Dr. Watlington meets with Reverend Danny Cortés, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at Esperanza, and Mr. David Rossi, CEO of Esperanza Academy, while on a tour of Esperanza Academy Charter School. (Photo: Sierra Guenst)

Esperanza Academy received a special visitor before the holidays. Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington met with Esperanza and a host of other local organizations to discuss ways to better serve the community. He toured the Academy’s Middle and High School buildings, met with teachers, and learned more about Esperanza Academy’s outstanding offerings, such as their 15 AP courses and 12 high school majors to choose from.

In an article from WHYY, Dr. Tony Watlington shared about his upbringing. He started as a school custodian and worked his way through several career changes, from custodian to teacher to central office staffer to chief of schools. He comes to Philadelphia after serving as a superintendent in North Carolina.

Dr. Watlington visits the chemistry classroom at Esperanza Academy while on a tour of the school. (Photo: Sierra Guenst)

There was a large variety of organizations that met together, including Ceiba, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM); Norris Square Community Alliance (NSCA); HACE; Taller Puertorriqueño; Concilio; Esperanza and Esperanza Academy. They discussed how to overcome barriers to education, how to support more minorities into the world of education, and prioritizing community collaboration.

We are excited to see what Dr. Watlington’s vision and experience will bring to the Philadelphia School District and look forward to a continued partnership between the School District and Philadelphia’s charter schools.


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