PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some might call it an even trade between the headaches of managing a large urban school district to the challenges of reopening a liberal arts college in Ohio.

“Yes, it’s a startup…and it’s confusing, but it’s a startup at a school with a very long and very rich history,” Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt said.

Roosevelt, the former Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent, said Pittsburgh trained him for his new job.

“It’s helped me with virtually everything. I’m not sure there is a harder job than being superintendent of an urban school system. So, you learn to deal with conflict, and sometimes some pretty heated conflict. I had to make a lot of hard decisions in Pittsburgh about closing schools,” Roosevelt said.

Founded in 1852 and led by educational visionary Horace Mann, Antioch College closed its doors in 2008. Roosevelt reopened those doors for 33 students in 2011.

“We are also a school with a deep and long-term commitment to social justice. We are not neutral on the fact that we hope our students will go out and make positive change in the world,” Roosevelt said.

As he reopens the college, Roosevelt has much work ahead where many buildings are still shuttered and reconstruction is underway on some others.

On the day KDKA-TV’s Jon Delano was there, Roosevelt met with Pittsburgh architect Albert Filoni and his team to discuss a master plan for the campus.

Roosevelt said he misses Pittsburgh, but not his old job.

“I won’t deny it. I was 5 1/2 years in the job and it was very, very stressful,” Roosevelt said.

Roosevelt hopes lots of Pittsburgh students will consider going to Antioch College.

“A lot of colleges have feeder schools. I’d like to have a feeder city,” Roosevelt said.

For more information about Antioch College, visit their website here.


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