Meet the new Board of Ed nominees facing Mayor Kenney

Mayor Jim Kenney
Charles Mostoller

On Wednesday, the Educational Nominating Panel recommended 27 candidates for the Board of Education to Mayor Kenney. reports that eight of the nine current board members were renominated, including: Lee Huang, Maria McColgan, Chris McGinley, Angela McIver, Julia Danzy, Leticia Egea-Hinton, Mallory Fix Lopez, and Joyce Wilkerson (the current president).

It was reported that Wayne Walker, the current vice president, is not seeking re-election.

The rest of the candidates are new nominees.

Last month the Educational Nominating Panel met and began the process of accepting applications. 

The next board term starts on May 1, a release states. 

Mayor Kenney will be tasked with choosing nine of the 27 recommendations and then sharing them with the City Council. He has ten days (Feb. 22) to request additional names if needed.

Metro, with the help of a release, broke down some basics about the new nominees: 

Dr. Valerie Adams-Bass

  •  Adams-Bass is a professor and researcher in education and youth development. 
  • She attended Philly public schools growing up. 
  • She worked as a consultant for United Way of Southeastern, Pennsylvania’s Center for Youth Development and Foundations Inc.
  • She has also served as a coordinator for school-based programs via the University of Pennsylvania Center for Community Partnerships. 
  • She is an assistant professor for Youth and Social Innovation for the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
  • She has an M.Ed from Temple University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. 
Ameen AkbarTwitter

Ameen Akbar

  • He graduated from District schools.
  • He worked 14 years at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, doing a little bit of everything, such as providing case management, mentoring, and service-learning opportunities. 
  •  Akbar is a senior associate at Grovider and helps organizations develop development and learning strategies. 
  • He is the lead facilitator of the Universal Companies’ BoysToMen program. 
  • He is also an assistant basketball coach at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School.
  • He holds a B.S. Pennsylvania State University.

Sarah-Ashley Andrews

  • She went to Philadelphia public schools. 
  • Andrews is working on a master’s degree in counseling psychology at Lincoln University.
  • She is an advocate for living mentally well, managing anger, and educating youth and adults on suicide through in-school programming and partnerships.
  • She has a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies with a minor in human services from Lancaster Bible College.

Dawn Ang

  • Ang has been living in Philly since 1998, and she is an immigrant from Singapore
  • Her older son graduated from Philly public schools, and she also has a younger son in public schools. 
  • She is a supporter of children with special needs. One of her sons has special needs. 
  • Ang has organized events, and funding for many non-profits, including $2 million in grants. She also worked on the largest International Moebius Syndrome Foundation’s conference. 
Dario BellotTwitter

Dario Bellot

  • Bellot is fluent in English and Spanish. 
  • Bellot has served as the Senior Vice President of Administration for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Finance Director of a multi-billion-dollar company, and more.
  • He is currently Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.
  • He has also worked with various non-profits, which include charter schools, Seybert Foundation for Poor Boys and Girls, and Mayor’s Commission of People with Disabilities.
  • He has a Bachelor of Arts in international business, a Master’s in Business Administration in Argentina. He has also taken business classes at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Alison Cohen

  • Cohen attended Philly public schools. 
  • She co-founded and runs Bicycle Transit Systems, a company that helps manage and deploy urban-bike share systems. 
  • She has experience overseeing large budgets and working with public agencies. 
  • She had three children and a wife. 
  • She has graduated from the University of Virginia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Susan DeJarnatt

  •  DeJarnatt has been a Philly resident since 1974. 
  • She is a law professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. 
  • She has worked as a faculty advisor to the Student Discipline Advocacy Service. 
  • She serves as a board member of the Education Law Center. 
  • Her two children both attended District schools. 
  • DeJarnatt is a graduate of Temple University’s School of Law and Oberlin College. 

A.J. Ernst

  • Ernst is the dead Dean of the High School Academy for Girard College.
  • He has served as Director of Culture for Young Scholars Charter School. 
  • He also taught middle school science. 
  • Ernst is the co-founder of Arete Preparatory Academy.
  • He also serves on the Young Involved Philly. 
  • Ernst had a B.A. Lafayette College and his M.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he is finishing an Ed.D.
Cindy FarlinoYouTube

Cindy Farina

  • Farlino was the Principal of Meredith Elementary from 2008-2016. 
  • She served as a project manager for the Picasso School-Wide Arts Integration Project.
  • She is also involved in the School District of Philadelphia’s Facilities Lead Paint Council
  • She holds a B.A. Boston University and her M.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Cheryl Harper

  • She attended Philly public schools
  • Harper has served in numerous positions in the Philly school district, such as School assistance team case manager, Head Start instructional facilitator, and director of employment services. 
  • She also served in the Camden school district as Executive Director of Human Resources. 
  • Harper is currently a Student Teacher Site Director for Drexel University’s Department of Education.
  • Harper has a B.S. in Education from Cheyney University. She also has a master’s degree as well as superintendent’s letter of eligibility from Arcadia University. 

Tremaine Johnson

  • Johnson has lived in Philly for 14 years. 
  • He has worked within and along with the school system for about 20 years. 
  • Johnson is currently the D.E.I. Partner for Catalyst: Ed, an educational non-profit. 
  • Johnson has worked in Camden’s education system as a board liaison and was also deputy director of JerseyCAN. 
  • In Philly, he has held multiple roles in Teach for America, including executive director of Teach For America Greater Philadelphia. 
  • He has also held the positions of grant writer, English teacher, program coordinator, director of admissions, and more. 
  • He has a B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Gavin Keirans

  • Keirans attended Philly public schools as a child. 
  • Keirans is a partner at Riptide Partners, which is a management consulting business. 
  • In the past, he has held roles as Vice President for The Madison Square Garden Company, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Altice U.S.A., and Management Consultant for Accenture. 
  • He was also the Executive Director of New Leaders Council Philadelphia from 2012-2015
  • Keirans has also founded and served as president of the Philadelphia Catholic League Service Corps. 
  • He has a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State University. 
Chad LassiterFacebook

Chad Lassiter

  •  Lassiter is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. 
  • He worked as a school-based therapist at Palumbo Elementary School in Philadelphia.
  •  He worked as the executive director of Red Cross House and Recovery for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania/ 
  • He also held positions as a social worker at The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. He also was a researcher behavioral interventionist. 
  • He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University. 
  • He has also been on a ton of mayoral committees. 
  • He has also served as a board member of Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Prison System and also served on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males.
  • He has a Bachelors’s degree in Social Work and also has a master’s in social the same discipline at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Donna Laws

  • Laws is currently a case manager for a transitional housing program. 
  • She has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 
  • Laws also serves on the education committee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence. 
  • Laws served for 11 years an executive committee member for the Philly NAACP
  • She was also on the Lincoln University’s board of trustees from 2010-2019. 
  • Laws has a doctoral degree in Human Services Administration and Social Policy Analysis from Walden University. She also attended grad school at Lincoln University after graduating from Temple University. 

Nina Liou

  • Liou has lived in Philly since 2002. 
  • She has been a consultant on affordable housing with a focus on public housing and neighborhood revitalization for over 20 years. 
  • She is the parent of two students who have attended district-run schools. 
  • She served for four years as the president of the Bache-Martin Home and School Association and was the founder of the Friends of Bache-Martin. 
  • Liou is a board member for Community Ventures. 
  • She has a B.B.A. and B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Rosybell Maria

  • Maria was educated in the Philadelphia public schools. 
  • She has dual degrees in international relations and modern languages from Seton Hall University. 
  • Maria served two years as a scholarships officer for The Philadelphia Foundation, which focused on improvements, processes, and growth within the Foundation’s scholarship funds. 
  • She is an M.P.A. and MSEd candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, a coordinator for the University’s Office of Global Support Services and a Fellow at the University’s ImpactED program.

William Peebles

  • Peebles graduated from Philly’s public schools. 
  • He has worked in the public schools as P.T.A. president, treasurer, volunteer, and general members. 
  • Peebles worked program director for the education Leading to Careers and Training (ELECT) program at the School District of Philadelphia. This program helps teen parents compete for their high school education. 
  • He also worked as the director of the diversity apprenticeship program and as a contracting officer who helped oversee career training for 1,300 at-risk youth. 
  • Peebles also is a member of the Philadelphia Workforce Board and the University of Pennsylvania Economic Inclusion Committee.

Andrew Stober

  • He served on the Temple University Institute of Survey Research, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as Passyunk Square Civic Association. 
  • Stober has also held positions as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, and Vice President of Planning and Economic Development for the University City District prior to becoming the Manager of Public Partnerships at Waze
  • His son attends Philly public school’s.
  • Stober has a B.S. in business administration from Northeastern University. He has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

Dr. David Thomas

  • Thomas attended Philly public schools. 
  • Thomas is the Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Dean for the Division of Access & Community Engagement, and Executive Director for the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at Community College of Philadelphia. 
  • He was previously the National Director of School Support Services for Victory Education Partners. 
  • He is an adjunct faculty professor at Wilmington University, Saint Joseph’s University, and Peirce College. 
  • He has an Ed.D from Wilmington University, his M.Ed from Temple University. In addition, he also has a master’s degree from Cairn University.


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