Big honor for former Meredith teacher

A former South Philadelphia teacher has received national recognition from the White House.

Mathematics Curriculum Specialist Jessica Tilli, a former mathematics and science teacher at William M. Meredith Elementary School on 5th Street in Queen Village was recognized by the White House for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 

Tilli, who now works in the Schools District of Philadelphia’s central administration office, previously worked as a teacher and teacher leader at Meredith Elementary School before transferring to her current role.

Tilli earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Goucher College and a master’s in Education from Arcadia University. She is currently a doctoral student at Temple University studying Educational Leadership. 

Tilli was one of two teachers from Pennsylvania to receive a Presidential Award and the only one from the state to be recognized in the mathematics category. The honor is given to educators who have demonstrated a strong commitment to teaching in the areas of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. Tilli will also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. 

Tilli was one of two staff members from the School District of Philadelphia to receive national recognition for excellence in working to support students and families. She was joined by Jenna Monley, the deputy chief of the Office of Family and Community Engagement, who was named one of Education Week’s 2022 Leaders to Learn From. She was one of 11 outstanding school district leaders from across the country who have demonstrated innovative and effective leadership for schools. 

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., Ed.D. said he’s extremely proud of both Tilli and Monley and considers them representative of the talented and committed education professionals working throughout the district.

“We seek leaders, teachers and staff who are deeply committed to supporting students and families with access to information and resources that help children learn and graduate from our district ready to excel in college or career,” said Hite. “These honors for Ms. Monley and Ms. Tilli make us all proud of the work they do and even more determined to do our parts to serve and support our students and school communities. We are very fortunate to have leaders like this in our district.”