Bethlehem administrator tapped to lead school district near Pittsburgh

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Bethlehem administrator tapped to lead school district near Pittsburgh

Post  HopefulInPh on Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:35 pm

Bethlehem administrator tapped to lead school district near Pittsburgh
Published: Sunday, December 12, 2010, 4:27 PM


Bethlehem Area School District Assistant Superintendent Tom Washington has been tapped to lead a school district near Pittsburgh.

Washington said this evening he was notified last week that he got the superintendent job at Penn Hills School District.

“It’s been a wonderful tenure,” Washington said of his time in the Bethlehem Area School District.

Washington said a starting date has not yet been determined.

The Penn Hills School District website said the school board last week voted to approve a five-year contract for Washington at a starting salary of $140,000.

The Bethlehem Area School Board is slated to consider Washington’s resignation request at Monday's meeting. His resignation would be effective Feb. 4, according to the school board meeting agenda.

Washington has served in many roles at the Bethlehem Area School District. Two years ago he was promoted to the assistant superintendent for human resources. Before that, he served for three years as director of student services.

Washington previously served four years as principal at Freemansburg Elementary School and principal for two years each at Hiram Dodd Elementary School in Allentown and at Tobyhanna Elementary School.

While at Freemansburg, Washington had teachers get on school buses and visit parents to try to improve faculty-community relations.

He was a finalist in 2008 to become superintendent of the Easton Area School District. The district instead promoted Susan McGinley, who has been with Easton Area since 1979.

The Penn Hills School District website says Washington is currently pursuing his doctorate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Top administrator in Bethlehem Area resigns

Post  HopefulInPh on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:27 pm

Top administrator in Bethlehem Area resigns
Tom Washington will become a superintendent in suburban Pittsburgh school district.

Indiana University By Steve Esack, OF THE MORNING CALL

8:06 p.m. EST, December 14, 2010

Tom Washington, the highest-ranking black person to ever serve in the administration of the Bethlehem Area School District, resigned Monday to become a superintendent in western Pennsylvania.

Washington, 47, Bethlehem's assistant superintendent for human resources, will take over the Penn Hills School District, a suburban community of Pittsburgh. His last day will be Feb. 4.

"You always have children first in your heart, first in your mind in every decision that comes forward," said school Director Loretta Leeson.

The Penn Hills School Board voted Dec. 6 to give Washington a five-year contract at a starting salary of $140,000. Penn Hills is a district of 5,230 students and about 350 teachers in four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.

Becoming a superintendent was Washington's career goal. He had been a finalist at other districts, including Easton, in previous attempts to move up the career ladder.

"I hope my legacy is Tom Washington did his best for this organization and with the ultimate end result being what was best for students," he said.

Washington earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and education from the State University of New York and a master of education from Kutztown University. His principal certificate was obtained from Penn State University, with his letter of eligibility from Lehigh University. He is pursuing his doctorate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Washington worked as an elementary school teacher and administrator in Albany, N.Y., Pocono Mountain, Allentown and Bethlehem. He was promoted to Bethlehem's director of pupil services in 2005 by then-Superintendent Joseph Lewis and was named assistant superintendent for human resources in 2008.

Washington's greatest legacy may be the way he conducted himself following the early retirements in 2009 of Lewis and business manager Stanley J. Majewski Jr. At the time, the district was in the midst of a financial crisis that exacerbated a growing lack of trust between the board and Lewis and his administration. At public meetings, Washington sought to restore the trust while also respectfully standing up to the board if he thought it was making a wrong decision.

"It was about doing my job," Washington said.

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