Mastery Schools Names Dr. Saliyah Cruz as Chief Equity Officer
Mastery Schools announced today that it has named Saliyah Cruz, Ed.D, as its new Chief Equity Officer. Cruz brings more than 25 years of experience in K-12 education, instructional leadership, student development, and diversity, equity and inclusion strategy to the organization.
As the Chief Equity Officer, Cruz will be responsible for ensuring that equity is centered in Mastery’s program model and organizational culture with the aim of fulfilling Mastery’s vision to be a model urban public school district. The work of equity is a central and unifying priority for Mastery Schools and the Chief Equity Officer, which is a new role at the organization, will ensure that the work evolves and positively influences all aspects of the organization’s work.
“I am delighted to have Dr. Cruz accept this vital role at Mastery,” said Scott Gordon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mastery Schools. “After conducting five month long national search, she was a standout for her understanding what equity can and should mean in schools, the power of equity to transform the educational experience and outcomes for our youth. Her ability to take conceptual theories and aspirations and translate them into actions and strategies makes her extraordinary.”
“Dr. Cruz deeply understands how equity will drive a healthier and more effective organization,” said Mastery Schools Chief Talent Officer Charity Hughes. Mastery is committed to creating an inclusive community of educators who feel supported and connected to Mastery’s mission. Mastery Schools is a network of 24 charter public schools educating 14,000 students in Philadelphia and Camden.
Most recently, Cruz served as the Deputy Chief of Student Development at Mastery Schools. In this role, she ensured that students were supported by school and classroom culture that was relationship-driven, culturally responsive, and effective. Prior to that role, she held leadership positions with the School District of Philadelphia and Baltimore City Public Schools.
“At Mastery, students and families are at the center of everything we do. It is our mission to prepare young people with the academic and personal skills they need for life. As Chief Equity Officer, it will be MY mission to galvanize every leader in our organization to make Mastery a more equitable place for our students as well as our staff,” said Cruz. “We know that a healthy inclusive organizational culture enables adults to nurture a healthy school and classroom environment. I am so excited to lead Mastery in this necessary and important work.”
Cruz earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Temple University, and a bachelor’s from LaSalle University.