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New hires, other changes for Philly schools

Significant changes continue at the Philadelphia School District, with Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. Wednesday announcing a number of personnel shifts, hires and other moves.
Hite expanded the number of "learning networks" — groups of schools arranged by geography or theme — to 13 from 8, and has hired a crop of new asssistant superintendents to oversee them.
He's also shuffling his cabinet around. Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn recently announced his resignation, and will not be replaced.
But Naomi Wyatt, former human-resources chief, will become chief of staff, a new position for Hite. Fran Burns, the chief operating officer, will add duties as "executive sponsor for finance," in the wake of Chief Financial Officer Matthew Stanski's departure.
Sophie Bryan, who had been special assistant to Hite among other roles, is now Chief External Relations Officer, replacing Rodney Oglesby, the former government relations staffer who left the district.
Evelyn Sample-Oates becomes director of the Office of Advocacy and External Engagement. Karyn Lynch, the Chief of Student Services, will oversee the Office of Parent and Family Services.
Hite also made some interim appointments. Wayne Grasela, the former senior vice president for food services, becomes acting deputy chief operating officer. Amy Virus takes over Grasela's former job.
And Kendra-Lee Rosati, who had headed recruitment for the district, becomes acting human-resources chief.
Karen Kolsky, a former assistant superintendent, will be acting chief of the neighborhood learning networks.
New learning network assistant superintendents are Racquel Jones, who had worked in Baltimore City public schools; Randi Klein-Davila, the former principal of Hackett Elementary; and Jeff Rhodes, who comes from Michigan and recently completed doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania will all lead groups of neighborhood schools.
Other new assistant superintendents will lead specialized networks. Chris Lehmann, the nationally-acclaimed founding principal of Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy, will remain a principal of that school and add responsibility for the Innovation Network.
Eric Beacoats, who worked for a charter management group in Illinois and was superintendent of Durham, N.C. schools, will lead the Turnaround Network of struggling schools. Christina Grant takes over the Opportunity Network of alternative schools. She comes to Philadelphia from the Great Oaks Foundation, where she was superintendent.
Cheryl Logan, who had been a neighborhood assistant superintendent, moves over to lead the Autonomy Network — a group of strong schools given charter-like flexibility in budgeting and curriculum.
Salary information was not immediately available.