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studentadvocate.dc.gov

Student Advocate
 

Office of the Student Advocate Staff

Dan Davis, Chief Student Advocate

Dan Davis is the Chief Student Advocate for the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA). He joined the office in October of 2016 as the Student Advocate with a focus on safe passage, special education, language access, bullying, and parent leadership. Prior to joining the office, Dan spent 9 years supporting District disadvantaged youth and families at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc. His work with runaway homeless youth, justice involved youth, recent immigrant adults, and disconnected families has cemented a community-first outlook that contributes to the office's ability to help all students succeed. Dan is a proud DCPS alum and currently lives in Ward 7.


Phillip Copeland, Student Advocate

Phillip Copeland is a Student Advocate for the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA). He is a father of three and a former educator who made the transition out of the classroom to become an advocate for DC’s youth.  Phillip worked as a middle school teacher in DC for six years teaching a variety of subjects, but specialized in mathematics.  He wants to use his experiences from the classroom and as a parent to empower families and influence policies that will benefit students across our nation’s capital. Phillip obtained his Master of Education degree in curriculum design and instruction prior to becoming a teacher and now has aspirations of obtaining a doctorate in educational policy.


Renatta Landrau, Student Advocate

Renatta Landrau is a Student Advocate for the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA). She joined the office in July of 2019 after serving as a Student Advocate Fellow. Prior to this role, Renatta worked as an elementary school teacher finishing her teaching career in Ward 8. Her experience as an educator continues to inform her advocacy in centering the needs of students and families in the office’s work. Renatta is passionate about creating accessible pathways to mental health support for our youth and strengthening effective literacy instruction. Renatta holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Early Childhood Development from Spelman College. 


Natalie Powell, Student Advocate

Natalie Powell is a Student Advocate for the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA). Before joining the team in October 2022, she spent 9 years as kindergarten-5 educator in Southeast Washington, DC. During this time, she served many grade levels and roles including, special education teacher, department chair, and vice principal. She developed a passion for social emotional learning and ensuring students requiring special education services had their needs met. The wide range of roles allowed her to see the school system and its many challenges from different angles, giving her a unique perspective on what students, families, and school staff need to be successful. 


Valeria Popolizio Torres, Program Associate

Valeria Popolizio Torres is the Program Associate for the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA). She joined the team as a Student Advocate Fellow in 2021, and later transitioned into the Program Associate role. Inspired by her own experiences as a Peruvian immigrant and first-generation college student, Valeria is passionate about transforming education to be a space of joy, community healing, and empowerment. She is a former coordinator of Mentoring Education and Transforming to Achieve Success (METAS), has co-authored children's rights curriculum, and has served as a college and career readiness counselor. Valeria obtained her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Connecticut, and her Master of Arts in Educational Transformation with a concentration in Advocacy and Policy from Georgetown University.


Student Advocate Fellows

Elena Rowe, Student Advocate Fellow 

Lara Santana, Student Advocate Fellow