Core Planning Team


Jennifer Lowman

Jenny Lowman is the Assistant Director of Institutional Support at Eastern University, a position which involves researching and writing grants in support of Eastern’s funding priorities. Previously, she worked as a grant writer for and then Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC). WePAC brings access to books and the joy of reading to young children by re-opening libraries in Philadelphia public elementary schools using volunteers. 

For 12 years, she worked as a senior staff attorney and Director of Client Services and Training at the Education Law Center (ELC), where she advocated for all of Pennsylvania’s children to have access to a quality public education.  She was the recipient of an Independence Foundation Public Interest Fellowship and a Philadelphia Bar Foundation Fellowship to support her work at ELC.  She also taught Legal Research & Writing at the Temple University Beasley School of Law and she worked as a litigation associate at Dechert LLP.

She currently serves as a school director on the board of the Cheltenham School District and she sits on the board of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.  She holds a B.A. in Government from Lehigh University (summa cum laude) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude).  

Corinne Brady

Corinne Brady has been the leadership and coordinator behind the enlarged and active John B. Kelly School Library Volunteers since June 2018. She has been an active participant of the volunteer community in Philadelphia since moving here in 2016.

Since 2021, Corinne serves as a Board member of the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry and on the Abington Friends Meeting’s Peace and Social Justice committee. She also works weekly with the Germantown Food Cupboard distribution.

While in Westchester, New York, she created and led a public library volunteer program of over 50 volunteers, providing preschool story time programs and an arts & crafts program. She volunteered for 15 years in a 200-member women’s club, planning yearly book and author programs and raising funds for the nonprofit club. 

Corinne holds a BA in Theatre and English. Prior to her recent volunteer activities, Corinne had a long career in office management and production coordination, including in the music and film industries. 

Deborah Grill

Deb Grill is the Research Committee and Library Advocacy Coordinator of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS).  

For 34 years she held positions in the Philadelphia School District as a reading teacher, certified school librarian, literacy coach and new teacher liaison. She has worked with students and teachers at the elementary, middle, junior high, and high school levels.

Deb was a board member of the Alliance for Philadelphia School Librarians (APSL) and served as a librarian liaison to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

She represented APSL at the Education First Compact meetings of the Philadelphia Education Fund until there were so few librarians in the District that APSL had to dissolve.  She was a member of the Education Committee of Public Citizens for Children and Youth for 4 years.

Debra Kachel

Deb Kachel is an online Affiliate Faculty member for Antioch University Seattle and has over 30 years’ experience as a high school librarian and district library coordinator in southeastern PA. In addition to teaching school library certification courses for Antioch, she has taught for Drexel University, Mansfield University, and McDaniel College (MD).

Deb wrote and administered several federal scholarship grant programs for teachers earning school library certification through Mansfield University from 2005 through 2015, totally over $4.5 million. She is an active member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association’s Advocacy Committee and earned American Association of School Librarian’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014. She is the Project Director of a three-year, federally funded grant project called SLIDE: The School Librarian Investigation--Decline or Evolution? examining the status of school librarian employment nationwide.

Deb holds a Master of Information Science degree and Supervisory certificate from Drexel University and is a frequent presenter and author on school library advocacy issues.

Barbara Stripling

Barb Stripling has held positions as a school librarian, district director of libraries in Arkansas and New York City, and Associate Professor in the iSchool at Syracuse University.  Barb has written or edited numerous publications and is the creator of the Stripling Model of Inquiry.  In 2019, Stripling developed and published a re-imagined Empire State Information Fluency Continuum, a PK-12 continuum of skills that librarians teach to empower students to be lifelong learners.  Stripling is past president of the American Association of School Librarians, the New York Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

She holds a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management, from Syracuse University and from the University of Arkansas, the University of Colorado, and Stanford University.