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Elevate 215 Announces the Hiring of a Chief of Staff and the Appointment of Six New Board Members

Tanya Ruley-Mayo, chief of staff at Elevate 215

The new staff and board members bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds in education, business and philanthropy


Philadelphia, PA [Thursday, June 20, 2024] – Elevate 215 is pleased to announce the hiring of Tanya Ruley-Mayo as chief of staff, and the the appointment of six new board members, who are excited to work to enhance the organization’s impact on schools and educators, and to expand opportunities to advance academic outcomes for students. Tanya’s role will focus on supporting the organization’s core mission and goals to increase the number of quality schools in Philadelphia. Additionally, the Elevate 215 Board of Directors has appointed six new members: Jessica Cunningham Akoto, Dr. Amelia Coleman Brown, Kate Houstoun, Dr. Michelle Carrera Morales, Andy Newcomb, and Richard B. Worley. 

“We are laser focused on elevating the quality of schools in Philadelphia with the goal of achieving better educational outcomes for our children,” said Dr. Stacy Holland, Executive Director of Elevate 215. “Tanya has dedicated her career to fostering excellence in K-12 education and has a proven track record in effective teaching and learning. Her expertise and collaboration will help us achieve our goals as an organization, and will significantly benefit the 14,000 students served through our grantee network of schools.”

Before joining Elevate 215, Tanya Ruley-Mayo served as the Chief Executive Officer for Independence Charter School, a public charter school in Philadelphia serving over 800 students in grades K-8. In this role, she led the strategic direction of the organization and oversaw the completion of a $10 million capital construction project. Previous to that she worked with Mastery Charter Schools, the School District of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Youth Network  in various policy, education leadership, and administrative roles. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Johnson C. Smith University and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Temple University.

“I’m ecstatic to join Elevate 215 to support the existing great work the organization is doing to accelerate education outcomes for students and to implement new strategies to raise the quality of our schools,” said Tanya Ruley-Mayo. “For over 20 years, I’ve worked at the intersection of administration, governance, and public policy to help students and educators close opportunity and achievement gaps. I look forward to making a continued impact on Philadelphia education alongside Dr. Holland and the Elevate 215 team.”

The Elevate 215 Board of Directors has appointed the following industry experts and innovative thinkers to support the identification and replication of promising practices in our schools:

  • Jessica Cunningham Akoto

    Education Consultant (Former CEO of KIPP Philadelphia Schools)

  • Dr. Amelia Coleman Brown

    Associate Superintendent, Prince George’s County Public Schools

  • Kate Houstoun

    Chief Impact Officer, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

  • Dr. Michelle Carrera Morales

    Executive Director, Xiente

  • Andy Newcomb

    Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Mission OG

  • Richard B. Worley

    Senior Advisor, Permit Capital LLC and President, Permit Capital GP, Inc.

(Full bios are available on the Elevate 215 website.)

“Philadelphia has the potential to make tremendous strides forward, but it requires an effective K-12 education system built on a foundation of quality schools,” said Kate Houstoun. “Elevate 215’s strategy to set a citywide vision for improvement and bring together civic and school-system leaders to collaboratively create solutions that can move the needle for our children. I’ve witnessed the organization’s progress through our partnerships and I wanted to join the Board of Directors to support their efforts more directly.”

About Elevate 215

Elevate 215 is a catalyst for preparing students for the world of tomorrow by modernizing the learning experience in Philadelphia schools today. Elevate 215 employs a collaborative, research-based strategy aimed at increasing the number of quality schools in Philadelphia over the next five years, while also developing a pipeline of effective and diverse educators and accelerating academic outcomes for 25,000 students.