Meet Our Board Members

Michele Garcon
Chair

Michele Garcon is the College and Career Readiness Manager for the Camden City School District.  In her present role, Michele works with principals, counselors and teachers to shape the college going culture at schools and increase the post-secondary success of students.  Michele has dedicated her nineteen-year career to providing youth and their families with access to college and career oriented programming.  Prior to joining the Camden City School District, Michele served as Director of College Placement at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy and Director of College Counseling with the CollegeBound Initiative at the Young Women’s Leadership School at Rhodes High School. In addition to her direct service work with students, Michele has extensive programming experience that includes producing and hosting a college-oriented television show. Michele serves as Secretary of the Board of Currently Trending.   Michele holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S. in Education from Saint Joseph’s University.

Anna Shurak
Secretary

Anna Shurak is the Chief School Support Officer of High School for Camden City Schools.  In this role Anna supports, manages and develops High School Principals, Leadership Teams and systems in order to best serve students and ensure preparedness for college and career readiness.  Anna has served in many roles throughout her career including Teacher, Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal, Principal and District Official in Philadelphia and Camden.  Anna is an award winning educator receiving the Young Women’s Leadership Network Blue Ribbon Teaching Award for Excellence in All Girls’ Education in 2007-2008 and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished HIgh School Educator Award in 2008-2009. Anna is a Teach For America Alumna and former School Systems Leadership Fellow and participant of the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship. Anna holds a B.A in Political Science and Policy from Indiana University, Masters of Education and Educational Administration from St. Joseph’s University.

Jameka McGraw-Byrd
Treasurer

Jameka McGraw-Byrd is as Chief Academic Officer at Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden, NJ. Jameka is an award winning educator, receiving the Young Women’s Leadership Network Blue Ribbon Teaching Award for Excellence in All Girls’ Education in 2008-2009 and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished High School Educator Award in 2014-2015. Jameka has served several roles in schools including Business and Computer Science teacher, Math teacher, Roster Chair, Small Learning Community Coordinator and Instructional Support Officer. Jameka has dedicated more than twelve years to improving the education of low-income students. She earned a Master’s degree in Education with an Instructional Technology Specialist Certification from Drexel University and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Peirce College.  She is certified in K-6 Elementary Education, 7-9 Middle School Math and K-12 Business/Computer Science. 

Dr. Penny Nixon

Dr. Penny Nixon currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for Universal Education Companies. Dr. Nixon is responsible for managing all aspects of Universal Schools and improving the quality of education. Dr. Nixon is proud of Universal’s unique focus on the whole child, students’ awareness of self, community involvement and community transformation.

 

Dr. Nixon has been able to apply her knowledge and experience from her previous roles as a district-level and school level leader to advance her work at Universal. A servant leader, Dr. Nixon’s strengths are in improving student achievement through building leadership capacity and advocating for the most vulnerable students in the City of Philadelphia. She has also found success in maximizing partnerships with community based organizations, the business community, educational agencies, and institutions of higher education that result in a system that supports students in reaching their post-secondary dreams.

 

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Nixon has stood in the forefront of issues that support equity and excellence for every child. She is passionate and committed to leading school systems that ensure that low-income students have access to a high quality public education that connects them to a path that leads to college and career readiness.

 

Throughout her twenty-four year career, Dr. Nixon also served as a Regional Superintendent, where she developed, supported and evaluated principals; Academic Coach where she coached and collaborated with school staff to improve learning outcomes; principal, teacher and facilitator where she worked tirelessly to improve school culture, engage parents and community, and create instructional consistency in every classroom.

 

Receiving a great deal of recognition for her work in championing equity, access and excellence for all students, Dr. Nixon was awarded the Phi Delta Kappa International University of Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Educational Leadership Award, the Schoolmen’s Club President’s Award, the Philadelphia Tribune Women Achieving Award, Joan Shepp’s Woman of Substance and Style Award, the Philadelphia Coaches Association Administrator of the Year Award and Philadelphia Frontier’s International Community Service Award.

Dr. Nixon’s scholarly and professional work focuses on issues of whole school improvement, principal retention and development, urban school-turnaround, community schools and school leadership pipelines.

 

Dr. Nixon’s commitment to children and the community extends far beyond the scope of her work in education. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated where she serves as the 2nd Vice President and actively participates on various committees.

 

Dr. Nixon and her husband Derek have three sons - Zhair, Nassir, and Ahmad. Zhair and Nassir attend West Chester University and Ahmad attends Temple University.

Gail Ramsey

Gail Ramsey is a writer, a teacher and a consummate storyteller.  As an adjunct professor at Chestnut Hill College, Montgomery County Community College and Delaware County Community College, she focuses her teaching on public relations, public speaking and film studies.  #Lifematters is her initiative for students creating media about important Gift of Life issues.  She has over a decade of experience as a communications strategist in the legal field framing the narrative for high-profiled litigation, media and the court of public opinion.  Inspired by her work, experiences and a tragedy that took her sister's life, Gail writes about what happens when ordinary people become the story.  Gail has had the unique opportunity to study with best-selling authors at retreats in Hawaii, Cape Cod and Italy.  She holds an undergraduate degree in administration of justice from Temple University and a master's degree in communications from American University in Washington, DC majoring in litigation public relations.   Gail joined Currently Trending board in 2017.

Annetta Jackson is a retired employee from the School District of Philadelphiawhere she served as an Assistant Program Coordinator, Noon-Time Aid and Climate Support Assistant. Annetta has spent her life working with young people. Students and staff love her calm demeanor and extraordinary organizational skills.

Annetta Jackson

Evan Kramp has spent the past 14 years working as an educator in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.  Evan has earned degrees from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Lehigh University and focuses much of his efforts as an administrator on reforming school disciplinary practices from the traditionally punitive approach to a model centered on restorative justice.  He is driven by the belief that creating an equitable educational system is the key to addressing the societal disparities that have become so omnipresent in American society. Outside of his professional life, Evan enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with his wife, son, and daughter.

Evan Kramp

Kelli Woods has served within the field of education in Philadelphia for over 30 years. She has worked in various capacities as a high school teacher, a mentor for first year teachers, a math department chair, Dean of Students, as has served within several administrative roles. She is currently serving as a Math Instructional Coach, in which she helps teachers utilize the best mathematical practices to best serve their students.

 

Kelli has received recognition in Who’s Who among Americas High School Teachers. She has a Bachelors degree in Math/ Secondary Education and a Masters degree in Educational Administration, both received from Temple University. In addition, Kelli is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She has been married to Ron Woods for 24 year.  They have one son Alex Woods, who is a recent graduate from Howard University.
 

Kelli Woods
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