Allentown School District Launches National Search for New Superintendent


Allentown, PA (August 12, 2016):  The Allentown School Board of Education announced that the official national search has begun for the District’s new Superintendent. As the District is currently under the guidance of Interim Superintendent, Dr. Gary R. Cooper, the new Superintendent will begin their term on or before July 1, 2017 for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The School Board of Directors has established a Search Committee that is being led by Dr. Louise Donohue and Dr. George White with School Board members David F, Zimmerman (President),

Ce-Ce Gerlach (Vice President), Audrey Mathison, and Robert E. Smith, Jr. The Search Committee will be instrumental in the first round of applicant discussions and narrowing the selection of candidates. Once a pool of candidates is defined (approximately 8-10 candidates), the Search Committee will expand to  a 12-14 member committee that will also include an ASD parent/guardian, district office administrator, secondary principal, elementary principal, Teacher Association representative, Allentown business leader, Allentown community leader, and Allentown faith-based leader who will conduct first round interviews.

“It’s imperative to our School Board that the Superintendent search includes input from all stakeholders. Therefore, our search incorporates avenues for all members of our community to have input,” states David F. Zimmerman, School Board President. “We want to find that candidate who will be able to lead the charge for our District and guide us through the next several years as we focus on aligning our systems and creating academic equity for all of our students as we work to close the achievement gap.”

The District has launched a Community Superintendent Search Survey to gain input from all stakeholders. The results of the survey will be part of the criteria used for the screening of the candidate pool as individuals are identified for the interview process. Access to the survey – in English and Spanish – is available on the District and every school website. The survey will be active until 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2016.

The national search seeks candidates with the following:

General Qualifications

  • PA Letter of Eligibility for Superintendent certification or eligibility for same
  • Central office and building-level administrative experience strongly preferred
  • Leadership experience with urban education preferred
  • Doctorate preferred
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to social justice and equity in working in a culturally diverse community
  • Evidenced experience with business and community partnerships including the Baldridge model


Ideal Candidate Characteristics

The ASD Board of School Directors seeks a visionary, student-centered educational leader who will:

  • Improve student performance for all students with special emphasis on closing the gaps among under-achieving groups
  • Work closely with the Board of School Directors as the leadership team of 10
  • Foster positive working relationships with all constituent groups
  • Employ strong collaborative and visionary leadership skills
  • Demonstrate exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • Communicate openly and fairly with staff, students, parents, guardians, families, and community members
  • Work closely with business partners on behalf of school district, city and community to meet student and family needs
  • Embrace an effective strategic planning process with involvement from business and community leaders
  • Manage district resources and demonstrate knowledge of sound fiscal procedures
  • Work closely with local, state and national political leaders on behalf of ASD and public education
  • Demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence and a commitment to servant leadership and stewardship
  • Create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect through open communication with all stakeholders


Interested candidates will need to provide a letter of inquiry, resume, application, transcripts, and university credentials. Finalists must also provide Act 24 (PDE form 6004) clearance, Current Act 34, Act 114 and Act 151 clearances and FBI fingerprints. The Allentown School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

A regionally competitive salary and benefit package will be offered to the successful candidate. To access application for this position please go to

For information on the position or to nominate a candidate, individuals can contact Transition Consultants: Dr. Louise Donohue at and Dr. George White at

About the Transition Consultants

Dr. Louise Donohue, is the former Superintendent of Schools for the Parkland School District where she served from 2004-2011. Dr. Donohue has experience in every facet of the public education arena having worked as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Director of Secondary Education: Curriculum and Instruction; Principal; Assistant Principal; and Teacher. Currently, she is a Professor of Practice and the Executive Director of the Lehigh Study Council at Lehigh University. 

Dr. George P. White is Iacocca Professor of the Educational Leadership and the Director of the Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders (CDUEL) at Lehigh University. This program specializes in the training and development of school principals and superintendents at the regional, national, and international levels.  He is a nationally recognized consultant, having worked with both for profit and non-profit organizations nationally and internationally addressing issues associated with organizational development, change management, team building, strategic planning, soft skills, and leadership training.  For the past six years Dr. White has worked with the Allentown School District as part of a US Department of Education grant supporting leadership development and equity training for principals and assistant principals.

About Allentown School District

ASD serves more than 16,250 students in a network of 22 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools located throughout the City of Allentown, PA. The Allentown School District is the third largest urban school district in the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts. A shared vision of the community, parents, guardians, staff and faculty focuses on “Empowering Students for Life,” providing ASD students with the skills and academics they need to realize their aspirations whether they be college, career or technical focus. ASD goals are aligned and compatible with the Pathways to Success Framework while providing a balanced education to all students. Allentown School District employs more than 2,250 teachers, staff and administrators. The District, founded in 1866, serves students from 51 countries speaking 26 languages with more than 89% of ASD households qualifying as low income. The Allentown School District is committed to providing safe learning environments in which all students have equal access to education programs and resources.