Mayor Jim Kenney has his top nine.
Philadelphia’s school board nominating panel arrived at candidates for three open board seats Wednesday, forwarding to Kenney a short list to consider to help run the 120,000-student school system.
The candidates range from educators to businesspeople. Wendell Pritchett, chair of the nominating panel, called them “a very strong group of people.” They were chosen from more than 80 applicants for the positions.
Kenney will choose three next week. City Council must approve the choices before the new board members are seated early next year.
The nine are:
Karima Bouchenafa, assistant director of the Honors Institute at Jefferson University, who’s also worked at Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania. Bouchenafa, a graduate of the Philadelphia School District, is working toward her doctorate in education.
Tariem Burroughs, a community engagement specialist at Temple University School of Medicine. Burroughs has extensive experience with out-of-school-time programs and is a product of Philadelphia public schools.
Natalia Dominguez Buckley, a banker who serves on the board of Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS). Dominguez Buckley is an immigrant and the parent of a child in parochial school.
Gavin Keirans, a management consultant who spent time as executive director of the New Leaders Council Philadelphia and worked for Accenture, a consulting company. Keirans spent time in Philadelphia public schools.
Azeb Kinder, a former School District and charter school teacher and administrator who holds a doctorate in education and owns a consulting company that provides training on antiracism and dismantling inequalities. Kinder is a graduate of the School District.
Jack Lynch, a Philadelphia public school alumnus, retired teacher who worked for years at Strath Haven High School, and the former president of the Wallingford-Swarthmore teachers’ union.
Lisa Salley, who worked as a mechanical engineer before serving in executive roles. She graduated from Philadelphia public schools.
Reginald Streater, a lawyer and vice president for the Greater Philadelphia ACLU Executive Board. Streater graduated from Philadelphia schools and is the parent of two children currently enrolled.
Cecilia Thompson, chairperson of the Philadelphia Right to Education Local Task Force and a member of Kenney’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Thompson is a longtime activist, a product of Philadelphia public schools, and the parent of a child with special needs who attends a Philadelphia public school.
The nominating panel heard objections from a group of activists who feel the process lacks transparency. All nominating panel work is done in executive session.
“This shroud of secrecy has cloaked every decision made by this panel,” said Karel Kilimnik, a founder of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools and retired district teacher. “Every meeting has been brief and scripted, like this evening, with minimal public participation.”
Lisa Haver, another APPS founder and retired teacher, told the nominating panel she found its slate of candidates “very alarming,” too heavy on businesspeople and too light on district parents.