This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The Global Philadelphia Association held its second annual Globy Awards on Monday, where Superintendent William Hite received the education leadership award. The Globy Awards recognize local leaders committed to the global potential and historical importance of Philadelphia.
“The School District of Philadelphia wants to do its part in ensuring that the tremendous assets and resources throughout the city are also a part of what every child who attends public school in Philadelphia has the opportunity to experience,” said Hite. Douglas Oliver, director of communications for PECO Energy, presented the award to Hite and emphasized the superintendent’s commitment to bringing a global perspective to Philadelphia’s students through specific District initiatives. “This past July … there was a world heritage lesson plan project where 10 teachers were recruited to develop lesson plans for new social studies curriculum oriented around African American studies, U.S. history, and world history. And that work is going to be unpacked in 2017, as teachers are trained on this new curriculum and required to implement four of these lessons by year end,” said Oliver. Oliver also pointed to a 2015 summer institute where 35 teachers from both District and parochial schools created lesson plans that covered Philadelphia’s history, heritage, and place in the global market. In addition, Oliver cited a pilot program launched at Andrew Jackson School, which allowed students to participate in intercultural workshops, visit cultural institutions, and attend festivals celebrating underrepresented global regions. “These things don’t just happen. It requires organizations like Global Philadelphia, but it also requires leaders like Dr. Hite, with vision like Dr. Hite, and the commitment of people like Dr. Hite,” said Oliver. The Global Philadelphia Association is a nonprofit member organization founded in 2010 that works to establish Philadelphia as a global city by promoting collaboration among the city’s internationally minded organizations. It has more than 200 members, including businesses, organizations, and individual citizens. The organization was integral in getting Philadelphia named a World Heritage City in 2015. Philadelphia is one of only two U.S. cities to hold this distinction. Cities achieve this honor by successfully applying to become a full member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities and by having a World Heritage Site. Independence Hall is that site in Philadelphia. The Global Philadelphia Association also presented its seven-point strategic plan for the coming year at the gathering, and education was one of its seven areas of focus. Specific goals include a push for curricula emphasizing the importance of Philadelphia’s history within the global community and the development of World Heritage Programs for city schools. “I have 206,000 children that we educate in Philadelphia in public schools. It’s critically important that those 206,000 young people also understand this notion of world heritage and World Heritage City,” said Hite. Three other community members were also honored at the event. David Brownlee, professor of architectural history at the University of Pennsylvania, received the lifetime achievement award. Robert McNeill, managing partner of Deloitte LLP, was awarded the corporate leadership Globy. Carol Wong, director of Chinatown Learning Center, received the community leadership award. Hite said he was “humbled” by the award and dedicated the win to his colleagues. “I, for one, am tremendously proud, and I accept this award on behalf of Shaquita Smith, who led the lesson plan development project for us. And the tremendous teachers who are in classrooms each and every day doing the work that is most important,” said Hite.