Who We Are
Co-Founder and Director
Rachel has extensive experience empowering NYC public school parent organizations to engage parents and improve education. At PS 321 in Brooklyn, she served as PTA co-president, was involved with numerous school committees and initiatives, co-developed and ran one of the school’s largest curriculum-enhancing and community-building events, and was an elected parent member of the School Leadership Team (SLT). In 2008, while active with a citywide coalition of public school parents, Rachel recognized the need for a mechanism for PA/PTA officers and other parent leaders to share their knowledge and experience, and started to connect PA/PTAs working on similar projects or issues. Later, she began providing technical assistance to PA/PTA officers at other public schools. A former staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society and a former Assistant General Counsel at the Administration for Children’s Services, Rachel holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She currently serves on the Osborne Association's Board of Directors.
Marta is a proud product of the NYC public school system and has four sons currently enrolled in public schools. She graduated from PS 26, JHS 324, and Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn’s District 16 before attending Medgar Evers College. An accomplished parent leaders, Marta currently is PTA co-president at PS 26, having also served as treasurer, vice president, and president. At PS 26, she sits on the School Leadership Team (SLT) and the Title I Parent Committee. She also serves as co-president of the Presidents’ Council for District 16; is a member of both the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC), for which she serves as corresponding secretary; and is a member of District 16’s District Leadership Team (DLT). At PS 26 she helped create a number of events that have broadened parent ad community involvement at the school, and has come up with novel ways to gauge parents’ interests and concerns to ensure that the PTA involves and is responsive to all families. Please read the Q&A to learn more about Marta.
Lisa is proud to be a product of the NYC public school system and has two daughters currently enrolled in public schools. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Before taking time off to be with her children, Lisa was responsible for evaluating and improving city programs and services as a Manager in the NYC Comptroller’s Office, Bureau of Management Audit. She has been very active in her children’s elementary school PTA, including leadership roles related to fundraising as well as working with children in need of extra support. Through these and various other volunteer experiences, she became increasingly aware of the ability of parent organizations to improve their children’s educational experiences and further, of the untapped potential of information sharing between highly effective PTAs and those struggling or just starting out. By the time she was looking to re-enter public service, Lisa was dedicated to focusing her energies on helping to reduce inequities in the NYC public school system. She is excited about PTAlink’s potential to help parent organizations maximize their effectiveness and raise the bar for schools and students across NYC.
New York City Council, Senior Policy Analyst
Jan Atwell is currently Senior Policy Analyst for the Education Committee of the New York City Council. A parent of three daughters who graduated from NYC public schools, she now has grandchildren in the public school system. Previously, she served in numerous positions with education advocacy organizations in New York City - as President/Director of United Parents Associations of NYC, a citywide parent organization; Chairperson/Associate Director of Educational Priorities Panel, a budget watchdog group; Coordinator of the coalition, New Yorkers for Smaller Classes; and board member of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, among others.