Our Team


אמילי הרסט, מנהלת ראשית

Emily serves as Philadelphia Hebrew Public’s founding Executive Director, building the organizational infrastructure necessary to support the school’s mission. Beginning in 2016, she guided the Hebrew Public team through a feasibility study and successful charter application before joining full-time to lead the school’s launch. Most recently, Emily was a founding member of Bloom, a planning practice that partners with non-profit organizations to make a purposeful change. As the Director of Development for the Byerschool Foundation, she spearheaded fundraising, strategic planning, and external relations to support the students, families, and teachers at the Russell Byers Charter School. During her time in Guatemala City, Emily founded a social entrepreneurship program for women through the NGO Camino Seguro. She originally landed in Philadelphia as a staffer on the 2008 Obama campaign. Emily is a graduate of Bowdoin College and earned a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She contributes actively to her community, serving in the leadership of the Mental Health Partnerships Board of Directors, a regional leader providing mental health services to over 7,000 people annually. Emily lives in Philadelphia with her husband, TJ, their daughter, Poppy, and their aging dog and cat.

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אליסה יואן, מנהלת בית הספר

As Philadelphia Hebrew Public’s founding Head of School and instructional leader, Elyssa brings deep experience working both in the classroom and school administration in Philadelphia charter schools. She most recently served in a school leadership role building and supporting special education programming for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. In her work as a school leader, she has supported teachers to develop inclusive and equitable practices in classrooms and promotes student outcomes and growth across difference. She serves as a national facilitator in the Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity training program. Elyssa earned her BA at Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Elementary Education & Special Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds her Principal Certification from the RELAY Graduate School of Education as well as certifications in English as a Second Language and Special Education. Elyssa’s K-12 schooling experience took place in Hong Kong, where her family still resides. She currently lives and calls South Philadelphia home.

Contact Elyssa

Danny House, Director of Operations 

דני האוס, ראש צוות התפעול

Danny House is the Director of Operations at Philadelphia Hebrew Public. She has worked at many education based nonprofits for over a decade to empower young people through education, athletics, and art therapy. Danny graduated from the College of Wooster with a major in sociology. Her education journey taught her about the social issues that plagued her community and communities like hers. She dedicated her career to resolving these social issues both on a macro level, working in administrative roles for mission-based organizations, and at a micro level, by building and maintaining relationships with young people over the span of her career. Danny is full of passion, persistence, and has a profound love and joy for the service she provides for young people.

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Sarah Hanrahan – Dean of Academics

שרה הנרהן – דיקנית לימודים אקדמיים

Sarah Hanrahan – Sarah serves as Philadelphia Hebrew Public’s Dean of Academics. Sarah joined PHP in our founding year as a 1st grade teacher. She was fortunate to loop with this founding cohort, teaching them 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade before transitioning to leadership. Sarah works to support teachers in their instruction and culturally responsive pedagogy. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in education from Penn State and her master’s degree in Literacy and Leadership in Diverse Schools from George Mason. Currently, she is completing a doctorate in educational leadership at Gwynedd Mercy University. She grew up in the Philadelphia Suburbs and currently lives in Fairmount.

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Paul DiGilio, Associate Dean of Academics

פול דיגיליו, דיקן משנה ללימודים אקדמיים

Paul DiGilio, known as “PK,” serves as PHP’s Associate Dean of Academics after joining the team as a 3rd grade teacher. PK was born in South Korea, but has been living and teaching in Philadelphia for the past 20 years. PK completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Drexel University for Music & Sound Engineering, and earned his Master’s in School Leadership, with Principal certification, from Cabrini University. Besides teaching, PK is also a C-licensed soccer coach and L3 NTS archery instructor.

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Regina McKinley, Associate Dean of Students Supports

רג׳ינה מקינלי, דיקנית משנה לתמיכה בתלמידים

Regina McKinley is a founding member of Philadelphia Hebrew Public who started as a Special Education case manager. We are thrilled Regina has now transitioned into serving as Associate Dean of Students Supports bringing with her over 15 years in the field. As importantly, she is a proud parent of a PHP third grader! Regina splits time between her home in Mt. Airy and Egg Harbor, NJ, with her husband and three kids.

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ניקיי פולן, רכזת תרבות

Nikki joined Philadelphia Hebrew Public as Dean of Culture in 2020 and leads the team in fostering a joyful culture that models the school’s values. Nikki has been an educator in Philadelphia for the past 13 years. Before coming to PHP, she spent eight years at a charter school in North Philadelphia where she taught several grades and two years of teaching and teacher coaching at a school in West Philadelphia. She is a New Jersey native and received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Kean University in Union, NJ. In 2017, she received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Temple University. She calls West Philly home.

Contact Nikki