Kenney taps parent advocate, lawyer, nuclear engineer to fill Philly school board

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is nominating a lawyer, an engineer turned corporate executive, and a longtime activist for students with special needs to fill the open seats on the city’s board of education.

If approved by City Council, Lisa Salley, Reginald Streater, and Cecelia Thompson would join the nine-member body that oversees a $3.5 billion budget and the education of roughly 200,000 children in district and charter schools.

“I am proud to appoint these new members to the school board and believe they each will bring a valuable set of skills and diverse experiences to the table,” Kenney said in a statement. “I was inspired by their passion for public education and their eagerness to take on this critical work.”

Each nominee is Black and has an intimate connection to Philadelphia’s school district. But their biographies are starkly different.

Lisa Salley is a corporate executive who has worked with the American Petroleum Institute and General Electric, as well as founded her own consulting firm. The Philadelphia High School for Girls graduate began her career as a nuclear engineer.

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