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Current Position: Principal at Mitchell Elementary School
Story Last Updated: April 2017
Current Position Updated: March 2019
From September through June, you will find Stephanie Andrewlevich ’01 surrounded by her students at Mitchell Elementary School located on the corner of 55th and Kingsessing Avenue in Philadelphia. A school – and neighborhood – neglected for far too long, Stephanie jumped at the opportunity to become principal after spending 17 years working as a teacher and instructional coach in Kensington.
All of Mitchell’s students live below the poverty line; many are homeless, and some are raising themselves. Stephanie is in the second year of a five-year plan to transform Mitchell into a model neighborhood school. Under this plan, Stephanie and her team are raising morale, increasing test scores, and providing stability to students and their families.
“Our mantra quickly became ‘We are Mitchell. This is our house’,” Stephanie said. “Every time we are having a challenge, we always take it back to the fact that we are a family; we are a home.”
Facing the challenge of a budget that doesn’t always provide for basic necessities, Mitchell has increased the number of community and corporate partnerships. In a creative campaign to raise both awareness of Mitchell’s needs and funds for new technology, Stephanie completed the Philadelphia Marathon in November 2016. As of January 2017, Mitchell received $94,000 which provided technologies such as tablets, headphones and document cameras for the classrooms. Stephanie’s next projects include funding for after school programs, tutoring, and renovations.
“Every child is entitled to the same start regardless of what your zip code is or what challenges you may have,” Stephanie said. “That’s where my fight is. My fight is to make sure that every child in every community is given the same starting point.”