Who We Are
Isaac Carmignani has been a public school parent and an education advocate for eleven years. In that time he has served on PTAs, School Leadership Teams, was a Co-President of Community District Education Council 30 in Queens representing the neighborhoods of of Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunters Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside. In this role and as a member of the CDEC zoning committee, he has learned the importance of respecting the community, and gained a better sense of what community engagement really means. Professionally, Carmignani works in electronic technology at a Federal agency and is returning to school to finish pursuing a degree in the sciences. He is currently a mayoral appointee on the Panel for Educational Policy.
Lisa Donlan has been a NYC public school parent since 1995, serving on various PTAs, School Leadership Teams, and District Leadership Team and currently as president of the Community Education Council for District One on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has authored policy proposals and analyses, and campaigned for equitable admissions policies, most currently through the Community Controlled Choice Project. In these roles, Donlan has worked to support families and educators to participate in decision-making at the school and community levels, by organizing public meetings, hearings, forums and trainings for parents and community members.. A member of the Grassroots Education Movement, she contributed to the film “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.” Donlan has an MBA and MA in French Studies from Penn State University.
After her special needs son was mistreated at the Upper West Success Academy, Fatima Geidi pulled him out of the charter school and subsequently filed a civil rights complaint with the US Department of Education. Last year she was a member of the School Leadership Team at the Earth School, a public school in District 1 on the Lower East Side, and served on the district’s Diversity committee.
Leonie Haimson is a long time parent advocate who had children in the NYC public schools for 17 years. She is Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a non-profit advocacy group working for smaller class sizes, and before that, worked at the Educational Priorities Panel. In 2011, she co-founded Parents Across America. Haimson regularly speaks before parent and government groups and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox News. She blogs at NYC Public School Parents and Huffington Post and opinion pieces have been published in Education Week, the New York Times, the Daily News, InsideSchools, Washington Post’s Answer Sheet, Gothamschools, Gotham Gazette and elsewhere. In 2009, she was named as one of NYC’s family heroes by NYC Family Magazine.
Dr. Eduardo Hernandez
Dr. Eduardo Hernandez is a current member of the Community Education Council in District 8 in the Southeast section of the Bronx covering Throgs Neck, Castle Hill, Soundview and Hunts Point. He has two daughters currently attending high school and another in middle school. He served for several years as a Parents Association board member and currently serves in School Leadership Teams at two separate schools. He is a military veteran who served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps during Desert Storm. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from the City College of New York, and Master and Doctoral degrees in Engineering from the CUNY Graduate Center. As a former student research fellow, he conducted research funded by the Sloan foundation, NIH, NASA and NOAA, and was selected as a NASA student ambassador.
Andy Lachman is the parent of two NYC public school students, and currently serves as the PTA Treasurer at one school and the VP of external affairs at another. Every year for the past decade, he has served as a PTA Executive officer and as a SLT member. He founded Parent Leaders of Upper Eastside Schools (PLUS), an education advocacy group dedicated to improving education community wide. He is especially proud that this group of parents from all UES middle and elementary schools have worked collaboratively to help open three new public elementary schools and are now working on a new middle school. He has a MS in finance from Boston University and a MBA in marketing from Hofstra University. He owns Promotion Promotion, a company that specializes in promotional products, packaging, and printing, and Fiscal Guardians, a financial accounting consulting firm that serves small business and not-for-profits.
Brooke Parker is a former member of the CEC14 and a founding member of Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents: Our Public Schools (WAGPOPS!), a public school parent advocacy group supporting District 14’s neighborhood public schools. A public school parent since 2006, Brooke has served on local and citywide groups addressing diversity in NYC public schools and is a member of Opt Out NYC.
Naila Rosario is a former community organizer, a public school parent at PS 172, and the President of the Community Education Council in District 15, representing the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Boreum Hill, Park Slope, Gowanus, Sunset Park and parts of Fort Greene.
Karen Sprowal is a former charter school parent, mother of three who resides in the Heights community of Harlem. She serves on her district community board, education and landmarks/preservationist committees. She is a museum docent at Morris-Jumel and owner of Experience the Heights tour company. Her son was the focus of a New York Times article that subsequently led to exposure of charter schools illegal “Counseled-Out” practices of students with special needs. She continues to advocate for policy changes on many public education fronts to address class sizes, expansion of charter schools, student privacy and high stakes testing.
Karen is a graduate of Old Westbury with a professional history in community organizing. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, WABC and Al Jazeera TV news. Karen has published articles in NYC Public School Parents blogs and Inside Schools.
Shino Tanikawa is parent to two daughters, a high school senior and a fifth grader, both in public schools in Manhattan. She is currently the President of the Community Education Council District 2, which encompasses much of Lower Manhattan, Midtown and the Upper East Side. She also sits on the 75 Morton Street Task Force of the Community Board #2 in Greenwich Village. Prior to serving on the CECD2, Tanikawa was a member of the Parent Commission for School Governance and District 2 PTA Presidents’ Council .She has been an officer of the PTA at her daughters’ schools, as well as on their School Leadership Teams. Tanikawa is also an environmental educator, and has hosted numerous workshops, led field trips, and taught classes at all grade levels. She has a Master of Science in Marine Environmental Sciences from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Design from Parsons School of Design.
Tesa Wilson is a public school parent and was formerly the President of Community Education Council in District 14 between 2010 and 2015, representing the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick. She has been a member of the Community Education Council for eight years, has volunteered as a Learning Leader in the district’s elementary schools, is a member of the District Leadership team, and has been a resident of Williamsburg for over twenty years.