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Edward M. Epstein, Ed.D., Alan J. Lee Director

Since he began as Director in 2016, Dr. Epstein has overseen the expansion of TIP, recruiting a new and diverse body of teacher fellows, seminar leaders and faculty advisory members. In 2017 he spearheaded a redesign of TIP’s visual identity and website, raising the profile of the organization and making teachers’ curriculum unit writing more accessible to the public. Dr. Epstein also initiated a partnership with Temple University to offer seminars on their campus, and developed a closer working relationship with the School District of Philadelphia. His scholarly work has investigated the historical relationship between universities and their surrounding communities, noting the ways institutions of higher education both help and hinder social progress. Previously, Dr. Epstein was Associate Director of Education and Institutional Relations at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Upon moving to Philadelphia, Dr. Epstein founded the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program, which offers studio space to West Philadelphia in exchange for service to the community.


Ameer Blackmon, School Engagement Manager

Mr. Blackmon has over a decade of experience in education. Born and raised here in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and educated in the School District of Philadelphia, he received a bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia and a Master’s in Teaching from Cheyney University, where he served as a graduate assistant and member of the Call Me MISTER Program, designed to increase the number of Black males in the field of education. Mr. Blackmon would go on to work with The School District of Philadelphia in multiple facets, first as a 5th and 6th grade teacher and then as a program administrator, where he developed and oversaw the training component for the district’s Turn to Teach Program. Additionally, Mr. Blackmon has served served with The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General as an Education and Outreach Specialist, covering the southeastern region of the state.