Pittsburgh Public Schools announces new superintendent: Dr. Wayne Walters

PITTSBURGH — With the announcement of a new Pittsburgh public superintendent, the hope for change can be felt from right inside the walls of the district.

“My hope is that I’m a presence of hope, aspirations and morale booster for our district,” said new Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent, Wayne Walters.

Walters has held the position of interim superintendent since October, when Anthony Hamlet resigned following criticism over a state ethics report.

Walters rose from teacher to assistant principal to assistant superintendent, before being named as top leader. It’s a move the district’s teachers are happy to see.

“They wanted someone who could hit the ground running, who knows our district, who knows our students and I know they were very pleased last year because it was good to have someone at the helm who was prepared, who made them feel appreciated and took their input,” said president of Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Nina Esposito-Visgitis.

Walters plans to start tackling morale and communication issues after a few tough years for students’ mental health during the pandemic. It was a suggestion by the teachers to help attract students back into the buildings.

“He knows that teacher voice is important. He is not top-down leader, he’s a bottom up and that really has really re-energized our teachers,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

The teacher’s union is already meeting several times a month with Walters and hopes he tackles staffing shortages and safety immediately as a top priority.

“We are having trouble finding bus drivers — that’s across the country, we are having trouble finding paraprofessionals. We need to change and I think with Dr. Walters and us working together — we are all willing to change and that’s exciting,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

Walter’s contract will be for five years. The details will be released following the school board’s meeting to vote him in Wednesday. His first official day on the job is Aug. 1.

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