Alvernia Names Winter Commencement Speaker


Linda Cliatt-Wayman, president of Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia, Pa., will be awarded an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters before offering remarks to the Alvernia University Class of 2016 at Commencement, Dec. 10, 1 p.m., in the university’s Physical Education Center on Main Campus.

Highly experienced as an educator in low-income, high-risk schools, Cliatt-Wayman grew up in a poverty-stricken North Philadelphia neighborhood. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and returned to the city determined to make a difference as a teacher.

After 20 years as a special education teacher, Cliatt-Wayman accepted her first high school principal position. As Principal, she oversaw a dramatic rise in proficiency rates at two high schools, before being tapped as Assistant Superintendent for all 52 Philadelphia district high schools. Recently, she turned her focus back to Strawberry Mansion High School, another of the district’s more troubled schools, where she now serves as Principal.

Principal Cliatt-Wayman has been a key leader in raising Strawberry Mansion’s test scores and removing its federal “Persistently Dangerous Schools” label.

She has been named a recipient of the KYW News Radio Gamechanger award, the Philadelphia Magazine Trailblazer Award and the Philadelphia Maneto Award. She has been featured on ABC News and her TED talk “How to Fix a Broken School” has received more than a million views.

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