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Bethlehem, PA: March 23, 2023: After 13 years of service to the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) and 37 years in education, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy, informed the Board of School Directors and staff of his intent to retire in July 2023.

Dr. Roy states, “I have been fortunate to have the support of amazing school board members who value public education and do what’s best for students and the community. I am honored to have worked with the finest group of teachers, staff and administrators in any District, anywhere. The entire Bethlehem community values its public schools and I am proud to have played a role in this District for the past 13 school years.”

Dr. Joseph Roy served as the School District’s Superintendent with distinction since 2010 and was named Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year in 2017. During his tenure in BASD, he placed a premium on building relationships across the school community. In his 13 years with the District, he made 2,000+ school visits where he engaged with teachers, principals, parents and students to better understand school level successes and challenges.

“I cannot thank Dr. Roy enough for his incredible work over the past 13 years,” said School Board President Michael Faccinetto. “When he arrived, the BASD was a much different place than it is today. His efforts in equity and inclusion have made our schools more accessible and welcoming for all students. The board is eternally grateful for his unrelenting dedication to the success of our students and families.”

During Dr. Roy’s tenure as Superintendent, BASD recovered from significant financial issues while simultaneously dealing with inadequate state funding. As a result, BASD has not raised taxes in three of the past four years while meeting the educational needs of our community.

At the elementary level, Dr. Roy led the efforts to implement full day kindergarten, elementary Spanish, Digital Literacy and the District’s nationally recognized Community Schools and early literacy programs. Under Dr. Roy’s leadership, the District expanded opportunities at both the middle and high school levels including innovative curriculum such as Project Lead the Way Engineering/Biomedicine and the Moravian University Superintendent’s Scholarship, a full tuition grant awarded to Liberty and Freedom graduates each year.

BASD built from scratch, a far reaching social media and public relations presence under Dr. Roy’s leadership. The introduction of #BASDProud was just the start of the social media frenzy. Dr. Roy’s Twitter account grew during his tenure with students and adults. At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the unveiling of a new BASD logo and tagline (“Built by Bethlehem) was introduced. A BASD viewbook was created. This combined with multiple social media outlets, video productions, a 24 hour BASD TV channel, and the weekly BASD eNews informed the community about the good news and work of the District.

“Dr. Roy has served as our District’s Superintendent with great distinction since 2010,” said Dr. Jack P. Silva, BASD’s Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer. “He steered the District successfully through historic challenges to public education. Dr. Roy deserves the numerous awards that he has received for his strong leadership over the past 13 years. He leaves the District in a strong position both educationally and financially. I honor his tremendous service to the school community, and cherish the partnership and friendship we have shared. I wish him and his family every blessing in the next chapter of his life.”

During Dr. Roy’s tenure, in response to increasing student mental/behavioral health needs, the District built robust school based behavioral health health supports for students in collaboration with community partners such as the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Pinebrook Family Answers, Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network. Two Wellness Centers were established at both high schools. Our Bethlehem health partners worked with Dr. Roy during COVID and created a BASD COVID team. During the pandemic, Dr. Roy and the COVID team worked daily to ensure our BASD community was safe. Videos and a BASD Dashboard were created to keep the community safe, transparent, and knowledgeable during the pandemic.

At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Dr. Roy created an Office of Equity Initiatives to ensure all learners have equitable access and opportunities for academic and professional achievement in a warm and welcoming environment. Throughout his tenure, he chaired the BASD Superintendent’s Task Force for Equity and Excellence with outside community leaders.

“Dr. Roy has a keen eye for talent and uncommon vision to match individual potential with the District’s strategic objectives. He has placed administrators and other staff members in positions where they grow and excel,” stated Russ Giordano, Chief Human Resources Officer. “He has been an amazing leader for both our District and school community and I am proud to have worked with him and the leadership team he assembled.”

Dr. Roy has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the Hispanic Center, Lehigh Valley; DaVinci Science Center; Community Action Lehigh Valley; the Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (past chairperson).

Under Dr. Roy’s supervision, the BASD United Way campaign surpassed all surrounding school Districts. Over the course of his career, in addition to being named Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year in 2017, he has been recognized for his accomplishments by receiving the Champion of Education Award in 2022 from Communities in Schools, PBS 39 Good Neighbor Award in 2018, Priscilla Payne Hurd Award in 2017 from the Bethlehem Area Chamber of Commerce, Excellence in Education Award in 2013 from Lehigh University, Community Builder Award in 2011 from the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Outstanding Communicator Award in 2005 from the National School Public Relations Association, and National Principal of the Year Award in 2004 from the School Library Journal.

Dr. Roy received his Doctorate from Lehigh University, his Master’s Degree from Bucknell University, and his Bachelor’s Degree from Franklin and Marshall College.

Prior to his position as Superintendent, Dr. Roy served as a teacher, assistant principal at Liberty High School, and a high school principal in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Dr. Roy’s retirement will appear on the April 24, 2023, School Board Meeting agenda.

About the Bethlehem Area School District

The Bethlehem Area School District is the 6th largest school District in Pennsylvania serving nearly 14,000 culturally and economically diverse students in 22 community-based schools. The District serves five municipalities: City of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township, Hanover Township, Freemansburg, and Fountain Hill. The District enjoys numerous community partnerships with universities, businesses, and arts providers that extend the schools’ rich curricular and co-curricular offerings.

Information provided to TVL by:
Barbara Clymer
Communications Coordinator
Bethlehem Area School District
1516 Sycamore Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017