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Philadelphia Welcomes New Superintendent, Other Changes at the Top

Here is some news of superintendent shifts.

  • William R. Hite Jr., currently the superintendent of the Prince George's County district in Maryland, was selected last week to lead the 146,000-student Philadelphia schools. The Philadelphia Public School Notebook website has a roundup of the city's response to his hiring, as well as the challenges he faces when he starts in his new position, including plans to borrow more than $218 million to cover operating costs next year. The district is still negotiating a start date and salary. Philadelphia ended up paying nearly a million dollars in severance pay to its former superintendent, Arlene Ackerman.

  • Pedro Martinez, the other finalist for the superintendent job in Philadelphia, accepted a position as superintendent of the Washoe district in Nevada, which includes Reno. He had served as deputy superintendent in that district before his most recent position as an assistant superintendent in Clark County Schools in Las Vegas.

  • Samuel T. King was sworn in this week as the superintendent of the 33,000-student Norfolk, Va., district—the school system's third superintendent since 2010. I outlined some of Norfolk's leadership turmoil in a November blog post.

  • Pamela Brown, a former assistant superintendent in Philadelphia schools, will become the schools chief of the 33,000-student Buffalo district. The Buffalo Teachers Union and the district recently came to an agreement on a teacher evaluation system; the state had withheld more than $5 million in aid from the school system until the agreement could be reached. Brown's start date and salary are still under negotiation.

  • And finally, a tidbit from the 4,500-student Warren Township High School district in Gurnee, Ill.: Jeff Brierton, who was principal of the freshman and sophomore campus of the single-school district, was chosen back in 2010 to lead the district when its superintendent retired. But right before he was expected to move from principal to superintendent, he and the district's school board came to an agreement for him to step aside, with a severance package of about $250,000. The agreement says that the working relationship between Brierton and the school board had "broken down," without offering any details, according to an article in the Daily Herald, a newspaper based in the suburban Chicago city of Arlington Heights, Ill.


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