Kenney creates advisory board to oversee pre-K

Teacher Patty Cronin helps three-year-old Makayla Grant open her package of cereal during preschool in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. Thousands of Philadelphia toddlers are starting 2017 in a city pre-kindergarten program, launched this week alongside a new sugary beverage tax created to fund it.


Mayor Kenney signed an executive order Wednesday creating a 13-member board to oversee the expansion and finances of the newly created pre-K program. 


The board will include up to seven members, including a chair, appointed by Kenney and up to six appointed by Council President Darrell L. Clarke.


 All the appointees have experience in early childhood education, philanthropy, child welfare, childhood development, childhood behavioral health, medicine, or higher education or represent critical stakeholder or community interests, according to the city.


The members, who serve 2-year terms, are as follows: 


Kenney appointees:


  • Carol Austin, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Children
  • Stephen Bradley, President & CEO, Bradley & Bradley Associates
  • Patricia DeCarlo, former Executive Director, Norris Square Civic Association 
  • Harriet Dichter, Harriet Dichter Consulting
  • Trae Pate, AFEL Outreach Manager, Drexel University’s Action for Early Learning
  • Tawana Tonkins, Owner, Kai’s Comfy Corner
  • Elliot Weinbaum, Program Director, William Penn Foundation


Clarke appointees:


  • Waadeah Floyd, Government Relations Representative, Office of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
  • Cassandra Jones, Founder/President, Next Step Associates, LLC
  • Megan Langhoff Barry, Communications Liaison, Office of Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez
  • Patience Lehrman, Special Assistant to the Dean at the College of Education, Temple University
  • Penny Nixon, Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Academic Officer, Universal Companies
  • Charlene Samuels, Director of Constituent Services, Office of Councilwoman Helen Gym


The advisory board must submit an initial report by July 15, which will propose goals and metrics by which to measure the program. Annual reports reviewing the program’s budget, outcomes and goals will come out each year starting in July 2018. 

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