PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the new school year on the horizon, Pittsburgh Public Schools has officially named its new superintendent.
Dr. Wayne Walters, who has been serving as interim superintendent since last September following Anthony Hamlet's resignation, will fill the role permanently. School Board President Sala Udin introduced Walters on Thursday.
"He has demonstrated over these 30 years – high standards, education and unparalleled integrity," Udin said.
The board searched the country, reviewing the resumes of 29 candidates from 13 states. But in the end, the board found it needed to look no further than Walters.
"I accept this honor and privilege with an unwavering commitment to serve the children, the staff and the families of the Pittsburgh Public Schools," Walters said Thursday.
The 51-year-old Walters has made a career in the district. He served as a teacher, principal and finally as interim superintendent, earning the confidence of the board by bringing stability to the district after the rocky tenure of Hamlet.
The board has given him high marks for dealing with continuing covid issues, a transportation crisis, and a spate of school violence and shootings involving PPS students.
A seasoned professional with a personal touch, Walters has implemented programs to bring emotional support to students and staff and has begun addressing the district's crisis in literacy by focusing on improving poor reading proficiency in the early grades.
"We got it right," Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said. "We got it right."
In addition to former students, parents and teachers, Walters had the strong support of Mayor Gainey, who said Walters' career and leadership is a model for students to achieve higher goals in life.
"Nobody can say this was given to you," Gainey said. "And each one of our children can see the dedication and commitment, they will believe they can."
And to do that, Walters said he will enlist the help of the greater community.
"I am PPS, you are PPS, we together are PPS," he said.
The district has not released the terms of the contract except to say that it will be a five-year contract that will be formally approved at the board meeting next Wednesday.
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