public schools

Mahen BonettiMr. Seymour Fliegel is the author of the book, Miracle in East Harlem. It is the story of how Mr. Fliegel took the lowest performing school in New York City's public school system and turned it into a model school. He currently heads the Center for Educational Innovation. Mr. Fliegel has twice been invited to the White House to be honored for his work in public education.

Ms. Mahen Bonetti is the Founder and Executive Director of the African Film Festival, Inc (AFF), New York. Born in Sierra Leone in 1956 and sent into exile in 1970, Mahen received her Graduate degree in communication from New York University. In 1993, concerned by the lack of understanding and appreciation of African culture, Ms. Bonetti, founded the AFF. The main goal of the festival is to use African cinema to promote and increase knowledge and understanding of African arts, literature, and culture. In addition, to develop a non-African audience for African Films and to expand the opportunities for the distribution of African films in the U.S. In recent years, the Festival has been hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Michelle RheeMichelle A. Rhee is the chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools system. In 1997 she founded The New Teacher Project, which in ten years has recruited 10,000 teachers in twenty states.

Chancellor Rhee currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ); the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC); Project REACH of the University of Phoenix’s School of Education. Chancellor Rhee is an Ex-Officio Member of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.

Chancellor Rhee appeared on the cover of the December 8, 2009 issue of Time Magazine.