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Join us in honoring Jolley Bruce Christman

RFA co-founder and Notebook board member will be the honoree at our June fundraiser.

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

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook’s staff and board members are excited to announce that the honoree for this year’s “Turning the Page for Change” celebration will be researcher, educator, and community volunteer Jolley Bruce Christman. She will be honored at the Notebook’s largest annual fundraiser from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Christman has made a huge impact in the local education community and at the Notebook. In 1992, she co-founded Research for Action, a nationally respected education research organization in Philadelphia, which has been a frequent Notebook partner on publishing initiatives. The two organizations share a commitment to educational equity and a focus on providing information and analysis that supports community involvement in schools. Together with Eva Gold, Christman led the organization until 2009.

Christman was one of the first donors to the Notebook when it was founded in 1994, and she has served as a contributing writer and participant in the editorial advisory board. She has been an expert source for Notebook articles on topics from high school reform to standardized testing to arts in schools. She has mentored countless students, researchers, and activists on issues of teaching, learning, and school improvement, and has helped them understand key lessons from Philadelphia’s history of school reform movements.

For the last six years, she has been a valuable member of the Notebook’s board of directors and, before that, its leadership board.

“The Notebook is vitally important to Philadelphia students, parents, educators, and community leaders, and we must not take for granted its commitment to journalistic excellence and social justice,” Christman said. “It has been an honor to serve the Notebook and work with so many wonderful people to forward its mission.”

A Greenville, S.C., native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., and is a past president of its board of trustees. She holds a doctorate in education administration from the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught as an associate faculty member for more than 25 years.

Christman taught English and history in a Philadelphia neighborhood high school before founding the nonprofit Research for Action in 1992. Currently, she consults with foundations, school districts, and nonprofits to plan their strategic direction and assess their impact. In 2008, Public Citizens for Children & Youth gave Jolley its Friend of Children Award. She also serves on the board of the Jolley Foundation and is president of the Fleisher Art Memorial board.


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