The K. Allen Consulting Team
Who We Are
Krystal Hardy Allen
Founder & CEO
A native of Selma, Alabama, Krystal Allen is the Founder & CEO of K. Allen Consulting™, an education advocate, and an emerging philanthropist.
A well-respected former school principal and teacher, Krystal began her career teaching elementary school, serving as an instructional coach, then asst. principal, and finally leading as a school principal. Most recently featured within Time Magazine, she is a 2019 Gambit 40 Under 40 recipient, a 2019 Aspen Institute Ideas Festival Scholar, the 2016 Urban League of Louisiana Activist Award recipient, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Kid Smart; Success at Thurgood Marshall; and the Selma Center for Nonviolence.
A first-generation college graduate, Krystal earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, M.Ed. from NLU-Chicago, and is currently completing her Ed.D in K-12 Urban Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Krystal's work and passion for DEI, social justice, adult learning, and organizational development are the driving forces of her work and commitment to equity.
Candace is a Senior Consultant for K.Allen Consulting. However, her formal training began with an undergraduate degree in education from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In her undergraduate work, her dedication and commitment to urban education were recognized early, as she was the proud recipient of the prominent Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship for Minorities Entering the Teaching Profession. This fellowship took her to The University of Virginia in Charlottesville to obtain a master’s degree in educational policy.
After leading a successful turnaround of a failing charter school in the city of Detroit, Candace joined the KIPP Foundation as a part of the KIPP School Leadership Programs team as the Director of Successor Prep. In this role, Candace had the privilege of ushering nine cohorts of leaders into the critical role of KIPP school leader.
Yes; traveling the country to train dynamic leaders was an honor! However, Candace could never truly reconcile the deep educational needs of her hometown (Detroit) with getting on a plane and using her skills & talent in education in other places. So, after 10 incredible years at the KIPP Foundation, Candace followed her heart and returned home to found KIPP: Detroit. This move allowed her to combine all the things she loves: children, Detroit, and KIPP. Candace now gets to take ALL of the things she knew and combine them with the best practices (and lessons learned) from leaders she's observed over the years to transform education on behalf of deserving Detroit kiddos.
JARITZA ALECON MEEKINS
Jaritza Alecon is a Senior Consultant at K. Allen Consulting. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Jaritza earned a Bachelors of Science in Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She became a founding teacher at an elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana, and later an instructional coach and assistant principal. Her passion for teaching children and adults has continued through leading professional development sessions for individuals and organizations nationwide. She is a phenomenal educational leader, and a strong advocate for children, particularly ensuring equity for English Language Learners.
As an almost entirely New Orleans-based education product, Jenny Ly serves as a Research Associate here at K. Allen Consulting. She was a former New Orleans Posse Scholar at Tulane University, where she pursued a secondary teaching certification and received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Her passion for educational equity led her to continue her studies at the Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Education where she is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Educational Studies while being a Dallas-based middle school English teacher. Here at the firm, she conducts in-depth research, identifies key findings, and provides both qualitative and quantitative analyses for our school, non-profit, and business clients.
Kaila Sims-Austin is the Operations Manager at K. Allen Consulting. She was born and raised in Uptown New Orleans and has remained faithful to her beloved community. Kaila is a proud graduate of Loyola University New Orleans where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport. Kaila is committed to providing high-quality client experiences. She attempts to learn new things every day and believes everyone and everything has something valuable to teach. She is devoted to being a voice for the voiceless and always standing up for equitable experiences for all.
Mohamad Maarouf serves as Senior Consultant on the KAC team. He has coached leaders in various industries across the United States. In partnership with schools in Dallas/FW, New Orleans, Selma, Baltimore, and more, Mohamad has provided instructional leadership training and hands-on coaching support for campuses covering the K-12 spectrum. Previously, Mohamad served as principal of a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon high school campus, where he implemented mastery grading, restorative practices, and an AP For All culture, which led to doubling the number of AP exams taken (from ~350 to ~700) while increasing the number of passing scores by 8%. Mohamad has had the honor of earning a Top Texans Under 30 award, Bachelors degree from Duke University, and Masters in Education from the University of St. Thomas and serving as a New Leaders Council Fellow, Teach For America corps member, and Leadership for Education Equity member. Outside of being an educator, Mohamad enjoys reading books, traveling, dancing, and trying new foods.