Meet The Charter Schools Office Team!
Christina sets the mission and vision for the Charter Schools Office, and ensures its strategic plan for the sector is implemented with fidelity. She also serves as the external source of support for our charter schools. She has served as a Charter Management Organization founder/leader, charter school authorizer, and also as a teacher. Christina holds education degrees from Columbia University and Fordham University. She studied political science at Hofstra University, and is currently enrolled in doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Christina Grant | Chief of Charters and Innovation
Peng focuses on ensuring that the Charter Schools Office executes its work in alignment with its strategic plan and in support of Philadelphia’s system of schools. Since becoming an authorizer, Peng has managed projects across the authorizing spectrum including restarts and operations. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he taught middle school math throughout the city of Philadelphia. Peng has a Master’s degree in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University.
Peng Chao | Executive Director
Ebony supports the Chief of Charter and Innovations, as well as the Charter Schools Office with daily administrative, logistic, and engagement functions, and works vehemently to ensure that the seamless functionalities within the office are prioritized. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she worked in the Office of Multiple Pathways to Graduation at the School District of Philadelphia, where she served as a program coordinator and supported contracted Accelerated Schools for 10 years. She received her Associate’s Degree from Peirce College.
Ebony McCormick | Executive Assistant
POLICY & ANALYTICS
Sarah focuses on policy, research, data, and analytics. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she was a policy specialist at the New Jersey Department of Education, where she was recruited through the Strategic Data Project, which is based out of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Sarah also served as a teacher in Philadelphia prior to her completion of a Ph.D. in Urban Education at Temple University. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Education from Drexel University, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Temple.
Sarah R. Gearhart, Ph.D. | Director
Chad analyzes academic and school climate data for Annual Charter Evaluations and renewals, which includes the analysis of student subgroup information and charter school academic performance data. Chad holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers-Camden, where he conducted research for education finance, and also interned at Research for Better Schools at PHMC working on evaluation projects. Chad also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rutgers-Camden, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from William Paterson University.
Chad Socha | Strategy Analyst
Rebecca supports research and policy initiatives. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, Rebecca worked as an operations leader at a charter school. Rebecca was also a Teach for America Corps Member in Oklahoma and taught kindergarten. Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Statistics, Measurement, Assessment and Research Technology from the University of Pennsylvania where she conducted research on teacher evaluation rubrics and teacher retention. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Chinese Studies from Wake Forest University.
Rebecca Dunn | Strategy Analyst
QUALITY & ACCOUNTABILITY
Roger oversees the Charter Schools Office’s authorizing functions, such as the new charter application process, renewal evaluations, and amendment requests. He ensures consistency with evaluations in an effort to implement balance between accountability and autonomy. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he supported the production of School Progress Reports with the District Performance Office. Roger holds a Master’s degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and History from Oberlin College.
Roger Kligerman | Director
Biridiana manages the new charter application, charter amendment, and comprehensive renewal processes, which includes the design of systems that review proposals to ensure alignment to Pennsylvania Charter School Law and national authorizing practices. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she served as an elementary and middle school History teacher in North Carolina. She holds a Master’s degree in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Education, and Latino/a Studies from Duke University.
Biridiana Rodriguez | Assistant Director
Tim leads the team in conducting ongoing annual charter evaluation work, and also analyzes financial data that informs understanding of the financial health and fiscal management performance of charter schools. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he served as a municipal finance analyst for the Town of Simsbury, Connecticut. Tim holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, a Master’s degree in Education from Pace University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Purdue University.
Tim Hanser | Assistant Director
Seun assists with the analysis of financial data that informs the understanding of the financial metrics of charter schools. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he served as a financial management analyst with the Office of Transportation at the School District of Philadelphia. He was also a Teach for America Corps Member where he taught high school special education mathematics. Seun holds a Master’s degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University.
Seun Oke | Project Manager
Cameron supports with renewals, new charter applications, and amendment processes, which includes reviewing requests and relevant performance data. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, Cameron coordinated a library community training initiative. She also served as a program officer for a charter school, and the deputy director of a teacher professional development non-profit focused on early literacy. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from Temple University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Swarthmore College.
Cameron Voss | Project Manager
Tom supports the Charter Schools Office’s Annual Charter Evaluation, renewal, and new charter application processes, which includes reviewing submitted materials and managing the tracking of charter execution documents. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he served as a program coordinator for an arts non-profit organization in Buffalo, New York, where he taught poetry and also managed the program’s curriculum development framework and implementation. Tom holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication from SUNY University at Buffalo.
Tom Dreitlein | Program Coordinator
STRATEGY & OPERATIONS
Essence ensures the execution of the Charter Schools Office’s strategic plan, oversees sector engagement, and partners with the District to support charter operations. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she served as a charter school instructional leader in New York, and also as a Teach for America Corps Member. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching English Language Arts and Special Education from Fordham University, a Master’s degree in English from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Johnson E. Smith University.
Essence Caleb | Director
Stephanie facilitates engagement with the sector and stakeholders in an effort to foster high quality educational opportunities for students. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she served with a charter school supporting Philadelphia youth with a focus on workforce development, vocational training, and student leadership. She also supported teacher effectiveness initiatives in Washington, D.C. Stephanie holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University.
Stephanie Waller | Assistant Director
Brittany supports the work of the Strategy and Operations team, which includes supporting with the development of resources and guidance for the charter school sector. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she oversaw and evaluated the policy, practice, and customs of the Philadelphia Police Department with a focus on practices that negatively impact marginalized communities. Brittany holds a Master’s Degree in Organization Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Temple University.
Brittany Bronson | Project Manager
Cherron leads the Charter Schools Office’s family and community engagement initiatives, and also supports with operational and logistic planning. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, she served as an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia for six years, worked at a local university in a student support role, and also worked with the Philadelphia International Airport for nine years in various capacities. Cherron has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Chestnut Hill College.
Cherron McCutchen | Program Coordinator
Jasmine manages the Charter Schools Office’s communicative streams, such as the Office’s main website and also the monthly newsletter that is shared with the sector. She also supports the Strategy and Operation’s team outreach efforts around family and community engagement. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, Jasmine worked with multiple non-profit organizations that focused primarily on education, workforce development, and community outreach in both New Jersey and Philadelphia. Jasmine holds a Bachelor’s in History from Temple University.