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Meet the Commissioners

Members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms by the mayor of Baltimore City.

Board Chair

Cheryl A. Casciani is director of neighborhood sustainability for the Baltimore Community Foundation, where she coordinates initiatives to promote environmental sustainability in Baltimore’s schools, neighborhoods, and the city as a whole. She served previously as executive director of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, an organization that uses citizen action to improve the quality of life in Baltimore, and at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she coordinated education reform efforts and developed the Children and Family Fellowship.

Ms. Casciani serves as chair of the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability, treasurer and member of the board of The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, member and past president of the Creative Alliance board, and member of the Healthy Neighborhoods board. She holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Casciani was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in July 2013 and elected chair in July 2017. She also serves on the Audit Committee.

Board Vice Chair

Linda M. Chinnia was born and raised in Baltimore City and is both a graduate of City Schools and a former employee, having served as a teacher, principal, director of elementary school improvement, area academic officer, and chief academic officer over a 38-year career. From 2007 to 2017, she served as an event planner and assistant to the bishop at the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has also been an adjunct instructor at Baltimore City Community College, Coppin State University, Towson University, and the Johns Hopkins University. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education from Towson University. 

In the community, Ms. Chinnia has served as a trustee for the Augsburg-Fortress Publishing House and board member for the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and she is currently a member of the Delaware-Maryland Synod Coordinating Committee for the Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Racial Justice Ministry Team. She has been a member of parent organizations for several schools as well as the Kenilworth Park Neighborhood Association.

Ms. Chinnia was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2014 and assumed the role of vice chair in July 2018. She serves on the Teaching and Learning and Strategic Planning committees.
 

Commissioner

Muriel Berkeley was the founding president of the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP), which operates five Baltimore City charter schools that serve families in their zoned neighborhoods. She retired from BCP in 2012. Earlier in her career, Dr. Berkeley taught in elementary school classrooms in North Hanover Township, New Jersey and in Baltimore City; in middle school classrooms in Baltimore City; and in undergraduate and graduate school classrooms at Goucher College, Towson State University, and George Washington University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social relations from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Currently, Dr. Berkeley serves on the Advisory Board of OSI-Baltimore, the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Restorative Practices, and the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Direct Instruction.

Dr. Berkeley was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2015. She serves on the Policy Committee and chairs the Teaching and Learning Committee
 

Commissioner

Michelle Harris Bondima is statewide coordinator of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University. Previously, she worked for 32 years at Baltimore City Community College as a faculty member in environmental science and chemistry and as dean of Business, Health, Science, and Mathematics. From 1993 to 2014, Dr. Bondima was chair of the Community Relations Commission of Baltimore City’s Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement. She was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and its Mitigation Working Group. Dr. Bondima is a member of the board of the National Council on Black American Affairs and serves on numerous boards and committees that focus on STEM education.

Dr. Bondima received her Ph.D. in science education (with a concentration in environmental science) from the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a master’s degree in environmental science from the Johns Hopkins University, a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology from the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, and certification from Oxford University, England, for work in the area of science and faith.

Dr. Bondima was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2016. She chairs the Operations Committee and serves on the Teaching and Learning Committee.
 

Commissioner

Andrew "Andy" Frank works as special advisor on economic development to the president of the Johns Hopkins University. Previously, Mr. Frank worked with the City of Baltimore for 15 years, including three years as first deputy mayor for neighborhood and economic development overseeing departments including housing, planning, public works, and transportation, along with the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) and Visit Baltimore. He also served as executive vice president of the BDC for six years. 

Mr. Frank also helped found and remains involved with nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting Baltimore as a place to live, improving the experience of Inner Harbor visitors, and restoring Mount Vernon Place. He serves on the boards of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School, Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore, Charles Street Development Committee, East Baltimore Development, Inc., and Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.

Mr. Frank has a bachelor’s degree in urban economics from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Mr. Frank was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2015. He chairs the Strategic Planning Committee and is a member of the Audit and Operations committees
 

Commissioner

Martha James-Hassan has nearly 25 years of experience in the field of urban education and currently serves as an assistant professor in the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University. She earned her undergraduate degree in kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s in inquiry education from Hamline University, and her doctorate in critical pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas. Her current research focuses on teacher professional development, cultural fluency, and interdisciplinary education. She is a national expert in the Common Core State Standards and equity.


Dr. James-Hassan has served on numerous professional committees at Morgan State University and across the nation and is a member of the Boards of Directors for One Village Global and the Fairway Foundation. She was elected to the steering committee of the Council of Urban Boards of Education in March 2017 and is secretary on the executive committee of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, where she is also a member of the ESSA ad hoc advisory committee and the Equity Committee.

Dr. James-Hassan was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2015. She chairs the Policy Committee
 

Commissioner

Ronald S. McFadden is a musician, educator, and advocate for educational equity in America's urban communities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s in teaching from Morgan State University. A classically trained baritone, Mr. McFadden has performed as a soloist and chorister at venues including the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Reichold Center for the Performing Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Municipal House in Prague, Czech Republic. He is currently the choral director and chairs the Department of Performing Arts at Southwest Academy Magnet School for Science and Engineering in Baltimore County, and is also an associate director with the Singing Sensations Youth Choir Inc.

Mr. McFadden began his teaching career in City Schools at Booker T. Washington Middle School, where he taught music and served as director of The Golden Voices. He helped to establish an arts-integrated curriculum as arts team lead and member of the school’s instructional leadership team. In 2015, Mr. McFadden was inducted into Emerging Leaders, a national program with New Leaders for New Schools that equips current and aspiring leaders with instructional expertise aligned to college- and career-readiness standards. 

Mr. McFadden is a member of the National Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Maryland Music Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc. He was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in January 2018 and serves on the Policy and Teaching and Learning committees.
 

Commissioner

Vernon A. Reid, Jr., is a retired investment professional who worked at T. Rowe Price Associates from 1977 to 1987 and again from 1999 to 2018. During the intermediate period, he served as principal partner of V.A. Reid & Associates. He is a graduate of three Baltimore City public schools: Frances L. Murphy Laboratory, William H. Lemmel Junior High School, and Forest Park High School. 

Mr. Reid serves on the boards of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST) and on the Impact Investing Subcommittee of the Baltimore Community Foundation. He also served as a vice-president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore City Board of Finance. He is a member of New Psalmist Baptist Church.

Mr. Reid attended the United States Naval Academy. He holds a B.S. in business administration from Towson University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Mr. Reid was appointed to the Board of School Commissioners in Fall 2018 and serves on the Audit, Operations, and Strategic Planning committees.
 

Commissioner

Johnette Richardson is currently the executive director for Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., a community-based nonprofit organization that fosters neighborhood revitalization through community marketing and outreach, community organizing, homeownership counseling, and small business development. She is a frequent speaker at local and national training institutes and foundations on topics related to neighborhood revitalization and community economic development.

An advocate of volunteerism, Ms. Richardson served as the president of the board for Afya Baltimore, Inc., a Baltimore City public charter school organization. She currently serves on the steering committee of the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition and on the City Leadership Committee for the Community Development Network of Maryland. She is a Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership graduate, completed Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Leadership program, and is a past Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellow. In 2012 she was named one of the Daily Record’s Leading Women; in 2017, she was named one of Associated Black Charities’ Women on the Move. 

Prior to receiving her master’s degree in business administration from Regis University, Ms. Richardson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University. She was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in January 2018. She chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Operations and Strategic Planning committees.
 

Student Commissioner

Joshua Lynn is a sophomore at Baltimore City College. His passion for service dates to 6th grade, when he was junior secretary of the Wilson Park Neighborhood Association. In 7th grade, he served as the treasurer of student government at Guilford Elementary/Middle School. In 2017-18, he served as vice president of the Associated Student Congress of Baltimore City and an active member of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, experiences that enabled him to compare educational opportunities throughout the state and understand the impact of student leadership.

As president of ESTEAAM, a STEM-based nonprofit, Mr. Lynn spearheaded a grant project to revitalize Wilson Park. In 2017, he was selected by the mayor's office to help organize and host a youth summit at City Hall. He was previously an intern for Councilman Bill Henry and is currently an intern with Acts 4 Youth.

As student commissioner for the 2018-19 school year, Mr. Lynn hopes to bring new ideas to the table for enhancing educational opportunities for the students and families of Baltimore City Public Schools. In addition to his role as student commissioner, he serves on the Policy Committee.