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We invite you to get to know us better. Please read every individual member profile below to learn more about the people behind Sharon Baptist Head Start.


Mr. Bennett’s’ Head Start career began in 1966 when he worked as a teacher in Bedford Stuyvesant Head Start in Brooklyn, NY. He retired from East Side Settlement Head Start where he served as the Administrative Director for 43 years. Upon his retirement, he graciously accepted the invitation to join our Board of Directors. Julius was a founding member, past president, and current member of the New York State Head Start Association. He presently serves as a member of the Region II Head Start Association. An alumnus of North Carolina Central University he tirelessly splits his time between Sharon Baptist, our Fathers 4 Progress committee and Mount Olivet Baptist Church in the Village of Harlem, New York where he is chairman of the Board of Trustees.


Frances Phipps is the former New York City Head Start Assistant Commissioner. She was responsible for the administration and monitoring of 79 Head Start Delegate Agencies with a budget of over $180 million dollars. Over the past forty years, she served as Executive Director of the Administration for Children’s Services Training and Staff Development, Purchasing/Procurement, and Personnel Services Division. During her forty-five year involvement with Head Start, she served as a national Head Start Monitor and provided training and technical assistance to staff, board, and parent decision-makers. Ms. Phipps is a proud civil rights activist who served during the sixties and seventies with both the Brooklyn and National Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). As a result of her civil rights activities, she was awarded with the New York University’s Martin Luther King full scholarship. She continues to provide training and technical assistance services to day care and Head Start programs in New York and New Jersey as a private consultant. Ms. Phipps represents the Sharon Baptist Head Start Board of Directors on the New York State Head Start Association Board as Vice Chair and as a member of the New York City Head Start Sponsoring Board Council.


She is a former junior high school principal who is the current Middle School Science Chair in New Rochelle, New York. As an active member and former president of Tau Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she continues to actively serve the Bronx Community.


Mr. Allanah earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the New York Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from Long Island University. For 24 years, he performed his duties as a member of the Property Management team at the New York City Agency for Child Development (ACD), later Administration for Children Services (ACS). Over the span of time “Tony” was a dedicated overseer of many multi-million dollar renovation projects that included the development of centers for Head Start and childcare children throughout New York City. In fact, he managed the gut rehabilitation of each of Sharon Baptist’s campuses. He’s knowledgeable in project design, costs, and development. He imparts that knowledge onto the directors believing they should be on top of all there is to know about rehabbing and maintaining the properties. Upon leaving ACS Mr. Allanah now works for the New York Police Department’s Department of Design and Construction.


Ms. Dweh is an alumni parent of Sharon Baptist Head Start, Campus I. During her daughter’s two years of enrollment, Janet served both years as a member of the agency’s Center and Policy Council. Her last year she served as the Council’s Vice Chairperson. Ms. Dweh is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City where she earned a baccalaureate degree in International Criminal Justice. She is currently a Parent Coordinator at the Bronx International High School. Ms. Dweh is fluent in the Mandingo language and is serious about using her life experiences to help others navigate the challenges of life. Her passions are working with youth, the community, and rearing her daughter to be the best person she can be.


Ms. Kanu-James is employed with an insurance company where her concentration is in the area of Directors and Officers liability. She is originally from Maryland and attended Cornell University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Ms. Kanu-James is also a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Politics and Education; she is also a graduate of Fordham University’s School of Law. In addition to her volunteer work with the Sharon Baptist Head Start, she is also the Vice-President of the South Bronx chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Since 1990, Mr. André S. Lake has effectively provided exceptional leadership to several grant-funded programs that empower youth, family, and the community by providing direct services. As a proponent for youth, he consistently demonstrated an exceptional zeal toward advancing the general and specific welfare of youth, regardless of their background, socio-economic status, academic achievement, or other perchance predicament in life. While being engaged in this noble undertaking, he has amassed over twenty-five years of dedicated, unconditional, and unrelenting service. Numerous individuals have benefited and will testify to the impact he had in goading them toward realizing their inner potential in life and unlocking their resilient nature. Executive Director has over twenty years of exceptional and dedicated service to youth in the Central Brooklyn Community. Youth development programs under his supervision are all funded by external funding sources such as Federal, State, and City agencies. Programs were always vibrant and active under his leadership. As an advocate of the community, Mr. Lake has been instrumental in providing several educational programs, as well as a monthly food program for citizens, serves on several youth community boards, and is involved in a number of other initiatives. Hence, he is often called upon for input, advice and/or leadership. Mr. Lake is the Chairman of the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council and holds membership on the College Access Consortium New York.

Academically, Mr. Lake is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Committed to public service for over 15 years, Cherise Myers manages a variety of professional development services and cutting-edge courses for the largest 24-hour transportation agency in the nation. She also provides executive coaching sessions to empower leaders in the organization to:

  • Maximize Emotional Intelligence Competencies
  • Create networks of connected and committed people
  • Manage staff to accomplish agency goals and initiatives

As a sociologist, it is Cherise’s goal to override conceptual discussions and plausible laws of research to serve. She takes introspective sociological methods out of lecture halls and into our community by providing families access to the personal and professional development required to succeed.


Ms. Norman is the Vice President/Chief Program Officer at Julia Dyckman Andrus Memorial, Inc. (ANDRUS) Yonkers, New York. She aligns the activities of the Mental Health and Community Services divisions with the overall strategic vision of developing trauma-informed communities. She notes as her Key Accomplishments:

  • Partnership contracts with Yonkers Public Schools for 21st Century Grant 2013-2015.
  • Contract with NYS Office of Children and Family Services to provide Organizational Crisis Response Using the Sanctuary® Model (a blueprint for the clinical and organizational change) to Westchester County Department of Social Services and Nassau County Department of Social Services.
  • NYS OCFS Public-Private Partnership Grant Awardee for 2013 – 2016 to “Create Sanctuary in the Mount Vernon City School District” also using the Sanctuary Model.

Kerron began her career in public service at New York City’s Administration for Children Services where she served in several capacities including Child Protective Services (CPS) Supervisor, CPS Manager, and Director of Field Operations. She also performed a stint in Westchester County Department of Social Services where she was Director of Child Welfare Services.

little girls listening to their teacher