Mayor Jim Kenney now has a short list of eight Philadelphians from which he’ll choose two new school board members.
The city’s education nominating panel announced Monday night that it had chosen four finalists for each of the two open board seats: Sarah-Ashley Andrews, Elyse Castillo, Jerome Glover, Daniel Hopkins, Gavin Keirans, Chau Wing Lam, Pep Marie, and Bill McKinney.
The two who are eventually chosen will replace Angela McIver and Maria McColgan on the nine-member board, which runs the Philadelphia School District and controls its $3.9 billion budget. McIver resigned last summer and McColgan gave up her seat in April.
Sixty-two candidates applied for the position, said Sozi Pedro Tulante, nominating panel chair. The 13-member nominating panel made its eight selections after interviewing a group of finalists.
“We have a great group of people who are willing to serve the city and to serve our families,” said Tulante, a former city solicitor.
The potential new board members come from a variety of backgrounds and industries.
Andrews is a district graduate and family therapist who formerly spent time as a social worker with Philadelphia Health Management Coalition. She founded Dare 2 Hope, a suicide-prevention nonprofit, and is a member of the Kenney administration’s Reconciliation group, aimed at ensuring equity in the city. She was a finalist for a board seat in 2020, but was not chosen.
Castillo is an employee and public health student at Temple University, an LGBTQ+ parent of three district students, and vice president of the Cook-Wissahickon Elementary Home and School Association. She also serves on the school board’s Parent and Community Advisory Council and has community-building experience in education and other settings.
Glover is a district graduate and parent of current district students, as well as an associate pastor of a Philadelphia church. He taught in the district for more than a decade and worked as an assistant principal in Delaware County.
Hopkins is a district parent, researcher, and political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania with experience studying systemic racism in large bureaucracies. He has worked with Philadelphia’s GovLabPHL, New York City government, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Keirans attended district schools and is now a partner at Rox Strategies, a management consulting business. He also worked as vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company, Altice USA ,and was a management consultant for Accenture. He is founder and president of the Catholic League Service Corps and was executive director of the New Leaders Council Philadelphia. He’s father to a future district student and is married to a special-education teacher in the district. He was also a board finalist in 2020, but not chosen.
Lam is a charter school parent and public school graduate who currently works as Director of Operations for the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. She worked for the district for six years, both in the superintendent’s office and the Office of Evaluation, Research and Accountability, and has served on a panel that advises the state on cyber charter authorizations.
Marie is a district graduate and the coalition coordinator for Our City Our Schools, and is a cofounder and researcher for the Philly Participatory Research Collective. Marie participated in the Philly Student Union as both a student leader and adult staff member. Marie also served on the district’s Superintendent Search Advisory Committee.
McKinney is executive director of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation and has worked as a researcher, planner, and program developer. McKinney chaired the former School Reform Commission’s task force to address dropout rates for Philadelphia’s Black and Latino male students and is the former executive vice president and director of research and evaluation for the Food Trust.
Kenney has 20 days to announce his appointments or 10 days to request additional names for consideration, if he chooses. The mayor’s picks must then be vetted by City Council.