Philadelphia School Partnership Team
Mark was drawn to PSP by its willingness to define its vision in terms of a bold and specific goal—25% more high-quality schools available for the children of Philadelphia by 2015—and by its emphasis on supporting all kinds of great schools, regardless of their ideology, platform or political alliances. Mark is an entrepreneurial leader with a record of launching and growing new ventures. He has significant experience in fund-raising, partnership development, strategic planning, general management and communications. Having worked primarily in media and marketing over the past 20 years, his commitment to improving American schools was ignited when he joined the board of education for a racially diverse school district bordering Newark, N.J., in 2006. Quickly he learned there is no shortage of good intentions in American education—but that too often political disagreements and bureaucratic torpor block those intentions from leading to better outcomes for students.
Mark served as president of the South Orange-Maplewood, N.J., Board of Education from 2007-2011. During that time the board focused its energies on developing an organizational culture that revolves around rewarding outcomes rather than intentions. The district has developed a strategic plan rooted in measurable outcomes (student test data as well as others), recruited a new superintendent, overhauled the English curriculum in grades K-12, instituted a new, robust system for evaluating teachers, and aligned principals’ and supervisors’ pay with student performance—all while reducing the rate of tax increase five years in a row. The fruits of these efforts began to show last year, when the district narrowed achievement gaps between blacks and whites in nearly every grade while also improving its performance relative to statewide benchmarks.
Prior to joining PSP, Mark led partnership development at Christ the King Prep School, a Cristo Rey Network high school in Newark, N.J. Earlier in his career, Mark co-founded a web venture called What’s Next Media, founded and built a national magazine about books and culture called Book, led the brand launch of telecommunications firm Qwest Communications, served as editor in chief of the leading business newspaper in Cincinnati, Ohio, and helped launch a Hispanic marketing group at Procter & Gamble Co. He has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s journalism and communications school.
Mike manages the organization's outreach and growth strategy, including development, partner relations, and parent and community engagement. He is leading the effort to raise $100 million for PSP's "Great Schools Fund," to be invested as growth capital to support the transformation, expansion and start-up of high-performing schools across sectors.
Prior to joining PSP, Mike worked for over five years with Teach for America, a national organization that recruits, trains, and supports recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools in under-resourced communities. Most recently, Mike served as Senior Vice President for Growth Strategy and Development and was responsible for new site development, regional revenue goals, and partnerships with public schools across nearly 50 current and prospective sites.
Previously, Mike also served as the organization's Executive Director for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Mike has also worked as Director of Policy and Executive Director for the Louisiana Serve Commission and Education Policy Advisor to the Governor of Louisiana. He has a degree from Tufts University and studied at University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Great Schools Fund
Director, Great Schools Fund
Jessica has been working in nonprofits and government on evidence-based reform initiatives for over 15 years. Jessica joined the Philadelphia School Partnership from Congreso where she was Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and General Counsel. In this role, Jessica developed and fostered key partnerships necessary to build and support Congreso’s education programs.
Prior to Congreso, she was a member of the senior management team at the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, where she oversaw compliance with the terms of a federal class action law suit and collaborated with teams agency-wide to implement reform initiatives aligned with the settlement agreement. Jessica also spent 8 years at the Vera Institute of Justice from where she spun-off successful pilot projects into independent nonprofit organizations ensuring that each organization was positioned to succeed for the long-term. While at Vera, Jessica also spent time in Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections where she managed the provision of technical assistance to Governor Corzine’s Government Efficiency and Reform Task Force, which was charged with identifying effective criminal justice reform initiatives likely to reduce state costs and recidivism rates. Jessica is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Trinity College.
Associate, Great Schools Fund
Kerry, through her work with the Great Schools Fund, works to identify opportunities to fulfil PSP's mission of creating and expanding great schools in Philadelphia. To do this, she performs outreach to potential investment candidates as well as completes a rigorous due diligence process to determine how to best allocate the Fund's resources.
Prior to PSP, Kerry was the Director of Investment Analysis at Preferred Proppants. At Preferred, Kerry led business development acquisitions, capital markets transactions, and operational and financial process improvements. Kerry began her career at Deutsche Bank, working for four years in their Investment Banking division. In addition to her business responsibilities, Kerry was selected as Leader in Diversity (1 of 15 internationally) at Deutsche Bank in recognition of efforts recruiting and retaining women at the bank. In Philadelphia, Kerry has volunteered with the students of KIPP and Girard College. Kerry is a graduate of Wellesley College where she completed a dual degree in Economics and History.
Kevin is the organization's Investment Analyst, working to implement an investment strategy in line with PSP's mission of creating and expanding great schools. To do this, he, along with members of the Investment Team, executes a comprehensive assessment framework for all funding applications to PSP.
Prior to PSP, Kevin completed an AmeriCorps VISTA service year at the Philadelphia Youth Network, an education and youth workforce development organization. While in college, Kevin spent four months in Kalimpong, India, at the Algarah Primary School blending classroom instruction, community organization, and school rehabilitation culminating in the construction of a school library- a first for Algarah. Back in West Philadelphia, he participated in student-led education programs through the Society of Physics Students and the Lindy Scholars program. Kevin is a recent graduate of Drexel University where he completed his degree in Physics.
Great School Compact
Miles H. Wilson
Director, Great Schools Compact
Miles manages the facilitation and advancement of the Great Schools Compact, a joint commitment of Philadelphia's education leaders and school providers - including Mayor Michael Nutter, state Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis, the School Reform Commission, and charter school leadership - to ensure that policies, strategies and resources align to a common goal of providing a high-performing school option for every child.
Miles has over 15 years of experience in private, nonprofit, and education organizations in the Philadelphia area. Most recently, he led the regional expansion of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, a national organization providing consulting, funding and advocacy for a diverse range of nonprofits and funders. He was responsible for strategically building relationships with partners in philanthropic, corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors.
Prior to NFF, Miles managed operations the People's Emergency Center, where he sustained external relationships for the Philadelphia nonprofit. He has also worked as a principal and regional vice president at Community Education Partners, an education organization that provides academic and behavioral programs for students to improve academic achievement and reduce dropout rates. Miles is a graduate of Lincoln University and holds a Master in Education Leadership from Arcadia University.
Harlan is a proud Philadelphia native, born and raised in the Northeast section of the city. As a product of the Philadelphia School District, he was attracted to PSP's agnostic approach to encouraging education reform as a way to give back to a community that has given him so much. Before joining the Philadelphia School Partnership, he served as manager of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Graduate Association, handling the day-to-day operations of a thriving MBA student organization. In addition, he previously assisted in the early stages of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia's PhillyHealthInfo initiative, aiding community members in familiarizing themselves with access to medical information and resources in the Philadelphia area.
He is a graduate of the Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania (LPS'10) as well as the recipient of Coca-Cola Share The Knowledge and Phi Theta Kappa scholarships. As a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), he has a strong interest in raising Deaf awareness and rights as well having previously tutored working professionals in American Sign Language (ASL).
Talia A. Stinson
Talia is the project director for the GreatPhillySchools initiative, an effort to provide parents with access to critical information to empower them as they navigate Philadelphia's education space. Prior to joining the Philadelphia School Partnership team, Talia worked as an Analyst for TCC Group, a management consulting firm that works with nonprofits, philanthropic foundations and corporate giving programs in designing "strategies for social impact." She has experience in long-term capacity building initiatives, organizational development, strategic planning, and grant making. Prior to consulting, she served as a program director for a SCORE! Educational Center in Philadelphia; these centers are located nationwide and focus upon computer-based tutoring and overall mentoring for youth ages 4-17.
In the past, she has completed summer internships at the Procter and Gamble Company, focusing on African American Consumer and Market Knowledge, Finance, and Global Licensing. She also worked with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America in Philadelphia and developed a work plan for a major diversity project. Talia is a current board member of Art-Reach, a local nonprofit that focuses on providing access to the arts to underserved populations. She is also active in civic awareness and the city's young professional scene. Talia is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts & Sciences (C'05) and earned a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, receiving a Master in Government Administration with a Certificate in Public Finance (MGA '10).
Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
Kristen is responsible for PSP's communication strategy, including marketing, media relations, and partnership development. Most recently, Kristen was the Communications & Development Associate at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, a second chance program for high school dropouts to earn their diplomas and learn vital job skills through vocational training and community service. She managed all external communications and public relations, and coordinated the organization's private fundraising initiatives. Prior to YouthBulid, worked in the Philadelphia area as a campaign director for Grassroots Campaigns and as an account executive at Gregory FCA Communications.
Kristen is also an active member of the community as a coach with Fairmount Soccer Association and a member of PhillyCORE Leaders, a coalition of rising education leaders working to build a more connected, innovative education community in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Villanova University and is currently pursuing a master in public administration at the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government.
Mindy manages development and fundraising efforts at PSP. This work supports the $100 million Great Schools Fund to create and expand great schools, the GreatPhillySchools parent information resource, and the initiatives of the Great Schools Compact that facilitate citywide collaboration.
Prior to joining PSP, Mindy worked with Alleyoop, a college readiness startup of Pearson Education, where she developed and managed strategic content, marketing and acquisition partnerships. She established partnerships with organizations like National Geographic, NASA and the National Science Foundation, which brought high-quality educational resources to 100,000+ students nationwide. Prior to Alleyoop, Mindy was a Teach For America corps member in St. Louis where she taught high school English and remedial reading. A journalist by trade, Mindy has experience in investigative reporting and was a founding editor of national award-winning North by Northwestern online magazine. Mindy is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and holds a Master of Education degree from University of Missouri St. Louis.
Community Outreach Manager
Joseph is responsible for building relationships with community leaders, informing parents and caregivers about GreatPhillySchools.org, and planning public engagement events.
He joined PSP from his previous position as a community organizer for New Schools for Chicago, an education reform organization. Prior to that, Joseph was a teacher assistant with the Department of Sociology at Roosevelt University and a resident assistant at the Denison University Office of Residential Life. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Communications from Denison University, and attaining his Master's Degree in Sociology from Roosevelt University.