PPE Team

Directors’ Office

Dr. Elizabeth Farley-Ripple is the Director of the Partnership for Public EducationElizabeth Farley-Ripple, Director

Dr. Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple is Associate Director of the School of Education and Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy and has been working in educational research for ten years.  She has expertise in quantitative and mixed methods and applies a variety of methodological tools to research projects, including in regression, multi-level models, social-network analysis, surveys, and content analysis. Her research expertise is in policy analysis and evidence-based decision-making, and recent work includes studies of administrator mobility, school and teachers’ use of data, teacher quality and effects, and equity in student outcomes.

Dr. Farley-Ripple has been awarded grants from the Spencer Foundation and the Institute for Education Sciences and has published research in respected journals such as Educational Researcher, Journal of Educational Administration, Educational Policy, the American Journal of EducationEducational Management, Administration, and Leadership, and Urban Education. She recently discussed her article, “The Development of Capacity for Data Use: The Role of Teacher Networks in an Elementary School,” in an episode of the The Voice on Vialogues.

Kelly Sherretz is the Assistant Director of the Partnership for Public EducationKelly Sherretz, Assistant Director

Kelly Sherretz is an Associate Policy Scientist with the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration. She earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware and has been working in educational policy since 2004. She has extensive policy expertise on a variety of issues ranging from early childhood through student access to higher education and she has studied teacher and administrator hiring practices as they relate to Delaware public schools.

Kelly serves as an at-large council member for the Delaware Association for Public Administration. Recently she served as project manager for both the College Access Project and the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC). The College Access Project is geared toward providing all students access to post-secondary education. As a team member on the WEIC project, Kelly conducted research and engaged with the public on meeting the needs of students in poverty, improving charter and district collaboration, and strengthening parent, educator, and community engagement in support of Delaware’s public schools.



Ariana Minella, Project Coordinator

Ariana Minella is an Assistant Policy Scientist for the Partnership for Public Education at the University of Delaware. She studied education with a focus on educational policy as a undergraduate at Colgate University and then earned her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in urban teaching. For the last three years Ariana has taught middle school and elementary school in both North Philadelphia and the South Bronx. She has extensive experience in lesson and curriculum planning, as well as in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with special education needs. Ariana understands the complexities of schooling in high-needs communities and is eager to address those needs through the work of the Partnership for Public Education.



Sarah Pragg, Communications Manager

As a Policy Specialist at the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA), Sarah Pragg specializes in communications and marketing. She works as the coordinator for The Democracy Project, which promotes civic engagement and strives to improve the teaching of civics in Delaware. She provides communication support to all of IPA’s education projects including the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission and the College Access Project. Sarah also serves as a Communications Specialist for the Community Engagement Initiative. She received her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Geography (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, respectively) from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y. She also holds a certificate in Social Media Marketing Strategies. Sarah has served as an at-large council member for the Delaware Association for Public Administration since 2014.



Pialee Roy, Public Policy Graduate Student

Pialee Roy has a M.A. degree in Child Development & Public Policy from Tufts University (2006) and an A.B.D. in Urban Affairs & Public Policy from University of Delaware (2016).

She hopes to graduate with her PhD in Summer of 2017.  Presently she is completing a fellowship with UD’s Institute for Public Administration studying gaps and successes in education achievement among students in Wilmington and Non-Wilmington, Delaware Schools. Recently she participated in research on early education teacher compensation and retention with the Delaware Future Education Leaders Program. Prior to these opportunities she worked as a research coordinator at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children studying Clinician-Parent-Patient Communication in Pediatrics. She also worked on the evaluation of a MA home visiting program at Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research. She spent several years working as a program coordinator for the MA Department of Public Health, including people with disabilities into existing health promotion programs. She is interested in education as a path out of poverty and public health promotion. She is also interested research pertaining to quality in health and education and reducing access disparities in those arenas.

  Taylor Hawk, MPA Candidate

Taylor Hawk is a second year MPA candidate specializing in Education Policy and Management at the University of Delaware. She currently serves as a Legislative Fellow in the Delaware General Assembly and has interned at the National Governors Association and the Delaware Department for Children, Youth, and their Families. For four years, Taylor has worked at the Institute for Public Administration on projects related to college access and educational equality. Her research interests include education, childhood mental health, and juvenile justice. Taylor received her B.A. in Public Policy, Political Science, and English with a Spanish minor from the University of Delaware in 2015.

Steering Committee

Doug Doren, Co-Chair
Deputy Dean, College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), University of Delaware (UD)

Carol Vukelich, Co-Chair
Dean, College of Education & Human Development (CEHD), University of Delaware

Tony Allen*
Chair, Wilmington Education Improvement Commission

Janice Barlow
Policy Scientist, Center for Community Research & Service, SPPA, CAS; Director, KIDS COUNT in Delaware, UD

Ralph Ferretti
Director, School of Education, CEHD, UD

Elizabeth Soslau
Director, Delaware Center for Teacher Education, CEHD, UD

Jerome Lewis*
Director, Institute for Public Administration, and Associate Professor, SPPA, CAS, UD

John Pelesko
Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences, CAS, UD

Joseph Pika*
Former President, Delaware State Board of Education, and Former James R. Soles Professor, Political Science and International Relations, CAS, UD

Lori Pollock
Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, College of Engineering, UD

Daniel Rich*
Director, Community Engagement Initiative, University of Delaware

Bahira Trask
Chair, Human Development and Family Studies, CEHD, UD

Jackie Wilson
Director, Professional Development Center for Educators/Delaware Academy for School Leadership, CEHD, UD


*ex officio