Wayne Walker, vice president of the Philadelphia Board of Education, will not seek reappointment, officials announced Friday.
That means the nine-member school board will have at least one new member this year.
Walker was one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s first nine picks to the school board, which took over running the Philadelphia School District in 2018 after a state takeover that lasted 17 years.
Walker, 61, a turnaround management and corporate governance specialist who has also served as a leader on the boards of Habitat for Humanity and the National Philanthropic Trust, said he was stepping down because of a family situation that will require him to spend “significant time outside of Philadelphia.”
He will remain on the board until Kenney names and City Council approves his replacement. Kenney, newly sworn into his second term as mayor, must name a new board, but it’s expected that most members of the current board will stay — all of Walker’s colleagues on the board are seeking reappointment.
“It has been an honor to serve the students of Philadelphia as a member of the Board of Education,” Walker said in a statement. “I am inspired by my interactions with the countless students, families, teachers, and community members who have dedicated themselves to ensuring every child in Philadelphia has access to great public schools. While the challenges are great, I am excited about the strong future ahead for Philadelphia’s public schools and I thank Mayor Kenney for the opportunity to serve.”
The other members of the board are Joyce Wilkerson, who serves as president, Julia Danzy, Leticia Egea-Hinton, Mallory Fix Lopez, Lee Huang, Maria McColgan, Christopher McGinley, and Angela McIver. (The board also has two nonvoting student members, Doha Ibrahim and Imere Williams.)
Walker’s experience leading complex organizations was an asset to the board, both Wilkerson and the mayor said.
“Wayne has been a critical help to the Board of Education as we’ve undergone the tremendous task of coming together as a board and learning the complex role of governance,” Wilkerson said in the statement. “I am sorry to see Wayne go.”
Kenney thanked Walker for his “considerable service” in the nonpaid position.
“Wayne took on an important leadership role and was instrumental in getting our local school board off the ground and to the sound place it is today,” Kenney said. "Wayne leaves big shoes to fill, and I encourage all qualified Philadelphians to apply to serve on the board during the open application period. This is an incredible opportunity to help shape the future of education in our city for generations to come.”