Christopher McGinley, a school leadership, policy, organizational and leadership studies professor, sat as a member for the first time at the School Reform Commission action meeting Thursday night.
Mayor Jim Kenney appointed McGinley on Wednesday to replace Sylvia Simms, whose term on the SRC expired last week.
During his opening remarks, Superintendent William Hite said McGinley brings a “wealth of experience to the School Reform Commission.”
McGinley has served as superintendent for the Lower Merion and Cheltenham school districts.
In November 2016, Joyce Wilkerson was appointed to SRC’s chair. She is also Temple’s senior adviser of community relations and development.
Wilkerson told The Temple News in November that she would abstain from voting whenever the school district and Temple work together in order to avoid a conflict of interest with her two jobs.
Two of the commission’s five members are Temple employees.
At the meeting, speakers demanded the SRC make the city’s schools a safe zone for undocumented immigrants. The speakers delivered a petition called the Philly School Solidarity Petition, which asks the district to refuse giving information to officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and denying them physical access to any land owned by the school district.
McGinley thanked the speakers and said he was “moved by [their] words.”
“I look forward to getting to know the district once again,” McGinley added. “I did work here for 18 years, but it’s been a while. I am looking forward to getting to know the senior staff and getting to know individual schools.”
Wilkerson said she is excited to work alongside McGinley.
“The SRC is small, perhaps too small,” Wilkerson said. “I think we certainly need an educator on the the SRC, and Chris McGinley brings that. He’s been in the classroom. He’s been a superintendent. He’s an educator on education issues. He is a great addition. He gives us a depth we didn’t have before.”
The SRC will hold its next action meeting on Feb. 16.
Kelly Brennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_kellybrennan.
This story has been updated with new information and interviews.