Rivera, a lifelong
educator, most recently served as superintendent of The School District of
Lancaster, a position he held from 2008-2015.
He brings extensive
experience in public education to his role as a member of Governor Wolf's
cabinet and has spent his entire career helping students. Prior to serving as
superintendent of The School District of Lancaster, he served as a classroom
teacher, staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, assistant
principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of
During his tenure as
Secretary of Education, he has traveled the commonwealth meeting with educators,
administrators, and students on the Schools That Teach tour, discussing their
priorities and needs, and taking those insights back to Harrisburg. Under his
guidance, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has engaged thousands of
stakeholders -including educators,
parents, policymakers, business and industry leaders, higher education officials,
and education advocates- to inform the
work the department is doing on issues like graduation requirements,
modifications to the School Performance Profile, and in developing the Every
Student Succeeds Act State Plan.
Rivera served on the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission which developed
a fair and equitable funding formula to reinvest in Pennsylvania’s schools that
was signed by Governor Wolf in June 2016.
Rivera is a first
generation college graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The
Pennsylvania State University, a Master's degree in Education Administration
from Cheyney University, and his Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from
In September 2014, he was
honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform
urban education – one of ten recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious
Rivera was raised in
the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia and resides in Lancaster with
his wife Erika, son Lucas and daughter Elena.