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Board of Directors


Monica Ray, Board Chair -Elected in 2015, Term Ends 2018

CEO- Congress Heights Community Development and Training Corporation 

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.


Philip Pannell, Vice Chair  Re-Elected 2016, Term Ends Fall 2019

Executive Director, Anacostia Coordinating Council 

Director of Community Affairs, ADA, Inc. 

Mr. Pannell, a Ward 8 resident, has over 35 years of professional service to his community, starting with his service as ANC SMD 4C08 in 1977. Since then, he has held a variety of positions that have kept him in touch with the community, including Executive Assistant to the President of the School Board, Community Outreach Specialist, Special Assistant to the Mayor, and Community Relations Liaison. His array of community experiences serves as a major resource and asset for the Board of the new Community College Preparatory Academy. He provides a particular focus on Community Outreach and Marketing. 



Debra Santos, CPA Treasurer Elected 2015, Term Ends Fall 2018

Interim Controller, Howard University

Debra, a DC resident, started with Community College Prep as its outsourced accountant with the firm of Raffa PC. Debra currently serves as Treasurer. Debra brings to the board prior charter CFO/COO experience, focusing on scaleable financial systems and facilities financing and construction for high growth charter management organizations, as well as over 25 years of senior level financial and operational experience in various industries. Debra currently serves as Chief Administrator for Moore Educational Group, a non profit organization focused on both online learning as well as empowerment retreats for both women and youth. Debra holds a Bachelors of Science in Professional Accounting, a Masters of Science in Business Administration (MBA), a Masters of Science in Technology and Telecommunications Management and is pursuing a PhD in Organizational Management. Debra also holds a CPA license and continues to provide financial consulting services both locally and throughout the United States. As a mom and grandma, equal access to quality education and empowerment of youth and their parents is a passion of Debra's.



Thomas Stewart, PhD Elected 2015, Term Ends Fall 2018

Vice President, Strategic Partnerships 

University NOW 

Thomas Stewart is a senior policy analyst with deep experience both locally and nationally in the processes of building strategic relationships among local, state and national organizations that serve low wealth and non-traditional communities. He actively participates in national efforts to improve and expand educational opportunity for non-traditional students. Dr. Stewart brings not only his deep commitment to supporting non-traditional students and his personal experience with changing life outcomes but he also brings a willingness to share a vast network of resources in the areas of educational research, national philanthropy and organizational and Board development.  



John A. Stokes Elected 2015, Term Ends Fall 2018

Chief of Staff, DC Department of Parks and Recreation

As Chief of Staff in the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Mr. Stokes directs all facets of the daily operations to ensure compliance with local and federal laws, policies, rules and regulations. He is a seasoned leader with professional strengths in marketing, communication, public relations, negotiation and strategic management. Prior to his current position as Chief of Staff, Mr. Stokes was DPR’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs Officer for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Mr. Stokes earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from St. Joseph’s University and studied abroad in France during his senior year at the Universite de Strasbourg in 1986. He also was voted one of six Washington “Hot Shots” by Channel 9 news in 1991. 

Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, Member – Elected 2015, Term Ends Fall 2018

Acting Dean of Academic Affairs, University of the District of Columbia

Dr. Hamilton services as the Acting Dean of Academic Affairs. She has over 30 years in postsecondary education. Her major responsibilities consist of overseeing academic planning and programs, academic services and academic policy. Faculty appointments, evaluations, governance and budget are also part of her responsibilities.  She played a role in the implementation of an ACCUPLACER preparation course and the development of a comprehensive assessment system for the College. She brings great knowledge around technology, postsecondary education and college preparedness to Community College Preparatory Academy.


Keyonna Jones, Member – Elected 2015, Term Ends Fall 2018

Executive Director, Congress Heights Arts and Cultural Center

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Keyonna graduated from St. John’s College High School in 2006 and started her collegiate career as a student of Psychology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. Looking for a more challenging path, she transferred to Philip Merrill’s College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Keyonna received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Broadcast Journalism with a concentration in Education and is pursuing her Master’s in Science Management with a specialization in Public Relations. Keyonna is a two-time Edward Murrow award -winning producer for News Radio station WNEW, 99.1.

Returning to one of her original passions, in August 2015, Keyonna opened Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center located at 3200 MLK Ave. SE, with a mission to bring something new and necessary to Ward 8. She also serves on the board of Community College Preparatory Academy, the first adult charter school East of the River. Keyonna is happily married and a mother to her daughter five year old daughter Kayla and five month old son Keon.


Hayden Williams - Elected 2016, Term Ends Fall 2018

Student Member

Mr. Williams is a third-year student who is nearing the completion of his High School Equivalency Examination. He has served as an active link between students and staff. He serves as one of two required student “voices” on the Board.


Nadirah Majied - Elected 2017, Term ends 2019

Student Member

Ms. Majied has completed a range of certifications successfully and is currently serving in an Internship in her related area of competence. 

Vannessa (Connie) Spinner

Executive Director, Community College Preparatory Academy

As Executive Director, Ms. Spinner also serves as an Ex Officio member of the Board. She is a life time resident of the District of Columbia with extensive experience in both Education and Workforce Development. Ms. Spinner is the founder of the school and has served as the State Director for Adult Education for the District of Columbia and the Executive Director for the State Education Office for the District of Columbia.