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Meet Our Team

Nate DeansNate Deans

Phone: 414-475-8512

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Nate has dedicated his career to education. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with degrees in English Education and Literary and Critical Studies. He taught English at Milwaukee Academy of Science for two years and then at Riverside University High School, his alma mater, for seven years. While at Riverside, he advised several student organizations, mentored programs, and oversaw a number of administrative duties.

Nate was the recipient of the MPS Start, Stay, Succeed Award in 2017, the UWM Graduate of the Last Decade Award in 2018, and was nominated for the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Award in 2016. After leaving Riverside, he became the School Support Teacher at The Alliance School of Milwaukee. Nate went on to earn a master’s degree in Administrative Leadership along with his Director of Instruction Principal License in 2020 as part of the Burke Fellows program. He aspires to further his impact on the students of Milwaukee through the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement.

Paul MogaPaul Moga
Coordinator III/Founding Member

Phone: 414-475-8248

Paul Moga is a founding member of the MPS Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement (BLMA). A Milwaukee native and alumnus of Riverside University High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Delaware State University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. For Milwaukee Public Schools, Paul collaborates with school leaders to implement research-based, culturally sustaining, student-centered school initiatives.

Paul has spent his career working to build relevant, fulfilling educational experiences in his classroom and others. While serving as English Department chair at Riverside University High School, he also dedicated his time as a forensics coach, poetry coach, and student council advisor. Paul then accepted a role as Culturally Responsive Teacher Leader from 2014–2017, researching school culture and classroom best practices, providing professional learning to teachers, administrators, and support staff, and then becoming BLMA’s first coordinator.

A husband and father of two, Paul enjoys exercising, watching sports, spending time outdoors, listening to hip-hop, reading, and writing. 

Dan Maldonado
Coordinator III

Phone: 414-475-8636

As a proud MPS alumnus born and raised in Milwaukee, and as a proud Puerto Rican, Dan’s passion is to advance the educational experiences of Black and Latino students in Milwaukee. His passion for Milwaukee’s youth stems from growing up in Milwaukee, where he attended Riverwest Elementary, Lincoln Center of the Arts, and Riverside University High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in English and TEFL from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and holds a master’s degree in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to joining the BLMA team, Dan served as dean of students at Carmen High School and also taught English and ESL at South Division and Riverside University High School. During his time teaching, Dan received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 2015 and 2016.

Dan is married to Sophia, who is also an MPS alumna. They have two sons named August (after August Wilson) and Lin (after Lin-Manuel Miranda), and an Italian mastiff named Bagheera.

Jamella AcostaJamēlla Acosta
SEL Coordinator III

Phone: 414-475-8631

A Milwaukee native, Jamēlla is a dedicated educator in the field of School Counseling who now serves as the Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator for the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement. In 2014, Jamēlla received her undergraduate degree from Alverno College and started as an MPS paraprofessional in 2015. She pursued a Counseling degree in 2017 while working at Alexander Hamilton High School. She worked at Hamilton as a RENEW Facilitator. She was able to obtain a counseling position before graduation which was a great accomplishment for her in 2019. Jamēlla went on to get her certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling while working at Greenfield High School in 2021. Jamēlla loves all things education, mental health, and working with students. Her passion and hope is to help as many students as she can in her lifetime of working in education.

Miguel Rodríguez
Coordinator III

Phone: 414-475-8842

As a Mexican-American, Miguel attended elementary school in Wisconsin and completed middle school and high school in México. He is very proud of his bilingual and bi-cultural skills. He utilizes his broad multicultural perspective to serve scholars and families.  

Miguel is a first-generation college graduate who completed a double degree in Education and Spanish from Carroll University. He also completed the Educational Leadership Master’s Degree program at Carroll University. 

Miguel has served in various educational settings including teaching first grade in a dual language program, serving as an admission counselor at a local university, and recently a leadership opportunity at an organization in Milwaukee. Miguel aspires to continue serving students and families and transform students' life trajectories by assuring students receive a high-quality education. Miguel loves to visit his family in Mexico, eat home cooked meals and spend quality time with his family.

Adelina BenavidesAdelina Benavides
Planning Assistant III

Phone: 414-475-8635

Adelina Benavides proudly serves as a planning assistant for the Black and Latino Male Achievement program. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Alverno College in 2013. It has always been a priority for Adelina to ensure that she is serving students and families whose backgrounds are similar to hers. Adelina began to work with Milwaukee Public Schools in 2016 through the GEAR UP program, helping students obtain a high school diploma and preparing for and succeeding in postsecondary education.

Adelina knew that furthering her education would be important, so she went on to earn a master’s degree in Administrative Leadership with a concentration in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She spent time working in a private school doing work similar to the GEAR UP program. Although she was committed to her students, she missed serving students from MPS and returned to the district. Adelina enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Donavon J. Johnson
Planning Assistant III

Phone: 414-475-8756

Donavon is a dedicated educator and believes that youth development is essential to building strong, intentional leaders. He believes that by engaging the leaders of tomorrow, we empower them to triumph through the challenges of today. This is not only his philosophy, but it is his own story; Donavon counts mentors, educators, and his community as his driving force, inspiration, and support.

Donavon advocates for continuous growth and learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. As such, he has earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Leadership and holds certificates in African American Studies and Social Justice. Donavon is involved with local and national social service organizations, coaches high school sports, and volunteers in the community. He relishes every opportunity to impart the wisdom that he has gained through education, experience, and community collaboration.

For Donavon, BLMA is a vehicle to increase literacy and build meaningful relationships within the school district and community—a vehicle that continues to propel us forward together. His favorite quote is "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today" by el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X.

Donavon is an avid Milwaukee Bucks and Green Bay Packers fan who enjoys reading and spending time with his two children.

Kimberly FosterKimberly Foster
Administrative Assistant

Phone: 414-777-7863

Kimberly is an administrative professional with over 20 years of proven experience in providing excellence in front-line customer service and administrative support. As a key support function for the department of Black and Latino Male Achievement, she oversees the administration of two federal grants for the department employees and over 100 schools within MPS.

Her role includes administering key support functions such as HR support tasks, payroll, supply orders and maintaining grant documentation for the department and schools for auditing purposes. She also liaises between the schools and the administration to ensure effective communication and clear understanding the districts processes, procedures and compliance requirements.

Rafiq WallaceRafiq Wallace
Public Ally


Rafiq Wallace comes to the BLMA office through Public Allies for the 2021–22 school year. He is from the picturesque Caribbean island of Dominica, commonly known as the nature isle, where he lived his entire life before migrating to the United States to pursue a degree in 2017. Rafiq attended the prestigious Marquette University and graduated in May, 2021, with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Criminology.

From a young age, Rafiq has had a passion and drive to work with youth and take key roles in community development. Attending Marquette helped Rafiq grow a greater appreciation for the Milwaukee community and strengthened his unwavering dedication to help individuals who are in situations that are less than ideal.

Rafiq is an avid soccer fan, a strong supporter of Chelsea Football Club, and has a passion for collecting sneakers.

Work with Us

If you would like to work with BLMA, fill out the BLMA Request Form for Schools.

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Contact Us

Phone: 414-777-7863

Support Us

Please follow the link to donate to BLMA and select "Black and Latino Male Achievement" from the dropdown menu

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2022
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