New Westinghouse principal among several city schools personnel changes

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The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools Wednesday approved a series of personnel moves that give Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12 in Homewood yet another new principal, affect leadership in other schools and include the naming of four assistant superintendents and resignation of two high-level administrators.

For the coming school year, school superintendent Linda Lane said in an interview, “We're trying to get as much in place as we can as early as we can. We’ve learned through experience everything works a lot better if people can be in their spaces when we hit July 1.”

The board vote was mixed, with some members opposing or abstaining on portions of the personnel agenda. Board member Mark Brentley Sr. voted against the entire personnel agenda.

The two high-level administrators who resigned are assistant superintendent Christiana Otuwa, who is leaving to take a position in Rochester, and Mark Campbell, chief information officer, who is moving to take a position in Atlanta.

With the departure of Ms. Otuwa, there remains just one assistant superintendent, David May-Stein. The board approved filling three assistant superintendent positions with four people.

Two of the new assistant superintendents, Wayne Walters, principal of Obama 6-12 in East Liberty, and Melissa Friez, principal of Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill, will continue to lead their schools. The other two who will be full-time assistant superintendents are Kevin Bivins,who will leave the principalship at Fulton PreK-5 in Highland Park, and Alison McKenzie-Huguley, who joined the district last year as a Harvard resident with the title of assistant to the chief of school performance.

All four new assistant superintendents will earn $132,000, with the possibility of an annual performance increment of up to $2,000 and an annual achievement bonus of up to $10,000. Ms. Friez, Mr. Bivins and Ms. McKenzie-Huguley will be acting until Sept. 1 when they will have letters of eligibility. Their appointments run through Aug. 30, 2017.

The new principal at Westinghouse, which has had much principal turnover in recent years, is LouAnn Zwieryznski, currently principal of Faison K-5 in Homewood. Russell Patterson, assistant principal at Faison, was named interim principal at Faison.About a year ago, the board hired Alexander Herring Sr. from North Carolina on a three-year contract to lead Westinghouse and hold the title of assistant to the superintendent for school transformation, Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12. The board opened the principal position and closed the assistant to the superintendent position, but Ms. Lane declined to comment further on Mr. Herring’s situation.

School solicitor Ira Weiss today said that Mr. Herring is on unpaid leave.

Other personnel changes include:

• Errika Fearby Jones, special assistant to the superintendent, was promoted to executive director, office of the superintendent.

• Todd Van Horn, longtime principal of Spring Hill K-5, resigned.

• Erin McClay, who has served as acting principal at the school, was named principal.

• Shana Nelson, principal of King PreK-8 on the North Side, was named a principal on special assignment in the equity office.

• Angela Abadilla, senior program officer for arts education, resigned to become principal of Baden Academy, a charter school.

Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955. First Published June 25, 2014 9:47 PM

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