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Friends of Excel Academy Inc.

 2 Neptune Road, #148
 East Boston, MA 02128
[P] (857) 256-2449
[F] --
Jake Foy
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 30-0211613

LAST UPDATED: 01/16/2019
Organization DBA Excel Academy - East Boston
Excel Academy - Chelsea
Excel Academy - Orient Heights
Excel Academy Charter High School
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Excel Academy is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.

Mission Statement

The mission of Excel Academy is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $19,931,239.00
Projected Expense $21,191,689.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Excel High School Real Estate
  • Graduate Services & Post Secondary Support
  • Growth Fund

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Excel Academy is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.

Background Statement

Excel Academy Charter Schools is a network of high-performing, tuition-free public schools serving students from Boston and Chelsea. Excel Academy- East Boston is our flagship school and was founded in 2003 to address the severe academic under-performance and low college matriculation rates of the predominantly low-income, Latino students from these urban communities, and thereby change the life trajectories of these students by ensuring that they receive access to high quality educations and matriculate to and graduate from college. 

Excel currently operates three middle schools: Excel – East Boston (2003) Excel – Chelsea (2011) and Excel – Orient Heights (2012) and one high school: Excel Academy Charter High School. At full enrollment, each middle school will serve 224 students in grades 5-8, for a total of 650+ students across our three middle schools, and the high school will serve 650 students. In total, the Excel network will serve upwards of 1,350 students from the communities of East Boston and Chelsea. All of our schools are tuition-free public schools educating all learners who come through our doors. Each spring, new students are admitted through a blind public lottery.

Excel's student population consists of the following demographics:

  • Approximately 80% Latino & 84% low-income
  • Roughly 60% of students report speaking a language other than English at home
  • Approximately 20% receive Special Education services
  • Only 16% of children report having parents who have pursued education beyond a high school degree
  • On average, the majority of Excel students enter 5th grade reading between one to three grade levels behind. 

 Excel’s unique program is based on the basic belief that every student should be held to the highest academic and behavioral expectations. To meet the challenges faced by the demographic we serve, and in an effort to prepare our students to succeed in college-preparatory high schools and beyond, Excel offers a rigorous curriculum supported by a structured school culture.

Excel provides a challenging, standards-based curriculum guided by the Massachusetts frameworks, national standards, and standards developed by other successful charter and district public schools. The curriculum is designed to ensure students gain full mastery of fundamental skills while developing the higher order critical thinking skills necessary for success in high school and college. The implementation of our innovative program and curriculum has resulted in significant academic gains for all students. Excel students have consistently outperformed their local peers on the math and English MCAS exams. Excel has seen a remarkable level of consistent achievement on MCAS exams, which provides an important benchmark to let our teachers and students know the quality of an Excel Academy education.

Impact Statement

Excel Academy Impact

Excel Academy is a growing network of high-performing tuition-free public charter schools in East Boston and Chelsea dedicated to educating traditionally underserved youth in these neighborhoods and providing them with the knowledge, strength of character, intellectual curiosity, and grit necessary to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. In this most recent year, the high school graduation rate for Chelsea High is 59% compared to Excel's rate of 88%, and only 15% of students graduating from Chelsea High go on to earn a college degree compared to over 41% of Excel graduates.

Providing students from the communities of East Boston and Chelsea with the opportunity to receive a high quality college preparatory education has a profound impact on these two communities. With 9 out of every 10 Excel students graduating high school and 4 out of every 10 graduating college compared to 1 in 10 at comparable district schools, an Excel education offers significantly more opportunity to any student who enrolls. An Excel education has the potential to literally change the trajectory of a student's life, and we have been consistently providing families from the East Boston and Chelsea communities with this opportunity since 2003 and will continue to do so moving forward. 


Needs Statement

Excel recently opened up its beautiful new high school in East Boston in the fall of 2016. The construction of the high school was privately financed by philanthropic capital and debt. Unfortunately, charter schools are not provided with a building or facility, and therefore must build or rent their own. As such, public funds do not fully support charter schools' capital expenses or allow for scaled growth. Our fundraising needs are focused on these important priorities, which all focus around making Excel a self-sustaining, long-term, financially healthy organization.

  • Funding support for Excel's mission critical CAPS (College Access & Post-Secondary Success) Team. 
  • Ongoing operational expenses related to scaled growth at our middle schools and our high school during its early years.
  • Supports Excel’s network team that oversees Excel’s expansion and centralizes administrative responsibilities. 

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- East Boston

Excel Academy Charter Schools is a network of high-performing, tuition-free public schools serving students from Boston and Chelsea. Excel currently operates three middle schools: Excel – East Boston (2003) Excel – Chelsea (2011) and Excel – Orient Heights (2012). Excel also operates one high school in East Boston - Excel Academy Charter High School (2015). At full enrollment in 2015, each middle school will serve 224 students in grades 5-8. Upon full enrollment, the high school will serve upwards of 650 students. Across the network of four schools, Excel will serve approximately 1,350 students. As a regional charter school, students from outside of Boston proper and Chelsea are also eligible to attend Excel.


Organization Categories

  1. Education - Charter Schools
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Excel High School Real Estate

Excel will launch a high school in the fall of 2015. At full scale it will serve more than 600 deserving students from Boston and Chelsea. We feel launching this high school is critical in achieving our mission at scale.  Our students must be placed and remain on an educational trajectory that leads to college.  Excel initiates this life-changing endeavor each year when 168 fifth grade students first walk through our schools’ doors. Our goal is for those same students to cross Excel’s high school graduation stage and matriculate and graduate from college.


Unfortunately, finding an appropriate facility will be challenging. We will need approximately $4 million in order to secure and renovate a high school facility.


Budget  $4,000,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Minorities At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Excel will secure funding to support the acquisition and renovation of an appropriate high school facility in East Boston. 
Program Long-Term Success  Excel will operate a 600+ capacity high school in East Boston. It will launch in fall of 2015. 
Program Success Monitored By  Tracking pledges and donations. 
Examples of Program Success  Gifts and pledges are received and allocated towards high school capital expenses. 

Graduate Services & Post Secondary Support

Excel has built a multi-faceted and all-inclusive Graduate Services and Post Secondary Support Department that provides all students with the supports they need to succeed in both high school and college.  Our program leverages the strong relationships we foster with Excel students and families to address the many barriers to higher education. We provide programming that is inclusive, comprehensive and targeted to meet the needs of our Latino, low-income, immigrant youth and their families that is traditionally not readily available to this demographic.

Budget  $292,251.00
Category  Education, General/Other Alumni
Population Served At-Risk Populations Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 
We have several goals for this school year.
  • 90% of Excel graduates enroll in a college-prep high school program.
  • 70% of Excel seniors who graduate from high school will enroll in a 4-year college or university degree program 
  • 100% of Excel's alumni who graduated high school in 2012 will engage in a productive post secondary plan. This includes enrollment in a 2-4 year college or university, in a vocational program, in the military, or as a member of the work force.  
Program Long-Term Success  All Excel graduates will enroll and graduate from college and be productive members of their communities. 
Program Success Monitored By  High school and college matriculation and graduation data for all Excel graduates. 
Examples of Program Success  Excel graduates are attending and graduating from college-pathway high schools and enrolling and graduating from colleges and/or universities. 

Growth Fund

Around Boston, there are thousands of students who are put on waitlists; we are forced to turn away roughly 80% of students who enter our  lottery each year.   We don’t believe that your zip code, race or income level should determine your future, nor should a lottery. We feel a sense of urgency and obligation to expand. Unfortunately, public funds do not support charter schools' capital expenses or allow for scaled growth. We need private support to help pay for our facilities expenses, renovations, and to cover the start-up costs associated with scaled growth. Excel’s Growth Fund supports four growth related needs.

  • Start-up capital costs associated with opening two news schools.
  • Capital expenses related to the purchase and renovation of 58 Moore Street.
  • Ongoing operational expenses related to scaled growth.
  • Supports Excel’s network team
Our goal is to raise $2 million of our total $6 million growth fund this fiscal year. 

Budget  $2,000,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Alumni
Population Served At-Risk Populations Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 
Excel's will successfully operate three middle schools that provide a high quality, college preparatory education. 
Program Long-Term Success  All Excel graduates will enroll and graduate from college and be productive members of their communities. 
Program Success Monitored By  MCAS data, internal Excel behavior and cognitive development data.
Examples of Program Success  90% of all Excel students will score advanced/proficient on all MCAS exams.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Owen Stearns
CEO Term Start June 2013
CEO Email
CEO Experience
Owen is Excel's Chief Executive Officer and served as founding board chair from 2003 until 2008. Prior to joining Excel as CEO, Owen was a strategy consultant for twelve years, working with nonprofit leaders to achieve large-scale social change through innovative strategies, strong organizational design and nimble leadership teams. He comes to Excel directly from the Monitor Institute, where he was an Associate Partner focused largely on educational issues. Prior to Monitor, he was a Senior Consultant with the Foundation Strategy Group (now FSG). He was also an early board member and eventually the Co-Director of The City School, which develops young leaders from public, private and parochial schools through a service-learning curriculum. Owen is a graduate of Amherst College. - See more at:
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Yutaka Tamura May 2012 June 2013
Mr. David Ellis Oct 2010 June 2012

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Lana Ewing Chief Academic Officer Lana joined Excel’s staff in 2016 and currently serves as Chief Academic Officer. Prior to joining Excel, Lana was the founding principal of UP Academy Dorchester. Before UP, Lana served as the Managing Director of The Achievement Network in Boston. Lana was an elementary school teacher at Edward Brooke Charter School, teaching 1st and 2nd grades. She began her career teaching 2nd and 3rd grades in NYC as a 2003 member of Teach for America. Lana holds degrees from Connecticut College and Fordham University.
Jocelyn Foulke Managing Director of Operations Jocelyn joined Excel in 2005 and is the network’s Managing Director of Operations. Prior to this role, Jocelyn served as the Head of School at Excel Academy East Boston. During her years at Excel, she has also held the positions of math teacher, grade level team leader, department chair, operations manager, and Dean of Administration. Jocelyn is a graduate of Bowdoin College.
Stephanie Gendron Director of Talent Stephanie joined Excel as Director of Talent in 2017 and is responsible for overseeing the network’s staff recruitment efforts. Prior to serving in this role, Stephanie managed youth development programs for a decade, first as the Director of College Prep and Alumni Programs for Tenacity in Boston, and then as the Senior Director of Youth Opportunities at East End House in Cambridge. She earned her Master of Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan. Stephanie also holds a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from Boston University.
Rebecca Korb Chief Of Staff Rebecca is Excel’s Chief of Staff. Prior to this role, Rebecca served as Excel’s Director of Talent. In her time at Excel, Rebecca has also served as the Director of Development and then as the Director of External Relations on the Excel network team. Before joining Excel in spring 2010, Rebecca worked as a Campaign Manager at the Massachusetts Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She is a graduate of Colby College with a double major in Spanish and Latin American studies.
Andrew Solomon Chief Financial Officer Andrew is Excel’s Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for overseeing network-wide financial planning and budgeting, and human resources compliance. Andrew entered the education sector through Education Pioneers, through which he served as Executive Team Fellow at Uncommon Schools. He previously served on the Executive Team of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, a non-profit financial empowerment organization, where he started and led the Business Development team. Andrew began his career at the D. E. Shaw Group, a global alternative investment firm, where he acted in a variety of increasingly senior positions in human capital and strategy, working closely with members of the firm’s Executive Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University, a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School, and a master’s in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 187
Number of Part Time Staff 10
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 74%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 5
Caucasian: 140
Hispanic/Latino: 26
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 10
Gender Female: 132
Male: 55
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Benjamin Howe
Board Chair Company Affiliation AGC Partners
Board Chair Term July 2014 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Cait Brumme Harvard Business School Voting
Mr. John Casais Jones Day Voting
Douglas Chope* Micro Strategy Voting
Hazie Crespo Excel Academy Charter Schools Voting
Tania Del Rio City of Boston --
Chris DeLorey Marsh & McLennan Agency Voting
Mr. Tom Ellis North Run Capital Voting
Kathleen Federico KDF Group Voting
Peter Fisher* Cortus Advisors Voting
Mr. M. Benjamin Howe AGC Partners Voting
Ms. Minnie Joung Formerly of Fidelity Investments Voting
Mandy Lee Berman* Bright Horizons Voting
Tucker Levy* Associated Early Care & Education Voting
Mr. Stephen Mugford Capital One Voting
Mr. Matt Ottmer Biogen Idec, Inc. Voting
Mrs. Susan Passoni Founding Board Member Voting
Devon Petersmeyer Johnson Converse Voting
Megan Preiner* Thomas H. Lee Partners Voting
Mr. Seth Reynolds* Parthenon Group Voting
Dan Riff Wellington Management Company Voting
Mr. Juan Rivera Simon-Kucher Voting
Ms. Mary Elisabeth Swerz* Community volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Carlo Basile Chief Secretary, Commonwealth of Massachusetts --
Bob Giannino uAspire --
John Kelly East Boston Social Centers --
Sal LaMattina Boston City Council --
Jordan Meranus Ellevation Education --
Susan Passoni -- --
Anthony Petruccelli Massachusetts House of Representatives --
Karen Schwartzman Polaris Communications --
Alejandra St. Guillen Mayor's Office of New Bostonians, City of Boston --
Rebecca Sullivan MassDevelopment --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 7
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 61%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

*Please note the asterisks next to last names above are meant to identify members of Excel Academy's Foundation Board, or the official board of the corporation Friends of Excel Academy Charter Schools, our nonprofit fundraising arm. The other board members are the official voting members of the Excel Academy Board of Trustees. More information about our primary governing board, including meeting information and responsibilities, is readily available considering it is a public Board of Trustees. 
As a public charter school authorized by the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Excel Academy Charter School is legally governed and operated by a School Board of Trustees (the third board listed above). This board is responsible for ensuring the school is compliant and financially responsible with all state and federal laws and regulations. Christopher DeLorey is chair of the Excel Academy Charter School Board of Trustees.

Please note that as of July 1, 2014, all Excel Academy campuses fall under one single state authorized charter. Therefore, the entire network of campuses is legally referred to as Excel Academy Charter School, with four separate campuses: Excel Academy - East Boston, Excel Academy - Chelsea, Excel Academy - Orient Heights, Excel Academy Charter High School. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $19,931,239.00
Projected Expense $21,191,689.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $20,127,502 $16,788,357 $17,464,060
Total Expenses $19,460,731 $17,075,240 $13,857,168

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $1,302,397 $1,126,979 $528,587
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $1,302,397 $1,126,979 $528,587
Individual Contributions $1,640,713 $2,226,076 $5,467,945
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $14,122,941 $11,395,922 $8,871,396
Investment Income, Net of Losses $326,671 $332,511 $339,207
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- $161,361 $213,080
Revenue In-Kind $2,440,007 $1,474,766 $872,630
Other $294,773 $70,742 $1,171,215

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $15,450,412 $12,617,837 $9,814,158
Administration Expense $3,973,477 $4,338,412 $3,891,845
Fundraising Expense $36,842 $118,991 $151,165
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 0.98 1.26
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 74% 71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 1% 3% 2%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $46,674,757 $70,366,959 $40,612,905
Current Assets $6,115,885 $4,780,911 $4,290,467
Long-Term Liabilities $35,654,058 $57,951,862 $28,875,623
Current Liabilities $1,503,765 $3,564,934 $2,600,236
Total Net Assets $9,516,934 $8,850,163 $9,137,046

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose We are not currently in a Capital Campaign, but we are in the process of securing three year commitments to help support our operating deficit over the next three years as we grow our network towards full enrollment. Our high school currently has grades 9 through 11 enrolled, and next year we will have grades 9 through 12. However, the current junior class is about 1/3 smaller than the current grades 9 and 10 so the network will not be fully enrolled until two years from now. Given that we recently completed our Building for the Future Campaign centered around the construction of our new high school facility, we must now close the operating deficit created by a partially enrolled high school program. Upon full enrollment, in the school year 2020, the Excel Academy network is projected to be self-sustaining on the public dollar from an operating basis. 
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.07 1.34 1.65

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 76% 82% 71%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials and reflects both the school and the foundation. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?