Last month, at the behest of Superintendent of Schools Linda Lane, the Pittsburgh School Board promoted several African-Americans to leadership positions in hopes of addressing racial equity, achievement gap and student support issues.
Lane said this restructuring of the central office is critical to supporting both students and teachers. She said these new appointments were attaining district goals to accelerate student achievement, eliminate racial disparities and create a student-focused culture.
“We are committed to deepening our efforts to build stronger and more effective teams in and between central office and our schools,” said Lane. “As we focus on growing our own, we must be sure we have the right people in place, the structure to support personal and professional growth and a culture that puts students first. We must improve our support to our schools to impact student achievement. This additional support to schools is an important investment to that.”
Among the promotions, Wayne Walters, EdD, was named assistant superintendent for 6-12 schools. Walters, who is also one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2014 Men of Excellence, is a native of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He earned his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University, holds a master’s from Duquesne University, and a doctorate in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his new supervisory duties, Walters will continue to serve as principal of Obama 6-12.
In addition to Walters, Kevin Bivins, principal at Pittsburgh Fulton can now serve as an even more impressive role model and mentor to young Black men in his new position as assistant superintendent for K-5 and K-8 schools, a responsibility he will share with Chief of School Performance Alison Huguley, EdD.
And in a special July 16 legislative meeting the board named Russell Patterson, PhD, as the new principal at Faison K-5. Patterson, who earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, began serving the children of Homewood as an Early Learning Skills teacher at Lincoln K-8 in 2002. He continued there as a third grade and instructional teacher before being named assistant principal at Faison in 2013.
Patterson joins two other recently appointed African-Americans principals: Leah McCord, at King K-8, and Yarra Howze, at Allegheny 6-8.
In another move Lane hopes will further the district’s equity goals, the board named former King K-8 Principal Shana Nelson as principal on special assignment to the district’s Equity Office. In this capacity, Nelson will provide support to central office leaders, principals, assistant principals and teachers to develop efficacy and capacity to teach and lead for racial equity.
All of these central office moves augment the appointment, announced in May, of Donna Micheaux as deputy superintendent. Micheaux had agreed earlier in the spring to serve as a substitute superintendent for the Wilkinsburg School District while maintaining her position with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. But the offer from Pittsburgh Public Schools—where she’d begun her career in education as a special education teacher in 1977—was too good to pass up.
Micheaux earned her undergraduate degree in special education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. As deputy superintendent, Micheaux will supervise the offices of School Performance, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Special Education, Career and Technical Education, Early Childhood, Professional Development, Instructional Technology, Research, and Accountability. Her appointment was affective July 1 and runs through June 30, 2016 at an annual salary of $158,400.
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