by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
In this time of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, what is certain is who will be leading Westinghouse, Perry and Milliones high schools for 2020-21.
Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Board of Directors removed the interim tag from Stephan Sereda—he is now the principal for Westinghouse.
Eric Graf, former assistant principal of Woodland Hills High School, is now the principal at Pittsburgh Milliones (University Prep).
And Dr. Robert Frioni is installed as the new principal at Perry Traditional Academy.
“It is important to fill these key vacancies at the school level, but it’s more important to make sure the right people are filling those roles,” said Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, in a release provided to the New Pittsburgh Courier. “The Homewood community has embraced Mr. Sereda with open arms, and he has established a healthy teaching and learning environment for students and staff.”
Pertaining to Graf and Dr. Frioni, Dr. Hamlet remarked: “Summer is a time of transition, and we are excited as three longtime educators shift into leadership roles. With this global pandemic, it is imperative that we have dedicated professionals, such as Mr. Graf, Dr. Frioni, and Mr. (Nathan) Berkowitz, heading schools in the wake of online learning.
Berkowitz was named to lead Pittsburgh King PreK-8.
Sereda joined the district in May 2018 as Coordinator of Instructional Effective ness in the Office of Professional Development. He received his undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University, graduate degree from Ashford University, and Pa. Administrator K-12 certification from California University of Pennsylvania.
Sereda had been the assistant principal at Westinghouse since 2018 and assumed the interim title in early 2020.
“The opportunity and great responsibility to lead Pittsburgh Westinghouse is humbling and is an opportunity I will never take for granted. I look forward to working with students, parents, alumni, community members and teachers to provide the high-quality educational experience that our kids deserve,” said Sereda, in the release.
Graf holds a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania.
Graf also spent three years working in the Hill District as assistant principal of the Hill House Passport Academy.
It’s a return to the district for Dr. Frioni. He spent the last five years as assistant director and principal at the Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School in Jefferson Hills. Dr. Frioni was formerly the vice principal at Pittsburgh Brashear. Dr. Frioni earned his bachelor’s from Washington & Jefferson College, his master’s from Pitt, and a Doctor of Education, also from Pitt.
School hasn’t been the same since coronavirus forced schools to close its physical facilities back in mid-March. The Pittsburgh Public Schools district offered remote instruction for the last “quarter” or so of the 2019-20 school year, and traditional graduation ceremonies were scrapped.
To start the upcoming school year, the district has offered remote learning again, on a full-time level, where the student does not come to the school, or a mixture of in-school instruction and at-home instruction. As of July 22, more than 4,100 students (with input from parents) have signed up for the remote learning only instruction. Students (with input from parents) who have chosen the blended-learning model would report to their physical school location two days per week.
But Kevin Carter, a PPS School Board member, feels that remote learning should be the only option for the district’s 23,000 students for the first nine weeks of the school year.
The board will vote on the resolution on July 31.
STEPHAN SEREDA, the new Westinghouse High School principal, hands a Westinghouse student her diploma.