PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today announced three new appointments to the Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia. The appointees, who require confirmation by City Council before beginning their terms, are as follows:  

Lisa Salley 

Lisa is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and completed junior high school at Masterman. She is a metallurgical engineer and business executive whose career began as a nuclear engineer and quickly rose through the ranks to officer level, global business unit president.  She has collaborated with federal entities and international governments on the topics of energy, energy innovation, standards, and public safety.  Her strengths include transformation, building human capital, developing business systems, and strategic analytics. She has developed talent in Fortune 50 companies and is most known for innovation, profitable growth, and execution.

Earlier this year, Lisa was one of three appointed to judge the 2020 Department of Energy made in America Solar Prize.  Since 2019, Lisa has advised Arduro on its intellectual property and product strategy. Lisa is also the Founder of Heritage Solutions Group, a strategy advisory firm and the winner of the 5th Annual Enterprising Woman Business Plan Competition. She has spent her career in corporate America at GE, Dow, Underwriters’ Laboratories, and the American Petroleum Institute and advising advanced stage start-ups. She has taught growth and risk management in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program since inception in Philadelphia.  Her collegiate training includes Bachelor of Science in metallurgical and materials engineering as well as a Masters of Science in simulation and modeling of manufacturing systems from Carnegie Mellon University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, respectively.  

Lisa is six sigma master black belt certified, a community volunteer in the areas of generational wealth gap closing and STEM development, an avid genealogist of her Gullah heritage, a Silver Star, financial member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a Compass volunteer, and a member of the Forum of Executive Women. In addition to her professional and civic responsibilities, she has coached girls’ soccer at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church and is an ardent advocate for Alzheimer’s research and cure.

Regarding her appointment, Lisa Salley said, “I proudly identify as a product of the Philadelphia School District. 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. As I reflect on 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us critical lessons that have implications for K-12 education.  First, we are global and local at the same time. Decisions made in one place have world-wide implications. Technological connectivity has helped us continue to conduct business and education in creative ways.  However, there is a digital divide that makes access to education difficult for many and social distancing has been particularly difficult for many who need social interaction to excel. This is particularly true for too many students. Lastly, collecting and analyzing dynamic data are necessary for effective decision-making.  Now, more than ever, our schools need our undivided attention.  We must provide all of our children the confidence to learn and an education that prepares them to be global citizens who embrace technology to make a positive impact on society. I seek to serve as a member on the Board of Education in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection to help ensure that our youth are prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.  They are depending on us and we cannot disappoint them. I am humbled and thankful to be nominated by Mayor Kenney.” 

Reginald L. Streater, Esq.

Reginald is an Attorney at Archer & Greiner, P.C. Prior to Archer & Greiner, Reginald worked for the Honorable Chief Judge Theodore McKee in the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals as a Federal Judicial Honors Clerk, and for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. He serves as the Vice President of the Greater Philadelphia ACLU Executive Board and has spearheaded an effort to make the ACLU more accessible to the Black community by planning and executing programming and outreach in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Rho Chapter and executive board member to the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Reginald engages in various community service initiatives. He is a graduate of Philadelphia public schools, having attended Leeds Middle School and Germantown High School. In addition, he is a parent to two children who currently attend a Philadelphia public school. 

“I am humbled to be one of the three names selected by Mayor Kenney to serve the Philadelphia community on the Board of Education, said Reginald L. Streater. “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. 

Cecelia Thompson

Cecelia Thompson is a Philadelphia native and a proud parent of a 22-year-old son living with autism who is a recent graduate of the Philadelphia public school system.  In addition to her sixteen years of service as a special education advocate, Ms. Thompson is the Chairperson of the Philadelphia Right to Education Local Task Force, and Secretary for the Governor’s Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP). Cecelia participates as a member of the PA Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education Cyclical Monitoring for Continuous Improvement team and serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Family Voices organization.  Ms. Thompson is a member of the organization for families called  PARENT POWER, a recent mayoral appointee to the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, and a recent addition to the Advisory Committee for the Philadelphia Autism Project.

Cecelia’s past work experiences include serving as a Community Education Outreach Coordinator at the Arc of Philadelphia and currently as a Family Interviewer through the University of Pennsylvania under the Philadelphia System of Care. Cecelia has worked with the School District through various educational initiatives in addition to navigating her son through the special education program. Cecelia is a graduate of Henry C. Lea Elementary School and the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Special Education at Grand Canyon University. In her spare time, Cecelia loves spending quality time with family.

About the school board appointment Cecelia Thompson said, “I strive to be a voice for the voiceless. 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.”  

Mayor Kenney selected the appointees from a list of nine nominees recommended by the Educational Nominating Panel earlier this month. Eighty-two individuals had applied to fill the three Board of Education vacancies. 

“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,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I was inspired by their passion for public education and their eagerness to take on this critical work.” 

Board of Education President Joyce Wilkerson added, “I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues once confirmed by Council. They will be joining the Board of Education at a critical moment for the School District of Philadelphia as we bring a sharp focus onto the academic success of all of our students through the Board’s adoption of Goals and Guardrails.  While I have not yet met all of the nominees, Cecelia Thompson is a longtime educational advocate known for her deep commitment to the students of Philadelphia, their parents, and particularly for Philadelphia’s special education community. Ms. Thompson has served for the past two years as a member of the Board’s Parent and Community Advisory Council which is a body created by City Council in order to advise the Board of Education.” 

Photos of the appointees are available HERE.