Meet Our Board

Our monthly board meetings, unless otherwise noted, will be held the 1st Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom and are open to the public. 

Up to 20 minutes will be set aside for public commentary at select meetings as noted on the published meeting schedule and agenda. Those wishing to comment will sign in at the beginning of the meeting or send an email to the Board Secretary ( 

Each speaker will have 2 minutes to share with the Board. Speakers will be timed by a member of the Board and notified when time has expired. 

The Public Comment period is designed to gain input from the public and not for immediate responses by the Board to the public comment presented. If there are questions or information that you have for the Board, you may also contact one or more of the Board members.

Adam Tolliver, Chair

Adam Tolliver is a Southwest Atlanta native, and a graduate of Florida State University. He currently runs a Financial Services Practice, serving young professionals and growing families and businesses in Atlanta. Adam joined the Atlanta SMART Academy Board as Chair because he believes in the power of innovation and choice in education, and its ability to provide a limitless range of opportunities for students and families in the community he has always called home.

Veronica Crenshaw, Vice Chair

Veronica Crenshaw currently serves as the founding board secretary. She is dedicated to sharing her love and passion for students through her work in advocacy and dispute resolution formerly with the Georgia Department of Education and currently as an Assistant Director of Special Education and IDEA Compliance at Georgia Cyber Academy. She has over five years of teaching experience working with Teach For America-Alabama, Birmingham City Schools, and KIPP Metro Atlanta. In her spare time, Veronica pursues her other passion for law by seeking opportunities to make necessary voices heard in education policy. She is a strong believer in equipping people with the tools necessary to empower themselves. She is a graduate of Fisk University ('10) and Cumberland School of Law ('13). Veronica joined the board to ensure that students have access to a high quality education that will place them on a more stable path to success in college and/or career. Her focus is to increase student access and promote creativity through the arts. She is an active member of the Junior League Atlanta, Leadership for Educational Equity, Atlanta Coalition for Educational Equity, and the Go On Girl Book Club.

Ivan Lee, Treasurer

Senior Accountant with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry. Skilled in Microsoft Word, Accounting, Public Speaking, Mathematics, and Management. Strong accounting professional with a Master of Science - MS focused in Accounting from The University of Memphis. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Georgia.

Lauren Harden, Secretary

Lauren Harden is a native of Atlanta, Ga. She is thoroughly excited to support Atlanta students through Atlanta SMART Academy.

Maxwell Smith, Member

Max Smith serves as Vice Chair of the Board. Max brings years of experience in the field of education and currently serves as a high school teacher and member of the leadership team at Carver STEAM Academy in Atlanta Public Schools. Before returning to the classroom, Max coached and managed new teachers in middle and high school math and science in 26 different schools in the districts of Clayton County, Fulton County, and Atlanta Public Schools. Max has a Master’s in Education from the School Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His concentration is in School Development, and he has applied that concentration in consulting work to start and develop innovative school models for secondary education. He is passionate about creating a learning environment where all students are pushed to think critically and creatively and where students authorize their interests and goals in the pursuit of fulfillment. He is excited to be a part of the founding school board for Atlanta SMART Academy.

KiJia Willingham, Member

Ki’Jia Briel Willingham, a native of the Midwest, developed a passion for entrepreneurship while working with non-profit organizations on branding and marketing. After being laid off from her corporate job in the insurance industry, she decided to follow her passion to help others see the greatness within themselves as business owners. She decided to never again let someone else have control over her happiness and financial stability. Ki’Jia soon discovered her natural skill not only for helping entrepreneurs to create their brands, but also for developing and equipping the 21st century entrepreneur with tools to endure through all those unforeseen, new-business obstacles. Ki’Jia’s portfolio spans brand consulting, business coaching, and new homes sales. She is stands firmly behind the belief that strength and focus teaches you how to endure and leads to great success. Ki’Jia’s success and commitment to her clients has seen her work and her clients featured across a range of media, including Bravo, Fox, and VH1. Ki’Jia is a successful entrepreneur who is passionate about helping others achieve their full success through determination and focus. She knows people can reach their highest potential with strong guidance and she is committed to teaching them how to effectively merge their passions and talents to reach others. Ki’Jia holds a BA in public relations from Clark Atlanta University and is currently working on her MBA in Marketing.

Tyler-Leah Jackson, Member

Tyler-Leah is a licensed Master Social Worker with a passion for equitable and accessible mental health services, socioeconomic equity, public service, advocacy, civic engagement, public policy, case management, restorative justice, and program evaluation. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Community Partnerships. She also has a certificate in Research Administration.

Shirlynn Fortson, Member

Shirlynn is an experienced economic developer with more than five years’ experience in strategic planning which resulted in job creation and investment throughout the State of Georgia. She has expertise in tax incentives analysis, redevelopment and development processes, marketing, and business development; with a specialization in selling the assets of Georgia in the IT, Corporate Headquarters, Data Center, Financial Technology, and Health IT industry sectors. Shirlynn holds a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Strategic Corporate Communications, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs. She is a graduate of The University of Georgia and Troy University.