Joey Zocher, Ph.D.
With nearly twenty years of urban science teaching experience, Joey is a passionate teacher researcher with scholarly interests in eco pedagogical praxis and scientific literacy with urban youth. She was appointed the Executive Director in 2020.
Joey started her science teaching career at El Puente in 1998. After earning her masters in Environmental Education in 2008, Joey worked as Program Director, to open the Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park Branch. She returned to TransCenter in 2011 to be part of the planning team to open Escuela Verde, then worked there as an advisor. In 2018, Joey took on duties in the TransCenter administration office splitting her time between Escuela Verde and TransCenter. Joey believes through integrating sustainability and restorative justice into a school-wide curriculum, students not only have the ability to make learning relevant to their lives, but are encouraged to take action for positive change in their communities. She is passionate about including community voice and resources to provide authentic experiences for all students.
Joey received her B.S. in biology, psychology, women’s studies and secondary education and M.S. in environmental education at UW-Stevens Point. She completed her Ph.D. in Urban Education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction and science at UW-Milwaukee. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on curriculum ideologies and science pedagogy at UW-Milwaukee and has been an active board member for numerous local, state and national boards including Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Brewcity Bruisers, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Environmental Justice Special Interest Group.
DIRECTOR OF ENGAGEMENT AND CULTURE
Felita Daniels Ashley
Felita Daniels Ashley, one of the founders of NOVA, is a volunteer in the Milwaukee area who is passionate about education and understands the importance of school culture and academically rigorous programming.
Throughout her more than 40 years as a Milwaukee resident, she has watched a number of educational trends take hold in the city. Unfortunately, Ms. Daniels Ashley has seen many of the children who are most at-risk fall through the cracks. Her interest in TransCenter for Youth is sparked by the agency’s underlying philosophy and its dedication to bring best practices to the city’s families and children.
As a member of the leadership team, she assists in operations management of the organization, supports the staff and students at TransCenter’s schools, and cultivates relationships with community stakeholders, businesses, and faith-based organizations to advance TransCenter’s mission and vision.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare and a Master’s Degree in Social Work Administration.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Nancy Meylink began working for TransCenter for Youth in 1985, first as a teacher, then for 15 years as the office administrator for Shalom High School. She became Executive Assistant in 2005, and the Director of Operations in 2020.
As Director of Operations, Nancy's duties include financial bookkeeping, human resources, insurance and retirement planning. She provides support to the Executive Director and the administrative team, as well as to the directors and teachers of the TransCenter programs.
Nancy’s strengths are organizational and communication skills. Having received a Bachelors of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Marquette University in 1980, she is also able to provide assistance inside the classroom when necessary.
DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL SUPPORT
Prior to founding El Puente High School, Lynn worked at Grandview High School as a social worker and as the administrator of Goshen Children's Home in Janesville, Wisconsin. Lynn has been a part of TransCenter since 1997. She is director and co-founder of El Puente High School. In 2018, Lynn took on duties in the TransCenter administrative office splitting her time between El Puente and TransCenter. She received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Marquette University and her Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from National Louis University.