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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

Diane Waff, Ed.D, Director

Nadia Mykysey, Coordinator, ESOL 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, Chester Arthur School and Tamara Anderson, Educational Consultant

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

PhilWP Director 
Diane Waff, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

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
  • Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

About the Director

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 Penn GSE faculty page.