PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The interim principal of Pittsburgh Public Schools already has a set of goals.
Dr Wayne Walters knows the Interior District and he told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan he knows the way to restore trust.
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After receiving unanimous council support on Wednesday to succeed outgoing Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Walters realizes that confidence in the district’s ability to deliver a high-quality education has eroded. He aims to restore it.
“The trust issues have really created a new dynamic where people in certain spaces have exercised the right to leave our neighborhood and some who have stayed, some are not satisfied. When these things happen, we need a healing space. We need something to stabilize and heal so we can move forward, ”Walters told KDKA on Thursday.
Walters aims to regain trust through transparency and accountability, bringing together staff and all resources in the district to improve performance and the educational experience, claiming that parents will know their children if they are successful.
“If their experience is successful, if their experience is a joyful learning time, the school is a great place and they are successful, they will share that story and the adults will understand,” Walters said.
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A native of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Walters came to Carnegie Mellon University at age 16 and has never left Pittsburgh. He first taught and then more recently became director of what was the Frick International Studies Academy.
Then he became the first director of the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, where he received high marks for overseeing a high performing, coeducational school.
For the past several years, Walters has served as the assistant superintendent in charge of staff development and has said he knows he has the staff to be successful.
“Pittsburgh Public Schools has one of the largest groups of engaged people I’ve ever worked with and seen,” Walters said.
Board member Sala Udin believes Walters is the district’s best hope for this to happen.
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“I think we can be a high performing school district if we put the right pieces in place, and that’s what I’m hoping Dr. Walters can bring to the table,” Udin said.