The Pennsylvania Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Statewide Advisory Board supports the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in moving the 21st CCLC program forward to most effectively help students access high-quality afterschool experiences. By representing grantees’ interests and providing feedback to PDE, the Pennsylvania Advisory Board encourages best practices, effective resources and training for afterschool programs.

Advisory Board Members

Pantea Shademani headshot

Pantea Shademani, Chair

Pantea Shademani, M.A., is the Program Director of the 21st Century SHINE Afterschool Program in Wayne and Pike Counties at the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance. With a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, Pantea started her career working with at-risk children and adolescent and their families. She moved to Pennsylvania from California in 2015 to focus on trauma-specific therapy with children and adolescents before transitioning to her role as a Program Director in 2019. She has more than 13 years of experience working with nonprofit mental health and at-risk populations and is excited to serve as Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Education 21ts CCLC Statewide Advisory Board.

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Rachel Strucko headshot

Rachel Strucko, Vice Chair

Rachel Strucko is Executive Director of the SHINE After School Program in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties. The Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) is a nationally recognized Out of School Time (OST) program administered by Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). SHINE is the result of a grass-roots initiative that began in 2004 and has served over 4500 academically at-risk K-12th grade students representing eight districts, spanning over 750 square miles in rural Northeast, Pennsylvania. Ms. Strucko helped to create the Middle School Career Academy which has been a flagship program for SHINE since 2006. SHINE is currently operating 13 afterschool sites in nine school districts across Carbon and Schuylkill Counties. SHINE is the heart of the SHINEonPA Ecosystem. Its makerspace model has been implemented in 11 school districts.

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Christian Holland headshot

Christian Holland, Chair Emeritus

Christian Holland was the Senior Director for Episcopal Community Services Out of School Time Educational Initiatives and Programs until he recently transitioned into the role of Vice President of Programs at the Philadelphia Youth Network. He will continue as the 21st CCLC Advisory Board chair until his term ends in February 2024. Christian is a highly functional, visionary leader and strategic professional with over 20 years of human services/educational experience. He has a history of repeated success in turnaround operations and is a respected administrator with a reputation for high performance. In Episcopal Community Services, he had oversight of all 21st Century Community Learning Center cohorts. Christian has a Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts and two Master’s Degrees; one in Divinity and one in Business Administration, where he finished with honors. He is an active member of his community, serving as Chairperson for Oasis Prayer and Recovery Centers and Ministries, International Volunteer Team Leader/ Endorser of the Council of Accreditation, and a member of PSAYDN and the Philadelphia OST Coalition. He is currently serving as Chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Education 21st CCLC Statewide Advisory Board.

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Heather Dailey headshot

Heather Dailey

Heather Dailey, M.Ed., is the 21st Century Development Specialist/District Grant Writer for Pottstown School District as well as the Grants Manager for the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Heather began her career specializing in at-risk youth education while living on an Army base in Baumholder, Germany where she was the first overseas recipient of the School Age Credential. In 1999 she joined the team at the Phoenixville YMCA (now Philadelphia Freedom YMCA). Following that she became the Executive Director of Building A Better Boyertown, the Before/After School and Summer Camp Director for LifeSpan School and Daycare and the Chief Development Officer for Olivet Boys & Girls Club. Heather is working towards a Master of Public Administration at West Chester University and holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Marketing. Heather lives in Pottstown, PA with her husband Matthew and their two cats, Fergus and Nero. In her downtime she enjoys paddle boarding, working in her flower beds, going to the beach and traveling.

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David J. George

Mr. David J. George is the 21st Century Project Manager in the Allentown City School District. He has served Allentown as a classroom teacher, behavior management specialist, OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Trainer, 21st Century coordinator, head basketball coach, and head baseball coach. Most notably, David became the first high school athletic director and Dean of Students at Lincoln Leadership Academy (2011-16), where he was also the first African-American Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (P.I.A.A.) Athletic Director in the history of District XI. David earned his Bachelors of Art Degree at California University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and a Athletic Administration Certification (CAA) in 2014. David is married to Courtney Elizabeth George, the father of 5 children, and their dog “River.” David is an avid fisherman and owner/operator of “Myles of Fishin’ Guide Service.” David is a proud veteran of the US Army and served as an infantry soldier and M113 armored tank driver. David is excited to serve both the PA 21st Century Advisory Board and students from the state of Pennsylvania.

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Maritza González

Maritza González is the Director of Youth and Family Services at Sunrise of Philadelphia. She has a diverse 20-year background in youth development and out-of-school time. Since 2018, Maritza plans, coordinates and manages 21st CCLC services and staff for multiple Sunrise K-12 site locations in the city of Philadelphia. Past work experience also includes budget management, staff recruitment and compliance. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a concentration in Education and History. She is excited to begin the important work of informing the state department on matters important to the 21st CCLC community.

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Yolanda Haywood Gross headshot

Yolanda Haywood Gross

Yolanda Haywood Gross is the Youth and Family Education Administrator at The Salvation Army Harrisburg. She is the Director of the Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC Roller Enrichment Academy in Steelton-Highspire School District. She is a certified Trauma-Skilled Schools Model Facilitator with The National Dropout Prevention Center. During her 12 years at TSA Harrisburg, she has served as a Facilitator, Curriculum Developer and Coordinator and with 24 years of experience working in the Greater Harrisburg Area with families, women and youth, she had the opportunity to share with thousands of students from kindergarten – high school. Yolanda has a passion for learning and empowering and is currently seeking a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership to further the enhancement of people and programming. She enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband and spending time with family and friends.

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Christine M Haslett headshot

Christine M. Haslett

Christine Haslett is the 21st Century Grant Project Manager for the Warren County School District. In this capacity since 2013, she oversees the Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC programs that serve four Warren County School District sites and one site at the Tidioute Community Charter School. Christine is responsible for managing staff, budgeting, reporting, and planning and developing curriculum and activities. Christine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Gannon University and a K-6 elementary education teaching certificate from Edinboro University. After fifteen years working in the field of engineering, she spent eight years as a substitute teacher and two years as a third-grade language arts daytime tutor. In her community, Christine has served as the president of the Young Mother’s Study Club, the president of the Warren Band Boosters and a committee chairman for Troop 8 of the Boy Scouts of America. She is currently serving on the Pennsylvania Department of Education 21st CCLC State Advisory Board.

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Megan Lafferty headshot

Megan Lafferty

Megan Lafferty holds the title of Director of Administration for the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP). She manages the day-to-day administrative and business affairs for PAEP. PAEP manages three 21st CCLC cohorts that deliver the STEAM After School Program in 14 different schools during the school year and summer. Megan graduated from the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a concentration in Ballet and from Drexel University with a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. Her roots in dance have allowed her to continue to contribute to the world of dance through her teaching and have grounded her in becoming a professional in the world of non-profit business. Megan has over 25 years of teaching experience and 20 years of non-profit experience. As a member of the Advisory Board, Megan appreciates the role she serves as a representative of 21st Century grantees across the state that work tirelessly to serve students.

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headshot of Samantha Nicholson

Samantha Nicholson

Samantha Nicholson is the Youth Programs Supervisor at the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. She oversees and coordinates the 21st Century Community Learning Center programming for Cohorts 9 and 10, that serve at 11 schools across Fayette and Westmoreland counties. These programs are offered to students in Kindergarten to Seniors in High School. She has her degree with a major focus in Psychology and a minor focus in Counseling. She is very passionate about working with youth and providing learning opportunities. She’s excited to be serving on the 21st CCLC PA State Advisory board.

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Janessa Rivera headshot

Janessa Rivera

Janessa Rivera is the Deputy Director at Concilio in Philadelphia. Since August of 2020, she coordinates and oversees all administrative program functions and supervises staff responsible for 21st CCLC programming at two sites serving grades Pre-K – 8. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling and is currently working towards her Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Her past work experience includes 19 years in Social Services, 10 of which have been in senior-level management. Janessa is bilingual and enjoys traveling. She is excited to play a role in serving on the 21st CCLC Advisory Board.

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Lori Schaller headshot

Lori Schaller

Lori Schaller is committed to afterschool programs as vibrant opportunities to foster educational success and positive development. With over 30 years of experience in program design, quality assurance, and fund development, Lori has contributed to the development of a number of afterschool programs and initiatives and is dedicated to building the capacity of out-of-school time programs to provide innovative models to positively impact children and youth. Working with school districts and community stakeholders, Lori has assisted United Way of Mercer County with developing dynamic out-of-school initiatives, including two 21st Century Community Learning Center cohort grants, as well as a regional strategy to promote stem education and career development. For her work, Lori was recognized as a PSAYDN 2019 Afterschool Champion. Lori looks forward to being a voice for other 21st CCLC programs.

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Sue Sheehan

Sue Sheehan is the vice president of Respective Solutions Group, Inc. (RSG). As a Cresson native, her interests have always been in assisting the communities of the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. She started her career in out-of-school time services in 2006 working for a small, community-based non-profit, rising through the ranks to eventually become the executive director. When the opportunity arose to form a new organization that could focus more specifically on the changing needs of the local youth and schools, Sue jumped at the chance to help establish RSG. For the last 7 years, RSG has been fulfilling its mission of creating learning environments and supporting school professionals through resources that make a difference in education.

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Steve Strange headshot

Steve Strange

Steve Strange is the Executive Director at East End United Community Center. He oversees two 21st CCLC grants that span over four school districts in the southwestern Pennsylvania area. Steve started with 21st CCLC as a program director in May of 2019 for the cohort 9 grant. He is passionate about afterschool and summer school programming and feels this type of learning is a key component of the educational process. Steve is very happy to be a member of the 21st CCLC Advisory Board. He is happily married with two sons. In his free time, Steve enjoys golfing and watching sports and is a proud Penn State alum.

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Evan Van Schie headshot

Evan Van Schie

Evan Van Schie is the Cohort 9 Program Director for the Bristol Borough School District in Lower Bucks County. Evan oversees three separate school sites that service students K-12th grade. Evan started with the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center programs back in January of 2018, when he began as an Administrative Assistant before becoming the Program Director of Bristol Borough’s Cohort 8 program. Evan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Business Administration. When he is not working in Bristol you can find him coaching soccer, fishing, kayaking, or just enjoying the outdoors at his local county/state parks. As a member of the 21st CCLC Advisory Board, Evan hopes to bring viable information and resources back to the other 21st CCLC grantees in Lower Bucks County and beyond.

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Kristen White headshot

Kristen White

Kristen White is the Lead Coordinator at the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, managing the Schuylkill Achieve Afterschool Program. The 21st Century Programs are currently serving students in nine different districts across Schuylkill County during the school year and summer. Kristen holds a degree in Education which has helped her grow into the role she holds today. Kristen is excited to serve on the advisory board and collaborate with others’ successes, especially because of the challenges her programs face being in a rural setting. Kristen is married and a mother of two. Her kids keep her active and on her toes at all times. She enjoys running, spending time with her family and being outdoors. She also enjoys being active and involved in her community.

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Laura Worman

Laura Worman works for the Allentown City School District, Pennsylvania’s third-largest urban district, as the Assistant Project Manager for their 21st Century programs – Cohorts 9, 10, and 11. Laura began her career in 21st Century in October 2013 as a Teacher in the district’s Cohort 6 grant. She continued to grow within the program leading her into her current position. Throughout the years, she has helped oversee numerous 21st Century cohorts and schools to strengthen programming at all levels. In her personal life, Laura most enjoys spending time with friends and family which include her husband and two kids and relaxing on the beach in Delaware. As a member of the Advisory Board, Laura is excited to use the knowledge she has gained to support PDE and 21st Century grantees as we continue to best serve students.

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