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1 Feb 2024

Educational Nominating Panel Appointed by Mayor Cherelle L. Parker Holds First Meeting, SUN publisher Catherine Hicks selected as appointee

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February 1, 2024 Category: Local Posted by:

SUN publisher Catherine Hicks is one of 13 appointees serving on nominations panel

PHILADELPHIA –  In a public meeting today, the Educational Nominating Panel appointed by Mayor Cherelle L. Parker held its first public meeting to begin the process of soliciting applications for the Board of Education, establish rules of procedure, elect officers of the panel, and undergo required training. The next School Board terms will begin on Wednesday, May 1.

Members of the community will have two weeks from today, Thursday, February 1 to apply online for a position on the School Board. The Educational Nominating Panel will have until Tuesday, March 12 to submit a list of 27 names to the mayor to consider for each of the nine vacancies on the Board. 

After the Nominating Panel submits their recommendations, Mayor Parker will have ten days to request additional names, if needed, or 20 days to make an appointment by providing names to City Council for advice and consent.

There will be an opportunity for the panel to hear public comment at the second public meeting on Tuesday, March 12 and at future Educational Nominating Panel public meetings.

The Mayor and her administration are committed to innovating to provide a world-class education for Philadelphia students of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“This is an exciting day, the first meeting of the Educational Nominating Panel that will field applications and make recommendations to my office for individuals to serve on our Board of Education,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “We seek individuals who are committed to creating, safe, modern spaces for our children and ensuring students are prepared for post-secondary education, careers and lifelong learning.”

The Educational Nominating Panel members are:

Dr. Robin Cooper
Dr. Cooper is the President of Teamsters Local 502, the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA). She is formally principal of the W.C. Longstreth Elementary School, where she worked for 11 years in administrative capacities. Dr. Cooper has worked as a school administrator for a total of 18 years and also worked as a teacher prior to making the jump to administration. She is a resident of North Philadelphia and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University, where she received her Doctorate in Education. 

William “Will” A. Carter, IV Esq.
Will Carter serves as Vice President of Local Government Advocacy and Engagement at the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, a role he has held since September 2019. A Hampton University and Beasley School of Law graduate, Carter has worked in various capacities for the City Council of Philadelphia in the past, including Chief Operating Officer and Legislative Director / General Counsel. He is a resident of South Philadelphia.

Kimberly Wilson
Kimberly Wilson is the President of the parent teacher organization at Hill Freedman World Academy. She is also a project manager at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she has worked since 2012 in various roles. Wilson has both a bachelors and masters in public health from Temple University where she started her work with children, as a Youth Risk Behavior Survey Administrator.

Atiyah Harmon
Atiyah Harmon is the Executive Director at Black Girls Love Math, an organization aimed at eliminating gender and racial inequalities in math for all who identify as Black girls in grades K-12. Prior to founding Black Girls Love Math in 2019, Harmon worked in leadership roles with and Illustrative Mathematics. She got her start in education as a middle school math teacher before, after six years, she went on to become the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, an Assistant Principal, and then a Principal at Great Oaks Charter School in New York City. Harmon is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. 

Andy Toy
Andy Toy serves as Policy Director at the Philadelphia Association of CommunityDevelopment Corporations. He founded United Voices for Philadelphia and still engages in voter registration and voting advocacy. Andy also helped garner support for public schools by founding the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle and serving on the Philadelphia Public School Notebook). Toy is currently on the Boards of The Merchants Fund and the Union Benevolent Foundation, as well as a part of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Philadelphia and the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. He was an appointee on the Philadelphia Zoning.

Code Commission where he championed mixed income zoning policies as well as Accessory Dwelling Units.

Catherine “Cathy” Hicks
Cathy Hicks is the President of the Philadelphia NAACP and is the publisher and co-owner of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun Newspaper. She previously worked for almost 20 years in the public relations and marketing industry. She is a mother and a grandmother and resides in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.

Otis L. Bullock, Jr. Esq.
Otis Bullock is the Executive Director of Diversified Community Services, a 100+ employee community based organization with more than $4 million in assets. He served as the Outreach Director for the 2007 Nutter for Mayor Campaign. After a successful campaign, Bullock joined the administration as the Deputy Executive Director at the Mayor’s Office of Community Service. Mayor Michael A. Nutter later appointed Bullock as the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Service. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing about $7 million of state and federal grant funds, and developing anti-poverty initiatives for the Administration. 

Harold T. Epps
Harold Epps serves as Chair of the Community College of Philadelphia. He works as a Senior Advisor for Economic Development at Bellevue Strategies and as a Senior Advisor with the global search firm, Diversified Search. He previously served as the Director of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia for the duration of Mayor Kenney’s first term. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Epps was the Vice-Chair of the Board for PRWT Services and served as PRWT’s President and CEO from 2007 to 2014. He was recently honored with the title of Trustee Emeritus at North Carolina Central University, his alma mater, where he served as a trustee for eight years

Rev. Bonnie Camarda
Rev. Camarda is the Vice Chair of the Board at Nueva Esperanza and is the Divisional Director of Partnerships at the Salvation Army. She previously served as a member of the Educational Nominating Panel under Mayor Jim Kenney. Rev. Camarda is a graduate of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Wharton School of Business, and Rice University’s Divinity School.

Dee Dukes
Dee Dukes is the Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, as well as the founder and CEO of Wynnefield Community Neighborhood Association Inc. (WCNA). WCNA serves the needs of the 16,000+ neighbors as a Registered Community Organization by strengthening the quality of life and providing resources to assist our Wynnefield neighbors. Dukes was raised in Wynnefield in the 70’s, attended all neighborhood schools, and moved away in the late 80’s. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s University and is also pursuing completion of her Master’s Degree in Health Administration.

Bishop Louis J. Felton
Bishop Felton serves as First Vice President of the Philadelphia NAACP, as well as Pastor at the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, founded by the Bishop Ernest C. Morris, Sr. Bishop Felton was appointed as Pastor of Mt Airy in 2010 and has led the congregation to invest over $1,000,000 in capital improvements and ministry development. From 1991-2010, Dr. Felton served as Senior Pastor of The Galilee Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bishop Felton is an alumnus of Western Michigan University and attended McCormick Theological Seminary, Western Theological Seminary and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, receiving the Doctorate of Divinity (Honorary) from the St. Thomas Christian College in April of 2004.

Dr. Ira Goldstein
Dr. Ira Goldstein is the Treasurer at Kids First, a childhood welfare advocacy group. He is also the Senior Advisor of Policy Solutions at Reinvestment Fund, a results-oriented, socially responsible community investment group. For over 30 years, Dr. Goldstein has been a lecturer for University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Studies program.

He instructs in research methods, statistics, and housing policy. He is a fellow with the Penn’s Institute for Urban Research. Before coming to the Reinvestment Fund, Dr. Goldstein served as Mid-Atlantic Director of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD. He has earned a bachelors, masters and doctorate all from Temple University.

Dawn Chavous
Dawn Chavous is the founder and President of Chavous Consulting. She is a leading Charter School advocate in Philadelphia, having served as spokesperson for the African American Charter School Coalition. A graduate of Ursinus College, Chavous got her start in politics working for State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams as an aide. She went on to become Williams’ Chief of Staff, where she meant her future husband, Philadelphia Council President Kenyatta Johnson, whom she lives with in South Philadelphia.

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