Who We Are

Board of Directors

Our board of directors in the U.S. is responsible for planning and coordinating our projects for the benefit of Simbolei Girls' Preparatory Academy and its surrounding community.

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Andrea Kaitany, Ph.D.
Board President
Raised on a farm in western Iowa, Andrea became interested in Kenya when she met Richard Kaitany in 1982. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught college English at American universities for the past 25 years. Andrea and Richard have two sons and a daughter in college and a daughter in high school.

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Alika Mathur
Alika was born in India, raised in Kenya, and spent a decade in the U.S., working and studying in Iowa and New York. Her background in public relations and non-profit management has taken her from outreach and media advocacy in New York, to leading CSR and public relations campaigns in Mauritius and Kenya. She is now working as a freelance communication consultant in Nairobi, mainly with non-profits and NGOs.

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Jennifer Elrod
Jennifer Elrod was born and raised in Tennessee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies-human learning and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, with a concentration in STEM studies. She has taught both public and private school a number of years, in varying grade levels. She has also been a private tutor. She develops websites on the side, and has created on online literary website for creative writing and artwork. She has been a freelance writer, with several published articles. Encouraging students to pursue their educational dreams, especially in the field of science, in a passion of hers.

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Faith J. Langat (White)
Faith was born and raised in Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree in English literature, and taught for a couple of years in Kenya before relocating to the U.S. to further her studies. While in Kenya, she volunteered with UNHCR and worked with refugees in the camps.

Faith’s career path has included a range of positions, from customer service to administrative work for non-profit organizations such as the Mother and Child Health Coalition. Currently, Faith is the Quality and Document Control Coordinator at a medical manufacturing company in Kansas City, Kan. She also volunteers as a Swahili interpreter/translator for Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) as well as Catholic Charities, working mostly with refugees displaced by war and other social injustices.

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Kellie Nolan McCartney
Board Secretary
Originally from Chicago, Kellie spent 11 years living and working in Zurich, Switzerland, before returning to the U.S. in 2012. While in Europe, she managed the European headquarters of a leading U.S. public relations firm and used her multi-cultural communications expertise to create business communications programs for international clients. Kellie now lives in Southwest Florida and supports business and non-profit clients with creative storytelling and visual communications. She also volunteers with the local literacy council tutoring English as a second language.

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Maria Correa Brodersen, BBA, MBA
Born in Colombia, Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in business and finance, an MBA, and has done post-graduate work in treasury and risk management. She worked 15 years for CIAT, CGIAR Center, an arm of the World Bank, as their treasurer. In this role, she participated in establishing the CGIAR World Bank Finance Guidelines in 2005 (whose task force workshops were developed in Kenya and Uganda) and Finance and Administrative Procedures for CIAT from 2004 to 2007. She currently manages the treasury area of a large multi-million dollar energy company in Houston and owns an online clothing store for plus sizes. She and her husband have three children in college.

Iten town, which sits on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, has become renowned for the many famous runners from the area, including many Olympians and world record holders in the marathon and other long distance races.

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Building Committee

On the ground in Kenya, our building committee supervises and coordinates the physical nuts and bolts of our projects.
They are responsible for everything from moving building materials to filing paperwork with the Ministry of Education and educating and informing the community about our projects.

John Cheserem Committee Chairman
John retired as an accountant from Kenya Commercial Bank and lives in Eldoret, Kenya. He was a classmate of Richard Kaitany's at St. Patrick's High School in Iten.

John Keitany Committee Secretary
John is mechanical engineer at Unilever Tea, East Africa in Kericho, Kenya.

Luka Tarik
Luka is an architect and builder, trained in architecture at the University of Nairobi. He currently owns a construction firm in Eldoret. His father was one of Richard Kaitany's elementary school teachers.

Vincent Keitany Committee Treasurer
Vincent was most recently manager of a teacher's credit union in Iten. He and his wife, Jane, own and operate a private primary school in the area.

John Changwony
John is retired from the Kenya Army and owns a taxi business in Iten. Two days per week, he sets aside his own work to drive our construction lorry.


Our advisors help us develop innovative, culturally appropriate approaches to education. They meet frequently with
our directors.

Sheba Onchiri, Ph.D. (ABD)
Sheba has been actively a researcher, teacher, assistant principal, soci- justice activist, and a community trainer in both Kenya and the U.S. Much of her work focuses on the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. Currently, Sheba is a Ph.D. candidate in K-12 Educational Administration at Michigan State University, where she is finalizing a dissertation exploring the influence of the 2003 Free Primary Education Policy on girls' educational opportunities in Kenya. She also is serving as African advisor for Fabulous African Fabrics (FAF), which supports HIV/AIDS widows and orphans in Kenya.

Rachel Ayieko, Ph.D. (ABD)
Rachel is a former mathematics teacher who taught in secondary and middle level colleges in Kenya for 13 years. In 2008, she took an early retirement to pursue a doctoral degree at Michigan State University in the Department of Teaching, Curriculum and Education Policy. Her research interests include: knowledge for teaching mathematics in elementary and secondary school; equity issues in teaching and learning mathematics; and teacher practices in mathematics classrooms. Rachel has two children, one in high school and the other in middle school.

Simbolei Girls Secondary School, Kenya