Our Team
Meet Next Door's leaders
Ms. Chris works with Li'Niyah, Timirah and Sy'Honest on the abacus.

Our Team

Committed to fostering success in central city Milwaukee children.

As an award-winning early education provider, Next Door is focused on improving literacy and school readiness for children in Milwaukee’s central city. Our highly qualified team of teachers, administrators and support staff are dedicated to helping our students develop the skills they need for a lifetime of learning and success.

Executive Leadership

  • Dr. Tracey Sparrow

    Dr. Tracey Sparrow


    Dr. Tracey Sparrow joined Next Door as President in 2015. She previously served as Vice President for Children’s Programs at the Milwaukee Center for Independence and as President of the Milwaukee Academy of Science charter school. Dr. Sparrow received her doctoral degree in education, leadership and service from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s in organization theory from UW-Milwaukee.

  • Bonny Wesson

    Bonny Wesson

    Vice President of Finance

    Bonny Wesson joined Next Door as Vice President of Finance in 2019. She has 20 years of urban education experience. Bonny most recently worked as Chief Financial Officer of Milwaukee Academy of Science. Prior roles include Business Manager at Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM) and an accountant/auditor with a firm specializing in Milwaukee-area non-profit organizations. Bonny has a CPA license and a BBA from University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.

  • Cristina Crogan

    Cristina Crogan

    Vice President of Development and Communication

    Cristina Crogan joined Next Door in 2017. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in development and communications to her current role. Prior to Next Door, Cristina worked at the Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation and the Milwaukee Public Museum. She has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

  • Myranda Syrjanen

    Myranda Syrjanen

    Vice President of Programs

    Myranda Syrjanen came to Next Door in 2005 as an Early Head Start teacher. She later became the Director of Next Door's Child Care Partnership program and currently serves as Vice President of Programs. Myranda has a master's degree in early childhood education from University of North Dakota, a master’s credential in infant studies from the Erickson Institute and a bachelor's degree in speech language and hearing sciences from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

Program Leadership

  • Nichole Spooner

    Nichole Spooner

    Director of Comprehensive Services

    Nichole Spooner joined Next Door in 2010 with ten years of early childhood teaching experience. She started at Next Door as a Family Advocate Specialist and later served as a Disabilities Services Coordinator and a Health Advocate Specialist. In 2019, Nicole became Director of Comprehensive Services, overseeing physical and mental health services for Next Door students and families. Nichole has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Alverno College.

  • Dr. Felicia Saffold

    Dr. Felicia Saffold

    Director of Educational Services

    Felicia Saffold joined Next Door in 2017 with 25 years of urban education experience. She previously worked as a Professor of Teacher Education at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and as an instructional coach for several Milwaukee-area charter schools. Felicia earned a doctoral degree in education, leadership and service from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UWM.

  • Melissa Brockie

    Melissa Brockie

    Director of Family Services

    Melissa Brockie came to Next Door in 2018 with over ten years of social work experience. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. Melissa’s experience includes behavioral health, homelessness and victim services for children, adults and families.

Administrative Leadership

  • Carolyn Porter

    Carolyn Porter

    Director of Operations

    In 2019, Carolyn Porter became Director of Operations at Next Door overseeing areas including facilities, maintenance and nutrition. She previously served as Senior Associate for the Executive Office and Board Relations. Carolyn has nearly 20 years of experience in public and non-profit management. She earned a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's degree in Public Administration from University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

  • Jesse Weathersby

    Jesse Weathersby

    Director of Information Technology

    Jesse Weathersby currently oversees Information Technology across all of Next Door's campuses. He came to the agency in 2000 and began working as an IT Manager. Before Next Door, Jesse served as a Project Manager for the BancTec Corporation, which provided technology services for the Midwest region.

  • Nicole Landry

    Nicole Landry

    Fiscal Director

    Nicole Landry came to Next Door in 2016 to lead our finance department. She has more than eight years of experience in non-profit financial management, most recently with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper MI. She also has more than 15 years in corporate finance, serving in various financial analytical roles. Nicole earned a BA in Finance from UW-Milwaukee and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.

  • Chad Piechocki

    Chad Piechocki

    Development Director

    Chad Piechocki joined Next Door in 2017 as the Grants Administrator. He became Development Director in 2020. Chad has more than 15 years of experience in non-profit management and fundraising. Prior to Next Door, he worked in various roles for performing arts organizations in Milwaukee. Chad has a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

  • Lucretia Dillon

    Lucretia Dillon

    Human Resources Director

    Lucretia Dillon came to Next Door in 2005 after her previous Human Resources roles at COA Youth & Family Centers and Rosalie Manor Community & Family Services. She earned a bachelor's degree in business management systems­-human resource management from Milwaukee School of Engineering, a master's degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University and an additional master's in counseling from Mount Mary University.

  • Monica Brooks

    Monica Brooks

    Director of Compliance

    In 2016, Monica Brooks became Next Door's Director of Compliance after serving two years as the agency's Head Start Director. She has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Prior to Next Door, Monica served as Quality Implementation and Evaluation Manager at the Social Development Commission. She has a bachelor’s degree in business from Mount Mary College and a master’s in project management from Keller Graduate School of Management.