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Board Approves New Leadership Structure to Provide Increased Support to Schools

PITTSBURGH June 25, 2014- Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda S. Lane unveiled a key stage in her plan to restructure Central Office to better support schools and their leaders. Approved by the School Board this evening, the moves are part of three system-wide strategies outlined in the District’s Whole Child, Whole Community: Building a Bridge to the Promise plan.

“When we announced our Whole Child, Whole Community plan last December we made investing in our people, structures and culture a priority. We committed to deepening our efforts to build stronger and more effective teams in and between Central Office and our schools,” said Superintendent Linda 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,” said Superintendent Lane.
 
Aimed at boosting principal and school support to reach the Districts goals to accelerate student achievement, eliminate racial disparities and create a student-focused culture, the restructuring includes key appointments in the Office of School Performance under the leadership of Dr. Connie Sims, Chief of School Performance effective July 1, 2014.

  • Mr. Kevin Bivins, currently Principal of Pittsburgh Fulton, and Dr. Alison Huguley, former Harvard Resident and current Assistant to the Chief of School Performance, were each named Acting Assistant Superintendents. The pair will share supervision of the District’s K-5 and K-8 schools.
  • Ms. Melissa Friez and Dr. Wayne Walters will share supervision of the District’s secondary schools while both maintaining their current roles as Principals of Pittsburgh Allderdice High School and Pittsburgh Obama 6-12 respectively. This evening Ms. Friez was named Acting Assistant Superintendent of 9-12 Schools, and Dr. Walters was named Assistant Superintendent of 6-12 Schools.
  • Mr. David May-Stein will maintain his title of Assistant Superintendent and will supervise the District’s 6-8 and special schools.
 
All Acting Assistant Superintendents will convert to Assistant Superintendent on September 1, 2014 upon presentation of their letters of eligibility.
 
Shana Nelson Named Principal on Special Assignment Equity Office
The Board additionally approved the appointment of Shana Nelson, formerly Principal of Pittsburgh King K-8, to Principal on Special Assignment Equity Office. In this role Ms. 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. Ms. Nelson’s work will support the work of the District’s Equity Office, which is under the direction of Executive Director Viola Burgess.
 
In 2013, Ms. Nelson received the Asa G. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Achievement in Racial Equity at the Summit for Courageous Conversations. The award is presented to a leader whose racial equity achievements have had an immense impact on the cultural, social, and academic development of underserved student of color populations.
 
In Other Business - Board Approves Principal Appointments at Three Schools
In addition to changes at the Central Office leadership level, the Board approved principal appointments for three District schools for the 2014-15 school year. 
 
Ms. Lou Ann Zwieryznski Appointed Principal of Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12
Ms. Lou Ann Zwieryznski will transition from her current position as Principal Pittsburgh Faison K-5 to Principal of Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12. Ms. Zwierynski’s past three years as principal of Pittsburgh Faison, her familiarity with the Homewood community and many current
Pittsburgh Westinghouse students, makes her a natural fit. Ms. Zwierynski has built extensive relationships with many community partners, such as the Homewood Children’s Village, that she will continue to grow for the benefit of Homewood’s children. Prior to serving as Principal of Pittsburgh Faison, Ms. Zwieryznski served as Principal of Pittsburgh Langley High School from 2009-2011.
 
 
Dr. Russell Patterson Appointed Interim Principal of Pittsburgh Faison K-5
Dr. Russell Patterson will transition from his position of Assistant Principal Pittsburgh Faison to Interim Principal Pittsburgh Faison. Dr. Patterson has been serving the children of Homewood since his arrival to Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2002 as an Early Learning Skills Teacher at Pittsburgh Lincoln K-8. From 2006-2011, Dr. Patterson was a Student Teacher Liaison at Pittsburgh Lincoln before teaching third grade and serving as an Instructional Teacher Leader at the school. Dr. Patterson became Assistant Principal of Pittsburgh Faison in January 2013. 
 
Ms. Erin McClay Appointed Principal of Pittsburgh Spring Hill
Ms. Erin McClay will transition from her current position of Acting Principal at Pittsburgh Spring Hill to Principal of the school, effective July 1, 2014. Ms. McClay joined the District in 1992.
 
Other Business
This evening the Board approved the sale of the Columbus facility, located on the city’s Northside, to School Facility Development, Inc., a subsidiary of Propel Schools, for $930,000.