PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Public Schools has named an interim superintendent.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, the district named Dr. Wayne Walters as the interim superintendent. The vote was unanimous.

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(Photo Credit: PPS)

Walters said he is prepared and focused on quality teaching and students. He wants to bring stability back to the district.

“Children’s lives are on the line and we need to elevate the quality of teaching and accelerate learning,” Walters said.

Walters also added that he is ready to tackle challenges.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic. We know about transportation issues, we have budgetary issues and actually, to be transparent, a public confidence crisis. Together, along with our board leadership and parents and the community, we can address all of these to improve our outlook as a district,” Walters said.

Board President Sylvia Wilson said he is vested, with more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, principal and most recently the Assistant Superintendent of Professional Development and Special Programming.

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“His commitment to PPS and Pittsburgh is unwavering,” Wilson said. “The district needs stabilization and healing. We know that he is ready for this challenge and opportunity.”

Five candidates were interviewed before the decision was made. That list of candidates included four assistant superintendents – Monica Lamar, Nina Sacco, Rodney Necciai and Walters. The fifth candidate was Principal Kevin Bivins.

Walters will be in the position until a search for a permanent superintendent begins in December after new school board members are sworn in. When asked, Walters did not say if he will apply for the permanent superintendent position.

“This is my life and what I love doing best,” Walters said. “I feel so much passion for helping to change children’s lives.”

Since July 2016, Dr. Anthony Hamlet has served as superintendent, but he is set to resign on Friday.

His resignation comes after an investigation found he committed ethics violations with expenses and time off for trips.

Hamlet maintained he did nothing wrong but said in his resignation letter that it was best for the students and families for him to move on from the district due to current circumstances.

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Walters will get paid $210,000, that’s if he works for a year.