About Us

What We Do

The Board of Education is the governing body responsible for overseeing all policies and budgetary decisions of the School District of Philadelphia. Additionally, the Board of Education serves as the authorizer for all charter schools in Philadelphia. The Board is made up of nine (9) Board Members who are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. Board Members serve four-year terms that are co-terminus with the Mayor’s term.

Board members serve collectively in the best interest of every student in Philadelphia. As a collective body, the Board sets clear, aligned goals that drive decision-making and policy-making to foster strategic planning and investments in support of student achievement.

Board of Education Duties:

  • Adopt operating and capital budgets
  • Approve investments that align with the Board’s priorities
  • Appoint and evaluate the Superintendent of Schools
  • Consider the values and voice of all stakeholders
  • Evaluate progress toward the District’s goals
  • Communicate to the public the Board’s priorities, goals, policies, and accomplishments
  • Establish and communicate a process by which to seek public input

Board Members


Reginald L. Streater, Esq.

Board President

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Reginald L. Streater, who believes that public education is not only a civil right but also a human right, is a graduate of Germantown High School and has two children attending a Philadelphia public school.

Mr. Streater is an attorney at Feldman Shepherd as a personal injury, medical malpractice and civil rights attorney. He previously practiced law as a class action and collective action attorney in unpaid wage and employment discrimination matters at a Philadelphia based plaintiffs’ law firm and as a commercial litigator at a regional full service law firm. He also worked as a Federal Judicial Honors Clerk for the Honorable Chief Judge Theodore McKee in the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals and as a Law Clerk/Intern for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Mr. Streater holds a Juris Doctorate (doctoral degree) from Temple University Beasley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science and African American studies from Temple University, College of Liberal Arts. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Rho Chapter, and executive board member to the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Mr. Streater engages in various community service initiatives. Mr. Streater is also Co-counsel to the Temple University Alumni Association. Mr. Streater’s worldview as a servant-leader has been shaped by the John S. Mbiti quote: “I am because WE are and, since we are, therefore I am.”


Commitment Letter


Wanda Novalés

Vice President

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Wanda is the Executive Pastor of City Reach Church, with two local campuses including one in the heart of Kensington. Prior to her faith leadership, she was the founding CEO and Principal of Pan American Charter School, an International Baccalaureate school in partnership with Congreso de Latinos Unidos. With extensive experience in teaching and managing in Philadelphia’s public district and charter schools, Wanda brings insight and perspective. Wanda is currently serving as a board member of the Tacony Civic Association and The Philadelphia Gospel Movement. Wanda has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in Early Childhood Education & Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cheyney University, and a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.

Email: wnovales@philasd.org

Commitment Letter

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Sarah-Ashley Andrews

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Sarah-Ashley Andrews is committed to educational equity and to helping all the city’s students reach their greatest potential today, so they have a better life tomorrow. She describes herself as a product of North Philadelphia, the public school system and of advocates who fought for her educational opportunities. Ms. Andrews works as a family therapist at TAG Inspires, and previously served as a social worker with Philadelphia Health Management Coalition. In addition, Ms. Andrews founded Dare 2 Hope, a suicide prevention non-profit, serving more than 5,000 students locally and nationally. She is concerned about the “whole child” and advocating for life-changing educational opportunities for all the city’s children. She also serves on the Administration’s Reconciliation Steering committee, which seeks to build a more equitable city for all Philadelphians. Ms. Andrews has also published, “Move Making Monday,” a motivational book about moving forward and living your best life. Ms. Andrews, who attended W.B. Saul High School, holds a master’s degree in Counseling from Lincoln University and a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies with a minor in Human Services from Lancaster Bible College. She also attended undergraduate classes at Bloomsburg University.

Email: saandrews@philasd.org

Commitment Letter

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Crystal Cubbage

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A Philadelphia native and graduate of Philadelphia public schools, Crystal Cubbage serves as Executive Director for the Philadelphia Learning Collaborative. Crystal began her career as an Electronics Engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. She also served as an Education Volunteer in the Peace Corps, in Cameroon, West Africa. In 1996, Crystal made the permanent career change from engineering to education. For 10 years, she taught physics and chemistry at public and private Philadelphia high schools including Girard College, The Shipley School, and Germantown Friends’ School. In 2007, Crystal earned a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She has conducted research at the educational think tank, Jobs for the Future; started a nonprofit, Teachable Moments International; and worked on teams to open new public schools in her former positions with Drexel University and the School District of Philadelphia. Crystal studied physics at Lincoln University.

Email: ccubbage@philasd.org

Commitment Letter


Cheryl Harper

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Cheryl Harper was educated in Philadelphia public schools, graduating from Germantown High School. Harper formerly worked in the School District of Philadelphia as an Elementary Teacher, Vice Principal, and as a Placement Officer in Human Resources; and was appointed by the late Superintendent Dr. Constance E. Clayton as Director of Human Resources. Following her retirement from the district, Cheryl was called to work for the Camden Public School District as Executive Director of Human Resources. Later under Governor Ed Rendell, she was appointed as a Distinguished Educator for the PA Department of Education, wherein she was assigned to various school districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, helping them make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). During her career, Cheryl served as a Site Director/Adjunct Professor, responsible for supervising student teachers at Drexel University. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cheyney University in Elementary and Special Education, and a Master of Science degree from Arcadia University. She also holds certifications in Elementary and Special Education, Elementary/Secondary Principals, Educational Supervisor and Superintendent. Harper is currently a Trustee for Cheyney University.

Email: ceharper@philasd.org

Commitment Letter


Whitney Jones

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Whitney Jones is the Chief Financial Officer at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC), a mental and behavioral health nonprofit serving children and families. Whitney comes to CCTC from the KIPP network of schools where he held financial leadership positions in the Philadelphia and San Antonio regions. With KIPP, Whitney led the organizations’ budget development, financial reporting, internal controls, general accounting, and accounts payables. Previously, Whitney served as the School Finance Specialist at the DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB), monitoring charters’ financial stability and ensuring adherence to federal and local laws. Whitney was also a Client Manager with EdTec, a niche consulting firm based in Emeryville, CA and dedicated to supporting charter schools’ financial and operational needs. Whitney began his career at Moody’s Corporation, working in public finance credit ratings and strategic planning. Whitney received his Master of Educational Leadership from The Broad Center (merged with the Yale School of Management in 2021), his Master of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University.

Email: whljones@philasd.org

Commitment Letter


ChauWing Lam

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ChauWing Lam has extensive experience in education. She previously worked in the School District’s Superintendent’s Office and in the Office of Evaluation, Research and Accountability. She has also worked in the classroom as a math tutor at Lea and the former Drew Elementary School, as an elementary and middle school English teacher abroad, and as a preschool classroom assistant. Until recently, she led Operations for a leadership development organization focused on supporting school leaders. She has also served as a consultant to the Commonwealth on a panel to review and advise on cyber charter authorizations and renewals.

Currently, Ms. Lam is the Operations Director at GVICC (Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center) which works to expand the capacity, effectiveness and coordination of gun violence intervention programs in Philadelphia. Her drive to ensure opportunity, access and safety for youth stems from her upbringing as an immigrant and the eldest child in a single-parent family struggling to make ends meet.

ChauWing is a graduate of public schools, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a proud parent of a second grader.

E-mail: clam@philasd.org

Commitment Letter


Joan N. Stern

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Joan is a retired public finance attorney who matriculated K-12 Philadelphia public schools. In 1971, Joan Stem became the first paralegal hired by the law firm now known as Blank Rome LLP. In 1972, Joan was assigned to work on the law firm’s first public finance engagement for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – the Commonwealth’s Disaster Relief General Obligation Bonds, Series of 1973. The experience focused her on pursuing a career in the law. She entered Temple University School of Law (now the Beasley School of Law) in 1974 as a full-time student and graduated cum laude in 1977. She then joined Blank Rome as an associate and became the second woman in Pennsylvania to practice public finance law. At Blank Rome she was elected partner in 1983. She served in a series of leadership roles at Blank Rome until joining, as a Partner in the Public Finance Practice, the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC in 2014. As a public finance attorney, Ms. Stern concentrated her practice in financings for state and local governments, governmental agencies and authorities, cultural and sports facilities, institutions of higher education and health care entities. From 1977 to September 30, 2023 (when she retired from private law practice), she served as bond counsel and special counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia and The School District of Philadelphia. Joan received a Bachelor of Arts degree. from the University of Pennsylvania prior to earning her J.D from Temple University.

Email: jstern@philasd.org

Commitment Letter


Joyce Wilkerson

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Joyce Wilkerson has an extensive career in public service. She most recently served as a mayoral appointee and Chair of the SRC, where she oversaw milestones such as the creation of a new teachers’ contract and the return to local control. Joyce started off in Philadelphia as an attorney with Community Legal Services, and later served as Chief of Staff to Mayor John Street. She helped to stabilize the Philadelphia Gas Works and chaired the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. She is currently a member of the board at the Merchant Fund, Scribe Video Center, Brandywine Workshop and Committee of Seventy. Joyce earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Email: jwilkerson@philasd.org

Commitment Letter

Board Committees

The Board of Education has constituted and appointed a Policy Committee. This Policy Committee will provide governance oversight of the District’s existing and any proposed policies established by and pursuant to applicable laws and regulations as well as coordination and reconciliation of existing or any proposed policies among any other committees of the Board. More information can be found in Board Policy 006 Meetings.

View Meeting Materials | Watch Previous Committee Meetings

Policy Committee Members

Policy Committee Duties:

  • Meet twice during the school year
  • Set and publish meeting dates for the Committee
  • Review and recommend policies for consideration by the Board
  • Review and reconcile any existing and proposed policies
  • Provide reports to the Board, as necessary or as requested by the Board
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Board

Joyce Wilkerson

ChauWing Lam

The Board of Education formed a Goals and Guardrails Committee in order to increase both internal and external engagement with the Board’s Goals and Guardrails. This committee engages in monthly progress monitoring sessions focused solely on student outcomes. More information can be found in Board Policy 003.1.

Goals and Guardrails Committee Members

Goals and Guardrails is a committee of the whole.

Goals & Guardrails Committee Duties:

  • Meet monthly to monitor the Superintendent’s progress towards achieving the Board’s Goals and Guardrails by monitoring data related to at least one Goal or Guardrail.
  • Determine whether the Superintendent and their staff is on track to achieve the Board’s Goals and Guardrails.
  • Provide the public with opportunities to engage in the process to improve student outcomes.
  • Set and publish meeting dates for the committee.

Student Board Representatives

The Board of Education includes two non-voting student representatives who serve in an advisory role by representing their peers. For instance, they voice student concerns with the Board at monthly meetings and report Board deliberations and actions to the student body. They also meet with student groups, initiate important work, such as registering student voters, and have participated in the recent superintendent search.

This spring, the Board invites rising Sophomores and Juniors to bring student voice to the Board by applying to become a Student Board Representative and/or alternate Student Board Board Representative for the next school year.

To qualify as a Student Board Representative, students must:

  • be a current resident of Philadelphia and attend a Philadelphia public or charter school;
  • be in the 10th or 11th grade during their term as a Student Board Representative;
  • have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher and be in good standing;
  • be actively involved in their school community and willing to work to support Philadelphia’s public schools, on behalf of their peers, on a regular basis;
  • be willing to represent their peers at Board of Education meetings and to communicate student opinions to the Board and report Board deliberations and actions to the student body.

Click here to apply to be a Student Board Representative for the 2024-25 school year.

Email: studentboardrep@philasd.org
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De’Naiza Watson

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De’Naiza Watson, serving as a Student Board Representative, is a junior at Science Leadership Academy. Ms. Watson is concerned about racial stereotypes and microaggressions in the classroom and believes that school communities can work together to ensure that students of color are not undermined and overlooked.

“Speaking up about issues and letting people know how their actions make others feel can help, especially in classroom-like settings,” Ms. Watson says.

Cavance Snaith

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Cavance Snaith, serving as a Student Board Representative, is a junior at Constitution High School. Mr. Snaith leads the Voter Registration Club at his school and would like to encourage District schools to register all eligible students to vote so that leaders will take students seriously.

“It is important to me to motivate Philadelphia youth to make informed decisions through voting based on their personal experiences and advocating for the things they are most passionate about,” Mr. Snaith said.

Doha Gassem

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Doha Gassem, serving as the Alternate Student Representative, is a junior at Academy of Palumbo. Ms. Gassem is deeply concerned about student mental health and advocates for more attention and action to help all students manage their mental health effectively.

“I am currently working to bring meaningful action within my school through my website and resources,” Ms. Gassem said. “I think it is crucial to have support such as mental health workshops, peer support groups and accessible counseling services to create a more safe and comforting environment for students.”

Parent and Community Advisory Council

The Parent and Community Advisory Council  serves as a link between school communities and the Board of Education by promoting city-wide engagement with the Board and the School District of Philadelphia. Council members provide the Board with input and guidance on the interests and concerns of Philadelphia public and charter school parents, caregivers and community members.

The Council is composed of parents, caregivers, community stakeholders, faith-based leaders, former educators and staff members who are dedicated to the children and youth of the School District of Philadelphia.

Email Us: schoolboardadvisorycouncil@philasd.org

Qualifications to Serve

  • A resident of Philadelphia
  • At least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Affiliated with a Philadelphia District or charter school (current parent/caregiver or a community
    member with a demonstrated commitment to supporting public schools)

Next Application Release: 2024

Council Roles:

  • Act as champions for public education in Philadelphia, supporting District governance by communicating the interest and concerns of public school communities to the Board
  • Take on responsibility to encourage stakeholder engagement and awareness of the decision making process through the hosting of community conversations and other means
  • Be available to attend and participate in monthly PCAC meetings

Advisory Council Members (Coming Soon)