June 16, 2024


International Student Club UK

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


It only took 138 several years, but McKeesport Area College District at last has a Black Superintendent.

Dr. Tia Wanzo was sworn in yesterday at a well attended specific conference of the board.

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

The McKeesport district, founded in 1884 and located just southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has had a sizable Black populace for a long time. In accordance to the Countrywide Center of Education Studies, the district is 71 % white and 23 p.c Black. It serves the City of McKeesport, and boroughs of Versailles, Dravosburg and White Oak as nicely as a smaller part of South Versailles Township.

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

“Dr. Wanzo is the to start with African American to be appointed in the role of superintendent at MASD. I search forward to doing the job in collaboration with our central administration teams, MASD personnel and communities to give our college students what they are worthy of.”

Dr. Wanzo will be paid out $165,000 per year – $25,000 far more than Dr. Holtzman had been paid in his authentic agreement from March 29, 2017.

The board voted unanimously to seek the services of Dr. Wanzo as Superintendent while Faculty Director Matt Holtzman – the former Superintendent’s brother – was absent.

In the course of the prior administration, Dr. Wanzo was frequently set in tricky positions.

In 2019 when the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a federal civil legal rights lawsuit towards the district on behalf of 11 district students, she experienced the difficult job of defending her boss, Dr. Holtzman, whilst nonetheless advocating for the pupils.

Dr. Holtzman, who was named in the accommodate, refused to allow the college students generate a Black Student Union. He claimed his objection was not due to the organization’s articles but the participation of one of the student’s moms – Fawn Montgomery Walker who was operating for McKeesport Mayor at the time and who is guide organizer of Consider Action Mon Valley, a group action group.

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

“The disheartening portion is the students evidently did not comprehend that they’re in the middle of this. And also, it is annoying that they really feel that we are telling them they can not do that, you are not allowed to have this club, because that was under no circumstances ever mentioned by any of us.”

The district finally achieved a settlement arrangement with the American Civil Liberties Union and the learners.

The pupils have been allowed to develop the club as extended as no “non-college folks or entities” are named as advisors or participants of the club.

Dr. Wanzo was also set in a hard posture extra just lately when the preceding faculty board voted to increase Dr. Holtzman’s agreement two yrs in advance of it expired – a likely violation of condition regulation.

Dr. Holtzman resigned and was rehired at the similar board assembly. When this proved contentious, the previous board did the very same point a thirty day period later on for Dr. Wanzo and then claimed any criticism of what they did for Holtzman was possibly unfair for not together with Wanzo or racially inspired simply because Dr. Wanzo is a human being of coloration.

The subject concluded with Dr. Holtzman leaving the district.

Unlike her predecessor, Dr. Wanzo used her overall vocation at MASD. She was a fifth grade trainer at Francis McClure Middle University, a 2nd grade trainer at White Oak Elementary School, a fourth grade instructor at Cornell Intermediate College, Assistant Principal at Founders’ Hall Middle School, and ninth grade principal at the high faculty.

She graduated from the district and still lives in its borders. As a college student, she attended Centennial Elementary, Cornell Middle Faculty, and graduated from McKeesport Higher College in 1997. 

She has a BA in Elementary Schooling from Clarion University, a diploma in Academic Leadership from Carlow College, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Duquesne College.

Ideally she will be capable to lead the district to a brighter upcoming.

To several students she might look a beacon of representation as effectively as proof that a student from McKeesport can rise to the leading.

View DR. WANZO Currently being SWORN IN:

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