Who We Are

 

Isaac Carmignani

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.

 

Fatima Geidi
FatimaFatima is the mother of two sons in the NYC public schools. 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 and a FERPA complaint with the US Department of Education.   She has been  a member of the School Leadership Team at the her son’s public school on the Lower East Side, and served on the District 1 Diversity committee.

 

 

 

Leonie Haimson

Leonie Haimson is a parent advocate who had children in the NYC public schools for 20 years. She is Executive Director of Class Size Matters and the co-chair of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, and on the board of the Network for Public Education. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox News. She  blogs at NYC Public School Parents and has written for Education Week, the New York Times, the Daily News, InsideSchools, Washington Post’s Answer Sheet,  Gotham Gazette and elsewhere.  In 2009, she was named as one of NYC’s family heroes by NYC Family Magazine and in 2020, was named number sixteen on a list of the one hundred most powerful education leaders in the state by the magazine City and State.

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Dr. Eduardo Hernandez

eduardoDr. Eduardo Hernandez is a 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, one attending high school and the other  nowin college. He served for several years as a Parents Association board member and in School Leadership Teams at Primary, Middle and High 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.

 

Margaret Kelley

For over twenty years, Margaret Kelley has been an education advocate committed to confronting inequality to ensure that all students and families have the resources and access they need to improve their lives.  She created the first Brooklyn Parent Academy to help parents help their children, worked with the Brooklyn CECs and provided monthly trainings to help them with their work, and created and wrote the first Brooklyn Parent Help Guide to Public Education in New York City.  She was elected twice to Community School Board 15, Brooklyn, where she served as a member and President.  She has also been an active member of the Working Families Party for over 18 years.

 

Andy Lachman

Andy Lachman has had two children who attended the NYC public school students, and served on several different PTAs and School Leadership Teams.  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 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

BrookeBrooke 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.

 

 

Naomi Peña

Naomi Peña is a native New Yorker raised in the Lower East Side. Her parents were immigrants who instilled the need to excel through education. Naomi became involved in educational advocacy work when her oldest child was given an IEP. She quickly had to learn how to navigate the special education bureaucracy and saw how overwhelming it was to navigate. Through support from organizations, she learned the special education law and lent herself to be a support for other special education parents. 

 

In 2015 she joined the Community Education Council for school district 1. During her time on the council, the council worked on the first ever district-wide diversity admissions policy in NYC. Through the councils relentless commitment for diversity, a version of their plan has been implemented for the ‘18-‘19 school year. As of 2017, Naomi has been the President of the CEC1. She continues to be unapologetically honest about lifting the voices of the most needy and parent involvement in DOE. 

 

Naila Rosario

NailaNaila Rosario  is the President of NYC Kids PAC.  She is a former community organizer, a public school parent,  and the former 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.  She now lives on Staten Island.

 

 

 

Karen Sprowal

Karen Sprowal is a 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.  She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, WABC and Al Jazeera TV news,  and has published articles in NYC Public School Parents blog and Inside Schools.

 

Shino Tanikawa

Shino Tanikawa is parent to two daughters, one a a graduate of NYC public schools, and one who still attends public school. She is the co-chair of the Education Council Consortium, which consists of parents and community members who have been elected or appointed to serve on District and Citywide Community Education Councils.  She is also a member of the Community Education Council District 2, which encompasses much of Lower Manhattan, Midtown and the Upper East Side, and of the School Diversity Advisory Group.   Previously she 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.

 

Tesa Wilson

Tesatesa Wilson was 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 volunteered as a Learning Leader in the district’s elementary schools and has been a resident of Williamsburg for over twenty years.

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