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Mayor Justin Bibb announces two hires focused on Cleveland children

In a press release, Bibb's administration said the two new appointments "reinforce the administration’s commitment to improving educational support and services for the children of Cleveland and their families." [Phil Long / AP file photo]
Cleveland mayoral candidate Justin Bibb talks with the press after voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.

Updated: 5:53 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb's administration is adding two new leadership positions focused on children and families. 

Holly Trifiro has been named Chief Education Officer and Sonya Pryor-Jones has been named Chief of Youth & Family Success. 

In a press release, Bibb called education “the foundation for a stronger future.”

“In order to implement our new vision, we need collaborative city-wide efforts to deliver an ecosystem of support that strengthens families and neighborhoods. These two leaders will focus on the success of our children and their families from early childhood to adulthood,” Bibb said in the release.

There’s a lot to do before figuring out the first phase of work, Trifiro told Ideastream Public Media.

“We're really clear that we want to actually make sure that we start by listening to our students, our educators and our families in Cleveland about what's most important to them in this moment,” she said.

Trifiro and Pryor-Jones will be working in concert, thinking about Cleveland’s children not just as students but “as whole people,” according to Trifiro.

“We need to be thinking about how the city is wrapping around to support them in every facet of what it means to be growing up in a community that helps them thrive,” she said.

Trifiro comes to City Hall from her position as Executive Director of Teach For America in Greater Cleveland. Her LinkedIn page says she joined as a Teach For America corps member because, "Originally from Ohio, I experienced the injustices of our school systems firsthand with my family and as a school volunteer in Appalachia."

Trifiro also taught for three years in Baltimore City Public Schools. She was named to Bibb's education transition team in December.

Sonya Pryor-Jones most recently was the Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at The Fab Foundation, a nonprofit working to make fabrication technology widely available. 

Pryor-Jones grew up in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood and is a Cleveland Metropolitan School District graduate.

Trifiro said she is excited to partner with Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon in “supporting the students and educators.”