William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D.
With a focus on equity, innovation and quality, Dr. William R. Hite serves as Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, the largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Since joining the School District in June 2012, Dr. Hite has worked to create a system of great schools in every neighborhood. Under his leadership, the School District has opened new innovative high schools, expanded successful school models, launched in-district turnarounds and redesigned schools in partnership with communities. His overall focus remains on strengthening all elementary and secondary school offerings.
Dr. Hite’s professional experience includes serving at every level – teacher, principal, central office administrator and Superintendent. He was previously Superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland where his central work focused on enhanced access and rigor to ensure college- and career-readiness. Prince George’s County schools, one of the 25 largest systems in the United States, received national recognition for expanding access to Advanced Placement courses during his tenure.
Dr. Hite also served as an Assistant Superintendent in Georgia’s Cobb County School District. In addition, as an administrator in Henrico County, Virginia, he led Highland Springs High School to “Best Practices” honors from the state’s General Assembly.
Dr. Hite has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Richmond School of Continuous Learning and taught school leadership courses at Virginia State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland. A member of numerous national, state, and local boards, he has participated with national agencies and associations to reform K-12 education.
Dr. Hite holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Tech, master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in education specializing in educational leadership from Virginia Tech. His interests include music, travel, sports and reading. He and his wife Deirdre have two daughters and a grandson.
Chief of Staff
Alicia Prince is the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent for The School District of Philadelphia. In this role, Alicia serves as the chief aide to the Superintendent and partners with the Superintendent to create a culture of change and an active learning work environment across the central offices.
The Chief of Staff provides strategic support and program management to the Superintendent and senior leadership team; liaises between the Office of the Superintendent and all other central offices, including the Charter School Office; and is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the internal operations of the Office of the Superintendent. In addition, Alicia is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the District’s Action Plan, having an emphasis on communicating the plans and priorities to internal audiences, and, she oversees strategic labor relations decisions and supports executive level hiring.
Prior to being named Chief of Staff, Alicia served as the District’s Interim Chief Operating Officer.
Chief of Academic Support
Dr. Malika Savoy-Brooks
With an unwavering commitment to ensuring that every student is equipped with intellectual strategies and experiences to develop their cognitive capability, Dr. Malika Savoy-Brooks serves as Chief Academic Supports Officer of The School District of Philadelphia, the eighth largest public school system in the country.
Dr. Savoy-Brooks ’s professional experience includes serving at every level – teacher, academic coach, principal, assistant superintendent, and central office administrator. She holds a master of science degree in elementary education and in educational leadership. She also holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership with a strong focus on curriculum and instruction. She holds Pennsylvania certifications in Elementary education, Reading Specialist, Supervisory, K-12, Administrative, K-12, and Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility.
Dr. Brooks is passionate about great teaching and relentlessly committed to educational equality. She has led numerous professional development sessions for administrators, teachers, and parents on effective teaching and learning practices, curriculum development, school improvement, and academic achievement. Her success includes directing six schools toward remarkably increasing School Progress Report scores, leading a school with a significantly underserved student population to attain adequate yearly progress, mentoring teachers in their professional growth to become lead teacher and school administrators, and collaborating with multiple parent organizations and community groups to extend and enhance instructional programming for students. Dr. Brooks has a demonstrated capacity to develop district-level plans to direct, support, and monitor the implementation of research-based instructional practices aligned with Pennsylvania’s Academic and Core Standards.
Dr. Brooks resides in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with family, reading, and volunteering in her community.
Chief of Student Support Services
Karyn T. Lynch
Prior to joining the School District of Philadelphia, Lynch served as the Chief of Student Services at Prince George’s County Public Schools. As the Chief of Student Services, Lynch managed the division’s departments of Guidance Counseling Services, Family and Community Outreach, Health Services, Homeless Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Character Education, as well as the Office of Student Appeals, and the Office Business and Community Relations.
Lynch received her Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College. She was awarded the Governor’s Citation for Excellence in Leadership and the Woman of the Year Award in 2008.
Chief Financial Officer
Since February 2016, Uri Monson has served as the Chief Financial Officer for the School District of Philadelphia. In this role, he works to maintain the fiscal integrity of the School District of Philadelphia and allocate the necessary resources to support the District’s academic objectives.
The primary functions of the Finance Office include formation of the District’s $2.8 billion Operating Budget, monitoring spending throughout the year, and ensuring proper accounting of all District Funds. The CFO is also responsible for tracking all revenues due to the District and working with the City, the Commonwealth, and other entities to identify reliable sources of revenue for the District. Additionally, the CFO’s responsibilities include overseeing grant management and compliance for over $300 million in grant funds, management of a $3.7 billion debt portfolio, treasury, payroll and risk management functions.
From 2012 to 2016, Mr. Monson served as the Chief Financial Officer for Montgomery County, PA. In this role, he advised the Commissioners on County fiscal matters and was responsible for the overall management of County funds, including formation of the County’s $371 million Operating Budget and $160 million Capital Budget. He managed the County’s $400 million debt portfolio, and oversaw the County’s $500 million Pension Fund.
From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Monson served as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA). In this role, he monitored the City of Philadelphia’s budget, and reviewed the city’s annual $20 billion Five-Year Financial Plan. Mr. Monson previously served as Assistant Budget Director for the City of Philadelphia where his primary responsibilities included analyzing proposed policies for the Finance Director and the Mayor’s Cabinet. Prior to returning to Philadelphia, Mr. Monson worked for the US Department of Education in Washington, DC as a Congressional Liaison and as a policy analyst for the Office of Postsecondary Education.
Mr. Monson has a Masters Degree in Public Policy, with a concentration in education policy, from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Midrash from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Mr. Monson was named as a person to watch in Philadelphia Magazine’s 2009 “Best of Philly” Issue, including citation as the top “Wonk” in the City. Inside Magazine named Mr. Monson as one of the top ten influential Jewish professionals in Philadelphia in 2009. He is an active member of his synagogue, Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. Mr. Monson also served previously as a Board member of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, and as President of the Philadelphia Committee on City Policy.
Chief of Schools
Dr. Evelyn Nuñez
Dr. Nuñez has served as an Assistant Superintendent in the District for the past three years, most recently supervising principals in the Kensington, Fishtown, Juniata Park and Port Richmond sections of North Philadelphia. In this role her work has included establishing structures and systems aligned to the District’s Action plan by supporting the work of principals in creating a school environment that is conducive to teaching and learning and improving the academic achievement for all students.
Dr. Nuñez has over 25 years of experience at the school and system level including serving as a teacher and administrators. She began her career as a teacher with the School District of Philadelphia, before becoming a principal/school director, Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of a series of Charter Schools in Philadelphia. Dr. Nuñez returned to the District in 2015 as the principal of Lewis Elkin Elementary School before becoming a District Assistant Superintendent in 2017.
A product of the School District of Philadelphia and a graduate of Thomas Edison High School, Dr. Nuñez earned a Bachelor’s from Chestnut Hill College, a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Cheyney University, and a Doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership from Gwynedd-Mercy University.
Chief Operating Officer
As the COO for the School District of Philadelphia, Reggie oversees the Offices of Capital Projects, Environmental, Facilities and Maintenance, Food Services and Transportation.
In his most recent position as the Executive Director of Capital Programs for Charleston County School District, Reggie oversaw all construction initiatives for the district, which contains a wide range of schools and environments, and grapples with vast disparities in socio-economic status. In four short years, Reggie oversaw a $500M capital program (Phase IV) that included capital construction for new schools and major renovations, and an additional $100M in building maintenance. All in all, Reggie and his team oversaw more than 25 projects delivered on time and on budget.
His work has focused on collaboration, working with leaders at all schools as well as with both the constituent boards, the consolidated school board, and community outreach. Reggie has been an advocate for inclusiveness, holding community meetings to gain feedback and breaking down barriers between the departments in operations through greater transparency and collaboration.
Chief of Evaluation, Research, and Accountability
Tonya Wolford is the Chief of District Evaluation, Research and Accountability. In this role, Tonya oversees the District Performance Office, the Office of Research and Evaluation, and the Planning and Evidence-based Supports Office.
The Chief of District Evaluation, Research and Accountability leads the District’s use of data and evidence to improve outcomes for students. This is achieved through the annual School Progress Report; Qlik-BAM, a suite of interactive dashboards; ongoing program evaluations and research; the comprehensive planning process; and professional development and technical assistance offered to leadership, Assistant Superintendents and Principals.
Prior to assuming her current role, Tonya worked in research and evaluation at the District for eight years, starting as a Senior Research Associate and moving up to Deputy, Research, Evaluation and Academic Partnerships. Prior to joining the District, Tonya was an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, where she taught courses in Spanish and English language, linguistics and translation. She previously worked in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania conducting research on the effect of non-standard English dialects on reading in elementary school. Tonya began her career in journalism and then medical education, spending many years working on k-12 medical education pipeline programs for underrepresented minorities.
Tonya is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she earned a B.S. in Journalism; and the University of Houston, where she earned a Master’s in Second Language Education and a Doctorate in Spanish Linguistics.
Tonya is vice-chair of the governing board for the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (RELMA). She also serves on the steering committee for the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University.
Chief Information Officer
Melanie S. Harris
Melanie S. Harris joined the School District of Philadelphia in 1999 and currently serves as the Chief Information Officer. In that role, she oversees the team responsible for all aspects of technology delivery and support for schools and administrative offices.
Prior to her position as Chief Information Officer, Ms. Harris served as the Executive Director of Information Systems and the Director of Systems and Applications. In those roles, she was responsible for the development and implementation of an online technology strategy, as well as, building a more customer service oriented approach to support schools.
Ms. Harris has always upheld the mission to provide students and teachers with the technology and tools that are essential for learning and achievement in the 21st century classroom, and equally important, providing school administrators and teachers with the data and reporting tools necessary for critical decision making and governance.
Ms. Harris received her Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern University and her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from St. Joseph’s University.
Chief Talent Officer
Larisa Shambaugh is the Chief Talent Officer for the School District of Philadelphia, where she oversees all aspects of talent-related strategy and employee service for the district, including recruitment, hiring, benefits, compensation, labor and employee relations. Prior to her current role in the District, Larisa was most recently an independent education consultant, providing support and coaching to educational organizations.
Previously, as Chief Talent Officer of Newark Public Schools in Newark, New Jersey, Larisa oversaw four departments – Educator Effectiveness, Employee Services, Labor & Employee Relations, and Recruitment & Staffing – and served as a member of the Superintendent’s cabinet. Prior to work in Newark Public Schools, Larisa spent seven years conducting education research at the American Institutes for Research.
Larisa received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and French from Tufts University and her Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
Chief of Communications
Kathryn Block is the Chief of Communications and External Relations for the School District of Philadelphia. In her role, Kathryn oversees the District’s internal and external communications, media relations, social media, web presence, marketing campaigns and content development strategy as well as its government and community relations efforts.
As a proud Temple alumna, Kathryn is a strong advocate for Philadelphia’s public schools and the students, families and communities we serve. Her office serves to promote powerful connections between the District, its employees and the public by providing timely information and stories about our scholars and initiatives that uplift, educate and empower.
Advancing the effort to ensure all children have access to a high-quality K-12 public education is a personal passion for Kathryn, who served as Chief Communications Officer for the second largest K-12 school district in North Carolina and an educational consultant for several school districts. She has been active in community outreach, mentoring and literacy efforts for both children and adults for more than two decades. Overall, she brings more than 25 years of experience in communications and marketing strategy, strategic planning and organizational leadership, much of it locally as an executive with the Campbell Soup Company.
Kathryn holds a B.A. degree in communications and advertising from Temple University, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the Broad Residency in Urban Education. She is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green belt. Kathryn proudly served in the United States Army Reserve for six years.
Lynn Rosner Rauch
Lynn Rosner Rauch joined the School District as General Counsel in 2017. In this role, she advises the Superintendent and other District leaders, the School Reform Commission, and program offices throughout the District. Lynn manages the Office of General Counsel, overseeing the provision of legal services and interfacing with counsel in the City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Department of Education. Her experience with the District dates back to the mid-1990’s, having since represented the District in desegregation, constitutional and civil rights, equitable and adequate funding, and environmental proceedings.
Before joining the District, Lynn was a partner at both Dilworth Paxson LLP, and Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP. In addition to the School District, she represented clients such as the Barnes Foundation, SEPTA, Independence Blue Cross, and prospective investors in Major League Baseball in high stakes litigation in federal and state courts, administrative forums, and mediation.
After graduating from Duke University, Lynn earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains active with her alma maters, chairing the Philadelphia region of the Duke University Alumni Association, founding the Philadelphia Chapter of the Duke Women’s Forum, and co-chairing Duke and Penn Law reunions. She previously served as a board member of the Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund, the Delaware Valley Association for Education of Young Children, and Main Line Reform Temple.
Lynn is a native of the Philadelphia region. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, music, and watching Duke football and basketball.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia
Donna Frisby-Greenwood serves as the first President and CEO of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. She previously served as director of college and career awareness for the School District of Philadelphia, before her most recent position as Philadelphia program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where her work focused on retaining talented people and expanding economic opportunity in the city.
Donna Frisby-Greenwood began her career in 1988 as an urban 4-H extension agent with The Penn State Cooperative Extension in Philadelphia. In 1990 she co-founded and served as Executive Director of Children First, Inc., a leadership development and civic education program for low income urban adolescents. In 1994 she became a Special Assistant to HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and Research as a National Urban Fellow. Subsequent positions have included Executive Director of Rock the Vote and Executive Director of the After-School All-Stars Philadelphia.
Donna Frisby-Greenwood is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a Masters of Public of Administration from Baruch College/CUNY.
Acting Chief of Charter Schools
Peng works with the Board of Education to set the mission and vision for the Charter Schools Office, and ensures its strategic plan for the CSO team and charter sector is implemented with fidelity. Since joining the CSO team in 2013, Peng has managed projects across the authorizing spectrum including new charter applications, restarts, hearings, and operations. Prior to joining the Charter Schools Office, he taught middle school math at both charter and District schools in Philadelphia. Peng has a Master’s degree in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University.
Chief Safety Officer
Kevin J. Bethel is a former Deputy Police Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, the 4th largest police department in the nation. As Deputy Commissioner he was in charge of Patrol Operations for the entire city. He also served as Founder and Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Juvenile Justice Institute. Kevin’s commitment and passion for reforming the Juvenile Justice System remains an ongoing priority.
In his role at the District, Kevin guides our continuing efforts to create and maintain safe, supportive, and caring environments in which our students can achieve at the highest levels. He is charged with implementing school safety best practices District-wide; revising standards, job descriptions, and recruitment practices for school police and other safety sensitive positions; partnering with the Office of Student Support Services to integrate social and emotional learning and student advocacy into safety initiatives; standardizing the security screening implementation to promote positive school culture; and forging meaningful partnerships with community, city and union stakeholders.
Kevin holds a Master of Science in Public Safety Management from St. Joseph’s University and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.
Executive Director, Opportunity Network
DawnLynne Kacer is the Executive Director of the Opportunity Network, responsible for all Contract-Operated Schools in that group. She came to this position after serving as the Executive Director of the Charter Schools Office of The School District of Philadelphia. In this role, DawnLynne oversaw the District’s charter schools portfolio and with the Charter Schools Office team supports, monitored and evaluated charter schools to ensure all are providing high quality options to the students of Philadelphia.
Before joining the School District in 2015, DawnLynne led the Charter Schools Office for the New York City Department of Education and prior to that was an education leadership fellow in the District of Columbia. During her fellowship, DawnLynne supported the executive team of a six-school charter management organization focused on school operations performance improvement. DawnLynne has also conducted program evaluations of K-12 classroom grant implementations in Chicago and Athens, Georgia assessing the impact and efficacy of small school and teacher grants to improve educational outcomes. She also served as a certified juvenile court officer hearing cases of abuse, neglect, and foster care permanency in Georgia. Prior to being selected for the Broad Residency in 2013, DawnLynne was a Senior Consultant serving public sector clients including state and federal government agencies in the areas of healthcare policy, governance, data analytics and information technology.
DawnLynne has a Masters of Education Leadership from the Broad Center for Management of School Systems and also earned her Masters of Public Policy from The University of Michigan’s Ford School. DawnLynne also has a BBA in International Business as well as a BA in Sociology with a focus on juvenile delinquency from The University of Georgia.
DawnLynne serves as Board Vice Chair of Monkey and Elephant, a Philadelphia non-profit providing job training and life skills support to former foster youth.
Chief of Equity
Sabriya K. Jubilee
Sabriya K. Jubilee, Ph.D. is the Chief of Equity, in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In this role, she provides leadership and guidance, setting the overarching vision and organizational structure to advance equity in the School District of Philadelphia.
Prior to this role, Dr. Jubilee held a number of positions during her 12 year tenure with SDP; including, Data Specialist, Research Assistant, School Improvement and Data Specialist, Director of Special Projects, Executive Director of School Improvement, and Deputy Chief of Equity. Throughout each position Dr. Jubilee has been a transformational-agent committed to systemic change through a lens of equity.
Seeing equity and social justice work as recompense for her existence in this world, as a Black woman raised in the city of Philadelphia, Dr. Jubilee is all too familiar with what it means to be “other.” As such, she believes it is her obligation to continue this work, started long before her, of dismantling systems of oppression.
A native of Philadelphia and graduate of the District, Dr. Jubilee holds a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences from Virginia Tech with a minor in Black Studies, a M.A. in African American and African Studies with a concentration in Education from The Ohio State University, a M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy, and a Ph.D. in Urban Education from Temple University.
In addition to her roles at SDP, Dr. Jubilee serves as an adjunct professor of Urban Education and Sociology.
Learning Network 1
Dr. Ted Domers
Schools in Learning Network 1
- Academy At Palumbo
- Arts Academy At Benjamin Rush
- William W. Bodine High School
- Engineering & Science High
- Central High School
- Constitution High School
- Creative And Performing Arts
- Franklin Learning Center
- Girard Academic Music Program
- Hill-freedman World Academy
- Lankenau High School
- Julia R. Masterman High School
- Motivation High School
- Northeast High School
- Parkway C.C. Middle College
- Phila High School For Girls
- Paul Robeson High School
- W. B. Saul High School
- Widener Memorial School
Learning Network 2
Dr. Rahshene Davis
Rahshene Davis-Bowie is a native Philadelphian beginning her career as a classroom teacher, moving to literacy coach in her school, onto an academic coach in the School District of Philadelphia and then onto a national literacy consultant where she worked in districts on school change through literacy, from Massachusetts to the Delta of Mississippi and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She trained and studied in best practices in literacy and school reform around the country and in the United Kingdom, Great Britain. Her vast experiences in school change led her to the realization that it was with the school building leader where school change was nurtured, orchestrated and led. This was what prompted her move into school leadership as a way to effect change for more students. She held the position of assistant principal, principal and Chief Academic Officer at Children’s Literacy Initiative before returning to the district in her current role.
Rahshene Davis-Bowie holds a M.S Ed., with a specialization in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S., in education administration from Baruch CUNY and attended NLNS (New Leaders for New Schools) a national urban principal training program in 2007. While principal at University Heights Charter School, her school was honored by the NLNS Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) program for accomplishing breakthrough student achievement gains in April 2011. Educators at the school received individual financial rewards in exchange for working with NLNS to document and share the practices that led to their successes. In April 2011, Rahshene Davis-Bowie was among a select group of educators to receive the Cultivating Quality Education Awards for contributions in 2010 and was awarded the School Administrator of the Year award from the New Jersey Charter School Association.
She is excited to bring her knowledge and experiences to Neighborhood Network Two, where she supports dynamic principals in improving the outcomes and experiences for their students each day.
Schools in Learning Network 2
- Amedee F. Bregy
- Bregy, F. Amedee – Head Start
- Cassidy, Lewis C.
- Girard, Stephen
- Gompers, Samuel
- Hamilton, Andrew
- Lamberton, Robert
- Lea, Henry C.
- Locke, Alain
- Middle Years Alternative School
- Overbrook Educational Center
- Overbrook Elementary
- Penn Alexander School
- Powel, Samuel
- Martha Washington
Learning Network 3
Dr. Sonya Harrison
Dr. Sonya Harrison, a native of Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of New York City public schools, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College, a Master of Arts degree from Temple University and a Doctorate degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Harrison has enjoyed twenty-plus years as an educator within the New York City and Philadelphia public schools as a Special Education Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and as an Assistant Superintendent. As a leader in various capacities, her main focus is to provide instructional support and professional development to educators for the implementation of best practices in the areas of instructional and systems leadership.
As a former principal in Philadelphia, Dr. Harrison reinvigorated the academic and social programs through the maintenance of a viable university partnership (University of Pennsylvania), a successful Community School, and a positive school climate through the incorporation of Positive Behavior Supports (PBS). She believes effective leaders positively influence the learning culture of an organization. Effective leaders create intentional learning for students by helping staff reflect and focus on their pedagogy and by collaborating and partnering with key stakeholders.
In addition to her experience as an administrator within a large, urban school district, Dr. Harrison has served as a peer coach and presented extensively in the area of school leadership at conferences and in community forums. Through her experience as an Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Harrison has become more interested in deepening her understanding of issues that face administrators in urban schools while seeking solutions to the many challenges they face.
Schools in Learning Network 3
- Alexander Adaire School
- Julia De Burgos Elementary
- Albert M. Greenfield School
- Gen. Philip Kearny School
- James R. Ludlow School
- Mc Call, Gen. George A. School
- Gen. George G. Meade School
- Meredith, William M. School
- John Moffet School
- Robert Morris School
- George W. Nebinger School
- Isaac A. Sheppard School
- Spring Garden School
- John Taggart School
- Vare-washington Elementary
- Laura W. Waring School
Learning Network 4
Dr. Noah Tennant
Dr. Noah Tennant credits his service as a volunteer for the Big Brother Program as a key influence in his pursuit of teaching. The experience fortified his desire to work with young people and be part of nurturing their growth and learning.
Noah began his educational career in New Jersey, where he served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Seeking new learning and opportunities to serve the community and children, Noah joined the charter school community where he served as a principal, deputy CEO, and CEO in West Philadelphia.
Noah serves as a mentor to aspiring school leaders as part of the University of Pennsylvania’s School Leadership Program. As an alum of the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders Neubauer Fellowship, he has also worked with educational leaders throughout the city. Noah relishes these opportunities as critical experiences to his own growth and development.
As a first-generation college student, Noah earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a Master’s degree from the Teachers College of Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Schools in Learning Network 4
- Frankford High School
- Benjamin Franklin High School
- Kensington Health Sciences
- Kensington High School
- Kensington Capa
- Martin L. King High School
- Abraham Lincoln High
- Jules Mastbaum High School
- Parkway-northwest High School
- Roxborough High School
- Strawberry Mansion High School
- George Washington High
Learning Network 5
Dr. Karen Kolsky, Interim
Dr. Kolsky is the Interim Assistant Superintendent of Learning Network 5, which includes schools in the Kensington, Fishtown, Juaniata Park and Port Richmond sections of North Philadelphia.
Schools in Learning Network 5
- John Barry
- Henry A. Brown
- Paul L. Dunbar
- Hackett School
- John F. Hartranft School
- Francis Hopkinson School
- William H. Hunter School
- Juniata Park Academy
- Morton Mcmichael
- S. Weir Mitchell
- Luis Munoz-marin
- Richmond School
- Philip H. Sheridan School
- John H. Webster School
- John Welsh School
- Frances E. Willard School
Learning Network 6
Ms. Newman most recently served as the principal of the Chester A. Arthur School. Under her leadership Arthur School had the most improved English PSSA scores in Philadelphia in 2017, the 7th most improved scores in Pennsylvania. The school was the most improved K-8 school based on School Progress Report Data in 2015-2016, and had the 3rd most improved Science PSSA Scores in Pennsylvania in 2016. Ms. Newman worked closely with the community to raise $1.7 million to renovate the schoolyard and create an interactive outdoor learning space.
Prior to holding this position, she was the principal at the Henry H. Houston School in Mt. Airy. Kim’s career as an administrator began as a resident principal at the C.W. Henry School during her completion of the Academy for Leadership in Philadelphia Schools. Ms. Newman was a teacher at both the Edwin H. Vare Middle School and the AMY at James Martin School in the School District of Philadelphia.
Kim has served as a mentor to aspiring principals and has worked with the University of Pennsylvania’s Educational Leadership Program, the Philly Plus program, Arcadia University, and for the School District of Philadelphia.
Ms. Newman holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology from Boston University, a Masters of Education from Chestnut Hill College in Elementary Education, and an Instructional Leadership Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Educational Leadership Program for Aspiring Principals. Ms. Newman is also an alum of the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders Neubauer Fellowship.
Throughout her career she has demonstrated her commitment to excellence in education and her capacity to work as an instructional leader and to maintain excellent relationships with parents and the community.
Schools in Learning Network 6
- Cook-wissahickon School
- James Dobson School
- Franklin S. Edmonds School
- Eleanor C. Emlen School
- Fitler Academics Plus
- Charles W Henry School
- Henry H. Houston School
- Jenks Academy Arts & Sciences
- John B. Kelly School
- Anna L. Lingelbach School
- Logan, James School
- Mccloskey, John F. School
- Mifflin, Thomas School
- Pennypacker, Samuel School
- Shawmont School
Learning Network 7
Constance Faith Horton
Schools in Learning Network 7
- Barton School
- Ellwood School
- Feltonville Intermediate
- Feltonville Arts & Sciences
- Finletter, Thomas K. School
- Franklin, Benjamin School
- Howe Academics Plus School
- James R. Lowell School
- Thurgood Marshall School
- Andrew J. Morrison School
- Olney Elementary School
- Joseph Pennell Elementary
- Prince Hall School
- Rowen School
Learning Network 8
Schools in Learning Network 8
- Baldi Middle School
- Watson Comly School
- Crossan, Kennedy C. School
- Stephen Decatur School
- Louis H. Farrell School
- A. L. Fitzpatrick School
- Fox Chase School
- Anne Frank School
- Joseph Greenberg School
- Hancock Demonstration School
- Harding, Warren G. Middle Sch
- William H. Loesche School
- J. Hampton Moore School
- Rhawnhurst School
- Solis-cohen, Solomon School
- Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Learning Network 9
Schools in Learning Network 9
- Ethan Allen School
- Bridesburg School
- J. Brown Academics Plus School
- Laura H. Carnell
- Russell Conwell
- Hamilton Disston School
- Thomas Holme School
- Henry W. Lawton School
- Mayfair School
- Northeast Propel Academy
- Robert B. Pollock School
- Gilbert Spruance School
- Allen M. Stearne School
- William H. Ziegler School
Learning Network 10
Mr. Ariel Lajara believes that strong learning communities are the change agent that allows all students, regardless of zip code, to learn and succeed. A product of the Philadelphia public school system, Ariel graduated from Jay Cooke Elementary and Olney High School. He attended Lincoln University where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Cabrini College where he earned his Master’s degree in Special Education and Educational Leadership.
Ariel began his journey as a 1st grade teacher and has served as a middle school teacher, Dean of Students, Director of Instruction, Assistant Principal, and most recently as Principal of The Hon. Luis Muñoz-Marín Elementary School in Philadelphia. While Principal at Marín, the school earned the School Progress Report (SPR) Accelerated Improvement Award from 2016-2018 and made three consecutive years of progress in all SPR categories.
Ariel has completed the RELAY Graduate School of Education National Principals Academy Fellowship, the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders Fellowship, and the Neubauer Leaders of Leaders Program for school systems leaders who supervise and develop principals.
Committed to service in the community, Mr. Lajara is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), and Pennsylvania Association of Hispanic School Administrators (PAHSA). Serving as an Assistant Superintendent in his own community is, and has always been, a lifelong dream for Ariel.
He is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining high performing schools for inner-city youth.
Schools in Learning Network 10
- Chester A. Arthur School
- George W Childs School
- D. Newlin Fell School
- Andrew Jackson School
- A.S. Jenks Academics Plus Sch
- Francis Scott Key School
- Eliza B. Kirkbride School
- W C Longstreth School
- John M Patterson School
- Penrose School
- George Sharswood School
- Southwark School
- Edwin M. Stanton
- Tilden Middle School
Learning Network 11
Amelia Coleman Brown
Mrs. Brown served Learning Networks 8 & 9 as an Assistant Superintendent Fellow during the 2017-2018 school year, before moving to her current role as Assistant Superintendent for Learning Network 11. Prior to, she served for six years as the principal of William D. Kelley Elementary School in North Philadelphia. During this time Mrs. Brown led the development of a school transformation plan focused on dramatically ensuring and increasing equitable learning opportunities for 21st century students residing in an urban community. Before her role at Kelley, she served as the vice principal of Widener Partnership Charter School, a K-8 elementary school in Chester, Pennsylvania.
In addition to her formal roles as an educational leader, Mrs. Brown mentors aspiring principals, currently serving as a University Mentor to intern principals enrolled in the Aspiring Educational Leadership Program at the University of PennsylvaniaÕs Educational Leadership Program. Mrs. Brown has served the city of Philadelphia as a classroom teacher, an academic coach, a teacher consultant with the Philadelphia Writing Project, and an adjunct instructor of reading and writing at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Brown holds a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Temple University, a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and an Instructional Leadership Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Educational Leadership Program for Aspiring Principals. She is alum of two highly recognized principal leadership programs, The National Principals Academy of Relay Graduate School of Education and the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders Neubauer Fellowship.
Amelia is a native to Philadelphia and is a proud wife and mother of one amazing daughter.
Schools in Learning Network 11
- Mary Bethune School
- Blaine, James G. School
- Cayuga School
- Cramp, William School
- William Dick School
- Tanner Duckrey
- Lewis Elkin School
- Edward Gideon School
- William D. Kelley School
- Kenderton Elementary
- Alexander Mcclure School
- Thomas G Morton School
- Thomas M. Peirce School
- Bayard Taylor School
- Richard R. Wright
Learning Network 12
Jamina Clay brings a wealth of experience serving schools in the Philadelphia region as a Principal Coach, Principal, Assistant Principal and teacher.
Prior to returning to the district, Jamina served as a Leadership Coach with The New Teacher Project. In this role, she coached aspiring and appointed school leaders as they operationalized their vision and implemented transformative change in their school settings. As an educator, Jamina champions equity-focused student support, school leadership and parent engagement. She is committed to ensuring that all children have access to equitable educational opportunities. Jamina served as the proud principal of Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary from 2014-2018. Under her leadership, Bethune Elementary increased its School Progress Report (SPR) “Overall” score by 15% from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018. While Principal, Bethune Elementary gained national recognition for increasing staff diversity through an intentional recruitment plan that resulted in Black male educators making up 31% of the overall staff. This percentage was recognized as the highest in Philadelphia and far exceeded the national average (2%). Jamina was also responsible for cultivating strong relationships with community organizations and securing several grants for the school.
Jamina has participated in the Relay National Principal Fellowship and is a cohort 2 member of the Neubauer Foundation’s Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. She has received awards from the local and national organizations. Raised in Westbury, NY, Jamina holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Delaware, a Master of Science from Dowling College in NY, and completed educational administration coursework at Hofstra University. She is the mother of 5 amazing children.
Schools in Learning Network 12
- Bache-martin School
- J. W. Catharine School
- B. B. Comegys School
- Anna B. Day School
- Edwin Forrest School
- A. D. Harrington School
- William Mckinley School
- Austin Meehan Middle School
- General Louis Wagner
- Grover Washington, Jr.
- Wagner, Gen. Louis Middle Sch.
- Grover Washington Jr. Middle
Learning Network 13
Dr. Jonathan Brown
Schools in Learning Network 13
- John Bartram High School
- Murrell Dobbins
- Thomas Edison High School
- Samuel S. Fels High School
- Furness, Horace High School
- Overbrook High School
- Parkway West High School
- Phillip A. Randolph
- Sayre High School
- South Philadelphia H.S.
- Swenson Arts And Tech High School
- West Philadelphia High School
Sean Conley, a committed educator and leader, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. He most recently served as the Assistant Superintendent of Learning Network 9. Sean has extensive knowledge and experience with turnaround schools, and under his leadership he will continue to impact improved student outcomes within the Acceleration Network. Sean will continue to support LN9 until that position is filled.
During his 22 years as an educator, he has served a diverse set of children and communities in four different school systems and two states. Although he has had many successes throughout his career, he is most proud of being honored by a former student as her most influential K-12 teacher.
In the summer of 2014, Mr. Conley began working as an Assistant Superintendent in the School District of Philadelphia, responsible for the support, development and accountability of 28 schools across West Philadelphia that accounted for approximately 13,000 students. Mr. Conley continued to focus his work on developing school leaders through consistent coaching, mentoring and support, and to reform instruction to increase student achievement in every school. Mr. Conley worked with his school leaders to balance the daily demands of being a school leader with the importance of engaging partners and the school community to create high levels of trust and respect as well as identifying and allocating additional resources that are aligned to continuous improvements for teachers and students.
Schools in the Acceleration Network
- Dr. Ethel Allen School
- Add B. Anderson
- Blankenburg, Rudolph School
- Bryant, William C. School
- Roberto Clemente Middle School
- Cooke Elementary School
- Heston, Edward School
- John Marshall School
- Delaplaine Mcdaniel
- Potter-thomas School
- James Rhoads
- Rhodes Elementary School
- Roosevelt Elementary School
- Edward T Steel School
- James J. Sullivan
Innovation Network, Opportunity Network
Ryan Scallon was introduced to teaching when he was a freshman in college and taught world economics to a class of 6th grade students in West Philadelphia. Since then, Ryan has held a number of roles in schools including as a math teacher at Morrison Elementary School and Frankford High School. For the last ten plus years, Ryan has served in a number of leadership roles in schools and central offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. These roles include assistant principal, principal, deputy chief of new schools, chief academic officer, and assistant superintendent.
Ryan holds a M.S. Ed. in school leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of New Leaders for New Schools, a national urban principal training program. Ryan received his superintendent’s letter of eligibility through Temple University and is in the process of completing his doctoral studies and dissertation on school leadership and innovation.
Ryan believes strongly in the potential of all students and the need for high schools to prepare students for success in college and career. He is excited to support students, teachers, and leaders in both the Opportunity and Innovation Networks.
Schools in the Innovation Network
- Building 21
- Crossroads @ Hunting Park
- Crossroads Accelerated Academy
- High School Of The Future
- Penn Treaty High School
- Pennypack House School
- Phila Juv Justice Svcs Ctr
- Phila Learning Academy-north
- Phila Learning Academy-south
- Philadelphia Military Academy
- Philadelphia Virtual Academy
- Science Leadership Academy
- Science Ldshp Academy @ Beeber
- Science Leadership Academy Ms
- The Linc
- The U School
- The Workshop School
- Vaux Big Picture High School
Contract-Operated Schools in the Opportunity Network
- Ben Franklin EOP
- Camelot Academy East
- Camelot Academy North
- El Centro de Estudiantes
- Excel Academy North
- Excel Academy South
- Excel Middle Years Academy
- Gateway to College
- Ligouri Academy-Fortis
- Northeast EOP
- OIC CADI
- Ombudsman Northwest Accel
- One Bright Ray – Elmwood
- One Bright Ray – Fairhill
- One Bright Ray – Simpson
- One Bright Ray – Mansion Day
- One Bright Ray – Mansion Evening
- PhillyOIC Workforce Academy
- South Phila EOP
- YES Philly
Chief of Schools Office
Renato M. Lajara Ed.D.
Dr. Renato M. Lajara is the former Principal of Cheltenham High School serving over 1400 students. He was formerly the Director of Elementary Education for the Cheltenham School District. As director, he supervised Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for 5 elementary schools which served about 2700 students. He is passionate about many things, but none more than education and the importance of a quality one for students who are underrepresented. He was born in the Dominican Republic and is the youngest of five children. He realized quickly that if he wanted to make a difference in the world, he needed to make a better life for himself by pursuing an education.
He is the proud product of the Philadelphia School District, having attended William H. Hunter Elementary School, John Welsh Elementary School, John Paul Jones Middle School and Jules E. Maustbaum High School.
He earned his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Gwynedd-Mercy University in 2002. He chose to return to the neighborhood that raised him and taught at Julia de Burgos Elementary School for 5 years from 2002-2007.
After realizing that he wanted to help and inspire more children, he decided to return to Gwynedd-Mercy University to obtain his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 2008. He again returned to his neighborhood and was chosen to turn around John B. Stetson Middle School, an underperforming school that was also on the state’s persistently dangerous list. He made this decision because he strongly believes that all children deserve a quality education from prepared, educated individuals. He believes that as educators we are lifelong learners so he then obtained a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University in 2011. In 2015 he was appointed as the principal of Kensington High School where he served for two years. Throughout his career, he earned accolades for developing positive school cultures, ensuring equitable instructional practices and showing academic growth in key content areas.
His aspirations are to work as a Superintendent in the future, so that he can impact a broader community. This is why he obtained his doctorate from Gwynedd-Mercy University in 2017. Renato is a dedicated leader who loves to inspire the lives of the staff and students that are under his care each day.
He loves to spend time with his family, his wife Vicky, Daughter Ambar and his sons Jaden and Ben. His favorite family activities are going to the movies, game night and catching a Phillies game.