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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

Shirley Brown, Co-Director

Cozette Ferron, Co-Director

Nadia Mykysey, Coordinator, ESOL Professional Development

Barrett Rosser, PhilWP Scholar

Miriam Harris, Administrative Assistant

Leadership Team

Mike Mannix - Invitational Summer Institute

Antoinette Davis - Social Media

Ron Houston, School District of Philadelphia - Leadership Team

Tia Larese, Penn Alexander - Leadership Team

Christine Maher, School District of Philadelphia - Leadership Team

Sam Reed, U School - Leadership Team

Amanda Schear - Social Media 

Lisa Yau, Kirbride Elementary School - Communications and Continuity

Advisory Board

Eva Gold, Educational Consultant and Trey Smith, Teacher, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia

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 

  • Dennis Creedon, Educational Consultant
  • Shani Evans, Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College
  • Claudia Gentile, Evaluation Consultant, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Eli Goldblatt, Educational Consultant
  • Miriam Harris, PhilWP, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Ron Houston, Technology Integration Specialist, School District of Philadelphia
  • Alina Macneal, Educator/Writer
  • Matt Mandel, Teacher, Baldi Middle School
  • Mike Mannix, PhilWP, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Dina Portnoy, Educational Consultant
  • Robert Rivera-Amezola, Teacher, Key Elementary School
  • Barrett Rosser, PhilWP Scholar
  • Peggy Savage, Teacher, Richmond Elementary School
  • Heidi Siegel, Communications Consultant
  • Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
  • Latricia Whitfield, Administrator, Mastery Charter School

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.