The Philadelphia Writing Project is sustained through the collaboration of educators and members of the community at large who recognize the value of learning opportunities for students. While the work of the site is carried out by a diverse network of teachers, three groups have emerged over time to provide leadership and direction.

Executive Leadership Team

  • Diane Waff, Ed.D, Director
  • Shirley Brown, Co-Director
  • Cozette Ferron, Co-Director
  • Nadia Mykysey, Coordinator, ESOL Professional Development
  • Michael Mannix, PhilWP Scholar
  • Miriam Harris, Administrative Assistant

Leadership Team

  • Mike Mannix - Invitational Summer Institute
  • Antoinette Davis - Social Media
  • Ron Houston, School District of Phila. - Leadership Team
  • Tia Larese, Penn Alexander - Leadership Team
  • Christine Maher, School District of Phila. - Leadership Team
  • Sam Reed, U School - Leadership Team
  • Amanda Schear - Social Media 
  • Lisa Yau, Kirbride Elem. School - Communications and Continuity

Advisory Board

  • Co-Chairs: Eva Gold and Frank Murphy, Educational Consultants
  • Vice-Chair: Susan Lytle, Ph.D., Founder, Philadelphia Writing Project, Professor Emerita, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Finance: William Capers, President/CEO Pitter Patter Learning Centers, LLC
  • PhilWP Director: Diane Waff, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Grace Cannon, School District of Philadelphia
  • Jody Cohen, Teacher, YouthBuild
  • Deidre Farmbry, Educational Consultant for School and District Improvement
  • Claudia Gentile - Evaluation Consultant, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Ron Houston, Technology Integration Specialist, School District of Philadelphia
  • Cedric Jones, Sr. Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church
  • Christine Maher, Multilingual Manager, School District of Philadelphia
  • Mike Mannix, PhilWP Scholar
  • Kelly McBride, Assoc. Director of Development, Hospice and Pallative Care, Penn Medicine
  • Dina Portnoy, Educational Consultant
  • Susan Raab, Marketing Communications Multimedia Consultant, Raab Associates, Inc.
  • Robert Rivera-Amezola, Teacher, School District of Philadelphia
  • Peggy Savage, Richmond Elementary School
  • John (Trey) Smith, Northwestern University
  • Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

Diane Waff, Ed.D., Director
Dr. Waff is the Director of the Philadelphia Writing Project and a Professor of Practice in the Reading, Writing, and Literacy Program at Penn GSE. Dr. Waff, a literacy educator, specializes in working closely with secondary and community college teachers in all subject areas to establish professional learning communities and habits of reflective practice, leading to innovations in curriculum and instruction that increase students’ access to higher levels of literacy learning. Through curriculum and professional development initiatives, she facilitates positive change in school cultures, transforming schools into communities of learners, creating teaching and learning opportunities to empower administrators, teachers, and students to realize school reform goals. Read more about Dr. Waff on her GSE faculty page.

Michael Mannix, PhilWP Scholar