Board of Directors
Ms. Ray, a Ward 8 resident, has strong ties to the business community and a history of advocacy for adult learners. As Chief Executive Officer for one of the most productive and effective adult training programs in the Ward, she is well aware of the special challenges of under-credited adults. Her daily experiences with adult learners have been instrumental in establishing an educational plan for the Community College Preparatory Academy that supports our attracting, engaging and retaining adult students and effectively addressing their needs.
Ty'On Jones, Vice Chair
Layvon Washington, Board Treasurer
Business Owner/Student and Family Advocate
Darya Davis is a native Washingtonian educated in the District of Columbia public school system, where she excelled from the beginning, graduating from “The Pride of Capitol Hill” Eastern Senior High then furthering her education at Southeastern University. Although she believed her focus would be in the medical field, she quickly became a powerhouse in the event planning and catering world, but something felt like it was still missing. She eventually found the missing piece of the puzzle while searching for quality education for her daughter. That piece was Education Reform, specifically in Ward 8, the neighborhood in which she was raised. She held numerous board member positions for several Public Charter Schools in the District and became co-chair for one. She amplifies a passion for student and family advocacy. A day does not pass where she hasn’t reviewed a policy or procedure to ensure that it is beneficial to the scholars and parents who are impacted the most. Darya is known as a chameleon. Not only can she give vital critique in the boardroom, but she can also interact with everyday people who express concerns about quality education, no matter what their neighborhood, ethnicity, economic or social class may be. She has also conducted numerous mediation sessions between rival and non-rival schools along with MPD for non-violent youth conflict resolution. Most recently during these unprecedented times in the COVID-19 pandemic, her love for seniors has shown through by preparing more than 1,200 free meals to more than 200 seniors over a six-week timeframe in Wards 7 and 8 under her small business DF’s Cake Lounge, LLC serving a “Small Piece of Heaven” one dessert and meal at a time.
Principal Owner - The Gaston Group & Seven Colors DC
Darrell Gaston is a lifelong Ward 8 resident with a commitment of engaging, educating and empowering the Ward 8 Community. A four-time Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Darrell’s commitment to education started with his push to transform and renovate every school in his community. Darrell created The Gerald Project, a program that provides support to families who have lost children to gun violence and provide free mental health, grieving support and trauma support to families and young people impacted by violence. Darrell's focus is on closing the achievement gap with parents, children, and the community at large. Currently, Darrell is the owner of The Gaston Group, a food hospitality group. Darrell Gaston is a graduate of Coppin State University and completed a law program at Howard University School of Law.
Ramona Barber, Member
Brian Atkins, Member