Raised nearby in the Huntington Park section of North Philadelphia, Rivera is a lifelong educator and, from 2008-15, served as the superintendent of the School District of Lancaster.
“Secretary Rivera has to be among Pennsylvania’s most dedicated Secretaries of Education,” said Manor College president Jonathan Peri.
“Having had the chance to sit around the table with him in multiple venues, I can say without pause that he is incredibly down-to-earth and devotionally focused on improving education for Pennsylvania’s students.”
“We are blessed that he will be our commencement speaker for 2017.”
Prior to his stint as superintendent, Rivera served as a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, and the executive director for the School District of Philadelphia.
During his time as superintendent, Rivera and his team created a new PreK-12 curriculum, an aggressive professional development plan, and innovative teacher observation tools.
Under these changes, the district’s graduation rates and state assessment scores improved, including noticeable increases in math, writing, and science, along with heightened participation in college-aimed programs.
Rivera also served on the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission, which created a funding formula to reinvest in Pennsylvania’s schools, that was signed by Gov. Wolf in June 2016.
In September 2014, Rivera was one of only 10 people nationwide to be honored as a Champion of Change by the White House.
Click here for more information on Manor College’s 2017 commencement ceremony.