Consistent, strong leadership ensures our staff, students and families receive the same level of support that is central to our impact and tied to our long-term success.

Akosua Watts, Head of School

Akosua Watts

Joan K. Richards Head of School / CEO


Akosua has been an educator for over twenty years and has spent the majority of that time serving Chester children and families. In 2012, she was part of the founding group for CCSA and has helped to lead the school’s development at every stage. Akosua came to Chester after serving as Assistant Principal at the Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia. She completed her Principal Certification program at Eastern University, and holds degrees from George Washington University and Columbia University’s Teachers College.


Lisa Wilson

Director of Non-Academic Operations


Lisa is the founding Reading Specialist at CCSA and is chiefly responsible for developing the school’s reading intervention program and many of the school's structures. She has over twenty years of experience at urban schools in the Philadelphia area. As a teacher she has employed high-engagement, student-centered strategies in elementary and middle school classrooms.


Mindy Nguyen

Director of Curriculum & Arts Integration


Mindy is one of the founding teachers of CCSA. She has taught first grade in Brooklyn, New York and in Chester, Pa., and worked as a public school liaison at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has provided History/Critical Thinking instruction to the high school bass cohort of the Chester Children’s Chorus.


Nicole DeRitis, Director of Elementary School

Nicole DeRitis

Director of Elementary (K-4) & 21st Century Programs


Nicole has taught in Chester for over sixteen years, and since 2010 has led the summer reading program at the Chester Children’s Chorus. Nicole has completed the Principal Certification and Special Education Certification programs at Neumann University.


Dana DeMinico

Director of Middle School (5-8)


Dana has been an educator for over 25 years. She has held a variety of roles in education, including elementary and middle school teacher, college professor, and instructional coach. She received her Masters Degree from University of California Santa Cruz, her Doctorate from Widener University and most recently completed the Transformative Principalship program at West Chester University. Dana is very happy to be part of the CCSA community and to have the opportunity to work in partnership with our students and families.

Brian Holm, Director of High School

Brian Holm

Director of High School


Brian taught high school-level mathematics for six years in Philadelphia before coming to CCSA in 2014. He has served as the Associate Director for Project Forward Leap Inc., a summer and school year enrichment program for middle school students. He is currently pursuing a Principal Certification at Eastern University.

Dawn Perry

Director of Special Education


Dawn Perry has been in education for 17 years. She has taught in several states across the country and spent most of those years in urban schools. Her various certifications and experience range from elementary through high school.  She earned her master's degree from the University of Delaware in Educational Leadership and also served three years as a school principal.  Throughout her years in education, she has worked to provide support to schools, teachers, students, and families in the area of special education. 

Ryan Fisher, Athletic Director

Ryan Fisher

Director of Athletics & Character Development


Ryan previously served as CCSA’s Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director and was the Founding Physical Education Teacher. He has been working with the students of Chester since 2012. He was also the head coach of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team.

Cherron Hamm

Dean of School Culture


Cherron Hamm has been an educator at CCSA for over ten years. She received a Master of Education degree from the Temple University College of Education, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management Marketing (Temple University), and an Associate degree in Culture, Science and Technology from the Community College of Philadelphia. Ms. Hamm has served as an educator from grades 3-8. In this position, she is most excited about building partnerships with students, families and community; and being the best role model possible for the K-12 student body at-large. 

Tara Park

Strategic & Special Projects Manager


Tara worked for ten years with the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School before joining CCSA in 2014 as a middle-school Social Studies and English teacher. She became the Director of Middle School in 2019 and served in that role for four years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.