Lincoln Snyder has served as NCEA President/CEO since July 2021. He previously served for more than six years as executive director of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sacramento. During his time there, Mr. Snyder oversaw the full implementation of a unified governance model under lay boards for the elementary schools of the diocese, and received NCEA’s Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award for the diocese’s response to the Camp Fire. Prior to his work for the diocese, Mr. Snyder worked as a teacher, board member and board chair for the De La Salle Christian Brothers, with whom he also completed leadership, board and lay partner formation. In addition to his work in education, he worked in international business for Can Pack SA in Krakow, Poland and the Middle East; and in commercial property management and development as vice president of Snyder Commercial Real Estate.
A California native, Mr. Snyder is a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento; the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in international politics, with a minor in German; and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he earned a Master of Arts in Lasallian Leadership in conjunction with the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies.
Stephen Comeau, CFX
Executive Assistant to the President
Brother Stephen Comeau is a member of the Xaverian Brothers Community. He served the Xaverian Brothers in its educational ministry as an educator at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, MA, where he taught religion and history. He became the school’s director of athletics while still teaching the newly inaugurated Advanced Placement United States History program. He became associate principal of the school’s studies office serving with three other administrators under the leadership of the school’s headmaster and eventually became principal under the newly established Headmaster/Principal leadership model. He was recognized in 2003 as a “Lifetime Member” of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials [IAABO]. Since coming to NCEA in 2004, he has served six NCEA Presidents as executive assistant.
Brother Comeau received a bachelor’s degree in history and English from Worcester State College and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Boston College.
Senior Vice President of Programs
Jill Annable is the senior vice president of programs for NCEA. She provides thought-leadership, professional learning and faith formation for NCEA members in the areas of mission and Catholic identity, governance and leadership, academic excellence and operational vitality through the use of NCEA-developed content of the NSBECS, ACRE/IFG and NCEA publications. She has co-authored Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools and authored the soon-to-be-published Greatness in Smallness: Effective Multiage Instruction in Catholic Microschools. Prior to arriving at NCEA, she was an assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology integration for the office of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Ms. Annable led initiatives on academic excellence, established networks of teachers and school leaders so that embedded, ongoing professional development became a norm among diocesan educators and ignited growth in inclusive education, culturally-responsive teaching practices and faith formation. She also served as a regional coordinator for accreditation for the Michigan Nonpublic School Accrediting Association. She has taught in public and Catholic schools at the middle, high and collegiate levels.
Educated in K-12 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Ms. Annable then earned a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education in English and mathematics from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts in instruction and curriculum with an emphasis in secondary education from Grand Valley State University. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University.
Quintina (Tina) Armstead-Brown
Member Services Associate
Quintina “Tina” Armstead-Brown assists members with dues renewal payments and publication orders, as well as edits and updates member profiles as necessary. Mrs. Armstead-Brown troubleshoots member logins to the NCEA website and facilitates registration for professional development events, webinars, and graduate courses for teachers. She maintains the member database and ensures members have access to all relevant benefits and resources.
Mrs. Armstead-Brown started out working for NCEA as a temporary employee in the mailroom in 1996, from there to the receptionist desk and eventually to member services in 2001. Tina is proud to work at NCEA where the Catholic ministry is teaching the word of God. She has learned much about the Catholic faith being brought up in the church and working at NCEA.
Mrs. Armstead-Brown is a lifelong resident of Washington, D.C. and attended McKinley Technical High School in D.C. with major in art. Tina enjoys drawing and painting in her free time.
Jennifer Barnett is the event specialist for NCEA. Ms. Barnett is responsible for planning NCEA events, such as the Catholic Leadership Summit and the annual NCEA Convention.
A Kentucky native, Jennifer is dedicated to ensuring event attendees experience true southern hospitality. Prior to joining NCEA, she worked in corporate event management at Anthem where her attention to detail, proactive mindset and servant leadership style helped execute successful events across the country. There she gained invaluable knowledge in the areas of diversity and inclusion, cross-cultural communication, community outreach and management. Jennifer’s extensive experience in vendor management, exhibitor relations and her work with venues make her an excellent addition to the NCEA team, where she helps plan events such as the Catholic Leadership Summit and the annual NCEA Convention.
Ms. Barnett earned her Bachelor of Science in integrated studies with emphases in psychology and religion, from Union College in Barbourville, KY. She is a Catholic school parent and active member of her local parish, serving in many areas of stewardship. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and traveling.
Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales
Crystal Berry is the director of marketing and corporate sales for NCEA. Her work focuses on strategic marketing of brand, sales and services across all NCEA media channels. She is responsible for Corporate Partner relationships, support and sales, including management of associated marketing campaigns and lead generation strategies that support sales and engagement across various business channels.
Ms. Berry is a product of Catholic education and is a highly experienced and mission-driven professional with more than 12 years of experience in marketing, relationship management, communications and sales, including direct, behavioral, integrated marketing, and operations in professional services, Catholic education, political and non-profit foundation sectors. Ms. Berry has spent the last five years in dedicated focus on the sustainability and longevity of Catholic education through initiatives related to marketing, enrollment management, strategic development and broad donor and philanthropic relationship management.
Cedric Bernescut is responsible for employee relations, compensation and benefits and training for NCEA. Mr. Bernescut coordinates the administrative functions of the association. His background in IT also helps with system support and keeping technical projects aligned with organizational goals.
Mr. Bernescut has an extensive background in retail management and system support. He was a part of the Best Buy NSO program to train and develop staff at new stores around the country. At NCEA he worked in various departments handling data surveys as well as the ACRE/IFG programs. Mr. Bernescut oversaw the acquisition, implementation and support of the technology assets of the association until his current position.
He attended Crespi Carmelite High School and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is active in the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Sarah Huber is the data analyst in data and research. Ms. Huber works with the vice president of data and research to manage data, including creation, updates and deletion of data sets. She provides quality assurance of imported data and creates reports, analyzes data and produces solutions. Ms. Huber also creates, distributes and evaluates surveys for professional development and webinars.
Before joining NCEA, Ms. Huber was a data analyst at Primodel US, an environmental technology firm, from 2017 until 2021. She spent one year as an intern with the City of Grand Rapids Environmental Services Stormwater/Wastewater as a data analyst.
Ms. Huber has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Marquette University.
Member Services Associate
Sherri Jackson is a member services associate with NCEA. Ms. Jackson assists members with dues renewal payments and publication orders, as well as edits and updates member profiles, as necessary. She troubleshoots member logins to the NCEA website and facilitates registration for professional development events, webinars and graduate courses for teachers. She also follows up with outstanding invoices for members, vendors and any other types of outstanding billing. She helps with the member database and ensures members have access to all relevant benefits and resources.
Ms. Jackson started out working for NCEA as a temporary employee in the mailroom/accounting department and then membership in 2019. She then went to accounting and eventually to member services in 2021. Before working at NCEA Sherri worked with BOMA and serval other associations bringing more than 20 years of membership experience.
Ms. Jackson is a lifelong resident of Washington, D.C. attended Largo Senior High School in Largo, MD, with a major in business. Sherri also attended the University of Maryland working toward a Bachelor of Arts in business administration.
Vice President of Communications
Margaret Kaplow worked for The Washington Post in the editorial department and then as editor of the in-house newsletter in public relations/communications. After moving to marketing, she helped establish an educational services department to reach out to local schools. As educational services manager, she developed and implemented the Inside The Washington Post classroom program for schools, and spearheaded new business partnerships across the world when The Post became a digital product.
Ms. Kaplow received a bachelor’s degree in English and geography from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI.
Director of New Member Relations and Event Management
Laura MacDonald has been an educational leader at regional, county and district levels and has had extensive experience mentoring, coaching and leading teachers since she began her career in teaching in 1998. She has served as an administrator in the Diocese of Sacramento since 2013 where she most recently was principal at Our Lady of Grace School. Before her assignment as principal at Our Lady of Grace School, she was principal at Holy Cross Academy.
Ms. MacDonald holds a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from California State University as well as teaching and administrative credentials, including a master's degree in leadership and policy study.
Vice President of Member Services
Wade Marshall was in retail management and worked for companies such as Montgomery Ward, Erol’s Video and Blockbuster Video.
A graduate of Watseka Community High School, Mr. Marshall received a Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He also received a diploma in computer information systems and a Master of Science in information systems from Strayer University in Washington, D.C. In his free time, he enjoys biking and playing golf and working as an election official for Loudoun County, VA.
Scott Matthias started in the field of web management as a government contractor at FinCEN, an anti-money laundering bureau under the U.S. Treasury. He held successive contract engagements at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA), the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, National Geographic and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Mr. Matthias has gained expertise with many different content management systems, all of which featured prominently in the web launch and redesign projects he has led over the last 20 years. He has been the associate organist at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, VA since 2004.
Mr. Matthias received a bachelor's degree in German from Georgetown University and completed postgraduate work in sacred music at the Catholic University of America. Both universities are in Washington, D.C.
Director of Professional Learning
Colleen McCoy-Cejka is NCEA’s Director of Professional Learning. She previously served in communications and development for Catholic Education Arizona and for six years as assistant superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Phoenix. Ms. McCoy-Cejka has had a long career in Catholic education as teacher and principal at the elementary and high school levels. Ms. McCoy-Cejka is a school choice advocate, fundraiser, communications specialist, author, trainer, educational consultant and podcaster. She also assists with special education efforts to help schools achieve fullness of mission and is an active board member for two Arizona-based special education nonprofits and for the National Catholic Partnership on Disability.
Educated 14 years in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Ms. McCoy-Cejka attended St. Xavier University, Illinois State University and the University of Indianapolis earning degrees and certifications in English education, curriculum and instruction and educational leadership. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
Dale McDonald, PBVM, Ph.D.
Vice President of Public Policy
Sister Dale McDonald is a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Prior to joining NCEA, Sister McDonald was director of the Catholic School Leadership Program in the Boston College Graduate School of Education. She has served on various boards of trustees for educational and social service organizations, has been published in education journals and books, served on several committees convened by the White House, U.S. Department of Education, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other national education associations and has testified before congressional committees on education policy issues.
She earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from Boston College, a Master of Science in educational administration from Pace University, New York, a Master of Arts in American history from Fordham University, New York, and a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Fordham.
Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations
Melissa Mercer is the senior vice president of finance and operations for NCEA. She previously served for over five years as the Schools Finance Officer in the Diocese of Sacramento. During her time there, Ms. Mercer brought corporate discipline and financial infrastructure to more than 35 elementary schools. In addition to assisting in the adoption of a unified governance model, Ms. Mercer standardized the annual budgeting process, implemented accounting and tuition management systems and established a shared services accounting center for elementary schools. Prior to her work for the diocese, Ms. Mercer was employed by publicly traded companies and has 20 years of professional corporate experience in areas such as external financial reporting and management of technical accounting.
Ms. Mercer has a Bachelor of Science in accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia and obtained her CPA certification and license in the State of Missouri.
Graphic Design and Production Manager
Bea Ruiz oversees NCEA’s graphic design and production endeavors. She provides comprehensive, competitive graphic design services that enhance the image of NCEA; in addition, she ensures brand consistency for marketing materials, social media and publications across the organization. She has been involved in numerous aspects of design since she began her career at NCEA in 1991. Prior to working at NCEA she did technical design for GTCO, a computer software company in Columbia, MD, honing creative designs into adapted products. She then worked for Hughes Systems in Greenbelt, MD, while developing her graphic design talent.
A Washington D.C. native, Ms. Ruiz received a Bachelor of Science in advertising and design from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.
Vice President of Research and Data
Annie Smith works closely with NCEA staff to analyze information and data for use in problem-solving and strategic decisions and for making recommendations beneficial to NCEA and its members. From 2017, Ms. Smith worked for the Archdiocese of Boston as data manager and director of research and data, respectively. She was the associate superintendent of strategy, research and data. She also worked for Education Pioneers at Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, the Center for Collaborative Education and Empower Schools.
Ms. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Education in education policy and management from Harvard University.