Walters aims to earn trust back through transparency and accountability.By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Public Schools’ interim superintendent already has a set of goals.

Dr. Wayne Walters knows the district from the inside out, and he told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan that he knows the way to restore confidence and trust.

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After receiving unanimous support from the board on Wednesday to succeed outgoing Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Walters realizes trust in the district’s ability to deliver high-quality education has eroded. He aims to restore it.

“The trust issues have really created a new dynamic where people in some spaces have exercised the right to move out of our district and some who have stayed, some are not satisfied. When these things happen, we need a space of healing. We need something to stabilize and to heal so we can move forward,” Walters told KDKA on Thursday.

Walters aims to earn trust back through transparency and accountability, marshaling the staff and all the district’s resources to improve performance and the educational experience, saying parents will know from their children if he has succeeded.

“If their experience is fruitful, if their experience is having a joyful time in learning, where school is a great place and they are experiencing success, they will share that narrative and the adults will catch on,” Walters said.

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A native of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walters came to Carnegie Mellon University at 16 years old and never left Pittsburgh. He first taught and then became a principal most recently at what was the Frick International Studies Academy.

Then, he became the first principal at the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, where he received high marks for overseeing a high-performing, racially mixed school.

For the past few years, Walters has served as the assistant superintendent in charge of staff development and said he knows he has the personnel to succeed.

“Pittsburgh Public Schools has one of the largest groups of committed people I’ve ever worked with and seen,” Walters said.

Board member Sala Udin believes Walters is the district’s best hope to make that happen.

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“I think we can be a high-achieving school district if we put the right building blocks in place, and that’s what I hope Dr. Walters can bring to the table,” Udin said.