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SBOE Announces Members of High School Graduation Requirements Task Force

Friday, June 30, 2017
Majority of Participants Reside or Work East of the Anacostia River

Washington, DC - Today, the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) announces the members of its new High School Graduation Requirements Task Force. This initiative, announced earlier this month, marks an historic citywide effort to review, analyze and, as necessary, make thoughtful, implementable recommendations to adjust DC’s high school graduation requirements for all DCPS and public charter school students. The Task Force, under the leadership of Ward 1 representative Laura Wilson Phelan and Ward 8 representative Markus Batchelor, will consist of 26 members who will provide unique insights relevant to high school graduation.

“Through our open and transparent process, we received a remarkable 110 applications from parents, community leaders, and education stakeholders across the District,” said Ms. Wilson Phelan. “We are thrilled that this task force represents DC’s students, with over 50% of selected members residing or working in Wards 7 and 8.”

The application period closed at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 23, 2017. Each application was subsequently anonymized to ensure objectivity in selection. The SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee reviewed each application and selected the following members to serve on the task force. To view a list of everyone who applied to the task force, click here.

The SBOE is excited to work with such diverse voices, including representatives from our education governing bodies, on such an important issue. Below are the selected members of the Task Force.



Laura Wilson Phelan (co-chair)

• Ward 1 Representative, SBOE

• Chair, SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee

Markus Batchelor (co-chair)

• Ward 8 Representative, SBOE

• Chair, SBOE Public Engagement & Outreach Committee

Erin Bibo

• Deputy Chief, College & Career Programs, DC Public Schools (DCPS)

Tom Brown

• Executive Director, Training Grounds, Inc.

• DCPS / Public Charter School Parent

• Ward 7 Resident

Julie Camerata

• Executive Director, DC Special Education Cooperative

• Public Charter Middle School Parent

• Ward 1 Resident

Latisha Chisholm

• Special Education Teacher, Anacostia High School

• Ward 8 Resident

Naomi DeVeaux

• Deputy Director, DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB)

Celine Fejeran

• Deputy Director, Raise DC

• Public Charter School Parent

• Ward 5 Resident

Cara Fuller

• Principal, DCPS Ballou Stay High School

• 5 years experience as Principal

• Ward 8 Resident

Larry Greenhill, Sr. 

• Vice President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

• 20 years experience with District apprenticeship programs

• Ward 8 Resident

Cosby Hunt

• Senior Officer of Teaching & Learning, Center for Inspired Teaching

• Current Teacher of Real World History for DCPS and PCSB students

• Public Charter School Parent

• Ward 5 Resident

Senovia Hurtado

• Bilingual School Counselor, School Without Walls

• DCPS High School Parent

• Ward 5 Resident

Dwan Jordon

• Senior Advisor for High School Research, Friendship PCS

• Former Principal, Sousa MS (DCPS); Friendship Collegiate PCHS (Ward 7)

• Ward 4 Resident

Sandra Jowers-Barber, Ph.D.

• Director, Division of Humanities, University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDCCC)

• Former History Professor

• Ward 4 Resident

Kimberly Martin

• Principal, DCPS Wilson High School

• 15 years experience as High School Principal

• DCPS Parent

• Ward 3 Resident

Sanjay K. Mitchell

• Director of College & Alumni Programs, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS

• Former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

• Ward 7 Resident

Carol Randolph

• Chief Operating Officer, DC Students Construction Trades Foundation (Ward 7)

• 16 years working to expand trade skills in District schools

• Ward 4 Resident

Shenita Ray

• Director of Online Operations, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

• 10 years experience in higher education

• Ward 5 Resident

Karla Reid-Witt

• Family Dynamics Specialist, Jump Start

• DCPS High School Parent

• Ward 7 Resident

Cathy Reilly

• Executive Director, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.)

• Ward 4 Education Alliance, C4DC

• Ward 4 Resident

Jimell Sanders

• Director of Engagement, DC Language Immersion Project

• DCPS Parent

• Ward 7 Resident

Jahari Shelton

• Student, Sidwell Friends School

• Aspen Institute's National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

• Ward 7 Resident

Jane Spence

• Deputy Chief, Secondary Schools (MS/HS), DC Public Schools (DCPS)

SBOE Student Representative

• Member of 2017-2018 Student Advisory Committee, SBOE (TBA)

David Tansey

• Math Teacher, DCPS McKinley Tech High School (Ward 5)

• Math for America, Washington Teacher's Union (WTU)

• Ward 5 Resident

Justin Tooley

• Special Assistant for Legislation & Policy, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)

This task force will examine the following questions and recommend changes to the graduation requirements based on its findings:

  1. What do we as a city want our high school diploma to mean?

  2. How should we measure whether a student has achieved the standards of a diploma?

  3. What changes to DC’s graduation requirements, if any, should be made to ensure our diploma reflects achievement of these standards?

“Our work on high school graduation requirements will be as good as those we bring to the table,” said task force co-chair and Ward 8 Board Member Markus Batchelor. “I am proud that over 100 exceptional Washingtonians answered the call to serve as we look forward to the work ahead ensuring all students are ready for college and career.”

Task force meetings will meet two times per month, starting in July and concluding in Spring 2018. District residents will have many opportunities to stay involved and provide input throughout this process. The SBOE will convene parent focus groups and student focus groups to both generate ideas for the task force to consider and to brainstorm ideas during the course of discussions. The focus groups will be representative of the demographics of students in the city, where half of all DCPS and public charter students reside in Wards 7 and 8. For the latest updates on the work of the task force, please visit