Sherri Brown transcript of testimony before School Board July 9, 2018

Click on timestamp 1:06:10 to view Sherry’s testimony.

Good evening,

My name is Sherri Brown and I am a former student of Strawberry Mansion Junior High School and currently a long time resident in this community. I like to welcome you all as the New and improved School Board of Philadelphia.

Ever since they proposed to close Strawberry Mansion High School in 2012, I have been working with others to restore Strawberry Mansion High School to the high educational standards that it once had and a place where students are proud and excited to attend, the staff looks forward to coming to every day and engaging with our children and the community can actively participate with.

During this time, we have attempted to build a good working relationship with the principals and staff, the Superintendent of the Turnaround schools and the Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. All we have ever asked for is that the community is involved the any decisions made concerning the school and complete honesty and transparency from the School District.

Definition of transparent according to Merriam-Webster is:

  1. Having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen.
  2. free from pretense or deceit
  3. easily detected or seen through : obvious
  4. readily understood
  5. Characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.

Therefore when it comes to communication with others, Transparency is defined as operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed, it implies openness, communication, and accountability.

I pray that we will build a working relationship to provide our children with the best education and opportunities that they so rightfully deserve while establishing mutual respect and transparency.

In addition to that, we look forward to completing the process of adding the name the “Dr. Ruth Wright Hayre Educational Complex to Strawberry Mansion and L.P. Hill. Everyone should fully understand the contributions of Dr. Hayre, who was the first African-American High School teacher, the first African-American high school principal and the first female to head the Philadelphia Board of Education whose office was located in L.P. Hill School and picture still adorns the hallway of the High School. She believed that children can achieve, no matter the school or the community, given the necessary supports, interventions, and encouragements. She was also among the first to promise and then award college scholarships to students of a selected inner city school if they graduated high school. This needs to be done in order to honor her legacy.

Thank you and God Bless.

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