Strategic Plan


Accelerate Philly: The School District of Philadelphia's Strategic Plan

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The Strategic Planning Process will be driven by the following teams representing the wide variety of perspectives and diverse experience of our District community:

  • Leadership Team: Group of 25 central office and school leaders that serve as the decision-making body for the Strategic Plan.
  • Steering Committee: Group of 60 central office staff, school-based staff, parents, and students from across Philadelphia that generates the content of the Strategic Plan which is reviewed by the Leadership Team.
  • Advisory Groups: Groups of community members who provide critical insights and feedback as pieces of the Strategic Plan are developed. The Steering Committee will engage Advisory Groups of parents/guardians, principals, teachers, school support staff, students, union leadership, and central office staff.

Strategic Planning Team Structure

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How are participants chosen?

In December, individuals from across the District were invited to apply to participate in the Strategic Planning Process. Over 350 individuals applied to participate representing nearly all District offices and school-based roles, as well as every region of the city and socio-economic group. The parents/guardian applicants represent students in every grade level, including rising Kindergarteners and recent graduates.

All applications were reviewed by the Strategic Plan Project Team with the goal of bringing together a cross-section of diverse individuals with varied experience, viewpoints, and engagement levels to maximize voices in the process. Individuals selected represent a wide variety of perspectives, experience, and the racial/ethnic makeup of our District community. The Strategic Planning Project Team was particularly focused on ensuring we received input from traditionally underrepresented groups, parents/guardians, and those who work with learners with unique needs. It is our goal to have a Strategic Planning Process that is inclusive and represents the varied perspectives of our community.

Participant Members

Leadership Team Members

*Below lists were updated on March 20, 2023.

  • Ericka Andrews, M.Ed, LS Teacher/Special Education Compliance Monitor, Washington Grover Middle School
  • Benaline O. Baluyot, Director of Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs
  • Kevin Bethel, Chief Safety Officer
  • Mr. Jason Carrión, Principal, Cayuga Elementary School
  • Alexandra Coppadge, Chief of Communications and Customer Service
  • Jane Cordero, M.Ed., NBCT, Special Education Teacher, Hill Freedman
  • Dr. Michael Farrell, Chief Learning Officer
  • Sarah Galbally, Interim Chief of Staff
  • Dave Ham, Facilities Area Manager
  • Melanie Harris, Chief of Information Technology
  • Dr. Sabriya Jubilee, Chief, Equity
  • Melanie A. Lewin, School Facilities Planner, Office of Capital Programs
  • Karyn Lynch, Chief, Student Support Services
  • Reggie McNeil, Chief Operating Officer
  • Antoine O’Karma, Director Curriculum & Instruction ELA
  • Tanya M. Pezanowski, Special Education Assistant, Penn Treaty
  • Lynn Rosner Rauch, General Counsel
  • ShaVon Savage, Deputy Superintendent of Academic Services
  • Martha Schlatter, Professional Learning Specialist, Learning Network 6
  • Larisa Shambaugh, Chief Talent Officer
  • Dr. Noah Tennant, Assistant Superintendent, Learning Network 4
  • Shakeera Warthen, Assistant Superintendent, Learning Network 8
  • Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D., Superintendent
  • Dr. Tonya Wolford, Chief, Evaluation, Research and Accountability
  • Lauren Young, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dave Zega, Deputy Chief for Strategic Planning

Steering Committee Members

*Below lists were updated on January 23, 2023.

  • Michelle Armstrong, Executive Director, Office of Career and Technical Education
  • Jayme Banks PsyD, MBA, Deputy Chief of Prevention, Intervention and Trauma
  • Miulcaeli Batista, PhD, Executive Director, Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs
  • Aja Beech, Parent
  • Sonya Berry, Interim Chief of Special Education and Diverse Learners
  • April Brown, Principal, T.K. Finletter Academic Plus Elementary School and Neubauer Senior Fellow
  • Martel Brown, Sr., Parent
  • Audrey Buglione, Deputy General Counsel
  • Diane Castelbuono, Deputy Chief, Early Childhood Education
  • Brandon Cummings, Director, Leadership Development
  • Ms. Katharine Daley, ESL Teacher, William H. Ziegler
  • Marcus A. Delgado M.Ed, CEO of One Bright Ray, Inc.
  • Lincoln Farquharson, Transitional Support Instructor
  • Dr. Nyshawana Francis-Thompson, Interim Chief of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Ashley Glasgow-Crockett, Executive Director of Federal Programs and Compliance
  • Abigail Gray, PhD, Deputy Chief, Office of School Climate & Culture
  • Tomás Hanna, Associate Superintendent of Secondary Schools
  • Judy Haughton, Principal, Swenson High School
  • Oz Hill, Deputy Chief Operating Officer
  • Rachel Holzman Esquire, Deputy Chief of The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Cassidy Jemo, M.Ed., Spanish Teacher, Strawberry Mansion High School
  • Dr. Darryl Johnson Jr., Principal, G.W. Carver High School
  • DawnLynne Kacer, Executive Director, Opportunity Network
  • Dr. Katie Laputka, Teacher, Harding Middle School
  • Dr. Joy Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Academic Partnerships
  • Ayana Lewis, Esq., Executive Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships
  • Marissa Litman, Director of Budget Policy & Analysis
  • Tricia L. London, MS, Director, Office of School Safety
  • Dr. Frank Machos, Executive Director, Office of the Arts & Creative Learning
  • Gabriel Martinez, Student, Excel Academy South
  • Kendra B. McDow MD, MPH, FAAP, School System Medical Officer
  • Audriene McConico, M.Ed., Life Skills Support Teacher, Martha Washington
  • Tim McKenna, Deputy Chief of Accountability
  • Maureen McTamney, LCSW, HSV-SSW, STEP School Behavior Consultant, William Cramp
  • Meredith Mehra, Deputy Chief, Teaching & Learning
  • Amanda Mitchell, Executive Director, Recruitment
  • Jenna Monley, Deputy Chief Family and Community Engagement
  • Lena Namnun, Teacher, Frankford High School
  • Catherine Nelson, J.D., M.Ed, Teacher Leader, Thomas G. Morton Elementary School
  • Fran Newberg, Ed. D., Deputy Chief Office of Educational Technology
  • Adam Northam, Director of Internal Communication
  • Dr. Evelyn Nuñez, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Schools
  • Rebeca Ortiz, Parent
  • Deon Plummer, Climate Control Liaison, Steel
  • Vanessa Renee, Deputy Chief, School Planning
  • Sophia Roach, Student Board Representative, Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts
  • Tammy Russell, Ph.D., School Counselor, Overbrook High School
  • Fermin Santiago, Special Education One to One/Classroom Assistant, Bridesburg Elementary School
  • Dr. Malika Savoy, Assistant Superintendent for Special Projects
  • Love Speech, Student Board Representative, Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts
  • Toni Marie Waddington, M.Ed., ELA Interventionist, James Rhoads
  • Stephanie Waller, Director of Engagement and Operations, Charter Schools Office
  • Ryan Villanueva, Equity Training Specialist
  • Ericka Washington, Deputy Chief, Office of Student Enrollment and Placement
  • Russell Washington, Ed.M., Director of Academic Programming and Support
  • Jeron Williams II, Philadelphia Youth Commissioner, Central High School
  • Lamar A. Williams, Parent
  • Tyler J. Wims, MS, Director of Student Engagement and Achievement
  • Dr. Laurena Zeller, Principal, Add B. Anderson
Advisory Group Members

School Leaders Advisory Group Members

  • Milton Alexander, MEd., Deputy Superintendent, Camelot Academy
  • Borislav Ben, Assistant Principal, John Marshall
  • Sara Calabrese, Assistant Principal, Samuel Fels High School
  • Lisette Agosto Cintron, Ed.D., Principal, Philadelphia Virtual Academy
  • Kate Davis, President, Central High School
  • Principal Phillip DeLuca, Principal, Samuel Gompers
  • Ms. Siouda Douglas, Principal, Abram Jenks
  • Dana Frye-Thompson, Assistant Principal, Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Luis Garcia, Principal, Alexander K. McClure
  • Charlotte Gillum-Maddox, Principal, Lewis Elkin
  • Dr. Jennifer Hale, Assistant Principal, Dr. Ethel Allen
  • Amber Hill, M.Ed., Assistant Principal, Prince Hall
  • Todd Kimmel, Principal, Horatio B. Hackett
  • Sherin Kurian, Principal, William H. Loesche
  • Jennifer Lennon, MEd, Assistant Principal, Julia R. Masterman
  • Dr. Mary Libby, Principal, Chester A. Arthur
  • Meredith G. Lowe, M.Ed, Principal, Andrew J. Morrison
  • Maggie Stephan McMillan, M.Ed., Assistant Principal, Murrell Dobbins
  • Julio Nuñez, Assistant Principal, Gloria Casarez
  • Nichole T. Polk, Principal, Potter-Thomas School
  • Dr. Yonaira Rodriguez, Principal, Isaac A. Sheppard
  • Zoe Rooney, Assistant Principal, Strawberry Mansion
  • Angela Ryans, Assistant Principal, John F. McCloskey
  • Susan Thompson, MSEd, Principal, George Washington High School
  • Dr. April Voltz, Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Community Engagement, Gateway to College, CCP

Teachers Advisory Group Members

  • Mary Beth Hertz, Author and Educator, Science Leadership Academy at Beeber
  • Adam Blyweiss, CTE teacher, Jules E. Mastbaum
  • Karl Budkevics, Teacher, Joseph Pennell
  • Amy Ruth Bussmann, Teacher, Anne Frank
  • Durba Chatterjee, ESL Teacher, Lewis Elkin
  • Kate Conroy, ELA Teacher, William L. Sayre
  • Jazmeen Dupree, Teacher, DeBurgos
  • Glenza E. Lowman, Educator Advocate, Blankenburg
  • Ms. Marita Fitzpatrick, MAT, Art teacher, William W. Bodine
  • Michelle Frank, Music Teacher/Leader of Performing and Visual Arts, Franklin Learning Center
  • Marian Gentile,Teacher, Camelot Academy Hunting Park
  • Lisa Handy, M.Ed., Teacher, Mitchell
  • Sarah Hines, Teacher, Potter-Thomas
  • Duwaine Jenkins, Jr., Health & Physical Education Teacher, Bartram
  • Kelly Johnson, M. Ed., Sp.Ed., Learning Support Teacher, Joseph W. Catharine
  • Jenny Mathis, High School ESOL, English, History Teacher, Northeast
  • Mrs. Dorothy Mayer, Teacher, Edwin Forrest
  • Monique McCoy, M.Ed, Teacher, Northeast Propel Academy
  • Margaret McCray, M.Ed., CSP, Teacher, Eleanor C. Emlen
  • Ginger McHugh, Teacher, Alexander K. McClure
  • Jenny Rypinski, Intervention Teacher, John H. Webster
  • Kathleen Sannicks-Lerner, MEd, Writing Specialist, DeBurgos
  • Terri Swan-Long, Teacher, Samuel Powel
  • Njemele Tamala Anderson, Educator/Restorative Dean/SBTL, Strawberry Mansion
  • Tonya Ware, 5th Grade Teacher, Northeast Propel Academy

School Support Staff Advisory Group Members

  • Chau Anh Hua, Vietnamese BCA, Furness
  • Beth Beitler, M.A.SEL, M.S.Ed., School Counselor, Webster
  • Patrice Bertotto, School Based Teacher Leader, Willard School
  • Marianne Connell, Administrative Assistant, Sharswood
  • Caroline Couser, Paraprofessional, Rowen
  • Amanda Roesly Díez, Ed.S, School Psychologist, Morris
  • Jennifer Donohue, School-Based Academic Coach (SBAC), Locke
  • Beth Fernando, MEd, BSN, CSN, School Nurse, Lankenau
  • Officer Gordon, School Safety Officer, Houston
  • Cory Haley, Ed.D., Evaluation Learning Specialist, Clemente
  • Dorian Harris, Community Relations Liaison, Philadelphia Virtual Academy
  • Emily Hunter M.Ed., BSN, RN, CSN, Certified School Nurse, Rhawnhurst
  • Jennifer Keene, M.Ed, M.Ed, Substitute Teacher
  • Alfred J. Koniecki Jr., M Ed, School Climate Manager, Kelly
  • Takeia Lomax, Paraprofessional, Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush
  • Evangelist Sheryl C. Mitchell, Special Education Assistant, Washington
  • Dachelle Mitchell, Building Engineer, McClure
  • Tania Neptune, Ed.S NCSP, School Psychologist, Bartram
  • Sasha Smith, Special Education Classroom Assistant, Student Transition
  • Waleska Steiner, Special Education Assistant, Carnell
  • Cindy Stone, School Climate and Safety Specialist, Bache-Martin
  • Lisa Wade, Community Resource Liaison, Clemente
  • Nadine Woodberry, STEP Family Peer, Southwark

Central Office Staff Advisory Group Members

  • Cecilia Bradbury, Director of Special Education
  • Tiffany L Chalmus MS, LPC, After School Enrichment Program Coordinator
  • Christina Clark, Communications Officer
  • Dr. Amelia Coleman Brown, Assistant Superintendent
  • Joana Díaz, Educational Technology Specialist – Integration Coach
  • Emily Faxon, Project Manager, Chief of Schools
  • Lisa Gambino, MSW, LCSW, Director of After School Enrichment
  • Holli Goldenberg, Multilingual Manager
  • Shirl Ishmael, ELA Curriculum Specialist
  • Colleen Landy-Thomas, MS, Director, Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
  • DarRel Lucky, Community Outreach and External Affairs Coordinator
  • Amy McCourt, M. Ed., Multilingual Manager
  • Erin McCrossan, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Office of Research and Evaluation
  • Jennifer Melendez, M. Ed., Principal Resident, Office of Leadership Development
  • Eboni C. Osborne, M.S., BCBA, Director of Behavior Support for the Office of Specialized Services
  • Tamika Rogers, M.Ed, Professional Learning Specialist LN8
  • Jesse Rucco, Science Curriculum Specialist
  • Paula Sahm, Educational Facilities Planner/Project Manager
  • Thanimas Scott, Asst. Director of Financial Services
  • Allison Seger, Lead Academic Coach
  • Klarissa Spencer, M.A., M.Ed., Special Needs Coordinator – Pre-K Partnership Support
  • Marille Thomas, Senior Project Manager, Office of Professional Learning
  • Tamiko Ward, PMP, M.Ed., Director, Compliance Monitoring
  • Dr. Kwame Williams, Executive Director Curriculum and Instruction

Parents/Guardians Advisory Group Members

  • Kiyana Butler
  • Nicole Copper
  • Olga Doubrovskaia
  • Abigail Ellis
  • Donna Fields, RN, CBC, MPA
  • Leslie Fortin, MPH
  • Gretchen Hendricks
  • Teresa Johnson-Duncan
  • Jessie Keel, CPS
  • Lydia Kim
  • Priscilla Lo
  • Lynette Lowman
  • Leon McCrea II, MD, MPH
  • Brittany McElwee
  • Bukola Olaoluniyi
  • Matthew Prochnow
  • Jose Ramos
  • Teresa M Rennie
  • Marva Ross
  • Kelly Smack, LSW
  • Alexis Tingle
  • Monica Wilmer

Union Leaders

  • Bernadette Ambrose-Smith, President, School Police Association of Philadelphia (SPAP)
  • Maria Bailey, Employer Relations Rep, 32BJ SEIU
  • John Bynum, Assistant District Leader, 32BJ SEIU
  • Kiara Coleman, Lead Organizer, Local 634 UNITEHERE
  • Tanya Edmonds, Trustee, Local 634 UNITEHERE
  • Julian Graham, Assistant Principal at South Philadelphia High School, Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA)
  • Jerry T. Jordan, President, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT)
  • Lynne Millard, Principal Leadership Coach, Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA)
  • Deana Ramsey, Principal of Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Service Center School, Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA)
  • Karimah Randolph, Vice President, School Police Association of Philadelphia (SPAP)
  • Denise Rogers, Special Assistant to the President, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT)

Community Leaders

  • Ken Anderson, Vice President of Civic Affairs, The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
  • Jenny Bogoni, Executive Director, Read by 4th
  • Councilmember Kendra Brooks, Councilmember At-Large
  • Rep. Donna Bullock, State Representative
  • Morgan Cephas, Philadelphia House Delegation Chair
  • Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Children First
  • Becky Cornejo, Executive Director, Neubauer Family Foundation
  • Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr., Founder and CEO, Esperanza
  • Carolina DiGiorgio, CEO of Congreso
  • Justin Ennis, Executive Director, ASAP
  • Vanessa Garrett Harley, Esq., Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families, City of Philadelphia
  • Senator Vincent Hughes, Senator
  • Andrea M. Kane, Ph.D., Professor of Practice, Education Leadership, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
  • Lucy Kerman, PhD, Senior Advisor to the President, Drexel University
  • Joanna McClinton, State Representative
  • Maura McInerney, Legal Director, Education Law Center
  • Donald D Moore, Pastor Mount Carmel Baptist Church
  • Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO, Philadelphia Foundation
  • Jennifer Rodriquez, President & CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Nikil Saval, State Senator
  • Dr. David Thomas, Vice President, Community College of Philadelphia
  • Chase Trimmer, Philadelphia Director, Special Olympics Pennsylvania
  • Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Dr. Elliot Weinbaum, Chief Philanthropy Officer, William Penn Foundation

*Lists were updated on January 23, 2023.

The Strategic Planning Process kicked off in December 2022 and will conclude with the approval of the 5-year Strategic Plan at the May Board of Education Public Meeting. This process includes several key phases to develop the components of the plan and allow for feedback and insights from the Advisory Groups.

Stages of the Strategic Planning Process

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Mission, Vision, and Core Values

During the first stage of the Strategic Planning process, the District’s core values, vision, and mission were refined. These elements will serve as the foundation for the Strategic Plan and our work going forward. Parents, students, community members, and staff were asked to provide feedback as these elements were updated. All members of the community were invited to complete a Mission, Vision, and Values survey so that the revisions reflect the viewpoints of the entire District. In addition, all 8 Strategic Planning Advisory Groups met to discuss their insights and feedback on the mission, vision, and values. Both the survey participants and Advisory Group members reviewed a range of options and examples to elevate themes and ideas that were the most meaningful to them. Below is a summary of the individuals and Advisory Groups that provided feedback.

District-Wide Survey Participants

984 individuals completed the survey

  • 68% Parents/Guardians
  • 14% School-based staff
  • 7% Students
  • 7% Central Office staff
  • 3% Community members

Advisory Groups

  • Central Office Staff
  • Community Leaders
  • Parents/Guardians
  • School Leaders
  • School Support Staff
  • Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
  • Teachers
  • Union Leaders and Representatives

Revised Values, Vision, and Mission

Based on the survey feedback and the insights from the Strategic Plan Advisory Groups, Steering Committee, Leadership Team, and the Board of Education, we have completed the revision process of the District’s mission, vision, and core values. We worked to incorporate ideas and themes that were frequently highlighted across multiple groups and perspectives. With such a wide range of feedback, not every insight was elevated, but efforts were made to create a mission, vision, and core values that is as inclusive of our shared ideas as possible. We hope that these will serve as a strong foundation for our work going forward and thank everyone for their time and effort in this revision process. Below are our updated core values, vision, and mission for the School District of Philadelphia.

Core Values

  • Safety is imperative to our work.
  • Equity requires needs-based distribution of resources.
  • Collaboration involves gathering and honoring community voices.
  • Joy inspires active engagement and belonging.
  • Trust is built through good communication, public transparency, and holding ourselves accountable.
  • Ambition requires us to work with urgency to accelerate student achievement.


To prepare students to imagine and realize any future they desire.

Mission Statement

All sectors of public education in Philadelphia will work with urgency to provide every student with the opportunity to achieve positive life outcomes in partnership with diverse families, educators, and community members who are valued and respected.

Summary of Feedback

The results of the Mission, Vision, and Values survey and the feedback from the Advisory Groups were analyzed for common themes and insights. There were many places of agreement, while in other areas we heard differing opinions. For the core values, survey participants and Advisory Group members were asked to identify which listed values resonated most with them and if there were any missing. Here is a summary by group of the values that were elevated and suggested.

Core Value Themes By Participant Group

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In reviewing examples of vision and mission statements, Advisory Group members and survey participants shared which ideas, words, and phrases resonated with them, as well as general feedback to keep in mind.

Vision Feedback Themes

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Mission Feedback Themes

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Theory of Action

As the next Stage in the Strategic Plan, the Advisory Groups, Steering Committee, and Leadership Team provided feedback and insights to generate a theory of action. The Transition Team Report noted that the District lacked a clearly outlined theory of action on how it expects to raise student achievement. This newly created theory of action documents how we as a District plan to improve and accelerate progress towards our goals.

When we focus on…

Engaging with families and community members in the education of all students;

Prioritizing the social-emotional well-being, mental health, and intellectual and physical safety of all students and staff;

Advancing equity through everything we do and every decision we make; and

Aligning our resources, trainings, and accountability structures to a limited number of innovative and research based priorities

Then we will reach the Goals and Guardrails and transform learning and life outcomes for all students.


Priority Areas

The Strategic Plan will include 5 Priority Areas. In naming these as Priority Areas we are demonstrating a focused commitment to these pieces of our work. It is our belief that generating improvements in these areas will have the greatest impact on accelerating progress towards our goals. These Priority Areas were selected based on conversations with and feedback from all of the Strategic Planning working groups, including our 8 Advisory Groups, the Steering Committee, and Leadership Team.

Download a PDF of this graphic.