Meet Our Leadership Team
What it means to be a leader in OTL
This document serves to articulate what it means to be a leader in the Office of Teaching & Learning, whether the individual serves in a role with positional authority or is serving in a leadership capacity on a specific project or with a smaller group.
Meredith Mehra, Deputy Chief
Meredith currently serves as the Deputy Chief, in the Office of Teaching and Learning. A Teach For America corps member, Meredith began her teaching career with the School District of Philadelphia as a middle school and high school math teacher. After teaching four years at FitzSimons High School, Meredith joined KIPP Philadelphia Schools as a Miles Family Fellow. While at KIPP, Meredith taught 8th-grade math, was the Assistant Principal, and then the School Leader. Since rejoining the District, she has focused her work on the development of teachers across the District through professional learning opportunities and coaching. Meredith earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Richmond and a Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. As a Philadelphia native, Meredith is excited to work alongside educators who are committed to providing equal access to opportunities for all children throughout the city.
Matthew Kornberg, Director of Teacher Coaches
Matt currently serves as a Director of Teacher Coaches in the Office of Teaching and Learning. Matt has spent his entire career in Philadelphia Schools, teaching and coaching teachers. He spent ten years teaching elementary school, and six years as as an instructional coach. His coaching experience includes working as a new teacher coach with The New Teacher’s Project, a virtual instructional coach with EdConnective, and a literacy coach with the School District of Philadelphia. He is passionate about teacher development and ensuring that all students are provided with a chance to thrive. He earned his Bachelors in Elementary Education from Goucher College and his Masters in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
Marjani Merritt, Director of Teacher Coaches
Marjani currently serves as a Director of Teacher Coaches, in the Office of Teaching and Learning. A Philadelphia Teaching Fellow, Marjani began her teaching career with the School District of Philadelphia as a middle school social studies teacher at The Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Rhodes High School. After teaching for eight years within the District, Marjani joined Mastery Charter Schools as an Apprentice School Leader and then an Assistant Principal of Instruction. Since rejoining the District, she has been committed to developing and supporting academic coaches as well as teachers throughout the District. Marjani earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Temple University and Masters in Education from Arcadia University. As a product of the Philadelphia public school system, Marjani is dedicated to giving back what was given to her and that is an opportunity to make a difference.
Daria Silvestro, Director of Teacher Coaches
Daria currently serves as a Director of Teacher Coaches in the Office of Teaching and Learning. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, Daria began her career teaching high school English in the inclusion setting. Passionate about teacher development, Daria became a teacher coach with the Teach For America program in Hawaii and went on to manage a team of coaches, overseeing teacher development and certification for the TFA Hawaii region. After returning to the East Coast, Daria continued her work with teachers by designing professional and leadership development programming for veteran teachers in Philadelphia. Daria earned her Bachelors in English and Secondary Education at TCNJ and her Masters in Education from Rutgers University in Adult and Continuing Education. She is a proud graduate of public schools and feels privileged to contribute to the Philadelphia public school system by ensuring high-quality instruction for all students.
Dr. Amy Summa, Director of Teacher Leadership
Dr. Amy Summa currently serves the District in advancing teacher leadership by ensuring that teacher leaders have opportunities to develop and refine leadership mindsets, skills, and competencies. Prior to assuming this role, Amy served the School District of Philadelphia as both a consulting teacher and classroom teacher; the Coatesville Area School District as an intermediate teacher and in various leadership capacities; and the Unionville-Chadsford School District as a high-school girls’ basketball coach. Amy has also worked closely between the Chester County Intermediate Unit and Goddard Space Flight Center to raise student achievement in math and science. Amy is a graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education with a concentration in mathematics, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine earning a master’s degree in School Psychology. Amy most recently completed her doctorate at Drexel University in educational leadership. Her research focused on creating inclusive school cultures and environments entitled “Exploring Supportive Educational Experiences of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students from an Adult Perspective: A Reflective Phenomenology.” Additionally, Amy currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Mazzoni Center, a local organization dedicated to the health and wellness of the LGBTQ community. As a Philadelphian (Go Eagles!), Amy feels privileged to serve the teachers, students, and community in which she lives.
Dr. Brian Dillon, Director of Special Projects
Picture coming soon!
Brian Dillon currently serves as the Director of Special Projects in the Office of Teaching & Learning. Brian became passionate for collaborative professional learning and new teacher support as a middle school teacher in Washington, DC. Then, he served as an Assistant Principal at an elementary school in West Philadelphia, where he led professional development, teacher coaching, and curricular implementation with a team of upper elementary ELA, math, science, and social studies teachers. For his doctoral dissertation, Brian sought to develop systematic ways for surfacing parents’ knowledge and insights about the school’s responses to systemic racism and at-home learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since joining the OTL team as a PLS in 2021, Brian has led the SDP Teacher Induction Program and implemented a strategic plan for innovation through the District’s Exemplary Teaching Video Library. He is excited to engage with stakeholders across SDP in service of our shared responsibility for students.
Kobi Trawick, Senior Project Manager
Kobi Trawick, M.S. currently serves as a Senior Project Manager for the Office of Teaching and Learning. Kobi earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice & Sociology at Penn State University and her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security at St. Joseph’s University. Prior to assuming this role, Kobi served as a Program Manager for the Acceleration Network. As a product of the Philadelphia Public School system, Kobi is dedicated to serving a role that makes a difference in the lives of the teachers and students through professional development.
Katie Walsh, Director of Professional Development
Katie Walsh currently serves as the Director of Professional Development & Programming in the Office of Teaching & Learning. Prior to assuming this role, Katie served the School District of Philadelphia as both a Professional Learning Specialist, Reading Curriculum Coordinator, and Teacher after completing a B.S. in Education from Temple University. Katie also earned an Ed.M. in Education from Cabrini College and an Ed. M. in School Leadership from The University of Pennsylvania. She is a proud Philadelphia native and a graduate of Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls. Katie is committed to the continuous growth of all District teachers through ongoing professional development and coaching to ensure that students have access to an excellent public education.
Dr. Danyelle Willis, Senior Project Manager
Dr. Danyelle T. Willis currently serves as a Senior Project Manager in the Office of Teaching in Learning. Prior to assuming this role, Danyelle served the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as an associate director and research assistant professor. She has also held past roles with the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC and the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Danyelle’s experience spans various functions in education including: teaching in school and college settings, educational research and assessment, grant proposal development and federal grant project management, school data analysis and reporting, teacher training and technical assistance, and school culture and academic support. Danyelle holds a B.A. in African American studies and family studies from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Howard University. Originally from the South Bronx, Danyelle is committed to supporting success in urban schools and promoting access to an excellent education for all students.
Kyla Leigh-Nelson, Program Coordinator
Kyla Leigh-Nelson currently serves as the Program Coordinator in the Office of Teaching and Learning. Kyla earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Temple University. She is currently enrolled at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), where she is pursuing both a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Psychology degree in School Psychology. As a Philadelphia native and proud lifelong attendee of Philadelphia public schools, Kyla is so excited to be working in a role at the School District of Philadelphia, more importantly with the Office of Teaching and Learning.