Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders names Dr. Edwin M. Quezada Executive Director

Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders is pleased to announce Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, who is retiring from his role as Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools, will become its third Executive Director on July 10, 2023.

Selected following a nationwide search, Quezada has nearly 35 years of experience working in education, serving in elementary, middle, and high schools as a teacher, school counselor, development professional, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent, and, since March of 2016, superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools, an urban district of more than 3,600 staff and serving nearly 26,000 students across more than 40 schools. Quezada has a proven track record of developing educational leaders—planning and delivering professional development and experiences that bolster the leadership competencies required to create a school culture in which the needs of all learners are met—and implementing systems of support to create a district-wide educational culture focused on accountability, achievement, sustainability, and educational opportunities for all.

Under Quezada’s superintendence, the Yonkers Public School District became the highest performing of all Big Five districts in New York. For the past seven years, Yonkers held the highest graduation rates of the Big Five districts, achieving a 90% graduation rate for all students over the past three years and raising the on-time graduation rate for all diverse populations of learners, including students with disabilities and multilingual learners. He also lowered the high school dropout rate by 61 percentage points since 2015.

“Dr. Quezada’s track record of success in developing educators and leaders who shape the educational experience for all students is a welcome addition to the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. His demonstrated achievement in improving student outcomes for all students will accelerate our ongoing progress in ensuring that every student in Philadelphia receives an outstanding education,” said Joseph Neubauer, Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders Board Chair.

For nearly a decade, Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders has delivered impactful leadership development for school and system leaders, providing them with the skills, support, and resources necessary to improve school performance and increase academic achievement. Across all School Leaders’ programs, the organization has served 180 school and system leaders as it strives to transform the educational landscape and improve the lives of the nearly 225,000 students in Philadelphia. In schools led by participants in the Neubauer Fellowship for Educational Leadership, the organization’s flagship program, student attendance is up, scholastic achievement is climbing, turnover of high-performing teachers is low, and retention of principals within Philadelphia education is high.

“Dr. Quezada’s acumen and understanding of the characteristics of impactful leadership will propel our work developing dynamic and effective school and system leaders who transform schools, improve student outcomes, and drive systemic change,” said Neubauer. “With his expertise and vision, Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders is equipped to continue to dramatically impact the educational experience in Philadelphia and the lives of all students.”

“Edwin Quezada has an impressive track record of cultivating school leaders who make a positive impact on the communities they serve,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP & Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, and a member of School Leaders Board. “In his role as the next Executive Director of School Leaders, I look forward to Edwin prioritizing the values and principles of unity while propelling Philadelphia forward toward greater equity and excellence in education.”

“I am driven by the philosophy that all children can achieve at high levels when given quality instruction and opportunities for high expectations, a supportive learning community, and caring adults who value academic success,” said Quezada. “Preparing and developing school and system leaders is paramount in creating that environment. I am excited to guide this work for Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, sharpening the organization’s focus on developing equity-driven leaders and creating student-centered school and system cultures and educational experiences in which children thrive.”

Over the past five years, Quezada also worked in support of Yonkers Urban Leadership Academy (YULA), developed in collaboration with the Wallace Foundation, the New York City Leadership Academy, and Bank Street College of Education and focused on preparing those in the pipeline to serve as assistant principals in urban schools. The recipient of numerous community service and educational leadership awards, Quezada serves as co-chair of the Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper Movement, an initiative designed to address enduring opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color, launched with a goal of ensuring that all young people can reach their full potential. He also serves as the Vice President of the New York State Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

Quezada earned a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and a Master of Science in school counseling from Herbert H. Lehmann College, a Master of Science in school supervision and administration from Fordham University, and a Doctor of Education in school leadership for teaching and learning from Walden University.