home | About | Board of Directors
West Milford, New Jersey
Jenny Brown, senior editor of Shelf Awareness, an e-newsletter for the book trade and also for consumers, has spent the past 30 years toggling between her two passions–education and bookmaking. She has served as director of the Center for Children’s Literature and interim children’s librarian at Bank Street College of Education, and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers. When she’s not combing bookshelves for her next read, you can find her performing cabaret at Don’t Tell Mama in New York. Jenny lives with her husband in Hewitt, NJ.
Moorestown, New Jersey
Jenel Giles is currently the Lower School Director at Moorestown Friends School, a K-12 Quaker school in Moorestown, New Jersey. Prior to that, she taught kindergarten for 12 years at the Bank Street School for Children in New York City. While at Bank Street, Jenel served on various school wide committees and also had a long tenure serving as the Upper and Middle Camp Unit Head for their summer camp programs. Jenel is a progressive, early childhood educator committed to diversity, equity and inclusion work. She has presented on identity curriculum at the NAIS People of Color conference. Jenel earned an MSed in early childhood general education from Bank Street College of Education and an EdM in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is also a Lead Teacher in the Klingenstein Summer Institute for early career teachers. She lives in South Jersey and is a container gardener and baker!
Lisa Smith, MPA
Ms. Smith is currently a Restorative Practice Assistant (RPA) with STARS Nashville, assigned to Dupont Hadley Middle School in Nashville Tennessee. As an RPA, Ms. Smith manages the implementation of restorative work throughout the school’s community. This includes teaching the restorative continuum and modeling proactive and reactive restorative strategies. These strategies include but are not limited to designated interventions and procedures designed to help students regain emotional regulation, foster connections, social emotional learning, and promote well-being and school success. Prior, she had a 20-year career in higher education, where she was the Director of Experiential Learning & Career Engagement for the College of Business at Tennessee State University, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Lisa used the time to concentrate on real estate investing and as a time of opportunity to explore the nonprofit world and secondary education. She worked on a contract with the Nashville Business Incubation Center, building grant data on minority, women and veteran owned small businesses in Nashville. When that concluded, Lisa became a middle school substitute teacher. This is where she found her “tribe” supporting classrooms from math and science to physical education. A Kentucky native, Ms. Smith holds a Master of Public Administration from the Baruch School of Public Affairs at CUNY, New York and a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Kentucky.
Alicia Brown Angemeer, PhD
Alicia Angemeer is currently Advancement Writer and Grants Specialist with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. She has developed and managed K-12 STEM programming for Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, taught English at Shady Side Academy, and worked in the Education Department of the Frick Art and Historical Center. Dr. Angemeer earned a doctorate from the Social and Comparative Analysis of Education program at the University of Pittsburgh. In her doctoral thesis, she employed a postcolonial lens to analyze the pedagogical challenges of Westerners reading and interpreting the Muslin Other. Dr. Angemeer also has a master’s in Secondary English Education, as well master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Duquesne University. She has been an active volunteer and Reading Buddy with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Jenice Mateo-Toledo, Ed.D.
Board Member/Selection Committee Liaison
Westchester, New York
Jenice Mateo-Toledo is presently the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for the Hastings-on-Hudson School District located in Westchester County, NY. She has been an educator for almost thirty years in K-12 public schools and holds master’s degrees in English as a New Language (ENL), Literacy, and Administration and Supervision. She also earned her doctorate from the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Mateo-Toledo has presented at local and national conferences, such as the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and provides professional learning opportunities through Teacher Centers and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). Dr. Mateo-Toledo was also a member of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee and participated as the chair in 2021.
Manhattan, New York
Jane hails from New Zealand where she was a Team Leader in the award-winning Christchurch City Libraries Network. In New York City, Jane was a School Library Media Specialist in the New York City Department of Education before moving to the United Nations International School. Jane has been a member of the politically active M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden for over twenty years, taking on the roles of Co-Chair, Events Coordinator, caring for the garden’s hens, and establishing a story-telling program and free library for the Loisaida and Chinatown community. With prior careers as a choreographer, and as a location manager in the East Coast film industry, Jane continues to incorporate her love of the arts, her concern for the environment, and her commitment to action for social and environmental justice into her educational practice.
Roselle, New Jersey
Juli-Anne is a veteran educator who has dedicated her life to the service of children, both nationally and internationally, having lived and taught in West Africa and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and, more recently, New Delhi, India. She lives and breathes literacy and genuinely believes it is both a comprehensive tool and the antidote that can eradicate poverty in the lives of children everywhere. Juli-Anne spent two decades working in New York City Public Schools as an English teacher, reading specialist, mentor, instructional coach, and administrator. Currently, she is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in Newark, NJ, and is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Juli-Anne also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where she teaches pre-service students about using literacy as a pathway to socially conscious instructional and assessment practices. As the Founder of @EdCampNewark (NJ) and @EdCampBrooklyn, Juli-Anne has married her love of classroom teaching with her passion for professional learning and teacher leadership. She works tirelessly within social justice and equity frameworks to include teachers of color and diverse educators in emerging professional learning spaces is committed to amplifying teachers as leaders and believes in equitable education for all.
Robert E. Braylock, Pharm.D.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Dr. Robert E. Braylock is a native of Cleveland Heights, OH and attended college in Findlay, OH at the University of Findlay (UF). Dr. Braylock graduated from UF with a Bachelor of Science, Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Pharmacy. During his time as a student, he worked very closely with the Office of Intercultural Student Services, including serving two years as its graduate assistant. Upon graduating, Dr. Braylock transitioned into the director position for intercultural student services and served in this capacity for 3.5 years. In his role at UF, Dr. Braylock enjoyed engaging with students through discussions and programs that encouraged them to consider other perspectives and experiences. Dr. Braylock is the founder, owner and CEO of BHK Consulting, LLC. BHK Consulting exist to bring unity amongst communities and nations from different cultures and backgrounds, and to establish justice and equity throughout creation. Dr. Braylock is married, and he and his wife have one energetic and loving child.
As Development Director at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington DC, Isadora has helped the school grow from a start-up serving 200 students to a two-campus network serving over 1,000 students. As part of Mundo Verde’s Leadership Team, Isadora collaborates in strategic planning, program development, family support, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. Before Mundo Verde, Isadora worked as an independent consultant, as a founding partner of Onward Consulting, Director of Donor Relations at Higher Achievement, and as a preschool and elementary school teacher in Costa Rica and Denver. Isadora is passionate about the power of literacy and education. Following her love of children’s literature, she served as a Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee member for several years while living in New York. Isadora lives in Washington DC with her husband, daughter and two cats. She is a native of Costa Rica, fluent in English and Spanish, and proficient in Portuguese. Isadora holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Early Childhood Education from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and a Master’s degree in child and family studies and gifted education from the University of Denver.
Susan is an educator and learning facilitator. She was a previous Jane Addams Children’s Book Award selection committee member. As a multiage teacher she co-created a social justice based 4/5 Learning Place program in which children compared and contrasted contenders for the Jane Addams Award and made recommendations to the selection committee as a centerpiece of their literacy work. This process grew to include a dozen classrooms around the country via online student blogging. Susan currently teaches online middle school reading, writing, and higher order thinking. She holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and became a Wisconsin Master Teacher in 2009.
Jeffrey Merino, MLS
Jeffrey is currently an educator at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Houston, TX where he teaches computer science and media studies for both lower and middle school. Prior to his current role, Jeffrey was an elementary school librarian in Chicago where he focused on literacy and student research instruction along with increasing educational technology access to low-income students. He also has experience as an elementary dual language classroom teacher where he taught literacy instruction to students in both English and Spanish. Jeffrey earned his undergraduate degree in elementary bilingual education at the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus and his Master of Library Science degree from Sam Houston State University. Jeffrey is also a current doctoral student pursuing a Doctorate in Education from the University of Houston focusing on K-12 Professional Leadership with a focus on Literacy Education. He is interested in studying how students utilize their native language skills for computational thinking when accessing new coding languages. Jeffrey is also a staff member of Ronald McDonald House Houston and volunteers for various literacy organizations committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
Ross Stanton Jordan
Ross Stanton Jordan is a curator interested in the confluence of politics, history, and visual culture. Ross is the Interim Director and Curatorial Manager at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago’s dynamic monument to democracy. At the museum, Ross supports the production of exhibitions and public programs that connect the social justice issues of the progressive era to the present-day demands for social equity via collaborations with artists, scholars and community-based organizations. Ross has held fellowships at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Independent Curators International. In 2022, Newcity Magazine named Ross one of the top 50 Chicago arts administrators working to make a more equitable and sustainable arts world. He holds a studio arts degree from Connecticut College, and dual master’s degrees in art history and arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.