Mr. Otis Hackney is the Chief Education Officer for the City of Philadelphia in the Mayor’s Office of Education (MOE). In this role, Otis oversees two major initiatives for the city of Philadelphia: PHLpreK and Community Schools. Both programs were designed, built and implemented in the first term of the Kenney administration. Otis’ role is to provide leadership to improve education in the city, and this was demonstrated with assisting the team to return the School District of Philadelphia to local control with a mayoral appointed board. With his team in MOE, Otis facilitates collaboration and partnership with stakeholders to strengthen the local educational landscape and advance key educational policy. Otis and MOE follow the guiding vision that every child deserves access to great schools close to where they live.
Before joining MOE, Otis was the principal of South Philadelphia High School. He helped heal racial divisions and fostered a collaborative, welcoming environment, successfully guiding the school through three years of compliance with a US Department of Justice consent decree. The Philadelphia Inquirer chronicled the transformation of the school under Mr. Hackney’s leadership throughout 2010 and 2011 in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series. Otis was determined to bolster academic achievement and transform the school into a model for other diverse urban high schools though a community schools approach.
Otis is a graduate of West Philadelphia High School, Temple University (B.A. Secondary Mathematics Education, 1998) and Lehigh University (M.Ed. Educational Leadership, 2006). He is a dedicated educator who began his career while still a student at Temple University, working with underprivileged youths in various family support programs in South Philadelphia as well as Philadelphia’s Freedom Schools program.