September 1 — 9:36 pm, 2011

Nunery is new acting schools chief

Leroy D. Nunery II describes himself as a "God-fearing, intellectually curious, entrepreneurially minded, technologically able and pragmatic African-American man."

He is also the School District of Philadelphia’s new acting superintendent.

Prior to his elevation to schools chief, Nunery, 55, served as deputy to departed Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, where he made a salary of $230,000. He previously served as the District’s chief of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships. He was a finalist in the District’s 2008 superintendent search that led to the hiring of Ackerman.

Nunery has an extensive background in the private sector, including a two-year stint overseeing the charter school division of the former Edison Schools, a controversial for-profit educational management company. He was not directly involved in their 2002 takeover of 20 schools in the city.

He also worked as the vice president of business services at the University of Pennsylvania, where he helped oversee the revitalization of the University City neighborhood.

"He is a heart and soul kind of guy," said current Drexel President John Fry, who was Nunery’s boss at the time. "Anyone who has worked with him will tell you about his work ethic and the energy he brings."

Nunery has been a player in some of the recent controversies that have besieged the District. He has declined to talk publicly about his participation in a secret, closed-door conversation about what company would manage the conversion of Martin Luther King High School into a charter school.

Reporting on that March meeting by the Notebook and NewsWorks.org helped prompt an investigation by Mayor Michael Nutter’s chief integrity officer, Joan Markman. As of late August, the investigation was still ongoing.

For more breaking news, check The Notebook blog.

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