Nyla Bell, Board Chair, 2016

Nyla Bell is an education professional, advocate and PSU alumna (class of ’99) whose work in education began in high school when she joined PSU as a youth organizer. Nyla was also staff editor for YouthVoice, PSU’s newsletter (currently titled The Union Rep). As a third generation Philadelphia public school educator, her commitment to working for equitable, high quality public schools has continued into adulthood as a middle and high school English teacher; teacher consultant with the Philadelphia Writing Project; graduate school instructor at University of Pennsylvania; and Technical Assistance trainer for The Metro Center at NYU. Nyla holds a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree with honors and an interdisciplinary focus on social inequality from Pennsylvania State University.

Sonia M. Rosen, Board Secretary, 2013

Sonia M. Rosen is a native Philadelphian and a former middle and high school teacher.  She is now an Assistant Professor in the Arcadia University School of Education, where she teaches courses in the areas of teacher education, youth activism, educational policy, and urban education.  Sonia received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in 2012.  Her research has focused on youth organizing and engages questions about the role of young people in educational reform, as well as how youth organizing practices shape identity and build youth leadership capacity.  She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

Tamara L. Ali Bey, Board Treasurer, 2015

Tamara Ali Bey is a Partner at Creative Business Accounting & Tax Service, LLC.  Prior to starting the business in 2012, Tamara was a Senior Accountant for various companies and has over 12 years of accounting and tax experience. Tamara has a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance Management and is also an Enrolled Agent and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Sukey Blanc, Board Member, 2012

Research for Action

Suzanne (Sukey) Blanc, Senior Research Associate, is an urban anthropologist who studies mathematics and science education through the lens of educational equity. Sukey is also interested in the relationships between school reform and other aspects of urban life, such as affordable housing. Sukey received the American Anthropological Associations’ Ethnographic Evaluation Award. She received her doctorate in Anthropology from Temple University.

Tamara Anderson, Board Member, 2015

Tamara Anderson is an advocate for children and teens, a professional artist, editor, and a prolific writer. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and has vast experience as an educator with the Harcum College, University of Phoenix, Chicago Public School District, New York Board of Education and the School District of Philadelphia. Tamara has taught middle years through adults for over 20 years and has great success in motivating students to reach and achieve higher goals. Tamara provides workshops in effective classroom management for all ages and specialized in therapeutic strategies that combine visual art and theatre with human services, social work, juvenile justice, and education. She is on the steering committee of the Caucus of Working Educators, a board member for Feast of Justice, and a parent member of Opt Out Philly. Tamara writes about educational policy for Philadelphia Examiner and is a freelance writer for Chestnut Hill Local. Tamara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University.

Graie Barasch-Hagans, Board Member, 2016

Graie Barasch-Hagans is the education organizer for POWER Interfaith. He has worked in schools and nonprofits as an educator since 2008 in St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago. In his current role, Graie leads a statewide campaign for Full, Fair Funding of PA public schools and organizes faith communities in Philadelphia around education and racial justice issues.

Cecily Mitchell, Board Member, 2016

Cecily Mitchell is a Pennsylvania and New York State Licensed Social Worker. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She currently serves in the Performance, Evaluation and Policy Development Department at JCCA’s Westchester Campus in Pleasantville, NY, a residential program for youth in the child welfare system. For nearly 12 years, up until 2015, Cecily lived and worked in Philadelphia holding professional positions within various children and youth serving organizations. Cecily has developed a strong knowledge base in the area of youth development. She has a particular interest and expertise in the area of youth social-emotional development. She also has a deep commitment to the welfare of marginalized youth and the improvement of social programs in addressing their needs. She is very excited to serve on the Board of the Philadelphia Student Union.

Christopher Rogers, Board Member, 2016

Christopher Rogers is a local educator emerging into Philadelphia from his hometown of Chester, PA. He volunteers his time with Teacher Action Group Philadelphia as a core member, helping to network local teacher activists across the city. Beyond the scope of his media and technology duties, Chris continues to dream and build under his amorphous project venture, JustMaybeCo.

Leana Cabral, Board Member, 2017

Leana is from Rhode Island and has lived and worked in Philly for 6 years. A graduate of Spelman College, her politics were shaped by black feminist discourse.  Leana was a member of activist student groups and movements in both high school and college, and her involvement in such work solidified her commitment to supporting student organizing. After graduating from college, Leana spent a year in Chile teaching English in a University as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon moving to Philadelphia, Leana worked for several social justice oriented youth programs before transitioning to Director of PhillyGoes2College at the Mayor’s Office of Education.  She is currently a consultant with the Philadelphia Education Fund. She was an active member of Decarcerate PA and is a founding member of Radicante, a newly formed worker-owned cooperative whose goal is to use media and technology to advance local progressive movements. She currently lives in West Philly with her partner and two-year-old, and only a few blocks from her sister.

Alex Dutton, Board Member, 2017

Education Law Center

Alex joined ELC in 2015 as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow.  His work focuses on the representation of students cited for truancy in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties.  A native Philadelphian, Alex completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Alex returned to Philadelphia to serve an AmeriCorps term at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, an alternative school serving formerly out-of-school youth.  From there, Alex enrolled at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he received a JD and MSW, with honors, through a dual-degree course of study.  Throughout law school, Alex remained committed to serving disadvantaged youth.  Alex co-founded a Youth Court at Strawberry Mansion High School for which he received the 2015 PSJD Pro Bono Publico award from the National Association of Law Placement.  At Temple Law, he was a leader with the School Discipline Advocacy Service, which provides direct advocacy for students in school discipline hearings in Philadelphia.  Alex was also a staff member on the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review; his article, The Next Frontier of Juvenile Sentencing Reform: Enforcing Miller’s Individualized Sentencing Requirement Beyond the JLWOP Context, was selected for publication and subsequently cited by the Supreme Courts of Iowa and Kansas.  During law school, Alex interned with various public interest organizations, including the Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Community Legal Services, and the Support Center for Child Advocates.

Unless otherwise noted, all board members live in Philadelphia, PA.