Educator and Non-profit Leader Dr. Stacy E. Holland Named as Executive Director of Philadelphia School Partnership

Philadelphia, May 11, 2021 The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) Board of Directors today announced that they have selected respected educator and non-profit leader Dr. Stacy E. Holland as Executive Director.  She will succeed Mark Gleason, who is transitioning after a decade at the helm of PSP, which is one of the city’s largest public charities supporting quality K-12 education.

Dr. Holland’s selection represents a renewed commitment by the organization to focus on the needs of children and families in Philadelphia as the city emerges from the COVID pandemic, and to work collaboratively with all stakeholders who are committed to providing high-quality educational options for children across the city.

“COVID is the greatest educational crisis of our lifetime, one that has impacted all students in Philadelphia, especially students of color,” said Dr. Holland.  “But it also presents us with a tremendous chance to reimagine how we provide high-quality educational options that are urgently needed for all children.

“The only way to successfully emerge from the pandemic is for us to work together for all children, regardless of the types of schools they attend,” said Dr. Holland.  “We need everyone committed to building high-quality schools that work for kids across the city under the tent and focused on the same goal: creating a great education for all students. Let’s highlight the best practices of schools on the ground and be respectful of those doing the actual work as we focus on what we can do together.  Our goal is for PSP to be a leader in that effort, and I am very excited by the opportunity.”

Dr. Holland brings a wealth of passion and experience to PSP, having specialized in education, college and career development, and philanthropy for more than 29 years.  She has served in a number of key leadership positions, including: Executive Director of the Lenfest Foundation, where she managed a $100 million endowment and led development of an early literacy strategy and a career pathway for middle school students; Chief of Strategic Partnerships for the School District of Philadelphia, where she built the framework for the District’s thriving network of more than 200 partnerships with local non-profits, corporations and government agencies; and as co-founder and President/CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network, which advocates for positive post-secondary and economic outcomes for children.

“Dr. Holland is a tremendous force for good on behalf of children and youth in our city, and she brings both a sterling reputation and a wealth of experience to bear on the challenge of providing a great education for all students,” said PSP Board Chair Michael O’Neill.  “We believe the Dr. Holland will build upon our progress achieved over the last 10 years, and she will lead the drive to provide great educational options for all children in Philadelphia.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Mark Gleason for his dedicated service to this cause and our organization,” said O’Neill.  “But the work is not done, because there are many more children who deserve access to quality schools.  PSP has set a high bar in terms of our children’s potential to achieve, and Dr. Holland shares that same passion.  We believe that she is the ideal choice to lead PSP’s second decade of service, and we are delighted that she has accepted the offer to join us.”

Since its founding in 2011, PSP has provided more than $120 million to District schools, charters, private and parochial schools.

“Providing high-quality education for all Philadelphia children is our highest priority, and PSP has been a valuable philanthropic partner in that effort,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Dr. Holland’s leadership and experience in advocating for children and educators make her an outstanding partner in our extensive efforts to improve educational outcomes in every Philadelphia neighborhood. She is a great choice, and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

PSP also provides funding for education training and development with programs like Philly PLUS, which has produced more than 40 principals leading city schools.  Additionally, PSP funds a host of free, user-friendly services for schools and families, including GreatPhillySchools, Apply Philly Charter, TeachPHL, and Jump-Start Philly Schools Fund, which provided 15,000 Chromebooks to homebound students at the outset of the COVID pandemic last year.

“Dr. Holland has distinguished herself in the development of education and community-based opportunities for young people from all walks of life in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite.  “She understands that to meet the challenges of public education in our city, we must all work together on behalf of our children.  I congratulate her on her new assignment, and we look forward to working with her in the days ahead.”

Dr. Holland is a nationally-recognized leader in the non-profit and public education sector.  For the last four years, she served as the Founder and Principal for The Holland Group, where she was a strategic advisor to numerous public and private schools and philanthropic organizations.  Before that, she served for three years as Executive Director of the Lenfest Foundation, where her leadership of the Foundation’s $100 million endowment included $42 million of investments on behalf of more than 60,000 children.  Before that, she spent two years launching the School District’s efforts to expand partnerships with businesses, non-profits and other government agencies, as well as redesigning The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, which is the District’s chief fundraising platform.

From 1999-2013, Dr. Holland co-founded and the nationally-recognized Philadelphia Youth Network, a workforce development intermediary focused on providing career development opportunities for young people between the ages of 14 – 26.  In that capacity, she led the design and management of a citywide service-delivery system for more than 20,000 students a year, with an annual budget of $30 million.  At PYN, Dr. Holland served on the executive team that staffed the Philadelphia Council for College & Career Success, cited as a national model of best practice in workforce development.  Under her leadership, PYN also managed the city’s WorkReady and Project U-Turn service delivery systems, which during her tenure coordinated education and youth employment services for over 20,000 youth annually.

In addition, Dr. Holland’s service includes a number of important professional affiliations, including positions on the boards of The Barra Foundation; The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia; the Stoneleigh Foundation; the Institute for Educational Leadership; and the Rancocas Valley Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

Dr. Holland also has served on the following boards:  Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, Board of Trustees of Community College of Philadelphia (Secretary of the Board, Chair of Student Outcomes Committee); Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey (Chair of the Board).  Among her many professional awards, Dr. Holland was named a White House Champion of Change in 2014; the Smart CEO Bravo Award; a Special Service Award from District 1199c; the Outstanding Service Award from The College of New Jersey; and recognition as one of Philadelphia’s Top Emerging Leaders/40 Under40 Award.

A graduate of The College of New Jersey, where she earned a BA in Marketing, she holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  In 2020, Dr. Holland earned her Ed.D in workplace learning and development from the University of Pennsylvania.


REACTION TO DR. HOLLAND’S APPOINTMENT

 

“I can’t think of a better person to serve as the leader of PSP during this critical inflection on the role that both district and charter schools play in serving the need of Philadelphia students and families.”

Dr. Keith Leaphart, Chair, The Lenfest Foundation

 

“Providing high-quality education for all Philadelphia children is our highest priority, and PSP has been a valuable philanthropic partner in that effort.  Dr. Holland’s leadership and experience in advocating for children and educators make her an outstanding partner in our extensive efforts to improve educational outcomes in every Philadelphia neighborhood. She is a great choice, and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

Mayor James F. Kenney

 

“Dr. Holland has distinguished herself in the development of education and community-based opportunities for young people from all walks of life in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite.  “She understands that to meet the challenges of public education in our city, we must all work together on behalf of our children.  I congratulate her on her new assignment, and we look forward to working with her in the days ahead.”

Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr.

 

“Stacy Holland’s leadership is precisely what’s needed to take public education in Philadelphia to the next level. Dr. Holland is bold, insightful, and understands the importance of centering the city’s most vulnerable children. She understands the complex needs of the city’s schools and will bring a courageous and fresh lens to the investments needed to ensure every child receives a quality education. I look forward to working closely with her and deepening our partnership with PSP.”

Jessica Cunningham Akoto, CEO, KIPP Philadelphia

 

“Dr. Holland is an excellent choice to lead PSP into its next phase. She is an innovative, strategic leader who brings a wealth of experience in all education sectors – district, charter and private schools. Dr. Holland understands the importance of giving parents options for their children’s education and providing the resources they need to choose the best environment for their child. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Holland and PSP on behalf of Philadelphia families.”

Keisha Jordan, Executive Director, Children's Scholarship Fund

 

“Stacy Holland brings a vast knowledge of the educational landscape, a deep commitment to equity and an impressive track record of successfully working across diverse systems, all in the relentless pursuit of improving the quality of educational and workforce experiences. PSP's decision to hire Stacy Holland as its next Executive Director is terrific news for the children and families of Philadelphia.”

Shavonne McMillan, Principal, Vaux Big Picture High School

David Bromley, Executive Director, Big Picture Philadelphia

 

“Stacy Holland is a dynamic and seasoned leader who has demonstrated her unwavering commitment and skill to help young people succeed.  Stacy’s expertise, curiosity and collaborative style are incredible asserts to PSP – and to our region – in the efforts to enable all of our young people to flourish in school and beyond.” 

Tina Wahl, President, The Barra Foundation

 

“I have worked with Stacy Holland over many years and in a variety of roles. She’s a terrific partner, collaborator and leader of great integrity and talent – always with a focus to serve and to bring about substantive change. I applaud PSP on an outstanding choice and look forward to seeing the good she will accomplish for the youth of this city.”

Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO, Philadelphia Foundation

 

“Dr. Stacy Holland has been a steadfast partner and strategist who has supported students within Philadelphia. Her work in philanthropy, school improvement and graduation success over many years will coalesce in her new role as PSP’s Executive Director. Dr. Holland will listen deeply to practitioners, policy makers, and funders to find common ground so all stakeholders can work together in service of children.”

Dr. Sonya Harrison, Asst. Superintendent, Learning Network, School District of Philadelphia

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