Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders | Tamara Edwards
19072
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Fellow Profiles

School Type

District

Grade Levels

K – 8

Student Enrollment

676

Neighborhood

Olney

Education

M.A. Elementary Education,

Saint Joseph’s University


M.A. TESOL,

Penn State/ University of Turabo


M.A. Educational Leadership, Administrative Certification,

Gwynedd Mercy University

 

B.A. Sociology,

Temple University

Tamara Edwards

Principal, Thomas K. Finletter School
School District of Philadelphia
2016 Neubauer Fellow

“Working in an inner city school can present challenges, but the students and their families give me an abundance of satisfaction. I became a principal because in this position I believe that I am making a difference, that I am needed, and that my efforts are truly appreciated. Being an instructional leader gives me a sense of fulfillment, self-actualization, and purpose. The students motivate me each and every day to remain focused on the belief that all students are entitled to a superior quality education and with the right guidance and support, everyone can learn.”

Tamara has served as the principal of Thomas K. Finletter since 2014. Under her leadership, Finletter School has accomplished consecutive gains in literacy and school climate. On the 2018-19 School Progress Report (SPR) Finletter increased from 39% to 55% in Overall Progress, improving the school’s status designation to “Reinforce.” In Academic Progress specifically, the school moved to the “Model” designation with 85% of students making appropriate academic gains. In addition, Tamara spearheaded a school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) that successfully promotes appropriate school behaviors and decreased the number of student disciplinary referrals.

 

Tamara has been an educator since 2002. Prior to becoming a principal, Tamara served as a dean, school-based teacher leader, and 2nd and 4th grade teacher. She received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Principals in 2020. Tamara completed the Aspiring Assistant Superintendent Academy with Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, sits on the Chief of School Advisory Board and and the Learning Network 7 Advisory Board. Tamara grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Lankenau High School.

2016 Neubauer Fellows Page