In Pittsburgh, the city of bridges, the city’s school board unanimously voted to let Dr. Wayne Walters bridge the gap between permanent superintendents.
He’s now the interim superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, as Dr. Anthony Hamlet, superintendent since July 2016, officially resigned on Oct. 1. Dr. Walters was an assistant superintendent of professional development and special programming and formely the principal of Pittsburgh Obama in East Liberty.
The board took the vote at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 29, during its legislative meeting. The vote was 9-0.
“Dr. Walters is going to walk into a position that has a lot of help by some very talented people, people who know this district, who know education and I hope they will work as a team to move us forward during this very critical period in our time,” said board member Sala Udin, during the meeting.
In July of 2017, when Dr. Walters was named to the assistant superintendent position, Dr. Hamlet remarked at the time: “Dr. Walters has extensive experience as a school leader and in leading professional development. As a certified trainer and facilitator, Dr. Walters has presented numerous workshops and professional development at the local, national and international level. In practice, experience, and throughout the selection process, he stood out as the best candidate to develop and implement professional development for school leaders, teachers and central office staff.”
Dr. Walters was the principal of Pittsburgh Obama from its inception in 2009 until 2017. Prior to serving as principal of Pittsburgh Obama, Dr. Walters was principal of the Frick International Studies Academy 6-8 (2000-2008) and Assistant Principal of Northview Heights Elementary School (1999-2000). Dr. Walters joined the District in 1991 as teacher at King Elementary School, according to the district’s website.
“His commitment to Pittsburgh Public Schools and Pittsburgh is unwavering,” remarked board president Sylvia Wilson. “We know that he can immediately step into this important role when the district needs stabilization and healing, and we know that he is ready for this challenge and opportunity.”
Dr. Walters’ contract is for one year, with a salary of $210,000. The board said it would begin a national search for a permanent superintendent in December. Dr. Walters didn’t specify if he wanted to be a candidate for the permanent superintendent position.
“We know that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, we know about our transportation issues,” Dr. Walters said during a virtual press conference after the board’s legislative meeting. “We have budgetary issues and actually, to be quite transparent, a public confidence crisis. Together, along with our board, leadership, parents in the community and our staff, we can address all of these to improve…the district.”
Promising to hit the ground running, Dr. Walters said that the district must “foster a culture that elevates quality teaching and accelerate learning for all students.”
He added: “This is my life and what I love doing best. I feel so much passion for helping to change people’s lives….children’s lives are on the line.”