Lisa Aspinall-Kellawon, PresidentTerm: 2012-2018
Lisa Aspinall-Kellawon is a Peekskill resident and a second-term Peekskill School Board Member. Her goal is to be an advocate for children by helping them receive a sound education. She believes education opens the doors to most opportunities and provides a foundation from which one can grow and self-actualize, while being a primary building block in a prosperous and financially responsible life.
As a Board of Education Trustee, Ms. Aspinall- Kellawon brings with her over 25 years of teaching experience, most of which she gathered during her time teaching at the Central Harlem School District in New York City. There, she began her career at an early childhood education school servicing students from Pre-K to Grade 2 as a Title I math teacher, second grade common branch teacher, math coach and teacher trainer.Ms. Aspinall- Kellawon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the College of New Rochelle and a Master’s degree in Multicultural Education from the College of Mount St. Vincent. She is also a member of the group SPARC (Social Progress Advocates for Real Change) and a member of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Peekskill.Michael Simpkins, Vice PresidentTerm: 2002-2019Michael Simpkins is presently employed for the past 12 years as a Youth Counselor at Lincoln Hall in Somers, New York. He provides specialized services for disadvantaged male adolescents /youth to have the potential to become responsible individuals with a sense of self-worth and respect for others and to become successful members of society. Michael also has been employed part-time for the past 2 years at Opengate in Somers, New York working with disabled adults providing social-emotional, medical and independent living skills support.Michael Simpkins was born on May 20, 1960 in Aiken, South Carolina. He is a product of the Graniteville, South Carolina/ Aiken County School System. He is a 1979 graduate of the Leavelle McCampbell High School. He grew up with an interest and a talent for music. Michael grew up singing in the Valley Fair Baptist Church, Elementary School Programs, High School Choir, playing 1st Trombone in High School Marching and Concert Band, Talent Shows, Pageants, Jazz and R&B Bands and gained many opportunities of experience with recording.After graduating from Leavelle McCampbell High School, Michael studied Music, Voice and Art at Claflin University, South Carolina State and USC-Aiken. Michael is listed on the Claflin University Honor Roll for 1982 and 1983. He was awarded the H. V. Manning Claflin Choir Award and inducted into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Alpha Chapter in 1983 and received a B.S. Degree in Music/Art Minor from Claflin University in 1984.Michael immediately moved to New York and found employment in Jamaica, NY teaching Music and Art at the Concerns Parents of Jamaica Learning Center as an After School Group Teacher for children ages 6-12. In 1988 for 9 years, he became a Certified Caseworker with the New York City Child Welfare Administration. He worked in the Independent Living Unit that developed and supervised plans of permanency for children aging out of Foster Care and the Adoption Unit. Michael also continued his interest in music as a musician and singer working around the New York City, New Jersey and touring Japan. Michael met Jacqueline Johnson, a New York City School Teacher from Bronx, NY and was married on June 29, 1991 and they relocated to live in Mount Vernon, New York.
In 1995, Michael received extensive training with the MHRA/New York City Mental Health Research Association to become a Service Coordinator for the New York State Early Intervention Program. For 12 years Michael worked in the New York City and Westchester County Early Intervention Program as a Service Coordinator/ Supervisor coordinating the performance of evaluations and services for children birth-to-3 with developmental delays. Michael also has had training and 5 years of experience working as a Medicaid Service Coordinator for Adults with developmental delays by developing, implementing and maintaining Individual Service Plans.
In April of 1996, Michael and Jacqueline purchased their first home in Peekskill, New York. Michael and Jacqueline became and continue to be very active residents of the Peekskill, NY community where they continue to nurture and raise their 3 children (Imani/graduate, Nia/graduate and Joshua Simpkins/ 8th grader) that attended/attends the Peekskill City School District. Michael and his family are also active members of the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Peekskill, NY.
Branwen MacDonaldTerm: 2017-2020Branwen began her involvement with the school district when her oldest child was still a toddler, volunteering on the Citizens’ School Budget Committee. Since then she has continued to volunteer and advocate within the schools, as well as at the statewide level for increased and more equitable funding for our district. She is a founding member of Peekskill Community for Schools, a group dedicated to strengthening our schools through statewide and local advocacy. She brings her experience in graphic design and marketing to efforts to boost communications within and outside of our schools, and aims to increase opportunities for parent and community involvement in our schools.
Sam NorthTerm: 2017-2020
Sam North and his wife, Julie Overskei, have lived in Peekskill for 20 years. Both of their children have had the benefit of the excellent educational opportunities provided by the Peekskill City School District. They have consistently experienced high quality and caring educators and staff as well as earnest and open administrators at every level.
As a social studies teacher at Ossining High School for the past 17 years, Sam has taught Regents, college level, and advanced placement U.S. History. Recently, Sam and a colleague developed and implemented college level SUNY U.S. History and college level SUNY Social Science and Humanities Research Seminar. Both courses are now offered at Ossining High School through SUNY Albany and students are taking them for college credit. Professionally, Sam is most proud of his ongoing collaboration with a colleague from the English department in the creation of several college level elective courses including SUNY Racism, Classism, Sexism; SUNY The Black Experience Through Literature and History; SUNY Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and SUNY Crossing Borders. Additionally, Sam has worked with members of the Peekskill school community to bring more college level options to Peekskill High School.
Equity in education is a passion of Sam’s and as such he has been involved in the implementation of programs targeting the achievement gap in educational outcomes and is currently serving on the Ossining Superintendent’s district wide Equity Task Force. Sam is also an active member of the Peekskill NAACP.
Sam is dedicated to working with all stakeholders to make sure the students of Peekskill get the high quality education they deserve and to make Peekskill Schools a destination district.Maria PereiraTerm: 2013-2019Maria Pereira has been a resident of Peekskill for approximately 30 years. She is a tax payer as well as the parent of a child in the District. Ms. Pereira is one of the founding members of the Peekskill Education Foundation and, since 2006, has been a board member for the Peekskill Youth Bureau, which supports various after school programs. She is the president of the STEP Parents Association New York Medical Center in Valhalla, NY, a Science and Technology Enrichment Program for promising minority students, and has been a board member of this organization since 2009. In addition, Ms. Pereira has served as a treasurer for both the Peekskill Education Foundation and the STEP Parents Association.
Ms. Pereira was previously employed at Nortel Networks, IBM and the Veterans Home at Montrose, and has been employed by the Town of Cortlandt since 2008.In her spare time, Ms. Pereira enjoys reading, swimming, dancing, and having a good time.
Ms. Pereira attended Mercy College and holds an Associate’s degree in Business, a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Technology and a Master’s degree in Organization Leadership.
“I would like to harness all of my experience as a parent and as a volunteer to improve the quality of education by being a member for the Peekskill Board of Education. My goal is to ensure that all our children get the best education for the tax dollars spent, exercising at all times good stewardship. I am passionate about the quality of education in the school district.” –Maria Pereira
Jillian VillonTerm: 2013-2019Jillian Villon was born and raised in Peekskill and has attended every school in our District except Oakside. She graduated from Peekskill High School in 2008. Ms. Villon attended college and graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro North Carolina with a B.S. in Business Administration and Psychology and a minor in Human Resource Management. After college, she learned about Educational Advocacy and trained to advocate for students with special needs. She is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, and holds their values of peace, equality, community, stewardship, integrity, and simplicity paramount. She has worked with children and cared about their welfare and education for as long as she can remember- doing everything from babysitting, to donating time in college to help in a first grade classroom, and to helping children in our area as an educational advocate. She recently married her Peekskill High School sweetheart."Go Red Devils!" - Jillian Villon