For many years Leila Centner was the Chief Financial Officer of Highway Toll Administration (HTA) until it was sold in March 2018. Prior to her work with HTA, Leila held several high-level financial roles with Arthur Andersen and Deloitte & Touche, overseeing engagements with multi-billion dollar accounting clients. Leila’s greatest joy comes from being part of humanitarian organizations such as Convoy of Hope and the Centner Foundation, which she co-manages with her husband David. A proud mother of two daughters, Leila graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California’s School of Accounting and received her MBA from the University of California.
David Centner is a successful inventor, serial entrepreneur, tech visionary and philanthropist, with pioneering ventures in Web development, online marketplaces and electronic toll collection. Mr. Centner has had 4 successful exits with technology companies that he founded and led.
In 1994, Mr. Centner founded one of the world's first Internet development and "interactive advertising" agencies, K2 Design. As its chairman and CEO, Mr. Centner at age 30 guided K2 Design through a successful 1996 IPO and eventual profitability. K2 Design was the first of its kind to be inducted into the prestigious American Association of Advertising Agencies.
In 1996, Mr. Centner founded and incubated CLIQNOW!, a leading online ad network, which was sold the following year to pre-IPO 24/7 Media.
In 1997, Mr. Centner founded and was CEO of MaterialNet, the world's first reverse-auction, buyercentric business-to-business e-marketplace for raw materials. MaterialNet was acquired by Perfect Commerce in 2002.
In 2002, Mr. Centner founded, self-financed, wrote the first generation of code, and invented patented devices for Highway Toll Administration, LLC (HTA), the first and largest provider of vehicle tolling solutions in the world. At the time of its sale in March 2018, HTA, 100% owned by Mr. Centner, grew to oversee the tolling interests for approximately 4 million vehicles annually. HTA was acquired by private equity firm Platinum Equity investing from their $6.5 billion global buyout fund, Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV.
Mr. Centner is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business with a major in Entrepreneurial Management. Mr. Centner was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
Bianca believes we are all here for a reason and that we each have specific, unique gifts to contribute to this world -- for humanity and our planet at this moment in time. When we each bring forth our individual gifts and live with a sense of deep meaning and purpose, is when we feel the best -- the most fulfilled and happy, not to mention it is when we are doing the most good for others.
Centner Academy provides our children with the practices to uncover and explore their unique talents and gifts, their sense of meaning and purpose. Our world needs healing and our children’s approach to life will greatly impact the future of humanity.
Bianca graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Cum Laude with Honors from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor’s degree and a double major in Psychology and Spanish.
Middle School Principal
Marlena's driving force is to create and nurture connections. As a teacher, she strives to craft lessons that would travel with her students well beyond the classroom walls. Marlena believes one key to cultivating leaders with heart is by balancing fairness and accountability.
As an administrator, Marlena leads with heart and possesses an unwavering commitment to the teachers, students, and the Centner Academy community.
Marlena holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Florida International University.
Elementary School Principal
Nicole is passionate about embedding social-emotional learning throughout the curriculum at all grade levels. In addition to the academic skills all students need, Nicole recognized early on that the landscape of education would need to shift significantly to prepare students properly for their futures. In a world where many traditional jobs are becoming automated, emotional intelligence and “soft” skills are more important now than ever.
Nicole saw this need and created her own business, the Academic Tutoring Program to help students a
chieve academic success as well as confidence and emotional resilience. Nicole’s expertise has empowered many students.
Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a specific focus on Developmental Psychology from Florida International University and is a business owner.
Dina is excited to bring her commitment to education and focus on the whole child to a school that embodies the same philosophy. Dina’s experience and passion are in direct alignment with the mission and vision of The Centner Academy.
A passionate educator for twenty-eight years, Dina holds a Masters Degree in Education and Teacher Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Psychology. She obtained teacher certifications from the states of New Jersey and Florida with a Gifted Education Endorsement. Dina has vast knowledge and professional development experience from Harvard Graduate School of Education, specifically Project Zero with Professor Howard Gardner, Gifted Education coursework through the College of William and Mary, and continuous training in Conscious Discipline spanning over two decades.
The point is not to just survive; the point is to thrive. Brooke is passionate about the happiness and well-being of our children and has dedicated her career to ensuring a nurturing, supportive environment at school. Brooke brings evidence-based practices, care, and kindness to all students, parents and faculty. Brooke provides guidance and counseling on behavioral, social and emotional, and academic interventions and is committed to finding solutions for every challenge.
Brooke holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in School Counseling from Barry University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South Carolina State University.
To know more about the founding story of Centner Academy
see the video below