Mark Ornstein

President and CEO

Mark Ornstein is a native Philadelphian who started his career at FELS many years ago as a camp counselor and after school teacher at the Paley Early Learning Center. More recently, Mark served as the Chief Executive at University Prep Charter School Network. As CEO, he oversaw daily operations at the charter system’s ten schools serving approximately 5,500 students. Mark has also worked as Deputy Director of Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU), a regional educational agency that serves 15 local school districts and over 100,000 students. He also served as Deputy Director for the School District of Philadelphia, where he supervised programs in over 80 high schools serving over 150,000 students. At both the DCIU and PSD, Mark created unique, state of the art educational opportunities for students. He was also an adjunct professor of graduate education at Cabrini College.  Mark received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University Law School.

Pamela-Thomas

Pamela Thomas

Vice President, CFO and CPA

Over the past twelve years, Pamela has held two key fiscal positions in the organization; first in 2007, as the Director of Finance and Operations at Child Care Information Services Northeast (CCIS NE) and then transitioned to Vice President and CFO of FELS. In addition to managing a $60 million Department of Human Services (DHS) grant from 2007-2019 to operate CCIS NE, Pamela led and continues to lead the FELS Accounting Department. Her rich professional and academic background serves the organization well. With over 20 years of experience working in the accounting field, she has held numerous management positions. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the Stern School of Business at New York University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Joanne-Stretz

Joanne M. Stretz

Vice President of Development

Joanne joined the FELS team in 2011 and brings with her over 15 years of experience in the marketing and development field from several non-profits – The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), the Burn Foundation and Drexel University’s School of Nursing. Throughout her extensive career, Joanne has been successful at obtaining sponsorships and gifts from individual donors and corporate leaders. She has organized and led various development activities and worked with many volunteers and community outreach programs. She is a member of  the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) where she was recognized as  NAPW’s 2011 Woman of the Year.

Susan Headshot(21)

Susan Dagdigian

Director of Programs

With over 25 years of experience in the field of early childhood education, Susan is a seasoned professional with direct, supervisory and management experience.  She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management, which supports her ability to advise and support our leadership teams.

Prior to starting at FELS, she managed programs throughout Philadelphia and Delaware Counties including several multi-site organizations and the University of Delaware’s Early Learning Center, which received  the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Early Care and Education.  She has shepherded programs through the rigorous NAEYC accreditation process helping them to meet exemplary, national standards.  She has been a Child Development Associate (CDA) advisor and a PQAS trainer, two critical professional development roles. Susan was also an early intervention program coordinator and will be working closely with FELS Child Development Specialist to support our children with special needs.  Her experience as a classroom teacher, early in her career, helped to provide her with the knowledge, techniques and understanding needed to help mentor FELS teaching staff.