In her last voicemail greeting, former Philadelphia School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman thanked well-wishers who showed concern for her health as she was battling pancreatic cancer.
Ackerman, 66, died early Saturday morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico surrounded by her family.
The message, recorded possibly in December, is about 25 seconds long. Ackerman, whose voice sounded frail, thanks callers for their support and wishes them a happy holiday season.
“Hello this is Arlene Ackerman and I want to thank each and every one of you for the generosity that you’ve shown me, for the love and support and just the general concern about my health. Please know that I wish you and that I wish for your family the happiest of holidays and the greatest of new years to come. Love you.”
Ackerman, a life-long educator, came to Philadelphia in 2008 to serve as Philadelphia school superintendent. She left in 2011 with a controversial $905,000 severance package.