Our Leadership

The School District of Philadelphia is comprised of a staff of highly qualified and dedicated individuals. Every one of our staff members plays an important role in the success of our schools. To highlight some of our exemplary staff, we have included brief bios of our leadership team members on this page.

William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. Superintendent

Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. Dr. William R. Hite Jr., was named Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia on June 29, 2012.

Dr. Hite’s professional experience includes serving at every level – teacher, principal, central office administrator and Superintendent. Prior to joining the District, Dr. Hite was Superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, the state’s second-largest school district and one of the 25 largest districts nationwide. He also served as the school system’s Deputy Superintendent and Interim Superintendent. Dr. Hite led major efforts resulting in increased student achievement and significant improvements in teaching, learning and school status. His central work focused on enhanced access, equity and rigor to ensure that all high school graduates were prepared for college and careers. The Prince George’s County school system received national recognition for expanding access to Advanced Placement courses during his tenure.

Dr. Hite previously served as an Assistant Superintendent in Georgia’s Cobb County School District where he provided support for the 103,000 students. He has also served as director of middle school instruction and middle and high school principal in Henrico County, Virginia. Under his leadership, Highland Springs High School was honored as a “Best Practices” center by the Virginia General Assembly.

In addition, Dr. Hite has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Richmond School of Continuous Learning and taught school leadership courses at Virginia State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland. A member of numerous national, state, and local boards, Dr. Hite has participated with national agencies and associations to reform K-12 education.

Dr. Hite received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Virginia Tech and a master of education degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia. He earned a doctorate in education specializing in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Hite’s interests include music, travel, sports and reading. He and his wife Deirdre have two daughters and a grandson.

Follow Dr. Hite on Twitter @SDPHite

Paul Kihn Deputy Superintendent

Paul Kihn Paul Kihn is a former New York City public school English teacher, and has also taught middle and high school English in Ireland and South Africa. In addition, Kihn has worked with adjudicated and out-of-school youth. 

Most recently, Kihn supported District turnaround efforts as a Leader of U.S. K12 Education Practice for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co.'s education practice.

Kihn received his M.B.A. from Columbia University, and also holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Cape Town, and the Teachers College of Columbia University.

As Deputy Superintendent, Kihn serves as Dr. Hite’s second-in-command, managing day-to-day operations.

Karyn T. Lynch Chief of Student Support Services

Karyn T. LynchPrior to joining the School District of Philadelphia, Lynch served as the Chief of Student Services at Prince George’s County Public Schools.  As the Chief of Student Services, Lynch managed the division’s departments of Guidance Counseling Services, Family and Community Outreach, Health Services, Homeless Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Character Education, as well as the Office of Student Appeals, and the Office Business and Community Relations. 

Lynch received her Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College.  She was awarded the Governor’s Citation for Excellence in Leadership and the Woman of the Year Award in 2008. 

Melanie S. Harris Chief Information Officer

Melanie S. HarrisMelanie S. Harris joined the School District of Philadelphia in 1999 and currently serves as the Chief Information Officer. In that role, she oversees the team responsible for all aspects of technology delivery and support for schools and administrative offices.

Prior to her position as Chief Information Officer, Ms. Harris served as the Executive Director of Information Systems and the Director of Systems and Applications. In those roles, she was responsible for the development and implementation of an online technology strategy, as well as, building a more customer service oriented approach to support schools.

Ms. Harris has always upheld the mission to provide students and teachers with the technology and tools that are essential for learning and achievement in the 21st century classroom, and equally important, providing school administrators and teachers with the data and reporting tools necessary for critical decision making and governance.

Ms. Harris received her Master's in Business Administration from Eastern University and her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from St. Joseph's University.

Click here to link to the Office of Information Technology and Data Management website.

Michael A. Davis, General Counsel

Mr. Davis has served as the General Counsel of the School District of Philadelphia since July 6, 2010. He heads an office that is responsible for providing legal advice and representation for the School Reform Commission (SRC), School District officers and other employees. The General Counsel also is responsible for engaging, and managing the services of outside counsel retained on an as-needed basis, and serves as the Assistant Secretary of the SRC.

To learn more about our General Counsel, read Mr. Michael Davis' complete biography

Donyall D. Dickey, Ed.D., Chief Academic Support Officer

Melanie S. HarrisDr. Donyall Dickey was named Chief Academic Support Officer of The School District of Philadelphia on July 1, 2014.

Dr. Dickey’s professional experience includes serving at the elementary and secondary levels as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Prior to becoming Chief Academic Support Officer, he was an Assistant Superintendent in the District, responsible for leading a prekindergarten through 12th grade network of 30 schools.

A notable authority on curriculum, instruction, organizational development and administration of schools, Dr. Dickey’s career is distinguished by unparalleled levels of student achievement and school improvement, including the most significant gains on the 2008 Maryland School Assessment in the state.

Dr. Dickey has authored more than 20 books on the international Common Core State Standards for English/reading, social studies, science, mathematics and technical subjects. His ideas for closing the achievement gap and accelerating learning are used in schools nationwide, making academic achievement attainable for countless children.

In addition, Dr. Dickey taught educational leadership courses at The Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University Maryland for nearly a decade. Dr. Dickey, a Houston native, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Maryland. He studied Educational Leadership and Policy in The George Washington University’s doctoral program.