Esperanza Academy Announces New Chief Executive Officer

Esperanza Academy is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Evelyn Nuñez as its new Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer serves as the school’s Superintendent. Dr. Nuñez brings with her a wealth of experience in public education. A native of the Kensington community, she began her career as a bilingual teacher at Ferguson Elementary School. Over her 30-year career, she has held various leadership positions, culminating in her current role as the Associate Superintendent for Elementary Schools at the School District of Philadelphia, where she oversees 167 schools.

“Dr. Nuñez has served students and families of the School District of Philadelphia for 19 years, first as an educator, then becoming a school administrator and leading the District’s Schools Office,” said Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D. “She has helped our District to achieve the strongest post-Covid recovery in grades third through eighth math and reading performance among big-city school districts in the nation. It’s important that students see someone who looks like them when they dream of achieving their goals and Dr. Nuñez has been the inspiration for Latine students. Esperanza is fortunate to have her as its new leader.”

Dr. Nuñez has dedicated her career to educating underserved children, a passion rooted in her own experiences. Born in Puerto Rico, her family moved to Philadelphia when she was 3 years old. She is a product of the School District of Philadelphia and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Chestnut Hill College, becoming the first in her family to achieve this milestone. Throughout her career, she has served as a Bilingual Teacher, School Director, Principal, Chief Academic Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and Chief of Schools. She strengthened her expertise through continued education, earning a Master’s degree and then an Educational Doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership. 

Dr. Nuñez is deeply committed to closing the achievement gap and believes in the power of community partnerships to enhance educational opportunities. She has pioneered bilingual education programs to foster biculturalism and increase student success. 

Her strong belief that your zip code should not determine your destiny aligns seamlessly with the mission of the school’s founding and management organization, Esperanza. As part of her role, Dr. Nuñez will draw upon a range of Esperanza-founded programs and services designed to strengthen the Hispanic community, and the children and families the school serves. 

Ángel Ortíz, Chair of Esperanza Academy’s Board, led the Transition and Search Committee and expressed his enthusiasm for Dr. Nuñez’s appointment: “Dr. Nuñez brings valuable experience from both the public and charter school sectors, coupled with her deep understanding of our community’s needs. Her return to our neighborhood signifies her dedication to positively impacting our community.” Dr. Nuñez echoes these sentiments: “I am deeply honored and thrilled to be part of the incredible work happening at Esperanza in the “barrio”. I have long admired the organization’s commitment to serving our community, and I am eager to contribute to its continued success.”

As Esperanza Academy enters this new phase, the leadership team is dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition. They are excited to welcome Dr. Nuñez to the Esperanza Academy family and are confident that her leadership will further elevate the quality of education offered to the students in their community.

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For media inquiries, please contact Danny Cortés, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Esperanza: 

About Esperanza Academy Charter School:

Founded in 2000 by Esperanza, Esperanza Academy Charter School is a K-12 charter school in the Hunting Park neighborhood of Philadelphia. Esperanza Academy Charter School is dedicated to providing a quality education that prepares critically thinking, socially capable, spiritually sensitive, and culturally aware young adults who can use English, Spanish, and technology as tools for success in the 21st century. For more information visit 

About Esperanza:                  

Esperanza was established in 1986 by The Reverend Luis Cortés and The Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia to serve the underserved and marginalized, and to strengthen Hispanic communities and all who live within them. Over nearly four decades, Esperanza has grown into a $92 million organization with over 650 employees serving approximately 25,000 people annually through K-14 education, community and economic development, the arts, and social change programs. Esperanza is building an “opportunity community” in Hunting Park – a place marked by decent and affordable housing, increasing prosperity, growing businesses, great schools, safe streets, creative spaces, and robust community life, where anyone at any income level can thrive. For more information visit


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