Board Members

School Board 

 

Dr. Lumas Helaire (Board President) is a positive youth development practitioner working to empower adolescents and young adults through mentoring programs, projects, and workshops aimed at personal, social and academic growth. He specializes in two areas: curriculum design and development and academic coaching. He received his BA in Psychology with Honors from Morehouse College, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and his MS in Developmental Psychology and PhD in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Lumas works as an Associate Director for the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI) at the University of Michigan, directs the college preparatory program GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), and coordinates the University's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium. In GEAR UP, he has developed relationships between the University of Michigan and middle schools, high schools, and various community organizations in Detroit, Highland Park, Romulus, Southfield, and Ypsilanti over the past ten years to support a college-readiness culture within schools.

Lumas is also co-creator of the THREADS (Truth Honor Respect Education And Development of Self) mentoring program, which currently has sites at Horizons Upward Bound (HUB) program at Cranbrook and Brick Academy in Newark, New Jersey. His personal educational experiences, work in mentoring, and collaboration and networking with educators at all levels drives his interest in holistic community revitalization anchored in schooling development. Most recently, he began Lumas Solutions, LLC, a consulting company with a vision to transform public education and a mission to train students in achieving academic excellence.

 

 

 

Patrick Crouch (Board Vice President) found his true calling in organic agriculture after graduating with a fine arts degree. Patrick has been with Earthworks Urban Farm/Capuchin Soup Kitchen since 2004. As Program Manager, Patrick oversees all programs, staff and interns. He directly oversees the farm, greenhouse and apiary and teaches monthly working lessons. Patrick is responsible for weekly Detroit Earthworks updates e-mails. He has been teaching urban gardening classes for the last eight years and assisted in the writing and development of the Urban Roots program, a community gardening training program. Patrick assisted in the development of a nine-month adult education program, the Earthworks Agriculture Training Program, and teaches many of the classes for it.  He serves on the Detroit Agriculture Network Board as well as the Food Policy Council of the City of Detroit.  Patrick’s commitment to working for safe food for all Detroiters will be an asset to our principles of sustainable living as well as social justice issues facing our community. 

 

Klotylda Hartshorn Phillippi (Board Secretary) recently retired from her teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She received her undergraduate degree from Alma College and her MA and PhD from Michigan State University where she also taught. Her research interests include early reading and writing and professional learning communities where University interns, mentor teachers and University instructors learn together.  Her goal is for every school to be a learning community for everyone – the students, teachers, staff and families.  Her teaching philosophy emphasizes caring, social justice and equity as essential.  She taught literacy courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, mentored doctoral students in her classes and taught in the Elementary Master of Arts with Certification (ELMAC) program since it began in 1998.  Amanda Rosman was one of her early star graduate students. She has worked with her university interns in urban and suburban districts.  Prior to and during her University teaching, Phillippi taught all elementary grades as a classroom teacher and learning specialist. She says that her 50 years in education have led her to the Boggs School which epitomizes all that she believes a wonderful school can be.
 

 

 Soh Suzuki (Board Treasurer) was introduced to Detroit’s grassroots community organizing initiatives through the planning of the twentieth-year remembrance of Vincent Chin’s murder and then working with Detroit Summer to create a community-based mural in Chinatown.  He resided at the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in his earlier years in Detroit, where he interacted with various organizations and individuals making differences in the city and beyond.  He co-founded Detroit Asian Youth Project and has also been involved in APIA Vote-Michigan, Japanese American Citizens League, and Ladybug Studios.  Soh graduated from Michigan State University with BFA in Studio Art, BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Specialization in Museum Studies.  He currently works at Avalon International Breads. 

 

  

Amber York has been a Detroit resident since 2000 and has two Boggs students in her family. She comes to the Boggs board with a diverse history including Alzheimer's and cancer laboratory research, grant writing for community organizing, instructional development, and farm work. She spent extensive time volunteering with non-government organizations in Japan and the Philippines and currently dedicates her time to community organizing for racial justice in Detroit. Amber graduated from Wayne State University with BA in Biological Sciences. 

 

 

Thomas Nikundiwe identifies as a father, educator, and organizer. Born in Tanzania and raised in Lansing, Michigan, he studied mathematics and education at Michigan State University and went on to teach secondary mathematics in the Baltimore City Public School System. After four years in Baltimore, Thomas served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda training primary school teachers. There, he adopted his first son, Izaac. Thomas then returned to Baltimore to work as a Math Literacy Youth Organizer for the Baltimore Algebra Project. Convinced of the power and promise of organizing as a tool for personal, institutional, and community transformation, Thomas decided to further study youth and community organizing at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned a Doctorate in Education. Thomas was on a team of researchers and authors for a project that led to the publishing of a book titled, Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform. In his last year in Boston, Thomas served as the Coordinator for the Youth Organizers United for the Now Generation (YOUNG) Coalition.  Thomas had his second son, Akenna, while in the Boston area. Returning to Michigan, Thomas now lives in Detroit with his partner and two boys where he serves as the executive director the Education for Liberation Network. His younger son is a student at the Boggs School.