Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges hired Angela Watts and Phillipe Cunningham to in efforts to improve early childhood education, education across the city and youth development.
Watts will serve as the mayor’s senior policy aide on early childhood education and youth development while Cunningham will serve as the senior policy aide for education and youth success.
“I am thrilled to have such talented people joining my staff,” said Hodges. “I know that to achieve our goal of improving life outcomes for the city’s youth, we need the very brightest and most dedicated people. I am thankful that Angela and Phillipe have chosen to be a part of my team and know that their contributions will benefit all of Minneapolis.”
Watts served on the United Way of the Greater St. Louis Early Education Leadership team. Most recently Watts was the senior director of health prevention and promotion with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Prior to that she served as the director of Minneapolis’ health department’s Health Start program.
Cunningham comes to City Hall with more than 10 years of experience as an educator and youth worker. He first served Minneapolis as a member of the city’s executive committee on youth violence prevention.
Cunningham was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools as a Chicago teaching fellow. In addition to his classroom experience, he has developed and implemented out-of-school-time programs across several subject areas with an emphasis on developing youth into 21st century citizens.
Cunningham is also working in partnership with the Wilder Foundation developing the Community Equity Pipeline program for community organizers and leaders of color to learn the public policy process with a focus on building racial equity into legislation.
Cunningham will focus his expertise on addressing racial disparities and closing the achievement gap for youth in Minneapolis. He will also be working on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.