Head of School Search Committee Members


  • Derek Jokelson, Committee Chair: Derek is Senior Vice President of the Board, former Board Secretary, and parent of a TPS alum and TPS 7th grader.
  • Michael Berman:  Michael Berman is a TPS Trustee, Chair of the Advancement Committee, is a TPS alum, and parent of a TPS 4th grader and TPS 1st grader.
  • Alisa Field:  Alisa is a former TPS Trustee and former Chair of the TPS Governance Committee. Alisa is a parent of two TPS alumni.
  • Latasha Harling:  Latasha is a TPS Trustee, serves on the Diversity Committee, and is a parent of two TPS alumni.
  • Jeffrey Mordan:  Jeffrey is the TPS Director of Technology and teaches visual arts. Jeffrey has been at TPS for 20 years and has served as both an administrator and a teacher.
  • Carlye Nelson-Major: Carlye is currently the TPS Lower School Division Head.  Carlye will be acting Head of School during our Head of School transition from July 2017 to July 2018.
  • Jennifer Riceex-officio:  Jennifer is the Chair of the TPS Board of Trustees, former Chair of Governance and Advancement Committees, Co-Chair of the Every Inch a Classroom Capital Campaign and parent of two TPS alumni and a TPS sixth grader.
  • Nina Rivera:  Nina is a TPS Trustee, Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee, and parent of a TPS alum and a TPS 5th grader.
  • Erica Salvi:  Erica is a TPS Trustee, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, Co-Chaired the Book Fair, is a former head of TPSA and parent of a TPS 7th grader.
  • James Waddington:  James is a TPS Trustee, Co-Chair of the Building Committee, and parent of a TPS 8th grader and TPS 5th grader.

Head of School Search Committee Members Bios


Michael Berman

A veteran of political and public affairs campaigns at all levels, Michael specializes in applying political campaign thinking to the public affairs sector. Michael has worked with several of America’s leading political consulting firms and non-profits. He has worked closely with the teams running the digital marketing and the direct mail for the Obama campaigns, for philanthropic leaders such as Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and, for leading advocacy organizations such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Stand for Children.

Michael has helped elect dozens of candidates at every level working with some of the top political advertising firms in the Democratic Party and he applied the skills he learned in politics to his lobbying and public education work.

Michael worked to pass dozens of smoke-free laws and tobacco tax increases all across the country, through his work at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation he helped strengthen a network of state advocates, created and directed programs supporting both state and national health reform, and ran major national campaigns to educate Americans about the importance covering the uninsured and highlighting the success of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

After more than a decade on the road and in Washington, DC Michael returned to Philadelphia where he now lives with his wife and two children.

TPS Connections: Parents founded school, graduated class of 1984 (brother was '80, sister was '81).  Charlotte is now in 4th grade and Edward is in 1st.  I've been on the board for some years - I'm not really sure how many.  And I was on the last strategic planning committee before being on the board.


Alisa Field

Alisa is an attorney, who worked as a litigator with several Philadelphia law firms, focusing her practice on commercial construction law, representing owners, contractors, architects, and engineers. As a construction attorney, she also negotiated and crafted contracts for commercial construction projects. After leaving her construction law practice, Alisa worked as an attorney and writer for the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, until her retirement. Since her retirement from the practice of law, Alisa has worked as an Assistant Editor for Narrative Magazine, reviewing fiction and non-fiction submissions for publication. She is also at work on her own novel. Alisa has been elected to numerous Boards, including the board of The Philadelphia School, where from 1997 to 2012 (with a two year hiatus), she served as Board Secretary, Co-Chair of the Governance Committee, Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee, and member of the Executive, Building and Communications Committees. In her separate role as a consultant to The Philadelphia School, Alisa was spokesperson and liaison to public officials and governmental bodies, and coordinated internal constituencies and developed resources in order to engage with governmental agencies in the purchase and development of what is now TPS’s primary education facility. Alisa is currently on the KIPP Philadelphia Schools Board of Trustees and has served as the President of the KIPP Philadelphia Charter Management Organization Board and as the Chair of the KIPP Philadelphia School Board Governance Committee. She has served on the boards of The Koby Mandell Foundation, The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and The Women’s Law Project. She received both a J.D. and a Masters in Literature and Creative Writing, with Honors, from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Bryn Mawr College. Alisa and her husband Alan Sandals, an attorney, have lived and worked in Center City Philadelphia for more than thirty years. They have two adult children, both of whom graduated from TPS. Leah is a Director at Global Health Strategies, a consulting firm dealing with international health initiatives. Nathan is a Law Clerk for the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court in Boston.


Latasha Harling

Latasha has been Board Trustee for The Philadelphia School for two years. She is an alumni parent of Shae (2014) and Cayden (2016). Latasha is a human resource and payroll professional with more than 10 years’ experience and a career spanning multiple industries including hospitality, education and healthcare.  Her varied positions within Human Resources and Finance has provided a myriad of experience in labor relations by successfully managing multiple labor negotiations in Philadelphia. Latasha is currently the Director of HR Operations & Employee Relations at Inglis Inc.; the largest provider of affordable accessible housing for people with disabilities. She currently leads human resources operations for Inglis Corporation, Inglis Housing and Inglis Community Services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Latasha dedicates her time away from work to diversity, education and equality in the city of Philadelphia. She regularly holds job readiness classes for those re-entering the workforce as volunteer at The Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Prison System and many shelters and transitional housing programs in Philadelphia. She has a focused attention on women and minorities, specifically those with disabilities in the workforce and lends her talents to further equality initiatives throughout the city for those cohort groups. Latasha lives with her husband of ten years and three children in suburban Philadelphia.


Derek Jokelson

Derek is the Senior Vice President of the Board of Trustees. He has served on the Finance, Building, Diversity, Governance and Executive Committees of the Board, and has been on the Board since 2010. Derek is the parent of an alum, Ryan (2016) and a current seventh Grader, Samantha (2018) Derek is the managing attorney at Jokelson Law Group, P.C., where his practice includes a wide variety of civil litigation including civil rights, intellectual property, professional liability, and commercial litigation. When not volunteering at TPS or representing clients, Derek enjoys time with his family and cycling.


Jeffrey Mordan

I am a husband, father of two, artist, & educator, & am currently the Director of Technology + at The Philadelphia School (the + stands for everything else I do that doesn't yet have an official title, like Master Scheduler or Duty Czar). I have a B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art & an M.S. in Educational Leadership from The U of P. My 20 years of experience at TPS has taken me everywhere from working in ASEP to painting walls in the summer, from assisting in Kindergarten to teaching visual arts, from designing the tech infrastructure to helping lead professional development with the Program Team. Out of 101 faculty & staff, I am tied with Dan as the 9th longest remaining member. Out of 29 total, I am 1 of only 3 administrators who has also been a teacher at TPS. I currently hold the undisputed record for longest commute, at 2 hours door to door (when taking the train, on which I'm often asleep), & the only teacher to ever have made a hole in the wall behind their desk (Shawshank Redemption style) as a quicker way to get to the next room.


Caryle Nelson-Major

The Philadelphia School: 2007-present Associate Head of School, preschool-2nd grade. I'll be the interim HOS next year, during the search process. I currently am part of the program team, admin team, and admission committee at TPS. I also sit in on various Board committees including finance, communications, and strategic planning. I have participated in the 2008 and current strategic planning process at TPS, as well as the last two accreditation cycles at the school.  I am a former teacher, curriculum developer, and head of school. I have sat on 3 area independent Head of School search committees, and am a former PAIS Commissioner for Accreditation. 


Jennifer Rice

Jennifer Rice has been a TPS Trustee since 2004 and is the current Board Chair.  She is a former EATS chair, Annual Fund Class Rep., Capital Campaign Co-Chair and has served as Committee Chair of both the TPS Advancement Committee and the Governance Committees.  Jennifer and her husband Michael Forman have three daughters: two TPS graduates and a sixth grader. In addition to TPS, Jennifer devotes her time to supporting organizations whose missions promote education, the arts, and women’s rights. These organizations include The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Vetri Foundation, Women’s Way, Lutheran Settlement House, Rodeph Shalom, The Franklin Institute and The Forman Family Foundation.


Nina Rivera

Nina is an environmental law attorney working at a government agency.  She is the parent of a TPS alumna and of a student in the Junior Unit, and she is one of the TPS Trustees.  Prior to serving in the TPS Board, she was one of the co-chair of the Family Diversity Committee.  Nina also served one year as a TPSA representative.

Erica Salvi

Erica is the parent of a current seventh grader, Isabella (2018). Erica was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2014. She currently sits on both the Executive and Governance Committees, while co-chairing the Communications Committee. Erica is a past TPSA President (2011-2014), co-chair of the Book Fair and 3-time Class Representative. She has previously chaired EATS as well as the Faculty Appreciation Luncheon.

Erica has a BA in Communications and Political Science from the University of Richmond and an MBA in Management from Saint Joseph's. She lives in Center City with her husband, Tony, and their daughter.

Erica has worked as a Project Management professional in both the financial services and healthcare fields. She is currently the Director of Community Outreach and Quality Improvement at Center City Pediatrics. She also serves as the Board Secretary for the MacGuffin Theatre & Film Company and is a member of 100 Women Philadelphia. In her free time, Erica enjoys running, swimming, the occasional triathlon and a good book


James Waddington

James was born and raised in Philadelphia. He and his wife, Lavonia, are proud parents of two children, Isaiah, who is currently in 8th grade, and Sarah, a 5th grader. James currently serves as co-chair of the Building Committee and is a member of the Diversity Committee. A proud graduate of Central High School and Temple University, James currently serves as an Operations Manager for a K-8 school in the Camden City School District. Before that, he served over 25 years as a public school teacher in various classroom and technology integration positions.

James also serves on the board of Black History Works, a nonprofit program that seeks to help integrate the teaching of Black History into multiple educational forums.