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Rhode Island

Rhode Island Teach For America Rhode Island Appoints New Board Chair and Vice Board Chair

Local Business and Civic Leaders Partner with Organization Committed to Ending Educational Disparities.

PROVIDENCE, R.I., December 12, 2018 Teach For America Rhode Island today announced that current members of its regional advisory board Christopher Graham, managing partner at Locke Lord and Stephanie Ogidan Preston, chief of staff, Head of Risk Architecture at Citizens Bank, have been appointed to the chair and vice chair seats on the board. As leaders of the advisory board, Graham and Ogidan Preston will oversee the vision and strategy of Teach For America Rhode Island, ensuring local students have access to an excellent education.

A member of the Rhode Island’s education community since 2010, Teach For America Rhode Island recruits recent college graduates and professionals to make a lifelong commitment to educational equity, starting by serving as a teacher in a high-needs classroom for two years. As leaders in the classroom, Teach For America corps members make an immediate impact on the lives of their students. The organization seeks to accelerate community progress in education through its collective impact of corps members, alumni who lead across a variety of sectors and district partners.

“It is truly an honor to see Chris and Stephanie take on new leadership roles within our regional advisory board,” said Kristine Frech, executive director of Teach For America Rhode Island. “Across our state, the stakes have never been higher for children growing up in poverty. We’re excited to work in partnership with exceptional leaders who are committed to permanently closing the opportunity gap that persists across underserved communities.”

Newly named advisory board members

Christopher Graham (Board Chair) currently serves as managing partner of Locke Lord’s Providence office as well as co-chair of the firm's corporate and transactional department and its corporate practice group. He is also a member of the firm’s executive committee. Graham has been listed in the Corporate, Financial Institutions Law and Banking Law sections of The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years and in the Rhode Island Corporate/M&A Section of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He has also been included in the Rhode Island Super Lawyers listing since 2007 by Thomson Reuters and was named to GoLocalProv’s 2016 Power List of lawyers and members of the judiciary who are most influential in Rhode Island. Currently, Graham serves on the board of directors for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council. In addition, he chairs the Providence Chamber’s Education Council and is also on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island and is the chair of its Executive Council.

Stephanie Ogidan Preston (Vice Board Chair) currently serves as the chief of staff, Head of Risk Architecture at Citizens Bank.  Prior to this position, she was a vice president in Commercial Operations at Citizens Bank. Ogidan Preston has previously held roles as an independent change management consultant, worked in Stop & Shop’s Leadership Development Program and as a branch manager at Bank Rhode Island. Stephanie earned a B.S. in Economics and B.A. in Spanish from Duke University and received her MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Preston resides in Providence with her husband and three daughters.

This fall, Teach For America Rhode Island welcomed 30 new teachers to local schools as part of its annual incoming corps. The first-year teachers will join nearly 30 second-year corps members for a total Rhode Island corps of approximately 60 members along with more than 230 alumni.

Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of 56,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence, and to lead. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Jamila Reeves

(708) 997-0005

Teach For America