School Committee where he served two terms overseeing the fourth largest school district in the Commonwealth. Mr.Gignac has served on a number of boards throughout the Merrimack Valley and is currently Chairman of the Board for the Megan House Foundation, which operates substance abuse treatment facilities in Lowell & Dracut.

Randy Taylor, Principal (Grade 5-8),

Mr. Taylor has a Bachelor’s Degree from Cambridge College in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from American International College.  His previous position was Principal at the Easter Seals Harbor School.  Mr. Taylor was part of the Administrative Team that was required by the DESE to improve the academic and culture aspects of the school. The school was returned to full approval status during his tenure as principal.  Mr. Taylor’s experience with the population of students with special needs as well as his understanding of turning around a school is a strength he brings to LCCPS in creating a new culture of achievement and character development.


Omawali Stewart, Assistant Principal (Grade 5-8),

Always a servant of students in high needs, diverse environments, Mr. Stewart fervently believes the primary indicator of student growth and achievement is the quality and dedication of the adult at the head of the classroom. This ideal is what drives his vision for coaching teachers. Mr. Stewart joined the LCCPS staff and family after serving students and families as a teacher and administrator in high performing New York City charter schools over the past eight (8) years.  Prior to working in NYC, Mr. Stewart taught English in Vietnam and spent taught and mentored some of the neediest students in the DC Metro area. Mr. Stewart is a trained chef, a world-traveler, a partner and a dedicated father.


Carey Reeve-Hildebrant, Chief Academic Officer,

Mrs. Reeve-Hildebrant completed her Master's Degree at Harvard University in Mind, Brain, and Education.  She concentrated on cognitive neuroscience and learning development as it applies to instruction and education.  She has experience teaching 2nd – 7th grade with a concentrated focus on 4th grade.  She started an enrichment program with grant funding to identify and reach urban, minority, advanced learners.  She has experience working with data and curriculum, especially as it pertains to MCAS.  She was instrumental in driving the first completed curriculum mapping project LCCPS and serves on the State Curriculum Development Committee. MCAS improvement within the school following her placement as leader has been exciting and impressive, as scores have improved each year.


Kimberly Woodford, Director of Student Support Services,

Ms. Woodford is the LCCPS Director of Support Services. She received her Master's of Education in Organization Management from Endicott College in 2009 and completed the Leadership Licensure Program from the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association in 2009. Before joining the staff of LCCPS in 2014, Ms. Woodford was the Assistant Director of Student Services at Medway Public Schools. Ms. Woodford also served as the Special Education Coordinator and Department Head for Leominster Public Schools for four years before Medway.

Joseph Alcaraz, Principal (Grade K1-4),

I grew up in a small rural town north of Lansing, which is Michigan’s capitol. I come from a large family which consists of 14 siblings. I have 9 sisters and 5 brothers and we are all very close. After high school I attended Michigan State University where I earned my BA in Elementary Education. I began my career in education teaching 3rd and 5th grade in Detroit. Soon after, I earned my Masters in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. I am currently completing my Doctoral Program through Walden University with a focus on Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. I have 2 amazing children. My son is pursuing a career in music and my daughter is studying psychology and will transfer to a university here in Massachusetts. In my spare time I enjoy biking, traveling, visiting museums and attending live theater.

This is my first time living on the East Coast and I relocated here to work with Lowell Community Charter Public School. I thoroughly love the area and am looking forward to making it my new home. I am so very excited to have the opportunity to support students, teachers, parents and the community. My passion is coaching teachers to enhance their educational practices and working with parents in an effort to increase participation and involvement. I look forward to creating and fostering positive relationships with everyone. 

Sonya Patton, Director of Student and Parent Engagement,

Ms. Patton has a Master's Degree in Mental Health and Counseling and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Youth Development from Springfield College, Boston Campus.  Ms. Patton came to LCCPS with 8 years of experience in an urban school and community center setting, working in out-of-school time programs, academic support and youth development in culturally and socially diverse settings in Boston’s South End. She is experienced in coaching, providing academic supports for youth and managing programs. She was responsible for grass roots fundraising that supported various programs. Ms. Patton’s ability to build community partnerships was imperative to the success of the programs. 


P. Deborah Motew, Director of Operations,

Mrs. Motew, one of the founding board members of the Lowell Community Charter Public School, obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and History at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has nine years of experience working as the Registrar of Students at Lowell Community Charter Public School and has been a part of the school’s success of rising to a Level 1 status over the last few years.


 Jeff Portnoy, Director of IT,

Mr. Portnoy studied mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and later earned multiple certifications as a network engineer.  Along with the overall skills he developed in his studies as engineer, he brings two other strengths that have served him well in his current position: problem-solving and working well within a team.  As information technology director, he utilizes those skills and abilities to overcome the challenges that are presented in a turn-around school such as Lowell Community Charter Public School.  Mr. Portnoy looks forward to continuing his work with the Leadership team to better educate, utilize and understand technology for the students, teachers and administration.