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Here’s who’s running the public schools

(Published February 22, 1999)

The Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees was created by the financial control board the day after D.C. voters elected new members to the D.C. Board of Education in November 1996.

Initially, the trustees were expected to function essentially in place of the elected school board. But members of the school board challenged the legality of the control board handing over authority to run the public schools to another board. A court sided with the elected school board, after which the control board declared the trustee board merely an "advisory" body to the control board. The court said the congressionally appointed control board could usurp the elected school board’s authority but could not delegate that authority. The control board has agreed to return full authority to the elected school board midway through the year 2000.

Currently, the nine members of the appointed trustee board include Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and three members of the elected school board: Wilma Harvey, the school board’s president; Tonya V. Kinlow; and the Rev. Robert G. Childs. Of the five other trustees, Nathaniel Howard was appointed to represent parents and Emily Washington was appointed to represent teachers.

The board of trustees office provided the following biographical information about the five trustees who are not paid as public officials:

Maudine R. Cooper, chairman of the trustee board, is president and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League, a nonprofit community service and civil rights organization and one of 115 affiliates of the National Urban League. Previously she served as chief of staff of the executive office of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for two years of his third term. In 1983 she was named director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights and in 1987 was appointed by Mayor Barry to head the Minority Business Opportunity Commission.

Peter A. Gallagher, vice chairman of the trustee board, is president of Gallagher and Associates, a D.C. management consulting firm. From 1994-95, he served as president and chief executive officer of Source One Financial Services. From 1989-93 he was senior vice president for corporate and consumer affairs for AT&T Universal Card Services. Previously he held a variety of managerial and marketing positions with AT&T and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. He also was a founding board member of MedLantic Healthcare Corp. and served as chairman of the board of the MedLantic Management Corp.

Nathaniel Howard is supervisory mathematical statistician with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, where he has worked since 1978. He directs, monitors and coordinates the work of mathematical statisticians in the Statistical Methods Division. Howard is the father of eight children, all of whom attend or have attended D.C. public schools. He has been active for many years in school organizations, serving as PTA president of Hart Junior High School and McCogney Elementary School and as the PTA vice president of Ballou High School. He attended Yale University, Southern University and the University of the District of Columbia, from which he received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics.

M. Charito Kruvant is president of Creative Associates International, a human resources and information management firm she established in 1977. Bolivian by birth, she has long been active in international development programs, particularly those aimed at increasing the participation of women as business owners and managers. Previously she worked as a multicultural educator, an advocate of bilingual education legislation and a leader in the development of bilingual education training programs and centers in the District, New York and Maryland. She also founded day care centers and community development programs throughout Latin America. She chairs the D.C. area Commission on Civil Rights and co-chairs the Leadership Washington program.

Emily Y. Washington currently works as a teacher and humanities coordinator at School Without Walls. As a teacher and program developer in language arts and humanities at the secondary level, she designed and implemented innovative educational programs. She also acts as a liaison and facilitator between the school and the community, government, business and university sectors. She has helped bring parents, public officials, community leaders, scholars, artists and other experts to share experiences with students and teachers at School Without Walls. Previously, she worked as the humanities coordinator for Ballou High School, as a special assistant to the president of the D.C. Board of Education, and as assistant director of the East of the River Community Arts Program. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English and master of education degree from Howard University.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator