JACQUELYN Y., Charter School CEO, one of the cities leading CEO's died at Jefferson Hospital on Sunday, June 1, 2014. She was 60 years of age. Kelley, a 20 year veteran of the Philadelphia School District, rose through the professional ranks before leaving to serve as the Chief Instructional Officer of a start up charter school. It was while serving in this administrative capacity and working at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church's Discovery Camp that she envisioned the need to establish a new charter school. The curriculum would take an expeditionary learning approach to teaching by uniting what children learn in the classroom to what happens in real life situations. This approach, said Kelley, "makes educational concepts concrete, and reinforces the necessary relationship between the process of actual experience and education."
Kelley heard the heart of one parent who asked "why can't this be done all year long?" Through the voice of that parent, two years later, her dream became a reality when the doors of Discovery Charter School opened in 2003. She had brought to reality her God given mission and developed what is now one of the "Great Schools" of Philadelphia, Discovery Charter School. Kelley joined a prestigious group of charter school educators whose mission is to assure that high quality education continues to be first priority for the students of Philadelphia; the Pennsylvania Charters for Excellence (PCE), where she served until her passing.
Jacquelyn Y. Kelley, a dedicated educator and savvy entrepreneur, who has devoted her life to the education of urban youth, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kelley is a product of the Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1971. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University and later earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration, and her Principal Certification from Cheyney University. She was currently enrolled in Harvard University where she was a Doctoral Candidate in their Charter School Leadership program.
Kelley was a remarkable educator, one who understood the importance of life-long learning and global awareness. She spent all of her adulthood inspiring youth to develop a love for learning and encouraging them to do so through expeditionary experiences. Her students literally traveled the world connecting what they learned in the classroom to real life experience.
Kelley had an extraordinary ability to select the most multi-talented staff. She saw and demanded the best out of both her students and staff. She was a prolific mentor, admired and respected by all of her colleagues. She recently received the Octavius V. Catto award for Education from the Mann Center for the Arts.
In addition to her many task at DCS, Ms. Kelley has demonstrated her love, generosity, and hard work in her church, where she served as a Deacon at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Albert Campbell and has supported many community and religious functions.
Kelley is survived by her mother, Orphelia Young, her brother, Terence Young, children, Tisha Williams, Marcus S. Kelley, and Kimberly S. Kelley, and five grandchildren: Deja, Monique, Jalen, Tahlia and Justin. Homegoing Services will be held Saturday, June 7th, at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 5732 Race St., Philadelphia, PA. Viewing 8:00 to 11:00 A.M. Funeral Services will follow at 11:00 A.M. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made in her name to the Jacquelyn Y. Kelley Expeditionary Foundation, 4700 Parkside Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19131 to help assure that students continue to be able to travel worldwide. Arr. by: WOOD FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Published on Philly.com on June 6, 2014