St. Louis Regional Leadership

Ciji Pittman, J.D.

Acting Principal Director – Open Sky Education, Inc. – St. Louis, MO

Ciji is a passionate educator dedicated to ensuring that every family and every child has great educational options that will support a life of purpose and opportunity. She also is a nationally recognized education leader who has supported the professional growth of more than 200 school leaders in public, district, and charter schools over the last ten years. As President of Schools for Open Sky Education, Ciji will provide leadership for the overall quality of the educational experience for students, teachers, supporters and parent partners in each Open Sky Education school across the country. Working with the Open Sky Education Academic Council, Ciji will lead innovation for all aspects of the educational model, including curriculum development, assessment, data analysis strategy, and instructional strategies. She also will lead strategic growth for Open Sky Education schools division, working to ensure that a full and lasting education is accessible and affordable for more children.

Ciji began her career as a history and civics teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. She then went on to found and serve as the Head of School of a charter elementary school in Memphis, Tennessee, through the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship. Most recently, Ciji served as the principal director for the Wisconsin region of Open Sky Education. Before that she served as the managing director of the Racine region of HOPE Christian Schools. Results in the HOPE Christian Schools Racine schools have continuously placed them among the highest-achieving schools in the southeast Wisconsin.

Ciji is currently a fellow with the Leverage Leadership Institute, a highly selective fellowship program that prepares leaders to replicate academic successes within their organizations and throughout the country. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. She was a member of the founding cohort of the Relay National Principals Academy Fellowship.

Natina Hopson

Community Relations Director – Open Sky Education, Inc. – St. Louis, MO

Natina Hopson is the Community Relations Director for Open Sky Education in St. Louis, MO. She previously served as the Recruitment and Enrollment Coordinator for EAGLE College Preparatory Schools in St. Louis. She has 17 years of community engagement experience working in full-time positions with Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and US Bank. She has worked with several school districts in the region providing business development with Ever-Appropriate Etiquette Institute.

A native of St. Louis, Natina continues to grow in the community by actively building relationships with community leaders, businesses and churches. As an involved parent of an honors student, she is always learning new information that will enhance her ability to continue to serve our communities.


Antionette Bedessie

Regional Director of Operations – EAGLE College Preparatory Schools – St. Louis, MO

Antionette began her second career in education with EAGLE College Preparatory schools in 2016. Previously she served the City of St. Louis and various business organizations in the field of Graphic Design, Marketing, and Corporate Communications.

She received her Bachelors degree in Visual Communication from Truman State University. She holds a Master of Educational Technology, as well as Online Teaching and Learning, and Science Teaching Certifications. Antionette considers it her calling to serve her community in education and not simply a vocation, and is excited to grow with EAGLE!

Denise Blanchard

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Regional Business Manager – EAGLE College Preparatory Schools – St. Louis, MO.

Denise Blanchard is the Regional Business Manager for EAGLE College Preparatory Schools in St. Louis. She has served the educational arena in some form for the past 25 years. She has been an active parent, winning the PTA Presidential campaign for several consecutive years before moving into a full-time position with Sodexho at St. Louis Public Schools. After serving Sodexho she continued to grow in the community by building relationships with community businesses and even some churches. She has worked with several school districts in St. Louis as a Contract Compliance Officer, Operations Director, Finance Manager, and Human Resources Director.

She is now an active grandmother of 4 and still enjoys learning new skills that will enhance her ability to continue to serve our communities. She has mentored several students, some of whom have moved on to successful political careers. A native of St. Louis, she has decided to continue sharing her gifts and talents, serving the City of St. Louis by way of EAGLE College Prep as St. Louis’ Regional Business Manager.

Nicole Lampert

Nicole headshot

Regional Learning Support Compliance Manager, McKinney Vento Liason & Foster Point of Contact – EAGLE College Preparatory Schools – St. Louis, MO

Nicole served as Founding Physical Education and Learning Support Teacher at EAGLE Fox Park. In her current role, she was a founding team member of EAGLE Tower Grove EAST and Gravois Park. She has recently graduated from Webster University with a Master of Arts in School Psychology. As Regional Learning Support Compliance Manager for EAGLE, she will be able to share her knowledge and experiences to best support all scholars.

For questions or concerns around McKinney Vento, Special Education, Foster families or Federal Programming, please contact Nicole at (314)202-0301 or at nicole.richards@eagleprepstl.org

Andrew Hartnett

Regional Facilities Director- Open Sky Education, Inc. – St. Louis, MO

Andrew has over 17 years of experience in facilities maintenance. He previously served as the Area Facilities Director for Lawrence Group, where he oversaw operations for five mixed-use high-rise buildings in downtown St. Louis. During his time at Lawrence Group he received the 2014 Employee of the Year award for Excellence in Management by the St. Louis Apartment Association.

Andrew is the father to his four sons and believes strongly in Open Sky’s mission of providing a full and lasting education for all children. He is an active member with the Knights of Columbus, volunteers his time mentoring children with special needs, and plays the bluegrass banjo. He is Universally Certified in Refrigeration from Rankin Technical College and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri- Columbia.