Our Team

Ayana Lewis, Esq., Executive Director

Prior to joining the District, Ayana worked as a litigation attorney at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, where she also represented abused and neglected children as a volunteer child advocate. Prior to attending law school, Ayana served as program coordinator and retention specialist for the Harlem Children’s Zone’s (HCZ) College Success Office.  At HCZ, Ayana worked to develop retention programs for at-risk students to ensure their successful integration into, and graduation from, higher education institutions.

In 2012, Ayana earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as well as a certificate in cross-sector innovation from UPenn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. While in law school, as Community Liaison of Penn Law’s Leaders in Education Advocacy and Reform Network (LEARN), Ayana developed a special education awareness program for parents of children with learning disabilities.  She received her B.A. in sociology from Spelman College in 2006.  Ayana and her husband Michael Lewis spend much of their free time chasing after their spunky, fearless four-year-old daughter, Zala Lewis.

Severin Tucker, Director of Data, Policy and Process Design

Severin is a proud native of Philadelphia and has been working in the fields of education and youth development since 2008.  Outside of work, Severin loves to play music and garden with his partner and son.

Severin’s work in OSP focuses on helping the office collect and use data to drive OSP’s work and the work of partners.

Anjela Alvarado, Assistant Director

Anjela Alvarado has an extensive background serving the Greater Philadelphia region through a variety of non-profit organizations including Junior Achievement, The Enterprise Center and The Marriott Foundation. Her experience includes training high school students living with disabilities to enter the workforce, and coordinating large scale volunteer events to serve local schools, and other non-profit agencies. Anjela graduated from the Fox School of Business at Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She later continued her studies at Temple earning a master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Community and Policy Arenas.

Anjela has partnered with the District in many of her prior roles so she is happy to bring her work full circle by joining OSP. Her work primarily focuses on engaging corporate partners with schools, coordinating a black male mentoring program, and co-leading the External Partners subcommittee for the District’s Equity Coalition. Anjela is Philly native and Girls’ High alum. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her 2 high-spirited daughters, her husband, and her doggies. When she finds the time, she’d like to finish some of the many books in her library, learn to become a better cook, and take dance lessons.

Emily Faxon, Assistant Director

Emily is a deeply passionate social justice practitioner, community organizer, data nerd and people connector with experience at the school, district, city, state and national levels. Prior to joining the OSP team, she managed a variety of large initiatives including a rollout of restorative practices in Baltimore City schools, a national personalized learning initiative, and a grant funded after school enrichment initiative here at the School District of Philadelphia. In addition, Emily leads the School District of Philadelphia Equity Coalition’s policy review work team. Emily likes to rock climb, read, cook and spend time with her community in South Philadelphia.

Marianna Sann, Program Manager

Born and raised in south Philadelphia, Marianna is committed to embracing her story as a first-generation college graduate and daughter of refugees. She is a product of the Philadelphia School District, with a proud background as an alumna of Central High School (Go 273!) and G.W. Childs Elementary School. Marianna spent much of her youth participating in various school-based partnerships like the many connected to OSP, to which she attributes as a big factor in her academic success and desire to serve the Philadelphia community.

Prior to joining the office, she was an undergraduate student studying Journalism at Temple University, where she was also a Resident Assistant and Administrative Assistant at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for three years. Her time at Temple reaffirmed her desire to stay in the city in hopes of assisting students like her gain access to higher education. During her spare time, she likes to paint, go dancing, and practice cooking traditional Cambodian dishes to reconnect with her culture.

Madeline Dahlin, Partnerships Coordinator

Madeline is passionate about access to education, racial justice, and immigrant rights. At the School District of Philadelphia, she supports school-based partnership coordinators by creating tools and professional development to develop and maintain strong partnerships. She leads the Mentoring and Partnership Coordinator Communities of Practice. Previously, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and worked for two years as an immigration paralegal. Madeline enjoys playing frisbee, reading, and riding her bike in her neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

Leah Hood, Partnerships Coordinator

Leah joined OSP after serving as a Partnership Coordinator at Ziegler Elementary and as a volunteer at Lingelbach Elementary. She is passionate about advocating for public education and has an M.S. in International Development from Eastern University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin. Leah has 20+ years experience working with communities, both internationally and domestically. She loves facilitating teams, building relationships between programs and donors, and sharing inspiring stories of people working in their neighborhoods.

Leah lives in the Germantown section of the city and has been a School District of Philadelphia parent for over 10 years. When she is not working, you can find her traveling abroad, gardening in her backyard, or walking in the Wissahickon.

Claire Byrnes, Project Assistant

As a Philadelphia native who grew up in public schools, Claire is excited to return to the city. Her role at OSP is focused on supporting new partners during the onboarding and matchmaking process. She is excited to stay with the team after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA from 2022 to 2023.

Claire recently graduated from Penn State University with degrees in Anthropology and Geography. In college, she spent time in peer advising, digital curriculum development, and the Student Farm. Outside of work, Claire enjoys gardening, cooking new dishes, and playing with her cat.

Jessica La, VISTA Fellow

Jessica La is our Americorps VISTA Fellow through PHENND. As a Philadelphia native, she has attended schools in the Philadelphia School District. She went to GAMP (Girard Academic Music Program) and Stephen Girard Elementary School. Prior to joining OSP, she attended Arcadia University and received a degree in Education Studies. Throughout her time at Arcadia, she worked as a peer mentor for students with disabilities for 3 years and was also a Resident Assistant.

Jessica’s teachers in high school were extremely supportive, which inspired her to work and study in a field that includes advocating for students and helping them achieve academic success. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, journaling, and rewatching Gilmore Girls.