Teacher Leadership Team
Meet the Teacher Leadership Team
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 masters 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.
Catherine is joining the Teacher Leadership team with over 15 years of experience in education, five of which have been devoted to coaching and adult development. Her experiences as a teacher in Miami, Washington DC, and Philadelphia have provided her with a unique perspective on different approaches and models of education. Catherine is passionate about equity-focused coaching and research-based early literacy practices, and approaches coaching as a partnership. She is particularly excited to link her work on the Exemplary Teaching Video Library with her work with SBTLs this year!
Erina Pearlstein grew up in the Philadelphia area and began her career in Philadelphia as a music teacher after graduating from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education. She worked as a K-8 music teacher in the School District of Philadelphia before moving to the charter world to teach high school. Through her experience in the charter world, she took on many teacher leader roles in her school. She also continued her studies, earning her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2012 from Holy Family University as well as her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University in 2017 before becoming an Instructional Coach for two years. She is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University. She is thrilled to have transitioned back to the School District of Philadelphia to bring her love of learning to the teachers and students of the great city of Philadelphia. Through her work with the Office of Teaching and Learning she supports High School SBTL coaching and development, K-12 Teacher Induction, and virtual learning.
April serves as an Academic Coach, supporting the Teacher Leader Academy. This is April’s 5th year working as an Academic Coach, and third specifically working in Teacher Leader Development Before working in Teacher Leadership, she previously coached the district’s highest performing DEEP teachers. Prior to that, April worked for two years as an Early Literacy Specialist for CLI, and as a classroom teacher for 6 years for a charter school in Center City. April earned Masters Degrees in PreK-12 Educational Leadership and Elementary Curriculum and Instruction and holds an Administrative Certification, as well as a K-6 Teaching Certification. As a resident of Philadelphia, April is proud to serve and support her community in their education.
Brenee’ M. Waters
Brenee’ entered the teaching profession in 1997. She started her career with the School District of Philadelphia in 2001 and has served as a Special Education Teacher and an Academic Coach. She has worked in the Office of Teaching and Learning, supporting many schools and teachers districtwide for the past 10 years. Brenee’ earned a B.S. in Secondary Education, as well as a M.Ed. in Special Education from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Administrative Certification from Arcadia University. Brenee’ is passionate about urban education and has made a commitment to teaching for social justice. Outside of work, Brenee’ loves all things Philly, especially the Eagles and Sixers! She also enjoys spending time with her sons and reading.