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Otis Hackney is stepping down as Philadelphia's chief education officer

Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Wednesday, October 19th that Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney will depart from his post by the end of this month.

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Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Wednesday, October 19th that Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney will depart from his post by the end of this month.

The former math teacher at Germantown High School, served as principal at South Philadelphia High School and Springfield Township High School in Montgomery—the first African American principal at this school. He graduated from Temple University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University.

Otis Hackney was appointed Chief Education Officer in December 2015, overseeing two major education initiatives: pre-K program PHLpreK and Community Schools. “Otis’ commitment to expanding educational opportunity shines in everything he has accomplished since the beginning of this Administration,” said Mayor Kenney in a statement. “Our vision for Philadelphia’s future starts with education today, and as Chief Education Officer Otis stepped up to the challenge of realizing our ambitious education platform. 

Kenney praised Otis’ efforts and leadership stating, “under Otis’ leadership the City successfully expanded free, quality pre-K, established community schools in neighborhoods across the city, and expanded college and internet access for Philadelphia students – all while helping return school governance to local control, establishing the Board of Education, supporting the alignment of City programs serving children and youth, and strengthening the collaboration between City government and our education partners. Our City’s future is brighter because of Otis’ dedication to serving students, schools, and families. I thank him for his years of service and wish him the best in his next leadership role.” 

Otis efforts during COVID-19 pandemic to continue to support students was made possible by the partnership with the Office of Innovation and Technology, Comcast and the School District, which made possible the launch of PHLConnectED—free internet access to students’ households.

“It has been an honor to serve as Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer and work alongside City and District leadership to support the success and well-being of our students,” said Hackney. “I am proud of the progress we have made to align our efforts and resources in support of schools, expand opportunity for students of all ages, and set a foundation for further success.” 

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