Wolf’s education transition team has Philly connections

 Governor-elect Tom Wolf. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Governor-elect Tom Wolf. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

With inauguration day less than a month away, Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has been busy coming up to speed on a host of the commonwealth’s most pressing issues.

After running a campaign centered on increasing education equity, Wolf has appointed an education transition team with half of its membership connected to Philadelphia.

Education transition committee co-chair Pedro Rivera, the superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, grew up in Hunting Park and worked in the Philadelphia district as a teacher, principal and central office executive.

The committee also includes Lisa Nutter, wife of the mayor; former Bright Hope Baptist Church pastor Kevin Johnson; Research for Action policy director Adam Schott; and Kensington Health and Sciences High School teacher Jim Hardy.

Pennsylvania State Educators Association President Mike Crossey is present, as is Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan.

“It is going to give me the opportunity to give the perspective of urban educators,” said Jordan in a telephone interview, “and be able to talk about the need for a fair funding formula for not just the Philadelphia School District, but for all the school districts across the commonwealth.”

Wolf has also tapped Darlene Callands, who runs a pro school-choice nonprofit for African-American parents in Philly.

Helen Cunningham, a reform advocate who sits on the board of the Philadelphia School Partnership, was invited to join, but declined the request.

Transition team members spoke via conference call early this week and will convene face-to-face next month.

Here’s the list of those invited to Wolf’s education transition committee.

Co-chair Pedro Rivera: superintendent, School District of Lancaster
Co-chair John Sygielski: president, Harrisburg Community College
Joe Bard: executive director, Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools
Jamira Burley: former executive director, Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Youth
Darlene Callands: president/CEO, African Americans for Educational Opportunities
Mike Crossey: PSEA president
Larry Davis: dean, School of Social Work University of Pittsburgh
Jim Hardy: teacher, Kensington High School, founder and executive board member, Kensington Soccer Club
Kevin Johnson: former pastor, Bright Hope Baptist Church
Jerry Jordan: PFT president
Janine Macklin: COO, external engagement and grants manager, Urban Pathway Charter School
Rich Milner: chair of urban education, professor of education, professor of social work (by courtesy), and professor of Africana Studies (by courtesy); director of the Center for Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh
Lisa Nutter: CEO, Philadelphia Academies
Adam Schott: director of policy research, Research for Action
Greg Taranto: principal, Canonsburg Middle School
George White: director, Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders (CDUEL), Lehigh University
Glenn Caufman: retired public school administrator
Helen Cunningham: former president, The Fels Fund
Michael Daniels: superintendent of schools, Canon-McMillan School District
Diane Reott: proponent of special needs education
Nancy Washington: associate professor, psychology in education and in psychology

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