PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney has announced his picks to fill the three vacant seats on the Philadelphia School Board, and they are all Philadelphia School District graduates.
Lisa Salley is a Philadelphia High School for Girls grad who worked as a metallurgical engineer and a business executive at GE, Dow, Underwriters’ Laboratories, and the American Petroleum Institute.
“I proudly identify as a product of the Philadelphia School District,” Salley said in a statement. “This education has repeatedly allowed me to pursue dreams and see the world. My hope is that every Philadelphia child and family has access to quality education that allows them to make dreams realities.”
Reginald Streater is an attorney at the law firm of Archer & Greiner and graduated from Germantown High School. Streater is the parent of two children in the school district.
“I am humbled to be one of the three names selected by Mayor Kenney to serve the Philadelphia community on the Board of Education,” he said. “I truly believe that public education should be considered not only a civil right, but also a human right. To serve Philadelphia in this manner is something I do not take lightly. As such, a quote that encapsulates my worldview as a servant-leader is, 'I am because WE are, since we are, therefore I am,' by John S. Mbiti.”
And Cecelia Thompson, another Girls High grad, has worked as a special education advocate for the last 16 years. Thompson’s 22-year-old son, who has autism, is also a recent district graduate.
“I strive to be a voice for the voiceless,” she said. “Also, I believe the greatest gift we can provide all our children is the gift of a high-quality education. And, the success of every student is the involvement and positive engagement of families, who are equal partners with the schools in educating their children. Thus, the partnership of families, schools, and our communities is essential in the holistic education of our precious children in helping them reach their full potential as productive, innovative, and compassionate leaders in society.”
Kenney selected the three appointees from a pool of nine candidates supplied by his Educational Nominating Panel.
In a statement, Kenney said he believes the appointees will bring a valuable set of skills and diverse experiences to the board.
“I was inspired by their passion for public education and their eagerness to take on this critical work,” he added.
City Council now has to sign off on the mayor’s appointments. If confirmed, the board will have a full set of members — nine — for the first time since last March, when board member Chris McGinley resigned.