Linda Cliatt-Wayman

High school principal
Linda Cliatt-Wayman is a Philadelphia high school principal with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children.

Why you should listen

Linda Cliatt-Wayman grew up in poverty in North Philadelphia, where she experienced firsthand the injustice being perpetrated against poor students in their education. She has dedicated her career and her life to ending that injustice, working within Philadelphia's fractured public-school system. She spent 20 years as a special-ed teacher before becoming a principal, leading two low-performing urban high schools to success with improved test scores and increased college admissions among students.

Now at Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion High School, Wayman and her team are once again proving what is possible for low-income children. Test scores have improved every year since Wayman took over, and the school was removed from the federal Persistently Dangerous Schools List for the first time in five years. Diane Sawyer and her team spent the 2012-2013 school year documenting Wayman’s efforts for ABC World News Tonight and Nightline.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Linda Cliatt-Wayman

We humans

All kids deserve the best, wherever they grow up

June 26, 2015

Linda Cliatt-Wayman has spent her career working in low-income, low-performing schools. She has developed a thick skin and a tough attitude … laced with fierce love for her students. Here, she shares her approach to fixing a broken system and doing right by kids who deserve the best.

Continue reading
Live from TEDWomen

When a school is not a school: Linda Cliatt-Wayman at TEDWomen 2015

May 29, 2015

On her first day as a principal in a North Philadelphia school, Linda Cliatt-Wayman was determined to lay down the law and set clear expectations. She called her students into the auditorium and told them how things would go at that school. But one voice interrupted her. “Miss,” called out a girl named Ashley, “why do […]

Continue reading