Founding Board of DirectorsSupplying Teachers and Students With the Tools They Need
“As the mother of a 9 year-old child in a Delaware County school, I understand the importance of providing support to our teachers so that they are able to do their best for our children. Being an active parent is crucial in a child’s development and success, which is why I believe every bit we as parents can do will only advance the goal of helping our children achieve and ultimately be successful as they take their place in the world.”
Ms. Cherriel Gentles is an active member of Overbrook Presbyterian Church, a diverse and dynamic church, which long supported and promoted community activism. In continuing the work to done through the church and other local charitable organizations, Ms. Gentles believes in giving back to the local community.
“I was delighted to hear of the launch of Teachers’ Teammates in Delaware County and it is much needed resource for our teachers. As a parent with a child in the Delco school system, I look forward to working through Teachers’ Teammates to assist teachers with obtaining the supplies they need to properly educate our children.”
Ms. Gentles had her early education in Jamaica, after which she relocated to Philadelphia in 1993 to attend Temple University where she studied Broadcast Communications and Journalism, after which she attended Widener University School of Law – Delaware where she received her Juris Doctor.
She currently practices law in Philadelphia handling Wills and Estates and Family Law matters.
“I believe that helping create equal opportunity for all children and caring for the physical world in which we live are important parts of being human. Teachers’ Teammates offers a program that targets both beliefs. Educational resources go to those in need and our landfills stay a bit smaller as discarded supplies go to good use in classrooms. It is my pleasure to be involved in this organization.”
Nancy Gilhool has been an educator all her life. her career began when she started teaching her fellow kindergartners how to tie their shoes and has continued into retirement. She has been a classroom teacher, a tutor, a Reading Specialist, a Literacy Coach, and an adjunct for the Reading Certification program at Cabrini University. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, her M.A. from Syracuse University, and her Reading Specialist and Special Education credentials from Temple University. The majority of her working years were spent in William Penn School District.
Nancy is a member of Overbrook Presbyterian Church. She has been a deacon and an elder and has accepted many volunteer opportunities through the church.
She has three grown children. She and her husband, Vince, live in Wynnewood.
Raelyn Harman, President
“I believe we are all responsible for all of our children’s education. It makes no sense to me for products in good condition to be thrown away or forgotten in storage when there are so many needs in schools, especially when the disparity in resources between communities is so great.”
Founder and Teachers’ Teammates’ enthusiast. She’s had experience as a Community Organizer, Social Worker, Administrator and as a small business owner.
Raelyn was impressed when she learned about a national network of teacher resource centers but surprised to learn there was not one located in southeast PA. The positive responses Raelyn received from the many people who she spoke to about the concept, convinced her that Delaware County was ready to pool their resources to support teachers and students in this particular way.
Raelyn is acutely aware that many things in perfectly good condition (sometimes brand new) are thrown away. Most people would rather see these items be put to good use but have no convenient way of getting them to the appropriate recipient. Teachers’ Teammates provides a solution to that dilemma relative to items that can be suitably used by educators and students.
Raelyn is an active member of Overbrook Presbyterian Church which has supported working toward justice and parity in education.
Raelyn grew up in Buffalo, NY and moved to Philadelphia in 1979 to attend Temple University and earn her Master of Social Work degree. She and her husband, Gopal Subramanian have lived in Havertown since 2000 with their two children, Peter (25) and Maya (21).
Adriene Irving, Vice President
“I believe that every child in Delaware County should have equal access to a quality education, and if I can help, if only in a small way, by working with Teachers’ Teammates to provide teachers and students with much-needed school supplies, I am excited and happy to do so.”
Adriene M. Irving is committed to lifelong learning, youth development and community service. Born, raised and educated in the City of Chester, Ms. Irving remains dedicated to giving back to her community.
Since 2007, she has been the Director of Legislative and Communications Services for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU). In this role, she tracks legislation that has an impact on education in the Commonwealth as well as manages the internal and external communications of the organization. She maintains working relationships with legislators, school administrators and community organizations.
Prior to taking on this role, she was Director of Communications for the City of Chester. Before joining the City of Chester, Ms. Irving was Vice President, Community Affairs, at the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, where she helped to create a strong Chamber presence in the City of Chester and Delaware County and established longtime relationships with community and business leaders and elected officials.
In addition to her professional duties, she is a past and present member of numerous organizations that serve the people of Delaware County.
Ms. Irving is a graduate of Chester High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Master of Science Degree in Organizational Communications from Shippensburg University. She now resides in Thornton, PA with her husband, Michael. They have two children, Marcellus (28) and Gabrielle (24). She is the daughter of James and Eugenia Williams of Chester, Pennsylvania.
Lisa R. Mark, Secretary
“I am excited to be a part of Teachers’ Teammates with the common goal of assisting in the betterment for students and teachers alike.”
A native of Havertown Pennsylvania, Lisa enjoys giving her time and talent back to her community.
She has held various leadership roles while serving on the Haverford Township Middle School and High School PTO, also serving as Council President of her church. Inspired by her father who volunteered his time to many local organizations, Lisa developed the same passion for volunteering, being a part of something and giving back. Lisa has worked in the direct mail marketing space for 40 years and brings her vast knowledge of communications and marketing to our board.
“I’m a strong supporter of public school education, and it breaks my heart to see the vast disparities in resources among districts, even within districts. Far too many teachers are reaching repeatedly into their own pockets for basic, essential supplies. Teachers’ Teammates creates an opportunity for us to fill the gaps with donated and surplus supplies and goods that might otherwise go unused, or worse, thrown away. Teachers’ Teammates empowers the community to be supportive partners in the education of our children by filling teacher needs. I am proud to offer my help.”
Karen is the mom of two high school students and the daughter and sister of public school educators. She works as a strategic communications consultant, helping public and private companies, non-profit organizations and individuals to better tell their stories and position themselves for success. Karen joined Mercury Public Affairs in April 2019 after a more than 25-year career as a reporter, editor and national manager at The Associated Press.
Karen loves to bake and share food and fellowship with friends. She has served as an elder of her church and has sold countless snacks at high school sports concession stands. She also loves to exercise, especially spin classes at the Haverford Y. Karen is a native of Georgetown, Massachusetts, and earned dual degrees in Spanish and journalism from Syracuse University. She lives with her family in Wynnewood.
Sharon Parker, Treasurer
“Having served as both a teacher and a school administrator, I am committed to equipping teachers with the resources needed to provide educational excellence. Teachers’ Teammates is such a resource. Forging community-school partnerships, Teachers’ Teammates provides supplementary supplies and equipment for the classroom and reduces the need for teachers to self-fund their instructional program.”
Born in Delaware County, Sharon Parker is a graduate of Interboro High School. She continued her education at Temple University, Penn State University, Widener University and the University of Pennsylvania. A career educator, Sharon served the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District as a teacher, principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Superintendent of Schools. Moving to Chester County, she served as Superintendent of Schools in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. In retirement, Sharon has served as a global missionary and seminary instructor in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar and as Director of Christian Education at Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
Jaqy Zalkind, Social Media Coordinator
“I support Teachers Teammates because it not only helps provide for teachers in need but also children.”