Board of Education Elects New Leaders for 2023: Reginald L. Streater is Elected President; Mallory Fix-Lopez is Elected Vice President
At its December 15, 2022, Action Meeting, the Board of Education held its annual organization meeting and elected new leaders: Reginald L. Streater as President and Mallory Fix-Lopez as Vice President, who immediately began serving their one-year terms. They replace Joyce S. Wilkerson as President and Leticia Egea-Hinton as Vice President, who opted to leave their leadership roles but who will remain on the Board.
Mr. Streater, appointed to the Board in 2021, believes that public education is not only a civil right but also a human right. He is a graduate of Germantown High School and has two children attending a Philadelphia public school. Board President Streater, an attorney at Berger Montague, practicing in the Employment and Unpaid Wage group, is a fierce advocate for historically disempowered people in the law and in the public in general.
Ms. Fix-Lopez, appointed to the Board in 2018, is currently an Assistant Professor of English-ESL (English as a Second Language) at the Community College of Philadelphia and is an adjunct faculty member in Educational Linguistics at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Vice President Fix-Lopez also regularly consults with biomedical research institutions across the United States to support professional development efforts focused on effective science communication for their international researchers. She lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and two children, with one who attends George W. Childs School.
“Board Member Egea-Hinton and I have been honored to serve in leadership roles on the Board of Education since 2018,” Ms. Wilkerson said. “However, we feel the time is right for a new generation of leaders to bring their passion for improving public education, their professionalism and their collaborative spirit to Board leadership to effectively move our work forward.”
Ms. Wilkerson was appointed to the School Reform Commission (SRC) in 2016 by Mayor Jim Kenney and was appointed Chair of the SRC by Gov. Tom Wolf. Ms. Wilkerson guided the School District’s transition from the state-controlled SRC to the locally controlled Board of Education in 2018 when she, Ms. Egea-Hinton and Ms. Fix-Lopez were appointed to the Board by Mayor Kenney. The Board then elected Ms. Wilkerson President of the Board.
The Board then oversaw the transformation of a District in fiscal and academic distress to one that improved educational outcomes for students, while it developed strong financial management, attaining an investment grade rating from Moody’s Investor Services for the first time since 1977. They also led the Board’s work to create and implement Goals & Guardrails, a plan designed to increase student achievement while providing the necessary conditions that support learning. Recently, Ms. Egea-Hinton led the Board’s extensive search for a new superintendent, which culminated in the appointment of Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D, who has a proven track record of supporting the objectives found in Goals & Guardrails.
“President Wilkerson and Vice President Egea Hinton deserve our recognition and appreciation for the pivotal role they’ve played in Philadelphia’s successful return to local governance of schools,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “It was an honor to appoint them to the first local school board in nearly two decades; and for over four years, they have consistently demonstrated their devotion to students’ success and intrepid leadership during periods of significant change and challenges. I value their wisdom, diligence, and expertise as partners in supporting our city’s children and families, and I am grateful for their continued service on the Board.”
“On behalf of the School District of Philadelphia, I extend a profound thank you to Ms. Wilkerson and Ms. Egea-Hinton for their leadership, dedication and public service to the District and the students of Philadelphia,” said Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D. “They have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving as both leaders and voices for the city and ensuring our students in Philadelphia receive a high-quality education, especially during some of the District’s most challenging times, particularly during the pandemic. When the world shut down, Ms. Wilkerson and Ms. Egea-Hinton’s commitment to our children never wavered. I look forward to working collaboratively with the incoming Board president and vice president, as we strive to achieve the Goals & Guardrails, while working to become the fastest improving large, urban school district in the country.”
The Board of Education serves as the governing body for the School District of Philadelphia and oversees all District policies and budgetary decisions. In addition, the Board appoints the Superintendent and serves as the authorizer for all charter schools in Philadelphia. According to Board Policy 004, the Board President presides at all Board meetings, executes deeds, contracts and other documents relating to Board business that require the President’s signature. In addition, the President performs any duties assigned by the Board and specified by law.
The Board Vice President acts in the absence of the President as directed by the Board. In addition, the Vice President serves as chairman of any standing committee when the committee chairman or vice chairman is absent. Board Member Egea-Hinton served as co-chairperson of the Finance and Facilities Committee and as a member of the District Partnerships and Community Engagement Committee. She is also the Board liaison for the Office of Auditing Services.
The Board comprises nine Members who are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. In addition to President Streater and Vice President Fix-Lopez, the current Board Members include: Sarah-Ashley Andrews, Julia Danzy, Leticia Egea-Hinton, Chau Wing Lam, Lisa Salley, Cecelia Thompson and Joyce S. Wilkerson.