Dr. Tia Wanzo is the First Black Superintendent at McKeesport Area School District

It only took 138 many years, but McKeesport Region College District last but not least has a Black Superintendent.

Dr. Tia Wanzo was sworn in yesterday at a nicely attended exclusive conference of the board.

Dr. Wanzo had been Assistant Superintendent below outgoing Superintendent Dr. Mark Holtzman who still left the district for a corresponding place at Beaver Region School District at the finish of June.

The McKeesport district, set up in 1884 and located just southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has experienced a sizable Black inhabitants for decades. According to the Countrywide Heart of Education and learning Data, the district is 71 % white and 23 percent Black. It serves the City of McKeesport, and boroughs of Versailles, Dravosburg and White Oak as nicely as a tiny part of South Versailles Township.

“It’s an honor to sit on the board at this time as background was designed,” Board Member LaToya Wright Brown wrote on a Facebook article.

“Dr. Wanzo is the initial African American to be appointed in the role of superintendent at MASD. I glimpse ahead to functioning in collaboration with our central administration groups, MASD staff members and communities to give our pupils what they have earned.”

Dr. Wanzo will be paid out $165,000 for each yr – $25,000 extra than Dr. Holtzman experienced been compensated in his authentic agreement from March 29, 2017.

The board voted unanimously to retain the services of Dr. Wanzo as Superintendent nevertheless College Director Matt Holtzman – the previous Superintendent’s brother – was absent.

In the course of the former administration, Dr. Wanzo was frequently put in hard positions.

In 2019 when the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a federal civil legal rights lawsuit from the district on behalf of 11 district students, she had the complicated career of defending her manager, Dr. Holtzman, although nevertheless advocating for the students.

Dr. Holtzman, who was named in the accommodate, refused to enable the college students generate a Black Scholar Union. He claimed his objection was not due to the organization’s information but the participation of just one of the student’s mothers – Fawn Montgomery Walker who was jogging for McKeesport Mayor at the time and who is direct organizer of Get Motion Mon Valley, a group motion team.

Dr. Wanzo was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune Evaluation on the matter as follows:

“The frustrating aspect is the students evidently did not realize that they’re in the center of this. And also, it is discouraging that they truly feel that we are telling them they can not do that, you’re not allowed to have this club, since that was never at any time stated by any of us.”

The district ultimately attained a settlement agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union and the college students.

The college students have been allowed to make the club as extended as no “non-school people or entities” are named as advisors or contributors of the club.

Dr. Wanzo was also put in a complicated position extra a short while ago when the preceding faculty board voted to extend Dr. Holtzman’s agreement two several years right before it expired – a potential violation of point out legislation.

Dr. Holtzman resigned and was rehired at the exact same board assembly. When this proved contentious, the previous board did the same matter a month later on for Dr. Wanzo and then claimed any criticism of what they did for Holtzman was both unfair for not together with Wanzo or racially determined since Dr. Wanzo is a man or woman of coloration.

The make a difference concluded with Dr. Holtzman leaving the district.

Unlike her predecessor, Dr. Wanzo put in her whole vocation at MASD. She was a fifth grade trainer at Francis McClure Middle University, a next grade instructor at White Oak Elementary University, a fourth quality trainer at Cornell Intermediate College, Assistant Principal at Founders’ Corridor Middle Faculty, and ninth quality principal at the large university.

She graduated from the district and however life in its borders. As a scholar, she attended Centennial Elementary, Cornell Center College, and graduated from McKeesport Large University in 1997. 

She has a BA in Elementary Training from Clarion College, a degree in Academic Leadership from Carlow University, and a Doctorate in Instructional Leadership from Duquesne University.

Hopefully she will be in a position to direct the district to a brighter potential.

To numerous learners she may perhaps appear a beacon of representation as perfectly as proof that a student from McKeesport can rise to the top.

Check out DR. WANZO Currently being SWORN IN:

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