The second installment of Philadelphia School Board nominee reports

SB nominating panel

As promised, APPS researchers have completed the independent profiles of the first round of nominees chosen by the Education Nominating Panel. Mayor Kenney, in response to community protests about the possible conflicts of the nominees, and the dearth of educators on the first list, reconvened the Panel on Friday, March 16.  APPS members Barbara Dowdall, Lynda Rubin and Lisa Haver testified, again decrying the lack of public deliberations and the ongoing violations of the PA Sunshine Act.  The Panel voted to send eighteen more nominees to the Mayor.  The Mayor has twenty days to choose nine of the forty-five submitted as his final choices.

We will be releasing our extended profiles on the additional candidates later this week.

Please review our first report, as important updates and links have been added.

Lisa Haver and Deb Grill

 Rotonya Carr

Nominating Panel states:

Carr is the parent of a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old at Penn Alexander School. She is vice president of the Home & School Association and an ad hoc member of the School Advisory Council. She is involved with clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania, where she cares for patients with complex liver diseases and manages a multi-million-dollar research project that funds her liver research. She started her studies in the public school system of Charleston, South Carolina, and earned degrees at both Harvard and Cornell Universities.

Carr’s experience in local education is as a parent of two Philadelphia school students at Penn Alexander School. Carr, 43, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

 Julia Danzy

Nominating Panel states:

Julia Danzy has deep knowledge and a strong commitment to the welfare of Philadelphia’s children. She has attended Howard University and has received a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and a master’s in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare and Philadelphia City Council and has served as deputy commissioner for children’s services in the Philadelphia

With a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 1969, and a Masters in Government Administration in 1989, Julia Danzy has spent nearly her entire professional life in the provision and administration of various aspects of social services, primarily in the public sector.   She currently describes herself as a “consultant in area of child welfare, spanning area of organizational design, integrated data systems, program design.” From 1992-2000, Danzy served as the Director of Social Services for the City of Philadelphia.  (Then-Managing Director Pedro Ramos, later Chair of the SRC, was her superior.)  From 2000 until 2002 she was a Deputy Commissioner of Health. In addition to serving in various administrative roles at the State level in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland from 1987 until 1992, the remainder of Ms. Danzy’s resume covers her tenure in the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.

She is on the Board of Directors of Carson Valley Children’s Aid.

 Susan DeJarnatt

Nominating Panel states:

As a Philadelphia resident since 1974 and a Philadelphia public school parent, Susan DeJarnatt is deeply committed to providing every child with equitable access to a high-quality education. As a law professor at Temple Universitys Beasley School of Law, she has written extensively on school reform and its impact on Philadelphia. She has also served as a faculty adviser to the Student Discipline Advocacy Service and, formerly, to Temples Youth Courts practicum. As a board member of the Education Law Center, DeJarnatt has written extensively about the need for integrity, disclosure, and elimination of conflicts of interest within nonprofits.

Ms. DeJarnatt has taught at Temple Law School since 1996. She teaches Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, Introduction to Public Interest Law, and various upper level writing seminars. Her research focuses on rhetoric in the debates about bankruptcy and education reform, the psychology of parental choice in education, the financial accountability and governance of charter schools and the connections between composition theory and legal writing pedagogy. She won the University Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2008. DeJarnatt was also an adjunct instructor in Legal Research and Writing and Moot Court at Rutgers-Camden School of Law. Prior to teaching at Temple, she was a staff attorney and supervising attorney at Community Legal Services. After graduating from Temple University Beasley School of Law, Ms. DeJarnatt spent two years as law clerk to the Honorable Joseph S. Lord III, Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

DeJarnatt is a well-known public school advocate. She has written several commentaries for the Notebook (Plan to privatize 3 schools is inconsistent and a gross overreach – February 10, 2016 and What David Osborne should learn about Philadelphia – September 21, 2017) and has published many research papers on charter school law. Both of her children have attended Philadelphia public schools.

 Anuj Gupta 

Nominating Panel states:

Anuj Gupta has extensive public, private, and nonprofit experience. He attended Carnegie Mellon University and received both a master’s degree in government management and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served Philadelphia during Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration as the deputy director for performance management, deputy recovery officer, and chief of staff/deputy commissioner for the Department of Licenses & Inspections. More recently, he has served as executive director of Mt. Airy USA and currently is general manager of the Reading Terminal Market.

Gupta is the General Manager at the Reading Terminal Market. He represented developers as a real estate attorney at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, from June 2004 to January 2008 before he joined Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration, first as Deputy in the Managing Director’s office, then as Chief of Staff for the Commissioner at Licenses and Inspections. He states on Linked-In that while at Ballard Spahr, he “represented developers of affordable housing throughout the nation and served as HUD counsel for a number of clients.”

Gupta served as Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA. According to Gupta, “Mt. Airy USA is a comprehensive community development corporation with a focus on new construction and rehabilitation of commercial and residential properties, commercial corridor revitalization and providing housing counseling services for foreclosure prevention and home purchase education.” Gupta succeeded former SRC Commissioner Farah Jimenez, who served as Mt Airy US Director from 1997 until 2010.

We were unable to find any information about his ties to the school district or education in general.

Renee Cardwell Hughes

Nominating Panel States:

Renee Cardwell Hughes, 67, a former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge, was CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania from 2011-2017. Hughes, who received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, initially was appointed to the court by Gov. Tom Ridge in 1995. She was elected to a 10-year term later that year, then reelected to a second term in 2005.

Ms. Cardwell Hughes’ served for seven years as CEO of  the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania. Her LinkedIn profile shows that she also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, member of the Board of Directors of the Haverford Trust Company, a Board Member of the Public Health Management Corporation, an adjunct professor at Drexel University from 2004 through 2015, and an adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Leticia Egea-Hinton

Nominating Panel states:

As a bilingual speaker of both English and Spanish, Leticia Egea-Hinton has attended Chestnut Hill College and Alvernia University and received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently teaches classes on social welfare at Alvernia. In her career, she has worked in Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services/Adult Services, Office of Emergency Shelter and Services, and most recently served as the assistant managing director for the Office of Supportive Housing. She has served as an advisory board member at PHMC/Care Clinic and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and a board member of Trinity Health/Nazareth Hospital

Ms. Egea-Hinton has been an Adjunct Professor at Alvernia University for the past seven years.

Her LinkedIn bio says as Director of Operations for the City of Philadelphia from 2006 – 2015 she was “Responsible for the Nationally recognized Centralized Intake and Emergency Housing system of the City of Philadelphia. The population served are households experiencing homelessness. The responsibility includes operational responsibilities for the agency tasked with developing, overseeing and planning homeless services in the City of Philadelphia. Requires management skills i.e. budgeting, systems perspective of the work, and planning as well as implementation of local, state and federal funding requirements.”

Loree Jones

Nominating Panel states:

Loree Jones studied at Spelman College and Princeton University. She has served as executive director of the African Studies Association and the co-executive director for City Year Greater Philadelphia. For the City of Philadelphia, she has served as first deputy managing director and chief of staff, and managing director. She has also served as the chief of staff and executive director of the School Reform Commission and chief of wexternal affairs for the School District of Philadelphia. She is currently the chief of staff at Rutgers University–Camden and has served on the board of AchieveAbility, the Manayunk Development Corp., Health Partners Plans, Committee of Seventy, Operation Understanding, and Project H.O.M.E.

Loree Jones is Chief of Staff at Rutgers University-Camden. She has served in top leadership positions in nonprofits, higher education, and government. Jones’ positions at the School District of Philadelphia include SRC Chief of Staff under Chair Pedro Ramos and Chief of External Affairs from 2012 until 2015. She served as a Chief of Staff and Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor John Street from 2002 until 2008. Jones was Executive Director of City Year for three years before working at the school district.

Chris McGinley

Nominating Panel states:

Chris McGinley earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education from Antioch University. He earned his doctorate in organizational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as coordinator for the Educational Leadership Program at Temple University, where he is an associate professor. Formerly, he has been a Philadelphia public school teacher, principal, and District level administrator. He has also served as the superintendent of schools for the Lower Merion School District, executive director of the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, and superintendent for the District of Cheltenham Township. He has served on the boards of Public Citizens for Children & Youth, Research for Action, and the National Adoption Center. McGinley currently serves as a mayoral appointee to the School Reform Commission.

Christopher McGinley was appointed to the School Reform Commission (SRC) by Mayor Kenney in January, 2017. As SRC Commissioner, he has spoken out against using teacher and principal training by corporate private programs such as Relay and TNPT instead of accredited university degree programs. He actively questions staff on their presentations to the SRC about programs and vendors. He has worked for the School District of Philadelphia as a teacher, principal, cluster leader and director of leadership development. He served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of the Cheltenham School District. McGinley was Superintendent of Lower Merion Schools from 2008 to 2014. He is currently an associate professor of Education at Temple University.

Sharon Parker

Nominating Panel states:

Sharon Parker earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Temple University, a master’s equivalency from Penn State University, and a doctorate in school leadership from Widener University. She was a student teacher at Frankford High School in Philadelphia and then taught and was a principal in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. She was the superintendent for the Wallingford-Swarthmore district and the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. She has also volunteered as an English as a second language tutor and as a Home & School Association volunteer at Masterman School. She has served on the board of the Chester County Art Association, the United Way of Southern Chester County, and the Learning Link of Delaware.

Sharon Parker, 71, has spent the last 32 years in public education, most in two districts: Unionville-Chadds Ford and her home district of Wallingford-Swarthmore. She has been a teacher, principal and superintendent. Parker has been retired since 2011.

She founded the Waterbridge Children’s Project, which she describes as a secular mission enabling retired educators to reach out to children overseas, seeking volunteers to spend a few weeks teaching.

 Joyce Wilkerson

 Nominating Panel states:

A Cleveland native, Joyce Wilkerson started off in Philadelphia as an attorney with Community Legal Services. Wilkerson served as chief of staff to Mayor John Street. She helped to stabilize the Philadelphia Gas Works and chaired the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. She then went on to be the executive director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. She is currently a member of the board at the Merchant Fund, Scribe Video Center, Brandywine Workshop, and Committee of Seventy. Wilkerson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves as a mayoral appointee to the School Reform Commission.

 Joyce Wilkerson was appointed by Mayor Kenney to the School Reform Commission (SRC) in November 2016. Governor Wolf immediately named her as SRC Chairperson. Wilkerson has held several administrative positions in the City of Philadelphia, including Chief of Staff for John Street as City Council President and Mayor. Wilkerson was key to implementing Street’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.

Wilkerson served as executive director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. from January, 2010 to March, 2012. For two years she led efforts to restore the historic city’s neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.

At Temple, Wilkerson handles community relations and has served as the point person in the university’s quest to build a new stadium in North Philadelphia. She also played a key role in Temple’s deal to buy the former William Penn High School on North Broad Street in the face of vocal community opposition.

Return to the Directory for School Board Nominees