Modesto Montero, Founder and Executive Director

Modesto Montero is driven to found and lead a high-performing 6-12 public charter school, Libertas Academy.

Modesto has served in a variety of leadership roles in schools and in the military. He most recently worked with Teach For America as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development in Memphis, TN, where he managed more than 20 teachers in grades K-12, providing them with feedback and targeted professional development. Modesto first arrived in Memphis in 2011, working as a middle school teacher and department chair for English learners, as a Teach For America Corps member. He was then elected to serve as one of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Common Core coaches for middle school English language arts, guiding teachers throughout the state on the transition to the new standards. Modesto has received additional leadership training and experience through his participation in Leadership Memphis.

Modesto has served in the Army Reserves since 2007, where he received the Army Achievement Medal and graduated from Army Basic Combat Training with honors. Modesto received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Modesto is a Fellow with Building Excellent Schools (BES). BES trains high-capacity individuals to take on the demanding and urgent work of leading high-achieving, college-preparatory urban charter schools. The BES Fellowship – a rigorous, yearlong, comprehensive training program in urban charter school creation and leadership – has resulted in the establishment of more than 80 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit BES’ website.

Board of Trustees

Dana Barrows, JD, CLU, ChFC, AEP, Estate and Business Planning Specialist 

Mr. Barrows brings decades of experience with his 43 years and continuing career with Northwestern Mutual as an Estate and Business Planning Specialist; along with his deep involvement and leadership with over a dozen non-profit organizations in the Pioneer Valley. Mr. Barrows has a passion for education for children of all ages and will be a significant resource in helping our School reach our Friend and Fundraising goals as Chair of the Development Committee and as an engaged Board member.

Lauren Davis, Stay-at-Home Mom

Lauren Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wheaton College.  Lauren spent several years working in real estate development. Lauren is currently a stay-at-home mom to 3 young children. Her passion for the education of Springfield youth combined with her drive to make a change will strengthen the board.

Tiffani B. Curti, Ed.D., School Supervisor, Holyoke Public Schools

Dr. Curtis joined urban school education in 1992 as a Teach For America corps member. Although she started her carreer as a middle school math teacher in Los Angeles Unified School District, Dr. Curtis has worked with students from PK to highschool in California, Nevada, New York, and most recently Massachusetts. Dr. Curtis brings to the Board a wealth of knowledge in both public and charter school settings.

Jose Lopez-Figueroa, Director, Center for Access Services

Mr. Lopez-Figueroa brings a great deal of experience in higher education. Currently and throughout his career, Mr. Lopez-Figueroa has worked with the students of Springfield and more specifically with first-generation college students.

Josh Lauren, Director of Partnerships, Teach for America

Josh Lauren joined Teach For America as a 2007 New Mexico Corps Member, where he led his 7th graders on the Navajo Nation to two years of reading growth in ELA and Social Studies. Josh is now the Director of Partnerships for Teach For America-Western Massachusetts. Josh works extensively with teachers and School Leaders in Holyoke and Springfield.

William MacDonald, Managing Partner, Law Offices of William MacDonald

William is a lawyer with over 30+ years of experience serving residents of Springfield. Mr. MacDonald’s legal expertise will support the Board’s ability to ensure full compliance with the local, state, and federal laws and regulations.


Anthony Surrette, Principal, Corbin & Tapases, P.C,

Anthony, a native of Springfield brings a wealth of knowledge with over a decade of experience as an accountant. Mr. Surrette will help ensure the financial viability of our organization.

Mary Walachy, Executive Director of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation

Mrs. Walachy brings decades of experience in strategic planning, non-profit board leadership, and oversight of the foundation’s administration.  Ms. Walachy will be a major resource in accessing funding and strategic partners throughout the city, and in ensuring strong governance of the proposed school.

Libertas Needs you

Join the team of committed education professionals who are working to raise the bar of what is possible in Springfield.

Libertas Academy Charter School

146 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01103
Phone: (413) 342-5510