Our Vision

One hundred percent of CCSA students will graduate and be prepared for college, conservatory, technical school, the military or gainful employment. This means that students will demonstrate four essential qualities.


Meet or exceed the CCSA standards in all academic areas.

Strong Character

Demonstrate scholarly habits and the CCSA core values.


Possess the 21st-century skills to create academic and artistic works with high-quality craftsmanship.


Have a clear goal and action plan for their future academic/career pursuits.

Leadership Team

Akosua Watts


Head of School / CEO

Akosua has been an educator for twenty years and has spent the majority of that time serving Chester children and families. She was part of the founding group for CCSA and has helped to lead the school’s development at every stage. Akosua came to Chester after serving as Assistant Principal at the Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia. She completed her Principal Certification program at Eastern University, and holds degrees from George Washington University and Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Lisa Wilson


Director of Operations and Reading Intervention

Lisa is the founding Reading Specialist at CCSA and is chiefly responsible for developing the school’s comprehensive reading intervention program. She has over twenty years of experience at urban schools in the Philadelphia area. As a teacher she has employed high-engagement, student-centered strategies in elementary and middle school classrooms.

Nicole DeRitis


Director of Elementary (K-4) & 21st Century Programs

Nicole has taught in Chester for over sixteen years, and since 2010 has led the summer reading program at the Chester Children’s Chorus. Nicole has completed the Principal Certification and Special Education Certification programs at Neumann University.

Mindy Nguyen


Director of Curriculum & Arts Integration

Mindy is one of the founding teachers of CCSA. She has taught first grade in Brooklyn, New York and in Chester, Pa., and worked as a public school liaison at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since 2008 she has taught History/Critical Thinking to the high school bass cohort of the Chester Children’s Chorus.

Brian Holm


Director of High School

Brian taught high school-level mathematics for six years in Philadelphia before coming to CCSA in 2014. He has served as the Associate Director for Project Forward Leap Inc., a summer and school year enrichment program for middle school students. He is currently pursuing a Principal Certification at Eastern University.

Ryan Fisher


Athletic Director

Ryan previously served as CCSA’s Assistant Athletic Director and is the Founding Physical Education Teacher. He has been working with the students of Chester for nearly ten years as a teacher. He is also the Head Coach of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Coach.

Martina Hussein


Director of Special Education

Martina joined CCSA in 2015, after working as a high school Special Education Teacher and Case Manager at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, and as an Autistic Support Teacher at DCIU. She received her Master’s degree in Special Education at Eastern University and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Gwynedd Mercy University.

Tara Park


Director of Middle School

Tara worked for ten years with the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School before joining CCSA in 2014 as a middle-school Social Studies and English teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

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Teaching Faculty and Staff


Leona Ahmed

Climate Managers

Cheryea Jones (ES)

Lakira Comegy (MS)

Michelle Freeman (HS)

Guidance Counselor (K‑8)

Kathleen Carpenter

Social Worker

Zanoy Headen

College & Career Readiness Coordinator

Melissa Mamigonian

Data & Human Resources Coordinator

Rachel Cameron

Registrar & Attendance Coordinator

Kyera Stewart

Safety Officers

Patricia Breakley

Miguel Cruz

Community Safety Liaison

Jonathan King

Speech Therapists

Lauren Bohn

Thema Williams P/T

P/T Occupational Therapist

Tameka Johnson


Quiwana Hill

21st Century Program Coordinator

Jenn Camp

Kindergarten Team

Roula Nikolaou

Christina Brown

Shawnae Richardson Teaching Asst.

1st Grade Team

Nneka Ortiz

Lauren Usher

Lela Todd Teaching Asst.

2nd Grade Team

Shannon Damico

Rita Giordano

Georgette Bradley Teaching Asst.

3rd Grade Team

Stacey Kucera

Katie (Petrello) Grannum

Tasha Birtha Teaching Asst.

4th Grade Team

Lori Foster

Melissa Fratarcangeli

Jonne Dixon Teaching Asst.

5th Grade Team

Ann Herron

Cristina Ramos

Chacun McIntyre Teaching Asst.

6th Grade Team

Ben Emmons  Math & Science

Jacqueline Westermann English & Social Studies

Traceyangela Kelsey Teaching Asst.

7th/8th Grade Team

Cherron Hamm Social Studies

Leanne Heffelfinger Math

Jeorgina Smith Science

Tracie Horkan English

Vandric Broadard Teaching Asst.

Chris Howard Teaching Asst.

High School Team

Becca Beachy  Science

Christine Ellis Science & HSEP Coordinator

Lia Simon Science, Assoc. Teacher

Virginia Waters History

Kourtney Kukowski Math

Stephanie Powers Math

Vincent Deery English

Jessica Coulter  English

Lender Vega Spanish, Assoc. Teacher

Dejuana Mosley Assoc. Teacher

Daniel Spangler Assoc. Teacher

Physical Ed. Teacher

Ryan Fisher

Math Lab & Intervention

Theresa Cummings Math Lab Teacher

Tiffany Flamer Math Instructor

Chantele Thompson Teaching Asst.

Arts Team

Alyssa Franklin Theatre

Frank Hosking Music

Lamarr Todd Theatre Improv

Michael Nguyen Dance

Kelly Nicholson  Visual Art

Desire Grover Visual Art P/T

Reading Team

Megan Dinney

Lindsay Kern

Kelly Nagle

Jenna Piacentino Reading Instr. & SPED

Heather Richardson Reading Instr.

Special Education Team

Adrienne Harper-Adams

Brigid Norton

Micheal Johnson

Sara Long

Ciera Stovall Assoc. Teacher

Candice Earnest Teaching Asst.

Shauna Edwards Teaching Asst.

Dominic Merlino Teaching Asst.

Earl Graves Teaching Asst.

CCSA Foundation

Executive Director
Chris Hanlon

Director of Development
Amy Komarnicki

Board of Trustees

Barbara Klock M.D.


Retired, Pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Vice President
Ellen Milgrim Ed.D.

Retired Principal, Wallingford School District

Alice Turbiville

Assistant Vice President of Finance & Controller at Swarthmore College

Ramona Jones

CCSA Parent & Assistant Director of West Chester Area Day Care Center

Donald Delson

Retired, Managing Director, Investment Banking Division, Keefe, Bruynette & Woods, Inc. Former member of Wallingford-Swarthmore Board of School Directors and Swarthmore Borough Council

Dion Lewis

Dean of the Junior Class & Director of the Black Cultural Center at Swarthmore College

Marilyn Henkelman

Retired, Director of Phebe Anna Thorne School, Bryn Mawr College’s Developmental Lab School

Ian Wilcox

Managing Partner of Cogitari Partners, LLC

Joan Richards

Retired, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Crozer‑Keystone Health System

Ben Berger

Associate Professor of Political Science & Executive Director, Lang Center

Judith Owen, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biology; Visiting Professor of Biology at Haverford College

Akosua Watts
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