Who we are

Excellent Schools PA was founded on the belief that every student, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, has the right to a high-quality education, that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful adults.

We are motivated by the urgency of knowing that every day we do not advocate for change in our schools is another day lost for a student trapped in a failing school. We believe that a high-quality education can be delivered to students in many forms and that excellent schools exist in all sectors.

We believe in the power of exceptional educators to change the lives of their students, and the unparalleled impact an engaged parent can have on improving educational outcomes for their children and community.

Meet our team

David Hardy

Executive Director

Dave is an established leader in Philadelphia’s education community and one of the few people who both “talks-the-talk” and “walks-the-walk” in their dedication to students. Dave is the former CEO and Co-Founder of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia charter school, which opened it’s doors in 2007. Boys’ Latin was PA’s first and only single-gender charter school and has a student body that is 98 percent African-American and 74 percent economically disadvantaged. In its first four graduating classes, Boys’ Latin sent 85 percent of its graduates to postsecondary institutions, 80 percent of which were 4-year colleges.

In addition to Boys’ Latin, Dave is a founding board member of the Philadelphia School Partnership and a former board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He currently serves on the boards of the Center for Education Reform and the North Carolina Outward Bound School.

Dave lives in Philadelphia with his wife of 30 years, Zina Oliver-Hardy, and has two adult sons.

Board of Directors

Chris Bravacos

President & CEO, Bravo Group

Annabelle Canning

Partner, Capitol Tax Partners

Tom Caramanico

President, McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Mark Gleason

ex officio
Executive Director, Philadelphia School Partnership

Evie McNiff

Founder, Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia

Sharif El-Mekki

Principal, Mastery Charter School - Shoemaker

Janine Yass

Co-Founder, Boys’ Latin Charter School

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