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Pedro Rivera named state education secretary

The Lancaster superintendent is a Philadelphia native who was a teacher, principal, and administrator here.

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

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf named Lancaster superindentent and Philadelphia native Pedro Rivera to be the state secretary of education on Monday.

In a statement, Wolf said that Rivera had improved student achievement and graduation rates in Lancaster, as well as stabilizing the district’s finances. He also cited Rivera’s implementation of a "community schools" model, in which students and their families can get medical, dental, vision and other services on site.

“Pedro 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,” Wolf said. In September, Rivera was one of 10 Latinos honored at the White House for his work in education.

Rivera, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, spent 13 years in the Philadelphia School District as a teacher, principal and central office administrator before being tapped to head the Lancaster district in 2008. Earlier this month, the Notebook interviewed him about his role as co-chair of Wolf’s education transition team.

Wolf also tapped former State Rep. Kathy Manderino of Philadelphia to be secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry. Manderino has been heading up the statewide Campaign for Fair Education Funding.

Wolf also said that his top priority is "making sure our schools have the resources to teach our children the skills they need to succeed.”

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