(PHILADELPHIA) – Mayor Cherelle L. Parker today nominated nine individuals to serve on the Philadelphia Board of Education. The nominations will now be transmitted to City Council for advice and consent.

The Mayor made the following statement in support of her announcement today:

“I am proud to announce my nine nominations for the Board of Education. 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.

“I want to commend every member of the community who stepped up to serve during this nomination process. That includes every person who applied to join the school board, every member of the Educational Nominating Panel, as well as members of the public who attended public hearings and participated in the process. My administration is laser-focused on supporting this board, Superintendent Dr. Tony B. Watlington, Sr., and our many educators and staff to ensure every student has access to a world-class public education in Philadelphia. The challenges in front of us are enormous, and I am fully committed to supporting a well-run school system in partnership with the School District and the School Board, its governing body. Lastly, I want to thank every member of the current School Board for their long, tireless service and devotion to every child in our schools.

The Mayor made a particular point of praising every member of the Educational Nominating Panel, an all-volunteer body that devoted countless hours to recruiting, considering, and interviewing candidates for the board.

“This process began with their appointments, dedication and commitment to this process,” Mayor Parker said. “I sought a nominating panel that shared my vision for public education in Philadelphia, and in seeking a diverse set of school board candidates who truly reflected our City. Their work surpassed my expectations. I am profoundly grateful for their service.”

Mayor Parker’s announcement of her nine appointments to the school board follows a comprehensive process in which the mayor first named 13 individuals to serve on the Educational Nominating Panel, who volunteered their time to steer a public process that saw 122 persons apply 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 Mayor Parker on March 12. The Mayor and her senior team carefully considered the potential appointees and conducted additional interviews, before the Mayor made her final choices known today.

“I was proud to serve Mayor Parker and her administration as chair of the Educational Nominating Panel,” said Otis Bullock Jr. “The panel conducted a rigorous and thorough process to find the most qualified nine individuals ready to serve Philadelphia and every student in our schools through their service on our School Board. We’re confident the Mayor made the right choices, and we look forward to seeing these individuals confirmed by City Council and getting to work.”

Following City Council’s advice and consent, the new Board of Education will begin their term on May 1, 2024, or the next possible start date following Council’s proceedings.

NOTE: Mayor Parker will hold a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at 1 p.m. at City Hall to further discuss her Board appointees, who will attend.

About Mayor Parker’s nominations to the Philadelphia Board of Education:

Sarah-Ashley Andrews 

Sarah-Ashley Andrews is a licensed professional counselor, born in Philadelphia. Sarah-Ashley is a graduate of Philadelphia public schools, graduating from McCall Elementary and W.B Saul High School. She studied Mass Communications at Bloomsburg University and later enrolled at Lancaster Bible College, graduating with a Bachelor of Art degree in Biblical Studies with a minor in Human Services. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Lincoln University of PA. Sarah-Ashley is an existing member of the School Board.

Crystal Cubbage 

Crystal is a Philadelphia native. She is a graduate of Philadelphia public schools, who studied Physics at Lincoln University, began her career as an Electronics Engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, and served as an Education Volunteer in the Peace Corps, in Cameroon, West Africa. In 1996, Crystal made the permanent career change from engineering to education. For 10 years, she taught physics and chemistry at public and private high schools in the Philadelphia area, including Girard College, The Shipley School, and Germantown Friends’ School. In 2007, Crystal earned a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She has conducted research at an educational think tank, Jobs for the Future; started a nonprofit, Teachable Moments International; and worked on teams to open new public schools in her former positions with Drexel University and the School District of Philadelphia. She now serves as Executive Director for the Philadelphia Learning Collaborative.

Cheryl Harper 

Cheryl Harper was educated in Philadelphia public schools, graduating from Germantown High School. She received her BS from Cheyney University, in Elementary and Special Education, her MS from Arcadia University. She holds certifications in Elementary and Special Education, Elementary/Secondary Principals, Educational Supervisor and Superintendent. She taught in Philadelphia as an Elementary Teacher, was a Vice Principal, a Placement Officer in Human Resources and appointed by Superintendent Dr. Constance E. Clayton as Director of Human Resources. After retiring from the School District, she was called to work for the Camden Public School District as Executive Director of Human Resources. Later under Governor Ed Rendell, she was appointed as a Distinguish Educator for the PA Department of Education. She was assigned to various school districts across the State of PA, helping them make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). Cheryl was a Site Director/ Adjunct Professor, Supervising Student Teachers for Drexel University. She is currently a Trustee for Cheyney University.

Whitney Jones 

Whitney Jones is the Chief Financial Officer at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC), a mental and behavioral health nonprofit serving children and families. Whitney comes to CCTC from the KIPP network of schools where he held financial leadership positions in the Philadelphia and San Antonio regions. With KIPP, Whitney led the organizations’ budget development, financial reporting, internal controls, general accounting, and accounts payables. Previously, Whitney served as the School Finance Specialist at the DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB), monitoring charters’ financial stability and ensuring adherence to federal and local laws. Whitney was also a Client Manager with EdTec, a niche consulting firm based in Emeryville, CA and dedicated to supporting charter schools’ financial and operational needs. Whitney began his career at Moody’s Corporation, working in public finance credit ratings and strategic planning. Whitney received his Master of Educational Leadership from The Broad Center (merged with the Yale School of Management in 2021), his Master of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University.

ChauWing Lam 

ChauWing Lam has served on the Philadelphia Board of Education since 2022. She previously worked for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Superintendent and Office of Evaluation, Research and Accountability. ChauWing is focused on improving the lives of children and families. She is currently the Operations Director of the not-for-profit Gun Violence Intervention and Coordination Center where she is building organizational infrastructure to combat the city’s gun violence crisis. Ms. Lam immigrated to the United States as a child and is the parent of an 8-year-old who attends a public charter school.

Wanda Novales 

Wanda is the Executive Pastor of City Reach Church, with two local campuses including one in the heart of Kensington. Prior to her faith leadership, she was the founding CEO and Principal of Pan American Charter School, an International Baccalaureate school in partnership with Congreso de Latinos Unidos. With extensive experience in teaching and managing in Philadelphia’s public district and charter schools, Wanda brings insight and perspective. Wanda is currently serving as a board member of the Tacony Civic Association and The Philadelphia Gospel Movement. Wanda has a BA from Temple University in Early Childhood Education & Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cheyney University, and a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.

Joan Stern 

In 1971, Joan Stem became the first paralegal hired by the law firm now known as Blank Rome LLP. In 1972, Joan was assigned to work on the law firm’s first public finance engagement for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – the Commonwealth’s Disaster Relief General Obligation Bonds, Series of 1973. The experience focused her on pursuing a career in the law. She entered Temple University School of Law (now the Beasley School of Law) in 1974 as a full-time student and graduated cum laude in 1977. She then joined Blank Rome as an associate and became the second woman in Pennsylvania to practice public finance law. At Blank Rome she was elected partner in 1983. She served in a series of leadership roles at Blank Rome until joining, as a Partner in the Public Finance Practice, the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC in 2014. As a public finance attorney, Ms. Stern concentrated her practice in financings for state and local governments, governmental agencies and authorities, cultural and sports facilities, institutions of higher education and health care entities. From 1977 to September 30, 2023 (when she retired from private law practice), she served as bond counsel and special counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia and The School District of Philadelphia. Ms. Stern attended K-12 schools of The School District of Philadelphia and received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania prior to her J.D. from Temple.

Reginald Streater 

Reginald L. Streater, a steadfast believer in public education as a fundamental right, is a Germantown High School alumnus with two children in Philadelphia public schools. He currently serves as the President of the Philadelphia Board of Education. An attorney at Feldman Shepherd specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, and civil rights, Streater has a diverse legal background that includes class action suits and commercial litigation. His previous roles include working for Judge Theodore McKee in the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Streater earned his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and African American studies. An active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Barristers’ Association, Streater’s commitment to servant leadership is inspired by John S. Mbiti’s philosophy: “I am because WE are, and since we are, therefore I am.”

Joyce Wilkerson 

Joyce Wilkerson has an extensive career in public service. She is currently on the Board of Education where she served as president for four years leading the Board as it pioneered its Student Outcome Focused Governance approach and adopted the District’s Goals and Guardrails. Before her appointment to the Board, Joyce Chaired the School Reform Commission, where she oversaw milestones such as the creation of a new teachers’ contract and the return to local control. Joyce began her career in Philadelphia as an attorney with Community Legal Services, and later 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. Following her work in Philadelphia, she became Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and Senior Advisor to the President of Temple University. Throughout her career, Joyce has been committed to supporting myriad organizations. She is currently on the Executive Committee of the Council of the Great City Schools, the Board Directors of Project Home where she chairs the Healthcare Committee, the Board of the Independence Foundation and the Board of Scribe Video Center.

View Headshots here.