Donate Stay informed


ABOUT Mission & Values Our History Board of Directors Staff Partners RESOURCES BLOG Video Gallery CONTACT Get Connected Staff Directory


Caroline Novak - President


As a member of the charter class of Leadership Alabama I learned about the depth of our challenges in education, and also about the role citizens played in organizing efforts to improve education in states such as Kentucky. I challenged our class to promote excellence and equity for all children in our state. With the leadership of classmate Bill Smith, chairman of Royal Cup Coffee, we launched A+ in 1991. We were fortunate that committed Alabama educators and other business and civic leaders joined us from the very beginning.

The message that we can succeed with the right mix of high expectations, support for educators and students, and accountability for all stakeholders has helped to build strong partnerships throughout the state. I believe that we can create opportunities for all Alabama students to pursue their dreams by ensuring that we are constant learners ourselves. So we worked to build support for improving schools and then developed programs to actually deliver support to educators and students through the Alabama Best practices Center and A+ College Ready.

To stay connected to national resources and local issues, I serve on the boards of the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Business Council of Alabama, Sterling Bank and Leadership Alabama. Tabor and I are proud that our children, grandchildren and grand-dogs call Alabama home.


Michelle Condon - Chief Financial Officer

aplusala_michelleI came to A+ in 2010 as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to A+, I worked for 37 years in commercial banking, primarily in operations, finance, and mergers/acquisitions. I was a military brat who landed at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, and graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and then Auburn University with a B.S. in Economics.

I have one son who graduated from Auburn and lives in Winston-Salem, NC with his new wife. I enjoy my Lake Martin cabin, as well as traveling, cooking and spending time with friends. I'm very happy to be working with A+, and out of the pressure cooker world of banking!

Rennie Crabb - Special Projects Coordinator


I began working at A+ in August of 2008. I work with all the A+ divisions, handling special projects, board interactions, donor relations, meetings preparation, and other administrative duties. Before joining A+, I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years while volunteering with various community groups and church activities. I also worked as an account executive with Automatic Data Processing after graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.

I was born in Birmingham and moved to Montgomery in elementary school. I attended Jefferson Davis High School, along with my husband, Barry, a CPA. We worked in Birmingham after attending opposing colleges (AU and UA) for 6 years before settling down in Montgomery to raise our two children. I love going to the beach, and I enjoy reading, cooking, and watching football.

Thomas Rains - Vice President of Operations and Policy

aplusala_thomasI joined A+ in 2011 and promote state education policies focused on ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. I am currently vice chair of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission, and serve on the advisory boards for Teach For America-Alabama and the Family Guidance Center. I am also a member of the PARCA Roundtable and an alumnus of the Alabama Leadership Initiative and Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers Class. Before joining A+, I was a middle school teacher in Marks, MS, and also worked as a journalist in New York and Washington, DC. I hold a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and dual bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism from Boston University. Originally from Atlanta, I am a preacher’s kid raised in Birmingham and Lanett, AL.

Lauren Roberts - Vice President of Strategic Communications and Development

I joined the A+ team as VP of Strategic Communications and Development in 2018. I am passionate about improving the lives of women and children and have volunteered over the past 27 years in the community in numerous capacities doing so. I’ve been a camp counselor for children with cancer, a court-appointed guardian ad litem for children in foster care, and volunteered in many ways at the Junior League of Birmingham, where I served as President from 2016-2017.

I am a native of Baton Rouge and received my undergraduate and law degrees from LSU. I practiced law in Baton Rouge for eight years before moving to Birmingham in 2003, where I joined the firm of Lloyd, Gray & Whitehead. In 2005 I “retired” from law and became a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer. I am a 2016 graduate of Leadership Birmingham and serve as President of its Members Council. I live in Homewood, Alabama, with my husband, Stuart, our children, Jack, Rosemary, and Evelyn, our dog Praline, and our hamster B-Ham.

Jill West - Communications Director

I joined the A+ team in 2012, and am proud to serve as its website, social media and communications guru. Before that, I served six years as Chief Development Officer for the United Methodist Children’s Home and eight years as Public Relations Director for the Montgomery Housing Authority. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Auburn University {War Eagle!}, and graduated from high school in Elmore County, AL.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, I now live in Elmore County with my husband and the one child (out of three) that's still in school. I'm a Libra, enjoy reading mystery novels and traveling around Alabama visiting our awesome schools.