Philadelphia native Otis D. Hackney III began his career as a mathematics teacher at Germantown High School. After stints in different schools, Otis returned to South Philadelphia High School as principal, where he successfully helped heal divisions after high-profile instances of racially motivated school violence.

Under his leadership, the school also adopted a "community school" approach by creating unique partnerships with supportive service providers. Mayor Kenney appointed Otis to serve as the City of Philadelphia’s chief education officer, because Otis believes that our students come first and will work to improve opportunities for every child.