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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

Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., Faculty Director

Jen McLaughlin Cahill, Ph.D., Director

Diane Waff, Ed.D, Director Emerita

Nadia Mykysey, Ed.D., ELL Professional Development

Barrett Rosser, PhilWP Scholar

Kemba Howard, Administrative Assistant

Leadership Team

Trey Smith - Invitational Summer Institute

Erica Darken - Poetry Inside Out Fellow

Lisa Yau - Poetry Inside Out Fellow

Ron Houston - School District of Philadelphia - IT Leadership Team

Javaha Ross - Penn Alexander - TPS Leadership Team

Lisa Lapina - Penn Alexander- TPS Leadership Team

Christina Puntel - Saul HS, Digital Discourse Leadership Team

Sam Reed - U School - Leadership Team

Advisory Board

Trey Smith, Teacher, Marian Anderson Neighborhood Academy and Tamara Anderson, Educational Consultant

Susan Lytle, Ph.D., Founder, Philadelphia Writing Project, Professor Emerita, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

PhilWP Directors
Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education (Faculty Director)

Jen McLaughlin Cahill, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education (Director)

Diane Waff, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education (Director Emerita)

Advisory Board Members 

  • Njemle Anderson, Teacher, Strawberry Mansion High School
  • Angela Crawford, Asst. Principal, Wagner Middle School
  • Patti Cruice, Adjunct Faculty, Holy Family University
  • Shani Evans, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College
  • Rebecca Freeman-Field, Founder, Caslon Publishing and Consulting
  • Claudia Gentile, Ph.D., Evaluation Consultant, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Eli Goldblatt, Ph.D., Educational Consultant
  • Miriam Harris, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Ron Houston, Technology Integration Specialist, School District of Philadelphia
  • Maddie Leubbert, Teacher, Kensington Health Sciences Academy
  • Kyle Morris, West Philadelphia Community Activist
  • Dina Portnoy, Ed.D., Educational Consultant
  • Sam Reed, III, Teacher, U School
  • Barrett Rosser, PhilWP Scholar

About the Directors

Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., Faculty Director
Dr. Stornaiuolo is the Faculty Director of the Philadelphia Writing Project and an associate professor in the Literacy Studies Program at Penn GSE. With an explicit focus on designing equitable and humanizing conditions for learning, Dr. Stornaiuolo centers her work around building sustainable, long-term partnerships, collaborating with communities and partners to enact meaningful change for educational justice, and designing and engaging in participatory and innovative digital methodologies. A former writing teacher in four-year and community colleges in California and member of the Bay Area Writing Project, her research has focused on how people use digital technologies to write, communicate, and participate in the world. Some of her projects have explored the integration of digital technologies in schools, school makerspaces, the development of online composing tools and student-facing analytics, adolescents’ digital and data practices, and teachers’ facilitation of literature discussions online. Read more about Dr. Stornaiuolo on her Penn GSE faculty page.

Jen McLaughlin Cahill, Ph.D., Director
Dr. McLaughlin Cahill (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Philadelphia Writing Project and Lecturer of Educational Practice in the Literacy Studies Program at Penn GSE. She is committed to reimagining schools as ethical spaces of creativity, inquiry, and growth for all students inclusive of race, ethnicity, culture, ability, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, and beyond. Her research interests include sociocultural approaches to literacy development, critical literacy, and queer-inclusive pedagogies. As a long-time middle and high school teacher in NYC, Dr. McLaughlin Cahill authored literacy curricula at every grade level. She was devoted to a collaborative community of practice and professional development, spending several summers learning at the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, and gathering colleagues to present their innovative, research-based literacy practices at local and national education conferences. Read more about Dr. McLaughlin Cahill on her Penn GSE faculty page.

Diane Waff, Ed.D., Director Emerita 
Dr. Waff is the Director Emerita of the Philadelphia Writing Project and a recently retired Professor of Practice 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 Penn GSE faculty page.