We’ve selected 13 members for our Parent & Community Advisory Council!

Posted on March 7, 2019
Categories: Insights with the Board

As mandated in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter:

“The Board of Education shall convene at least twice-yearly a Parent and Community Advisory Council comprised of stakeholders from across the City to consult on issues pertaining to educational policy and family and community engagement in schools.”

The Advisory Council will provide input and guidance to the Board on advancing the Board’s priorities by communicating the thoughts and points of view of Philadelphia public school parents and community members.

Council members are expected to identify at least 5 meetings in their community to attend over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. They will gather feedback from parents, caregivers and community members, specific to the Board’s Priorities: Student Achievement, Transparency and Accessibility, One System of Quality Schools and Financial Stability.

The Advisory Council is made up of 13 individuals who will serve a full one year term for the duration of the following school year from when they are appointed.

“We are grateful to have 13 individuals from a diverse set of schools and neighborhoods throughout the city,” said Board member Mallory Fix Lopez. “We’re excited to start working with them, and we are looking forward to the insight and support that they will provide.”

Learn more about the Council members below.

Catherine Blunt

Neighborhood: West Philly/Strawberry Mansion

Tonayia Coffer

Neighborhood: Northeast

“I have a deep desire to amplify the parent voice and help improve transparency across the district.”

Shereda Cromwell

Neighborhood: North Philly

“I look forward to serving on the Parent & Community Advisory Council. I will be an advocate for all children in Philadelphia. Mainly trying to be a voice for the voiceless. Children that come from low-income neighborhoods and children with special needs. Because I believe every child in Philadelphia should have access to high quality education.”

Maritza Guridy

Neighborhood: North Philly

“My desire in this new role would be to have the opportunity to be the voice for those that cannot speak for themselves. Not for lack of desire, but due to lack of information and representation in our communities.”

“Mi deseo en este nuevo rol sería tener la oportunidad de ser la voz de aquellos que no pueden hablar por sí mismos. No por falta de deseo, sino por falta de información y representación en nuestras comunidades.”

Amina Malik

Neighborhood: Northeast

Ginny McGill

Neighborhood: West Philly

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!” -Helen Keller

“As a Parent & Community Advisory Council-member, I am looking forward to harnessing the power and interest of the community to influence decisions made for our children in the School District of Philadelphia. When one child succeeds, it is a win for ALL children! We are all in this together!”

Tony Rocco

Neighborhood: Kensington

“One of the biggest things I try to teach my students is that they have a powerful voice and that they need to use it to advocate for themselves and their community. I’m so proud to be able to lead by example and make sure the people in my community are a part of the conversation when it comes to educating all our children.”

Marisa Shaaban

Neighborhood: Center City

“I look forward to listening to and learning from parents and caregivers in every part of the District. I hope to be a voice for them and a champion for public education on every level, including highlighting the wonderful successes happening in our schools. I strongly believe that it is our civic duty to stand up for fair and balanced access to public education, regardless of where you live or whether you have children in the School District of Philadelphia.”

Joellene Sicinski

Neighborhood: Northeast

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the council and representing Northeast Philly. I am excited to help the city and school board work towards equity for all students to have access to quality education and the resource they need.”

Cecelia Thompson

Neighborhood: West Philly

“This is an exciting opportunity because of the possibilities to help families by relaying concerns, providing information on the resources and activities available to families, and highlighting the great news of students and schools to the District and what families are doing to improve their school community. My quote for this year: “Our Children are ICONS Living”.”

Ty Thomas

Neighborhood: North Philly

“I am excited to be on the Council because I get to work with a dedicated Board that wants to IMPLEMENT change immediately. I am most interested in being able to utilize my educational administration and therapeutic backgrounds to see development and growth in the areas of community and parental engagement.”

Bishop Ethan Thorton

Neighborhood: South Philly

“The faith community is prepared and positioned throughout all our communities to be an integral partner with the Board of Education. Parental involvement, safe corridors, and afterschool enrichment are areas in which the faith community has contributed for years. We look forward to providing support by coordinating our resources for the benefit of our children’s needs.”


Reverend Chandra Williams

Neighborhood: Brewerytown

“I firmly believe that a strong education accompanied by a strong village empowers a child to reach their greatest potential.”