Educators for Excellence’s National Board of Directors brings diverse professional expertise and experience to their critical role of providing governance and strategic advice for how we can support positive teacher-led change at the school, district, state, and federal levels. Half of non-staff members are current classroom teachers, ensuring we stay focused and up-to-date on the issues that are impacting students and the teaching profession.
National Board Members
Peter Flaherty, Chair
Peter Flaherty is Managing Director of Arcon Partners, LLC, a private investment firm (since 2005), and is currently a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, Inc. At McKinsey, he worked predominantly with financial institutions, as well as media and information companies. Peter is active in private investments and for many years served on, and led, McKinsey’s Investment Advisory Committee, which is responsible for pension and discretionary partner investments, with a particular focus on alternative investments. He serves on the Boards of the NYC Leadership Academy, which focuses on principal leadership training in the public schools, The Rockefeller University, The Foreign Policy Association, The Kenyon Review, and TechnoServe. He is a member of the Advisory Council of Johns Hopkins Univerisity's School of Advanced International Studies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Peter is a graduate of Stanford University, the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the Harvard Business School.
As a child, Jemal Graham led a globetrotter’s life, living with his mother in New York City, Los Angeles and even Lagos, Nigeria. Jemal credits his mother with his life-long love of learning and appreciation for the value of quality education. After graduating from Columbia University with a dual degree in Economics & Political Science, Jemal spent several years in the worlds of finance and real estate development before taking his love of mathematics to the classroom as a New York City Teaching Fellow. After several years as a middle school teacher, Jemal recognized the need for educators’ to have a say in the education policies that are formed in halls of power. His desire to ensure that teachers' voices are heard led him to become a Teaching Ambassadors Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education. It is also drove him to become active with Educators for Excellence. Jemal earned his master’s degree in teaching from Pace University. In 2008, he was selected as a Master Teacher with Math for America, a national organization dedicated to improving mathematics education. In 2012, Jemal attained National Board Certification as a secondary mathematics teacher.
Michael Loeb, Treasurer
Michael Loeb is a middle school science and special education teacher at the Urban Institute of Mathematics in the Bronx. There, he serves as a union chapter chair, an instructional coach, grade-team leader, and mentor. His school has been frequented by the City’s school chancellor, the State’s education commissioner, Albany politicians, and others. He was a NYC Big Apple Award finalist in 2016.
Since 2011, Michael has served as treasurer of E4E's National Board of Directors. As a Teacher Leader he has recruited teachers to join E4E, co-authored two policy papers, led panel discussions, spoken at events, and been featured in the press. Michael holds a master’s degree in education from the City College of New York and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in journalism.
Freeda Pirillis is a National Board Certified Teacher and IB PYP Teacher and Coordinator at Agassiz Elementary in Chicago. Over her 17-year career, she has served in both the public and private spheres, actively working to advance the teaching profession through advocacy work at the district, state, and national level. She served on the Chicago Public Education Fund Educator Advisory Committee, on the National Council on Teacher Quality Teacher Advisory Group, on VIVA’s Leadership Council, and most recently, on Advance Illinois’ Educator Advisory Committee. She is a 2015-17 Hope Street National Teacher Fellow and recently collaborated with the US Department of Education, AACTE, and the University of Kentucky to gather feedback from teachers nationwide on their teacher preparation experiences in order to develop a feedback tool for student teachers. She grew up in Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools. She has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and a M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education.
As TNTP’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weisberg oversees TNTP’s executive team and all aspects of the organization’s operations, strategy and growth. Prior to becoming CEO in June 2015, Dan was the Executive Vice President for Performance Management and General Counsel. In this role, he built and led a 130-person team to support the efforts of school systems and states nationwide to recruit, develop and retain effective teachers and principals.
Before TNTP, Dan served as Chief Executive of Labor Policy and Implementation for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), the country’s largest public school system. In this role, he led negotiations between the Department and the United Federation of Teachers that resulted in a series of groundbreaking reforms, including the city's highly regarded "mutual consent" system, which gives teachers and schools the primary voice in school staffing. He also led a team that provided labor support to NYCDOE’s 1,700 principals and implemented a number of high-stakes talent initiatives. Before joining the NYCDOE, Dan was a Partner in the New York office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he led the firm’s east coast labor and employment practice. He holds a J.D. from New York University Law School and a BA in Political Science from Columbia University.
Sydney Morris, Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Sydney was born and raised in New York, but truly developed her passion for education while a student at Tulane University, where she worked with students in the New Orleans Public School system following Hurricane Katrina and developed after-school dance programs for low-income students with the nonprofit New Orleans Outreach.
After graduating with a degree in political science, Sydney taught second- and third-graders in the Bronx, and designed and led her school’s first-ever after-school ballet program while pursuing her master’s degree at Pace University.
Sydney co-founded Educators for Excellence to address the lack of teacher input in the crucial education policy decisions that shape our classrooms and the teaching profession. Sydney has been named one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 Rising Political Stars, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Education and has completed the Exponential Fundraising for Nonprofit Leaders course at Harvard University.
Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Growing up the son of a teacher in California, Evan was always interested in education. From an early age, he realized his access to an amazing education was not a gift that is distributed equitably across our country.
His teaching career began in high school when he started coaching the VIP soccer team for children with special needs and both a boys and girls AYSO team. Evan continued his educational work while a student at Yale University, where he wrote his thesis on the impact of No Child Left Behind on urban school systems and worked with students as the head of the Luther House Tutoring Program.
After graduating from Yale with a degree in political science, Evan became a sixth-grade teacher in the Bronx, while earning his master’s degree in teaching from Pace University.
Evan co-founded Educators for Excellence to use his political experience from working on city, state and federal campaigns to better organize teacher voices as advocates in shaping education policy. Evan has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Education.
Sivan Nemovicher, Emeritus
Sivan Nemovicher Hong was the founding Board Chairwoman of Educators for Excellence. She is a former partner at The Bridgespan Group and has experience across a variety of nonprofit fields and topics including advocacy, funding models, civic engagement, education, and philanthropy. Sivan has also focused on social media and has co-authored several articles on this topic including, Tweeting for a Better World and Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations. Prior to joining Bridgespan, Sivan worked for 10 years as a management consultant to for-profit and non-profit organizations on strategy and operations issues. At PwC, Sivan was a Director in its Organizations, People and Change practice and served a mix of for-profit media and technology clients and non-profit clients in the global development and education sectors. Prior to PwC, Sivan worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she provided guidance about procurement and budgeting strategies to city, state, and federal government agencies. Sivan holds a BA from Rutgers University in Political Science. Her graduate studies centered on Social Justice and Game Theory (New York University) and International Relations (University of Virginia) where her dissertation focused on human rights and public policy. Sivan received her MBA in Strategy and Operations from The University of California, Irvine. She is a Board member of the Rita Allen Foundation and is an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business where she teaches courses on social entrepreneurship. She currently runs her own consulting practice.