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James (Torch) H. Lytle
Biographical Information

James H. Lytle (Torch) is Adjunct Practice Professor of Educational Leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. From 1998 – 2006 Dr. Lytle was superintendent of the Trenton, NJ Public Schools where he led an aggressive effort to implement New Jersey’s urban education reform initiative. Prior to his appointment in Trenton, he served in a variety of capacities in the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary, middle, and high school principal; executive director for planning, research and evaluation; regional superintendent; and assistant superintendent.


Lytle has been active in a number of national professional organizations, including the Council of Great City Schools, the Cross Cities Campaign, and the American Educational Research Association. He has written and presented frequently on matters relating to the improvement of urban schooling. His teaching and research interests relate to increasing the efficacy of urban public schools, managing leadership transitions, and leading school change efforts.


Lytle received his doctorate in education from Stanford, a master’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his bachelor's degree from Cornell University.