Gray nominates two new candidates for D.C. Public Charter School Board

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has nominated two candidates to fill vacancies on the D.C. Public Charter School Board, which is responsible for authorizing new charter schools and closing poor performers.

The nominees are former charter school leader Barbara B. Nophlin and retired Army colonel Herb Tillery, who now oversees a college scholarship program. The mayor also nominated current board member Sara Mead, a policy analyst with particular expertise in early childhood education, for reappointment.

All three will have to be confirmed by the D.C. Council.

Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said the mayor solicited input from charter board leaders to identify candidates “with a wide range of experience that can bring different things to the table.”

A spokeswoman for the D.C. Charter School Board declined to comment.

The seven-member charter board has been operating with six members since William Marshall stepped down in 2011. Nophlin would fill that seat, serving out a term that expires in February 2015, according to a letter the mayor sent to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) last month.

Nophlin retired in 2009 as head of Paul Public Charter School in Brightwood. Previously, she had worked as an administrator in the old State Education Office and as a principal both at Community Academy Public Charter School and at the traditional school system’s Amidon Elementary School.

Tillery would replace outgoing board member Brian Jones, serving a term that expires in February 2017. Since retiring from the Army in 1997, Tillery served as a D.C. Public Schools administrator and as deputy mayor of operations in the Anthony Williams administration, among other jobs.

Now Tillery runs the D.C. office of the College Success Foundation, which administers the D.C. Achievers scholarship program. (The chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co., Donald E. Graham, serves on the foundation’s board of directors.)

The council’s education committee is finalizing questions for the nominees and will schedule a hearing this week or the next, a spokesman for committee Chairman David A. Catania (I-At Large) said.

Emma Brown writes about D.C. education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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