Mayor Jim Kenney wants eight education veterans and a newcomer with charter school bona fides to sit on his second-term school board.
Julia Danzy, Leticia Egea-Hinton, Mallory Fix Lopez, Lee Huang, Maria McColgan, Christopher McGinley, Angela McIver, and Joyce Wilkerson were all nominated for second terms, the city announced Tuesday. The mayor chose the nominees from among 27 names submitted for consideration by the city’s education nominating panel in February.
For the ninth seat on the board, Kenney nominated Ameen Akbar, a graduate of Philadelphia public schools who has worked as a mentor, dean, and coach in city charters. Akbar would take the board seat vacated by Wayne Walker, who for personal reasons did not wish to be reappointed.
Kenney said that he was proud of the direction the district has gone under the current board’s leadership, and that Akbar’s skill set would serve the school system well.
Akbar, a graduate of Masterman, worked for 14 years at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which educates previously out-of-school youth. He had various roles there, including case manager, mentor, and dean. He now works at Grovider, a consulting firm that handles education and development strategies, and is a basketball coach at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School. He earned a degree in business from Pennsylvania State University.
“Ameen has dedicated his career to listening to young people and supporting them to pursue their full potential,” Kenney said in a statement. “His extensive experience working with former out-of-school youth has granted him valuable insight into the systems and lived experiences that directly impact the well-being and success of our city’s young people.”
Akbar, in a statement, said that he was honored to be nominated, and that his time in Philadelphia public schools “has been the single greatest driving force in my life.”
“Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with thousands of young people and to witness how students and communities thrive when the right resources and opportunities are present,” Akbar said. “I look forward to bringing this knowledge to the board in service of all children and youth in Philadelphia.”
If confirmed by City Council for the unpaid positions, the nine board nominees’ terms would begin May 1.