Mariah Gaines (Junior)
Since Anthony Hamlet’s resignation in the fall of last year, Dr. Wayne Walters, a former Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) teacher and administrator, has been serving as the interim superintendent of the school district.
Dr. Walters agreed to take the interim position for the 2021-22 school year, however, as the search for a permanent superintendent began, Dr. Walters’ name quickly came back into circulation.
As someone who has spent his entire 30-year career working within the district– 6 of those years being spent as the principal of Obama Academy– Dr. Walters is thoroughly familiar with PPS. Students, teachers, district leaders, and other community members who have come to love Dr. Walters throughout his time with PPS jumped at the opportunity to vouch for his election as the permanent superintendent.
After months of national searching and candidate evaluation, the board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Wayne Walters, who was one of 29 applicants to be the permanent superintendent of PPS for the next 5 years.
Dr. Walters’ role formally began on August 1, and as the new school year approaches everyone is eager to see how he will use this permanent position to actuate needed district change.
Dr. Walters came into the interim position in a time of turmoil. Still, Pittsburgh Public Schools are plagued with challenges that were heightened by the pandemic. In these next 5 years he hopes to address said challenges with a student-first mindset.
He invites everyone to voice their thoughts and opinions on district decisions as he aims to do what is best for those whom his decisions affect. Furthermore, he plans to work closely with mayor Ed Gainey to make lasting city-wide change. This may include establishing a Payment in-lieu of Taxes Program for major nonprofits in Pittsburgh.
Finally, in a recent news conference, Dr. Walters shared a sentiment aimed at all PPS students. He said, “students, your authentic, unfiltered voices of truth ground me and remind me that our work and purpose is solely about you and your success. I will continue to elevate your voices as barometers for change in our district.”
Dr. Walters has expressed an immense amount of gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the district’s superintendent and has rallied the support from both those he will be working with and those he will be working for.