Allentown School District Board To Name Dr. John Stanford Next Superintendent

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ALLENTOWN, PA — The Allentown Board of School Directors is pleased to share that an offer has been extended to Dr. John D. Stanford to be the next Superintendent of the Allentown School District. The board is expected to vote on the employment agreement as a part of the Regular Board Meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Dr. Stanford is a dedicated public servant with more than 20 years of public education, nonprofit and public policy service. He spent 15 years in the Columbus City Schools, Ohio’s largest school district. There, he oversaw the implementation of the district’s enterprise resource planning deployment, the creation and launch of a central enrollment center, the execution of a strategic plan and the creation and application of a third-grade reading program.

“In Dr. Stanford, we are confident we have found an exceptional candidate who possesses the right combination of skills, experience and background to lead the Allentown School District well into the future,” said Nancy Wilt, Board President. “We look forward to welcoming Dr. Stanford board and introducing him to our school district community. We would like to thank our parents, staff, students and community members for their input and feedback as we have engaged in this important process.”

The board selected Dr. Stanford using a comprehensive search process led by Hazard Young Attea and Associates (HYA). This included focus groups that HYA conducted with staff members, community members, families, elected officials, and students. The focus groups led to the creation of a leadership profile used to identify potential candidates who met the criteria the community identified.

Over the past several months, HYA reviewed all incoming applications and ensured they met the criteria of the leadership profile. HYA then conducted initial interviews, vetted the candidates, and contacted references before presenting potential candidates to the search committee.

The committee narrowed the field to six individuals, who were interviewed by a majority of the board on August 21. The board then further narrowed the field to the three finalists, who were interviewed on August 28.

As the Columbus City Schools’ interim superintendent, Dr. Stanford provided leadership for the improvement of third-grade reading scores, gains in the district’s state report card and increases in the graduation rate. His most recent district assignments focused on supporting the superintendent’s strategic efforts to oversee the academic and business operations of the district.

Additionally, Dr. Stanford served as Executive Assistant for Education to former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He led the development of the governor’s education reform plan, which became law and won the award for the nation’s top education reform law by the Education Commission of the States.

Dr. Stanford is a 2015 recipient of the Ohio School Boards Association Central Region Exemplary School Employee award and a 2009 Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence award from the Ohio University’s College of Education. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and his law and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Stanford will begin serving as superintendent on or before November 15, 2021. In the interim, Jennifer Ramos will continue to serve as the district’s acting superintendent. More information will be shared with our community after the Thursday meeting.

To find more information about the ASD superintendent search process, visit