Founder & Chief Administrative Officer

The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia, Inc.

joynerVeronica Joyner began her career in education as a teacher in the Philadelphia Public School System in 1974.  During the next ten years, Mrs. Joyner strived for excellence and equity for all the students she taught.  She began to realize the importance of parent involvement in the system as a change agent in order to make excellence in the classroom a standard for all students.  It was this that prompted her to found and serve as president of Parents United for Better Schools, Inc. (PUBS), a non-profit, multi-racial, parent advocacy corporation in 1984.  Parents United for Betters Schools, Inc. now has a membership of over twenty thousand parents in Philadelphia and several key components to the program that evolved in the coming years:

  • PUBS Tutoring Program, which provides tutoring to thousands of public and private Philadelphia school students (one through twelve) throughout the Delaware Valley.
  • An adult tutoring program to aide adults attending college or trade school.
  • GED classes to high school drop outs and adults.

As an outgrowth of PUBS, Mrs. Joyner received state approval to open The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia, Inc. (MCSCS) in September of 1999 where she now serves as its Founder and Chief Administrative Officer.  MCSCS is one of the largest charter schools in the state of Pennsylvania with a population of over one thousand students in grades 1 through 12.  MCSCS was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the city’s top ten schools out of more than three hundred public and charter schools in Philadelphia, and it has received praise from the most prestigious educators on both a local and national level since its inception:

  • When referring to the school, former U. S. Deputy Education Secretary Eugene W. Hickok stated, “It’s pretty impressive.”  He stressed the importance of education and said he would tell President Bush how impressed he was with the students and the school.
  • After visiting MCSCS, Dr. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia stated, “I enjoyed learning more about your school’s outstanding academic program and the tremendous strides that your students are making.  I am pleased to know that you share my commitment to providing world-class learning opportunities to all children.  It is obvious that you have created an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.  This was evident by the level of engagement and respect that students displayed toward learning and toward the adults in the building.  Your staff should be commended for their commitment and high expectations for every student.”
  • Arlene C. Ackerman, former Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia stated, “My visit with you was a quality introduction to the Philadelphia approach and an informative opportunity to observe an academic model of instruction that is faithful to its mission.  The school’s teaching and learning environment was respectful and challenging.  Students demonstrated an eagerness to learn and have fun while doing so.”
  • Thomas M. Brady, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia School District of Philadelphia stated, “Thank you for allowing me to experience firsthand, what is meant by a quality charter school. …my visit provided me with an opportunity to observe a marvelous environment for teaching and learning and to see a discipline for learning rarely achieved within the Philadelphia public schools.  What most impressed me was the ever-present notion of preparation for citizenship as an important goal of education that was interwoven into the fabric of your school culture.  MCSCS is a place for caring, nurturing, and cultivating individual strength of mind and character.”
  • Paul Vallas, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia School District states, “…I told Veronica that I considered her school one of the best I have visited to date and invited her to serve as a role model for other charter schools in the district”.

Veronica Joyner received her Bachelor’s in Social Work/Education from Temple University, and her Masters in Education Leadership from Arcadia University.  She is also a candidate for the Ph.D. program at Temple University.

Veronica Joyner has countless professional accomplishments:

  • Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Philadelphia Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1996.
  • Advisory committees with every Superintendent of The Philadelphia School District since 1984.
  • The School District of Philadelphia implemented marking guidelines for 200,000 public school students as a result of her filing a discrimination complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
  • Reinstated a hot lunch program to inner city high school students resulting in thirty thousand high school pupils receiving hot lunches after fifteen years without a lunch program in inner city high schools.
  • The School District of Philadelphia established a Book Hotline as a result of Veronica Joyner after several meetings and complaints to Mr. Floyd Aston, School Board President.  Parents can use the Book Hotline to make textbooks available to public school students who are initially denied these crucial learning tools.  The Book Hotline is still in existence.
  • Established a token program through Parents United for Better Schools in order to provide free tokens to high school students, transportation to poor and low-income public school students. After several years two Philadelphia non-profit organizations have joined her efforts and are also providing school tokens to poor and low-income public school students.  The Philadelphia School District now provide free transportation to all students in 1st – 12th grade.
  • Filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission and The Philadelphia School District that the busing policy at the High School of Engineering and Science discriminated against Black students by providing yellow bus service for white students only.  The Philadelphia School District refused to provide the same yellow bus service to African-American students.  Due to PUBS’ complaint, The School District investigated and discontinued yellow bus service to the school.
  • PUBS filed charges against SEPTA for illegally harassing and arresting 26 public school youths awaiting buses to desegregated schools in Northeast Philadelphia.  As a result, students cannot be forced to board overcrowded buses to clear bus stops.  (Mrs. Joyner received financial restitution for her son from Septa as a result).
  • PUBS organized and provided an attorney for parents at a Philadelphia elementary school in a complaint of child molestation.  As a result, the teacher was dismissed from The School District of Philadelphia.
  • PUBS filed a suit to stop the distribution of condoms in Philadelphia Public High Schools.  A policy was implemented to allow parents to opt out of the condom distribution policy.  PUBS united with the Rutherford Institute’s lawyers and filed charges against The School District of Philadelphia on behalf of the Central High School choir.  The African-American choir was put out of the school for singing gospel music.
  • PUBS united with parents in Bucks County where children were being forced to wear improperly laundered swim wear which resulted in numerous infections.  This action resulted in a policy change giving parents the right to launder swim wear at home for their children.
  • The Southampton School District voted to close an elementary school and place children in a middle school without notifying or soliciting input from the parents in advance of its decision.  As a result of PUBS’ advocacy, parents united and the elementary school remained open.
  • PUBS united with parents in Coatesville and assisted in the removal of an elementary school principal.  Parents were concerned with the abusive treatment of children by the principal.
  • PUBS joined forces with The Wilkes Barre N.A.A.C.P. to fight for the removal of The Wyoming Valley School District President.  He was quoted as saying “The new furnaces installed in school there would burn like niggers in a wood pile.”  As a result, The School Broad President was voted out of office.
  • PUBS organized parents in Bridgeton, New Jersey to call for the removal of the Superintendent of Schools.  The parents were not pleased with the National test scores of their children, and the disrespect shown to parents at school board meetings.  As a result of PUBS organizing parents to protest, the Superintendent took an early retirement.
  • PUBS organized parents in their fight in New Castle County to oppose bias in the School District’s desegregation program.  This action forced research into the allocation of tax dollars which prompted an investigation and resulted in the defeat of the first tax referendum in Delaware’s history.
  • Assisted Ms. Joan Wilder, Public Affairs Director WCAU in forming the TV10 Homework Hotline in Philadelphia.  Veronica Joyner provided advice (free of charge) curriculum, books, and textbooks to volunteers.
  • The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia, Inc. (MCSCS) has made a commitment to feed and clothe over five hundred homeless citizens in the city of Philadelphia every week.  The school project started in September of 2005 and is a part of the school’s Civics curriculum. The students from the 1st to 12th grade commonly raise $800.00 – $1,000.00 a week to fund the homeless project.  MCSCS students donate money, pants, shirts, sneakers, and boots.  Jackets, coats, hats, gloves and blankets are collected in the winter.  A team of students make over five hundred sandwiches and snacks per outing, while  another team of students put together hundreds of toiletry bags filled with soap, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant.  They also fill bags with new socks, underwear and undershirts.  Moreover, they plan and take inventory for the following week. Another team of students from the 2nd to the 12th grades is responsible for distributing all items every Thursday evening.  Students additionally meet every Thursday evening to sort clothing to be distributed.  The food and clothing are distributed each week to the Men’s shelter at Broad and Ridge and Love Park, 15th & JFK.  The Homeless Project is the only one of its kind in the country, since it is usually churches and centers that sometime receive funding to distribute food and clothing.
  • Filed a discrimination complaint against the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) on behalf of The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School basketball team due to unfair referee calls as a result the team won the PIAA Class A State Championship in 2011.  More African-American referees were hired for games outside of the city as a result.
  • Children at The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School raise money and sponsor an
  • Appreciation Luncheon for Philadelphia Police Officers.  Children at MCSCS know that police
  • officers are heroes, and that children and citizens should appreciate Philadelphia police officers
  • for the heroic jobs they do every day protecting citizens and saving lives.  The children also
  • published two books, which they present to each officer titled, “Police Officers are Heroes.”
  • Veronica Joyner is the recipient of an overwhelming number of awards and recognition for her service in education and in the Philadelphia Community:
  • 2014 Lifetime Education Award from National Action Network (NAN)
  • 2013 Citation from the City of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, Mayor
  • 2013 Golden Rose Award, Alpha Eta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • Teacher Commendation in 1981 from The School District of Philadelphia, that which offered her recognition as an outstanding teacher.
  • Perfect attendance in a majority of her years with the Philadelphia School District.
  • Honored by the Yorktown Arms Resident Council during its Women Achievers Celebration.
  • 2012 Educator of the Year Award.
  • Empowering Today’s Youth with a Spirit of Excellence Award.
  • 2009 Hugs Award.
  • 2009 NAACP’s Outstanding Citizen Award
  • 2009 Berean Institute – Queen of Queen Award
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Medal.
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s John Stanford American Education Hero Award.
  • The Philadelphia State Legislators Award.
  • Innovative Leadership and Service to the Community: 19th Annual Mercy Douglass
  • Lectureship Program Medical Society of Eastern PA Affiliate of the National Medical Association, February 16, 2000

 

  • The KYW-3 Making a Difference Award.
  • 2008 Women Who Make a Difference Award from the Senate of Pennsylvania.
  • 2008 Women Making a Difference Award from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
  • Certificate of Life Membership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  • Tribute to Mrs. Veronica Joyner from the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011Graduating Class of The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School
  • The Martin Luther King Drum Major for Educational Justice Award.
  • A Philadelphia City Council Resolution.
  • A Citation from Mayor Edward Rendell.
  • The 2nd Annual Honorable Lucien E. Blackwell “Guiding Lights in the Community Award” from Mayor John F. Street.
  • The Mary McCloud Bethune Award.
  • The Women’s Way Woman of Courage Award.
  • The WCAU-TV 10 Spirit of Philadelphia Award.
  • The WDAS Teacher of the Month.
  • WDAS Radio Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things Award.
  • The WHAT Radio Talk Show Host– Mary Mason’s Mother of the Year Award.
  • The Urban League’s Leadership Award.
  • The Madame C.  J. Walker Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
  • The “Salute to African American Women” Awards from the Philadelphia and New Jersey NAACP in 2001.
  • The 181 Points of Light Award.
  • The Women Making a Difference Award from Council-woman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
  • The Women in the NAACP 100 Influential Black Women in Philadelphia Award.
  • 107.9 WRNB’s Hometown Hero Award.
  • 2009 NAACP’s Outstanding Citizen Award.
  • Philadelphia Tribune’s 100 Influential Blacks

 

Veronica Joyner recently founded Philadelphia Charter Schools United to assist charter school administrators in the day-to-day operation of Charter Schools.  Clearly, Mrs. Veronica Joyner is continually active in the creation of programs and models that help build a better learning community.  Mrs. Joyner is a Philadelphia icon, whose goal to educate all children in matters of intellect and civic duty only grows stronger with each passing year, and she welcomes all to join her mission.  It is our duty to 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 and their success is the best reward of all.