Women Like You Take The Lead: Linda Cliatt-Wayman

Take The Lead salutes women who are doing extraordinary things in their communities. Linda Cliatt-Wayman, a principal in Philadelphia, is the first woman we’d like you to introduce you to. We will be recognizing women as part of our Women Like You Take The Lead campaign in the weeks leading up to the Take The Lead Challenge Launch Event on February 19th. Do you know an extraordinary woman in your community? Contact us, and we might feature her!



Linda Cliatt-Wayman is the principal of Strawberry Mansion High School (SMHS) in North Philadelphia, a school that has 94 security cameras, police patrolling the hallways, and an environment where students have been known to make direct threats against her life.

Despite all of these obstacles, an outsider would never suspect that Wayman volunteered to be the principal. “I could not find a principal who was suitable to handle this school,” Wayman said in a speech at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, “Therefore, I said to myself, because I love these students dearly… I would just volunteer to be the principal.”

At her former school, she was credited with moving the student body from 3% and 9% proficiency in math and reading to above 50% in both areas and ensuring a 94% college acceptance rate. From 2010 to 2012, Wayman served as assistant superintendent for all 52 high schools in Philadelphia. In 2013, Wayman decided to return to the neighborhood where she grew up to lead the merger of three area high schools. Her efforts to establish SMHS as a safe and academic institute for learning is why we are highlighting her in our Women Like You Take The Lead campaign. Because not only is Wayman a hero to her students at SMHS and the Philadelphia community, she is also a hero to anyone aspiring to create change despite unfavorable odds.

Ready to do more in your career and life in 2014? Join us and 1 million other participants on February 19th for the Take The Lead Challenge Launch Event, designed to inspire you and show you how to embrace your power and fulfill your potential. Learn more about the event and sign up for the free livestream.