A New Education Era in Philadelphia: Mayor Names Members of School Board
With the Philadelphia School Reform Commission set to dissolve on June 30, Mayor Jim Kenney named the nine people who would sit on the city's newly-constituted school board.
Some of the new school board members have backgrounds in social work, education, business, and nonprofits, and two served on the School Reform Commission, the appointed body that has overseen the district since the state took control in 2001.
City residents had been fighting for local control of the school board, particularly in recent years following steep budget cuts and school closures.
Kenney vowed to do that, and last year he started delivering on that promise. Kenney's predecessor Michael Nutter had also called for the School Reform Commission to disband.
The SRC voted in November to dissolve, and the state education agency approved the move the following month.
About 500 people applied or were nominated to sit on the new board.
In addition to Joyce Wilkerson, a former chairwoman of the School Reform Commission, and Christopher McGinley, a former SRC member and superintendent in Lower Merion and Cheltenham Township, the new board members are:
- Julia Danzy, who has a degree in social work and has worked as the deputy commissioner for children's services in the city's health department;
- Leticia Egea-Hinton, who also has a degree in social work and has served as the director of the city's Office of Emergency Shelter and Services and director of the Office of Supportive Housing;
- Mallory Fix Lopez, a former Philadelphia public school teacher and small business owner who teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia;
- Lee Huang, a senior vice president at an economic consultant firm and a Philadelphia public school parent;
- Maria McColgan, a former teacher, public charter school parent, and pediatrician;
- Angela McIver, a former middle school math teacher and founder of Trapezium Math Club, an after-school program that focuses on building math skills; and
- Wayne Walker, the chairman of the board of trustees of the National Philanthropic Trust.
The board members will now go on a listening tour and start training, which will include sessions on board policies, district finances, and charter school authorization.