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Pittsburgh Board of Education Posts Application For Superintendent

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA News

  The Pittsburgh Board of Education has posted the application for the district’s next superintendent, officials announced Friday.

The board held seven community forums in January inviting public input for the district’s next leader after current superintendent Linda Lane chose to let her contract expire in June after five years as superintendent.

The board hired New Haven, Connecticut-based Brian Perkins and his consulting firm to advertise the position and narrow the pool to what he expects to be fewer than 10 applicants. Board members will begin interviews in April and expect to make a decision in May.

According to the job description, they will seek a progressive, charismatic leader who has demonstrated a commitment to working collaboratively with diverse populations. Perkins said the board makes it clear that this will be a challenging job.

“Not challenging because they are difficult individuals to work with, but challenging because of where the city, the state and the nation are at this point that need addressing by a very competent and savvy individual.”

The job also calls for someone with leadership experience in an urban school setting, a commitment to eradicating institutional racism and implementing culturally relevant teaching style.

Perkins said the school board will formulate an evaluation protocol before they make a decision.

“So that when they make that decision and invite someone to join them as the next leader, they will be able to confidently hand them what would be a series of expectations and a draft of some goals they would like accomplished over the next year.”

Pam Harbin of Great Public Schools said she feels confident in the selection process after going to several of the forums, hearing what the public had to say and seeing that was taken into account in the call for application.

“I’m a parent of two students, one of whom has a disability, so the inclusion is really important to me and making sure all of our children have the support and services they need and our teachers as well," Harbin said. "So community schools is really high on my list. I would like all of our schools to be able to serve every child, not just some of our schools.” 

Sarah Schneider is WESA's education reporter. From early learning to higher education, Sarah is interested in students and educators working to create more equitable systems. Sarah previously worked with news outlets in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Idaho. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she worked for the school newspaper, the Daily Egyptian.