HomeFeatured | Home PagePhilly has a new school board

Philly has a new school board

Wanda Novales
Joan Stern
ChauWing Lam

Mayor Cherelle Parker last week nominated nine individuals to serve on the Philadelphia Board of Education. The nominations have been transmitted to City Council for advice and consent.

“I am proud to announce my nine nominations for the Board of Education,” Parker said. “I promised to seek out the best candidates for this important board, and to identify a group that has the skills and experience, knowledge and wisdom to serve on our Board of Education. I said I wanted a school board with a diversity of skills, from different neighborhoods, sectors and communities, some with deep knowledge, some with new ideas, a group that truly reflects my vision of One Philly, a United City. I’m confident we’ve assembled that board, and that they are fully committed to sound governance and the best interests of the 197,000 students in our school system, as well as families, faculty and staff.”

In all, 122 people applied to serve on the board. The nominating panel held two public meetings and conducted interviews with every candidate before forwarding a list of 27 potential appointees to Parker on March 12. The mayor and her senior team considered the potential appointees and conducted additional interviews before she made her final choices.
Following Council’s advice and consent, the new Board of Education will begin its term on May 1 or the next possible start date following Council’s proceedings.

Here are the appointees:

• Sarah-Ashley Andrews, a licensed professional counselor and current board member who is a graduate of McCall Elementary and W.B. Saul High School.

• Crystal Cubbage, who formerly worked in engineering before becoming a teacher at Girard College, Shipley School and Germantown Friends. She now serves as executive director for the Philadelphia Learning Collaborative.

• Cheryl Harper, a graduate of Germantown High School. She’s been a teacher and vice principal, was in charge of human resources in the Philadelphia and Camden school districts and worked in the state Department of Education. She is currently a Trustee for Cheyney University.

• Whitney Jones, Chief Financial Officer at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, a mental and behavioral health nonprofit serving children and families. He formerly held financial leadership positions with the KIPP network of schools and the DC Public Charter School Board.

• ChauWing Lam, who has served on the Board of Education since 2022. She is currently the Operations Director of the not-for-profit Gun Violence Intervention and Coordination Center. She is the parent of an 8-year-old who attends a charter school.

• Wanda Novales, Executive Pastor of City Reach Church (which has a campus at 231 E. Allegheny Ave. in Kensington) and founding CEO and principal of Pan American Charter School. She serves as a board member of the Tacony Civic Association and the Philadelphia Gospel Movement.

• Joan Stern, a retired lawyer who worked for Blank Rome and Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott. From 1977 to 2023, she served as bond counsel and special counsel to the city, state and school district.

• Reginald L. Streater, a Germantown High School alumnus with two children in Philadelphia public schools. He currently serves as the president of the Board of Education. He’s a lawyer who once worked for a federal judge and for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

• Joyce Wilkerson, a current member of the Board of Education who served as president for four years. She formerly chaired the School Reform Commission. She’s a lawyer who served as Chief of Staff to Mayor John Street, chaired the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority and was executive director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. ••

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