Saliyah Cruz is currently engaged as an Independent Consultant with Sapience Leadership LLC, a newly formed company out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Center for Innovation, in the PCI Ventures UPSTART Portfolio.
Saliyah is an experienced educator with over twenty years of experience in urban education and school reform. She began her career as a classroom teacher working in under-resourced communities in the Chester-Upland School District and the School District of Philadelphia. In her desire to create sustained transformation in the communities she served, she obtained her Master’s degree from Temple University in Educational Administration, left the classroom, and transitioned to school-based leadership. She spent twelve years in the principalship, leading and learning in a range of different school settings, including charter schools, comprehensive high schools, and career and technical education high schools. In her role as a principal she has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in transforming school communities. She has been recognized by the City Council of Philadelphia, the Hope Foundation, and the School District of Philadelphia for her turnaround efforts in chronically low performing schools.
Having spent twelve years as a building principal, Saliyah recognizes the herculean tasks school leaders have in trying to meet the ever-growing list of demands and priorities school leaders need to address, as well as the reality of the need to meet these needs with fewer and fewer resources. For the past three years she has been providing district-level leadership helping schools improve both their academic programs, school climate and operations. Saliyah has assumed district-level leadership positions in both Baltimore City Schools and the charter school community in the School District of Philadelphia.
Saliyah is a true product of the City of Philadelphia. She was educated in the School District of Philadelphia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education from LaSalle University. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Temple University. In addition to earning her Doctorate in Education Leadership and Organizational Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Mid Career Doctoral Program in Education Leadership, she also attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Superintendent’s Academy where she earned her PA Letter of Eligibility.