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Mayor Adams Announces Appointment of New Members to Panel for Educational Policy

March 22, 2022

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced his appointment of members to the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), representing a broad cross-section of New York City and his administration’s commitment to closely collaborating with families, community members, and the business community on the decisions that most impact New York City schools. The PEP replaced the former Board of Education in 2002 and is part of the governance structure responsible for the city’s public schools.

The mayor today named Dr. Vasthi Acosta, Tom Allon, Gregory Faulkner, Dr. Angela Green, Anthony Lopez, Alan Ong, Karina Taveras, and Gladys Ward as his appointees to the PEP. The newly appointed members bring with them a diverse range of experiences spanning school administration, education policy, the private sector, and, most importantly, firsthand knowledge as parents. 

“Parent and community engagement is an essential component of my vision for education in New York City, and that is why I’m excited to begin what I know will be an effective and fruitful partnership with the panel members announced today,” said Mayor Adams. “I’ve said it over and over again: If we do not educate, we incarcerate, and so this panel will be vital in helping to ensure our young people have every tool at their disposal to succeed in life.”

“The best decisions are made when everyone is at the table, and this panel represents invaluable experience that will be critical as we reimagine our schools,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David Banks. “I look forward to partnering with every new PEP member in the work of improving the educational outcomes of our youngest New Yorkers.”

The PEP is established pursuant to State Education Law, and it is responsible for approving standards, policies, and objectives directly related to educational achievement and instruction, as well as the Chancellor’s Regulations, significant changes in school utilization, budgetary items, and department contracts.

About the New Panel Members:

Dr. Vasthi Acosta is the executive director of Amber Charter Schools. Dr. Acosta previously worked in the New York City Department of Education as an assistant principal, consultant, and teacher. She was a college professor at Hostos Community College in the Early Childhood Education department. Dr. Acosta received both a Doctor of Education (EdD) and Master of Art degrees from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She also holds a Master of Science degree from Bank Street College of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.

Tom Allon is the publisher of City & State and has over three decades of experience in New York’s media world, both on the publishing and editorial side of the business. Allon has also been an educator, first as an English and journalism teacher at his alma mater, Stuyvesant High School, in the mid-1980s, and then, more recently, as an adjunct professor of journalism at Hunter College.

Gregory Faulkner has extensive experience working as an administrator, coordinator, and counselor, most recently serving as chief of staff for a member of the New York City Council. Prior to that, Faulkner served as a coordinator for the Center for Leadership at LaGuardia Community College. Faulkner received his B.A. in political science from Fordham University.

Dr. Angela Green has extensive experience in education, most recently serving as principal of Richard S. Grossley Middle School 8 in Jamaica, New York, before retiring in 2018. Dr. Green has also served as principal for multiple middle schools in the Bronx, as well as a teacher and assistant principal earlier in her career. Dr. Green has received numerous awards for her service and leadership, and most recently received her EdD in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.

Anthony Lopez is an accomplished non-profit executive and passionate anti-racist education visionary, with extensive experience with community-based, regional, and national youth-serving organizations. Lopez currently serves as founder of NetWeavers Affinity Group and has previously served as CEO of the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School.

Alan Ong previously served as president of Community Education Council D26 and maintains years of experience in multiple roles with Reuters America Inc., Thomson Reuters LLC, and Refinitiv. Ong is also a member of Queens Community Board 8, president of Union Turnpike Merchants Association, a vice president of Friends of Fresh Meadows Library, a member of the board of directors of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, and a member of the 107th Precinct Community Council and Mid-Queens Community Council.

Karina Taveras is a project manager with a solid history of success in managing construction projects and commercial and residential leasing projects — currently serving as a related home expert for the Related Companies. Taveras is a product of public schools and a State University of New York alum, as well as the parent of a high school charter student.

Gladys Ward is a public school parent and a member of Community Education Council 24. Ward is an administrative professional with more than 25 years of experience supporting C-suite executives and senior-level management in highly dynamic non-profit, corporate, private, and municipal sectors. Ward currently serves as executive assistant to the Office of the Chief Executive Officer for MMBB Financial Services.


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