School Talk: There’s also a new principal at Key Elementary – meet her tomorrow

Editor’s Note: School Talk is an occasional feature that will look at education and parenting issues in South Philly. If you have concerns, ideas or other thoughts about the state of schools and ways to keep improving them, email us at

Weighing in today, we have Kim Massare, president of the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association.

Beginning next month, Stephanie Stover will be joining the LoMo community as the new principal of Francis Scott Key Elementary School (K-6) at 8th and Wolf streets.  Her predecessor, Norris Eldridge, retired from his post after serving as principal at Key for more than 20 years.

key elementary

Stover possesses more than 15 years of educational experience spanning grades K-12, with much of her career focusing on bilingual and ESOL education along with early childhood development. She served as the principal of Morrison Elementary, a K-8 school in North Philly, from 2010 – 2013 and has worked in the Multilingual Department for the School District’s central office. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Stover also worked in the education system in Texas for 11 years.


In her memo to parents, Stover said: “Along with our staff, I will work hard to continue the legacy of success established at Key by building a strong relationship with parents, students, staff and community partners.” As principal, she plans to focus on character education initiatives, 21st century skills and Common Core State Standards, fostering a safe and nurturing environment for children, and providing exciting and challenging enrichment opportunities for all students. She sees herself as helping to foster the next generation of “world-class citizens,” who will be ready to master the challenges of the 21st century with the solid foundation they will receive at Key.

Members of LoMo’s Education Committee have already met with Stover, a South Philly resident who firmly believes in the importance of community support. “As Principal, my door is always open and I welcome your input.” She encourages parents and caregivers to stop in or call to make an appointment to discuss any concerns, suggestions or ideas to help make this the best year yet.

As a reminder, the first day of school for Philadelphia public school students in grades 1-6 is slated for Monday, Sept. 9, pending a recent announcement by Superintendent Hite.  The first day for Kindergarten students is Monday, Sept. 16.  Upon graduation from Key, many students typically attend Southwark Elementary School at 9th & Mifflin Street for 7th & 8th grades. To read more about Southwark’s dynamic new principal, click here for another recent School Talk post. 

* Please join us in welcoming Stephanie Stover to the LoMo community at our next Happy Hour at Bomb-Bomb BBQ Restaurant (1026 Wolf St), on Wednesday, August 21, from 5  to 7 p.m. During happy hour, we will be collecting reams of copy paper to donate to Key, so bring along a few or please consider making a donation.

– Kim Massare