Founder and Chief Administrative Officer
The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School
of Philadelphia Inc.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Veronica J. Joyner takes “lead by example” to an effective extreme. She serves on every team she supervises and works side by side with employees to demonstrate how to improve or work to the standards she envisions, right down to cleaning the bathroom stalls.
“I pick up paper on the floor, sweep an area with children and employees to demonstrate the need to keep our school clean, assist in the lunchroom serving lunch, wiping tables and mopping up spills,” Joyner said. “I worked with my maintenance department when I felt my bathrooms were not cleaned up to my standards. I had all maintenance workers observe me clean a bathroom with many stalls. I made them watch me clean and disinfect every stall. After that demonstration, I never had a problem with bathrooms and my standard.”
Joyner is the founder and chief administrative officer of The Mathematics, Civic and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia Inc. (MCSCS). The independent charter school’s aim is to provide a quality education to students and to graduate students prepared to enter college, vocational training and today’s workforce.
As a former Philadelphia public school teacher, Joyner had concerns about the public education system, which was the impetus for her to pursue opening a charter school in 1999. Today, MCSCS has had the highest graduation, college enrollment, and college completion rates in the School District of Philadelphia for eight consecutive years.
Joyner founded Parents United for Better Schools Inc. (PUBS) in 1984. The organization has facilitated the participation and support of 20,000 parents with offices in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware since its inception. PUBS has provided tutoring for thousands of children, and its graduates range from doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, accountants and educators.
Joyner has received numerous awards and recognitions, including A Salute to Greatness Lifetime Achievement Educational Justice Award; The Philadelphia State Legislators Award; Women Who Make a Difference Award from the Senate of Pennsylvania; Educator of the Year Award; NAACP Outstanding Citizen Award; The U. S. Department of Education’s John Stanford American Education Hero Award and many more.
“Veronica Joyner is most proud of The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia Inc. because she can shape minds and educate thousands of students,” Joyner’s team said. “Veronica is continually active in creating programs and models that help build a better learning community. She wholeheartedly believes she must provide the learning tools that help students lead rewarding lives, help citizens and make changes to improve education and the quality of life for others. The student’s success is the best reward of all.”