On Monday, in a public meeting at City Hall, the nominating panel for the new school board of Philadelphia voted on the final 27 candidates, from which Mayor Jim Kenney will appoint nine to serve on the board. Once established, the new school board is set to take over governance of the School District from the state-administered School Reform Commission starting in July of this year.
The nominating panel chose the 27 candidates after a nearly month-long review process of the over 500 names submitted via applications and nominations, and interviews conducted by groups of three panelists with a smaller pool of 80 of the 500 candidates.
According to the Mayor’s Office of Education press release on Monday, two of the 27 candidates are bilingual in Spanish and English: Dario Bellot, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and former Senior Vice President of Administration for Congreso de Latinos Unidos; and Leticia Egea-Hinton, professor of social welfare at Alvernia University who most recently was the Assistant Managing Director for the Office of Supportive Housing, and has also worked in Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services/Adult Services and Office of Emergency Shelter and Services. Read the full list of candidates and their bios at the Notebook.
Mayor Kenney released the following statement in a press release on the same day:
“I thank the Educational Nominating Panel for their hard work over the past few weeks, resulting in this considered list of recommendations. They’ve served an essential role in the process of returning our schools to local control, working around the clock to review hundreds of applications and evaluate candidates for the new Board of Education. I am grateful to each of them for the unique skills, knowledge and perspective that they brought to the process. I also want to recognize Wendell Pritchett for his leadership as Panel chair.
"Thanks to the Panel, I am confident that in the coming weeks I will be able to appoint a knowledgeable, committed and diverse Board of Education that will oversee our schools going forward and ensure that every child in Philadelphia can access a quality education.”
The mayor will have 20 days, until March 18, to select the final nine board members. From there, the new board will work with the current members of the School Reform Commission to transition official control of the School District of Philadelphia by July 1.