About the Superintendent of schools
Dr. Walters has worked his entire professional career for the Pittsburgh Public Schools and has more than 30 years of experience with PPS, the second-largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He has experience as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent of 6-12 Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Professional Development and Special Programming, and served as interim Superintendent until assuming the role of Superintendent on August 1, 2022.
Growing up in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Dr. Walters came to Pittsburgh when he was 16 to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music performance/music education in 1990. At age 21, he started his first teaching position at King Elementary on Pittsburgh’s North Side. By 1998, he received a Master's degree in Music Education/Technology from Duquesne University; and earned a Doctor of Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2007.
Following his role as Assistant Principal of Northview Heights Elementary (1999-2000), Dr. Walters served as Principal of the Frick International Studies Academy 6-8 (2000-2008). He then served as the first Principal of Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, leading the transition of the premier 6-12 magnet school in its current East Liberty location. In 2014, Dr. Walters also became Assistant Superintendent of 6-12 schools while remaining principal of Pittsburgh Obama. In 2017, the certified trainer and facilitator became Assistant Superintendent of Professional Development and Special Programming, leading the implementation of professional development plans for teachers, administrators, and central office staff.
Dr. Walters has a passion for working directly with students with the goal of making an impact on their lives through education. When asked about his proudest achievement, Dr. Walters says without hesitancy: “It’s what I have been able to do for students.” He pursued the permanent Superintendent position because, “I remain unapologetically student-centered, committed, and passionate about our students, teachers, staff, and families of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I know firsthand the many challenges our District faces, but I believe competence, confidence, and collaboration go a long way in creating quality, equity, well-rounded experiences and spaces of learning and joy for our students. I am genuinely excited about the tremendous opportunities ahead.”
KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS DURING DR. WALTERS’ SERVICE AS INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT:
- Initiated the “A Fresh Start for the Head and Heart” program designed to create a positive school culture while developing systems and instruction to invigorate teaching, learning, and leadership across the District;
- Addressed and remedied transportation and technology distribution challenges within the first month of leading the District, and offered professional learning opportunities in trauma-informed care, and content-specific and special education topics;
- Managed the health and safety of students and staff while maintaining efficient and effective operations and educational delivery during the ever-changing dynamics of a pandemic;
- Supervised and coached all administrative chiefs and assistant superintendents in alignment with the District’s Theory of Action by outlining expectations for a highperformance culture, developing and communicating coherent systems, and coordinating and supporting instruction with an equity focus;
- Invested in resources, programming, and strategies to attract and retain employees, strengthen the development of teacher leaders and aspiring principals;
- Designed and facilitated leadership retreats to build the capacity and clarity of the work of assistant superintendents as principal supervisors associated with processes and supports in alignment with PA Act 13 expectations;
- Worked to develop positive Administration-Board relationships that are collaborative, productive, and effective;
- Expanded the Leadership Team beyond administrative chiefs to include communication leads, assistant superintendents, and the Equity Director to allow additional perspectives, eliminate departmental and hierarchical silos, and create interdependent collaboration with the goal of fostering a culture that elevates quality teaching and learning for all students;
- Implemented a strategic planning process with the Leadership Team to develop systems that address and advance organizational cohesion in our District;
- Elevated and expanded opportunities for students’ voices to inform decision-making;
- Created protocols to improve consistent internal and external communication by developing a streamlined process and sequence for communicating with all stakeholder groups; and
- Developed core relationships and new partnerships with the Mayor’s office, surrounding universities, community-based groups, and the philanthropic community to garner support to advance the District’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.
90.5 WESA | By Sarah Schneider Published January 9, 2023 at 5:30 AM EST Five months into his first year as superintendent, Wayne Walters is working to reduce the achievement gap between Black and white students and build trust with families.
The Why Behind the What web series seeks to bring clarity through transparency by breaking down the whys behind the actions and decisions of the school district. Through the web series, Dr. Wayne N. Walters shares the why behind the what to improve understanding, transparency, and purposeful communications with students, staff, parents, families, and the community as part of the District’s efforts to expand stakeholder communication and partnerships.
As we bid farewell to 2022, Superintendent Wayne N. Walters, Ed.D., has a special end-of-year message for Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Next Pittsburgh | Ann Belser| November 3, 2022 | Walters started with PPS as a music teacher at King Elementary after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1990. For more than 30 years, he has worked his way up through the system. He was the assistant principal of Northview Heights Elementary School in 1999, principal of Frick International Studies Academy 6-8 in 2000, and the first principal of the new Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies in 2008.