The city of Philadelphia gained a city schools advocate in Harrisburg.
Freshly sworn-in Gov. Tom Wolf announced late Monday that former Philadelphia School District employee Pedro Rivera will serve as his secretary of education.
Rivera worked for 13 years in the city’s public school system, holding many positions, including human-resources director, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He most recently served as superintendent of the School District of Lancaster. Rivera served the district, which is home to just under 12,000 students, from 2008 to 2014.
Wolf, in a statement, said Rivera “is nationally recognized for his efforts to improve urban education, and he will work with me to build a strong public-education system and get Pennsylvania back on track.”
Rivera was recognized in September by President Barack Obama as a top-10 Hispanic leader in the country.
Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said in a statement that Rivera’s experience in Philadelphia arms him with an already thorough understanding of the problems plaguing schools state-and city-wide.
“Because his career has taken him from teacher to principal, to superintendent of an entire school district, Rivera understands better than most how teacher unions and administrators should work together to improve public education,” Jordan said.