John-Paul C. Hayworth, Executive Director
John-Paul C. Hayworth is the Executive Director of the DC State Board of Education. He joined the State Board in 2015 after serving in two mayoral administrations and on Capitol Hill, including as an advisor on federal, congressional and local affairs specializing in education, economic development and budget issues. He also represents the District of Columbia on the US Department of Education Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisory Committee and as President of the National Council of State Board of Education Executives (NCSBEE). He is the State Board’s designee on the DC Community Schools Advisory Committee and was appointed as the chair of the committee in September 2019.
John-Paul serves as the appointed agency head for the elected State Board. He is responsible for day to day operations of the agency as well as leading policy development and research on topics under the State Board’s purview. John-Paul has been an invited speaker at national conferences and other events, including providing the 2018 Baylor Interdisciplinary Core Alumni Homecoming Lecture entitled “The Role of Failure as Part of the Examined Life”. He was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Young Alumni Award by the Baylor Line Foundation.
John-Paul is a dedicated resident of the District of Columbia and was an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District 4C07. He moved to the Washington Metropolitan area permanently in 2003 after earning his BA from Baylor University and an MA from the University of Connecticut. John-Paul has been involved in helping local government find solutions since he was appointed to a student position on the school board in his hometown of Olathe, Kansas.
Rhoma Battle, Budget & Operations Specialist
Rhoma Battle is the Budget and Operations Specialist for the State Board of Education (SBOE). He comes to the SBOE with 18 years of District government experience. Before coming to work for the District, Rhoma was a community activist and student intern. While completing his master’s degree in public policy at American University School of Public Affairs, Rhoma worked for the Anacostia Coordinating Council, the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, and he served two years as President of the Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association in Southeast Washington, DC.
In District government, Rhoma took on the role of disbursements analyst for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program. Popularly known as DC TAG, Rhoma made payments of the DC TAG on behalf of students to colleges and universities throughout the United States. He then became an OCFO Budget Analyst for the DC State Education Office (now the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE), and was later hired by OSSE as a Fiscal Programs Analyst for Nutrition Services (now Health and Wellness). While at OSSE, Rhoma was responsible for budgeting, financial reports, procurements, and administrative services for Health and Wellness.
As Budget and Operations Specialist for the SBOE, Rhoma provides substantive budget, procurement, and administrative support for the SBOE staff, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Office of the Student Advocate.
Darren Fleischer, Policy Analyst
Darren Fleischer is a Policy Analyst at the DC State Board of Education (SBOE). Before moving to Washington DC. in 2015, Darren spent nearly 10 years teaching middle and high school students in Japan, Ghana, as well as Florida, his home state. As a Floridian, Darren enjoyed beekeeping, scuba diving, and running an after-school cooking club with his middle school students.
Now in Washington, DC., Darren is raising a two-year-old toddler and a three-year-old-dissertation on Education Support Professionals (e.g., bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, etc.) and how important they are to school climate, student engagement, and their experiences acting as caring adults and mentors to our community’s students. Darren previously served as a Legislative Fellow for a Florida Congressman, as well as an education policy intern at both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the National Education Association (NEA). His passion is to ensure that every student receives a world-class education and parents feel that they are part of the school and their child’s learning and development.
Darren holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in science education from Florida State University and is currently working on his Ed.D. in education policy at George Washington University.
Alexander Jue, Policy Analyst
Alexander Jue is a Policy Analyst at the DC State Board of Education (SBOE). Prior to joining the SBOE, Alexander served as the Director of Policy & Research at a DC-based education advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure that all students regardless of background have access to a high-quality education. In that role, he was charged with providing strategic advice to the organization’s state-based teams as well as overseeing the production and creation of reports, memos, and one-pagers on a variety of education-based policies and topics. Alexander’s previous work also includes time as a strategic researcher with one of the nation’s largest labor unions, where he worked on eliminating inequities in the nation’s healthcare system.
Alexander spends much of his free time mentoring students in DC Public Schools—he is currently a mentor with two DC-based non-profit programs that work one-on-one with low-income, underserved students to support them in both academic and social environments. Alexander is committed to ensuring every student and family in Washington, DC has equitable access to education resources and opportunities.
Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Alexander has lived in Washington, DC since 2011. He currently lives in Ward 3 with his wife. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from The College of Wooster.
Milayo Olufemi, Public Affairs Specialist
Milayo Olufemi is the Public Affairs Specialist at the DC State Board of Education. Before joining the government, she was a multimedia journalist at WGN-TV in her hometown of Chicago, and later, at CNN’s Situation Room in DC. She began her federal government career as a Content Manager at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She coordinated emergency communications to recruit and deploy individuals to serve at ground zero while raising global disease prevention awareness. As Deputy Press Secretary for the General Services Administration in Washington, DC, she managed press relations—gaining local and international news coverage for the agency’s programs and initiatives.
Milayo holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from DePaul University and is completing her master’s degree in international relations at Harvard University. She mentors disabled young women at Trinity Washington University in her free time, and sources college scholarships for at-risk children in Nigeria.
Caitlin Peng, Program Associate
Caitlin Peng is the Program Associate at the DC State Board of Education. She joined the State Board full-time in October 2019 after serving as a Policy Fellow for the office from January to August 2019. Prior to moving to DC in 2016, Caitlin worked as a youth organizer at a grassroots non-profit organization for four years, developing and facilitating political education workshops. In high school, she volunteered as a student teacher in New York City public schools in addition to working with peers from across all five boroughs to develop policy recommendations on school climate and bullying for the New York City Department of Education.
Caitlin holds a B.A. in Government with a minor in Education, Inquiry, and Justice (EDIJ) from Georgetown University.