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Linda Cliatt-Wayman

2016 Speaker

LINDA CLIATT-WAYMAN is a passionate educator with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children. Her leadership as a high school principal in North Philadelphia has been featured by TED, “ABC World News Tonight” and “Nightline.” She has dedicated her career and her life to ending injustice and helping students succeed in school and beyond. She spent 20 years as a special education teacher before becoming principal of FitzSimons High School in 2003, where she led a turnaround of FitzSimons from a school known for low levels of academic achievement and high levels of violence to a safe space focused on learning. In 2005 she was given the opportunity to open The Young Women’s Leadership School at Rhodes High School. Again, Cliatt-Wayman led a turnaround at Rhodes. She then spent two years as assistant superintendent of High Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. When the district decided to merge her two former schools with another North Philadelphia High School, Strawberry Mansion, she knew she had to step in to lead the merged school as principal. At Strawberry Mansion, not far from the North Philadelphia neighborhood where she grew up, Cliatt-Wayman and her team are once again proving what is possible for low-income children. Out of over 8,000 nominees from around the world, she has been named a Top 50 Finalist for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. Diane Sawyer and her team spent an entire school year documenting Wayman’s efforts, which were featured on both “ABC World News Tonight” and “Nightline.” Her May 2015 TED Talk has been viewed over a million times and been subtitled in 21 different languages. Above all, she is driven by her love for her students. She ends her announcements to her students every morning the same way: “Remember, if no one told you they loved you today, remember I do and I always will.” Cliatt-Wayman earned her B.A. from Kutztown University and her MA from St. Joseph’s University.