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Partnerships director Stacy Holland leaving District

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.


Several additional top personnel moves at the School District were made public Thursday.

Chief of Strategic Partnerships Stacy Holland is leaving; her last day will be Aug. 31. She will be the new executive director of the Lenfest Foundation.

Before joining the District, Holland had been president and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network and, in that capacity, started working with the District on strengthening outside partnerships. She was hired by the District last October.

Her charge had been to use the District’s work with outside organizations and government agencies to maximize services to children.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed her planned departure.

"Stacy has been invaluable in rebuilding the District’s relationship with the foundation community, securing additional funding from private donors and philanthropic sources, matching new programmatic resources to our schools and providing an infrastructure to support external partnerships," Gallard said in a statement. A search is on for her replacement.

Holland said that she was leaving because the Lenfest opportunity was "unexpected" and "a wonderful professional move" for her.

"I enjoyed the work, I enjoyed the team," she said. "Even under these trying circumstances, the team has been steadfast. I hope in this new role I can serve children in a different way."

Gallard also said that Ben Wright is retiring Aug. 1. Wright has been a regional superintendent, the head of alternative education, and assistant superintendent in charge of a learning network. He started in the District in 2008 but previously worked in District schools for Victory Schools Inc., an education management organization.

Gallard also said that Sonya Harrison, most recently principal of Lea Elementary, will become assistant superintendent in charge of the learning network covering Center City. She is the second principal to be promoted this summer to head one of the learning networks. She replaces Dennis Creedon, who now heads the District’s office of academic enrichment and support.

Harrison was principal of Alexander Wilson Elementary when it closed, before being moved to Lea, where many of the former Wilson student were sent.

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