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Power moves: A leadership appointment, a high-level resignation, and a national award in the news

April 29, 2020 Category: ColumnFeaturedPeopleShort

1. Zakiyyah Boone is named interim CEO of Wonderspring Early Education.

Wonderspring Early Education, a nonprofit provider of early childhood education in the Greater Philadelphia, announced April 27 that it has named Zakiyyah Boone as its interim chief executive officer. Boone replaces Ann O’Brien, who had served as CEO for the past six years.

Boone has been the organization’s chief program officer since October 2019. Before she joined Wonderspring, Boone served as vice president of child care and the executive director of Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA. Earlier in her career she served variously as principal and director at a number of learning communities and academies, including Christian Academy and Brightside Academy.

Boone holds a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University and a master’s degree from Kaplan University.

According to the emailed announcement of Boone’s appointment, “while Wonderspring has been closed during the COVID-19 crisis, the organization continues to pay its teachers who are actively engaging students and families through phone, email, videos, and social media.”

2. Nolan Atkinson, the City of Philadelphia’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer tenders his resignation.

Nolan Atkinson, the City of Philadelphia’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer submitted his resignation to Mayor Jim Kenney, effective May 8.

“Under Nolan’s leadership, the Office has become a formidable advocate for diverse and equitable programs in City government,” said Kenney in the emailed announcement of the resignation. “Nolan has dedicated himself to making Philadelphia a more diverse, equitable and inclusive city, and leaves the Office well-positioned to have a positive impact on the City for years to come.”

Nefertiri Sickout, deputy diversity, equity and inclusion officer, will serve as acting chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer while the search for a permanent replacement is underway.

3. Bernadette Dougherty, assistant superintendent of elementary schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, receives NCEA award.

Bernadette Dougherty, the assistant superintendent of elementary schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and adjunct professor at Immaculata University, was recently honored with the NCEA 2020 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association. The award recognizes leadership and excellence in Catholic education.

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Before becoming assistant superintendent in 2013, Dougherty served as the principal at St. Elizabeth Parish School in Uwchlan, Chester County, and at St. Kevin School in Springfield, Delaware County.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Villanova University.

The board of directors of Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown also received a 2020 NCEA award.

According to the emailed announcement of the awards, “Dougherty and representatives from the BSHS board of directors were originally scheduled to attend the NCEA Convention & Expo planned for April 14 – April 16 in Baltimore, Maryland. Given developments with the Coronavirus pandemic, the event was modified for an online platform and honorees were recognized virtually.”


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