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Board Approves Interim Superintendent
On Monday, May 16, 2022, the State College Area School District Board of Directors approved Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Curtis Johnson to serve as interim superintendent while the district searches for a successor to outgoing superintendent Bob O’Donnell.
Last month, O’Donnell announced that he will be leaving SCASD at the end of June after 11 years with the district to become the Downingtown Area School District superintendent.
Prior to the Board meeting, Board President Amber Concepcion informed the SCASD community about selecting Johnson with the following email:
Dear SCASD Community,
We are so pleased to share with you that Mr. Curtis Johnson, our assistant superintendent for secondary education, has agreed to serve as interim superintendent. At our regular meeting on Monday, the board is scheduled to vote on a contract with Mr. Johnson to serve as interim superintendent until a new superintendent has been appointed, or for one year, whichever comes first. As the Board is conducting a search process to fill this important role, we will take the time needed for recruiting and careful selection.
Mr. Johnson is highly qualified and experienced for the role, and he has a deep commitment to our district and its students. Throughout his 19 years with the State College Area School District, he has consistently supported students’ academic and social-emotional growth. Since last year, he has served as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools, working closely with the outgoing superintendent, Dr. Robert O’Donnell, and our district administrative team.
Prior to serving as assistant superintendent, Mr. Johnson was the head principal of State College Area High School for five years after one year as interim principal and 10 years in other leadership roles at the high school. As the head principal, he steered a campus of 2,400 students through the massive 4-year State High building project. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he again ably led students, faculty and staff as they coped with hybrid learning, health and safety measures, and other challenges.
His accomplishments include improving educational equity by developing the school’s Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE), a program designed to give struggling students an opportunity to reach their academic potential, and facilitating the creation of the Everyday Algebra class for students needing intensive math instruction. During his tenure, the school launched its International Baccalaureate program for juniors and seniors, and the number of State High students taking AP courses increased by 56 percent, with almost 80 percent of AP exam takers scoring a 3 or higher.
Along with fostering academic growth, Mr. Johnson oversaw significant strides in creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment at State High, partnering with the district’s director of equity and inclusivity to elevate student voice through the No Place For Hate campaign and other student-led social justice efforts. Additionally, his priorities included helping to implement restorative practices training for staff members.
Mr. Johnson received both his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in secondary school counseling from Penn State, and is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at the university.
Also on our agenda for Monday’s regular board meeting, the board will vote on a contract with a search consultant. After evaluating the firms that responded to our Request for Proposals (RFP) for search services, Tom Templeton, of Templeton Advantage, LLC, has been selected to launch a national search process. In coming weeks, Mr. Templeton will hold focus groups with a range of stakeholders in our community to help determine the characteristics that our community prioritizes in a new superintendent, and will begin publicizing the open position. We will continue sharing news with you about the search process as we work through it.
Please reach out at any time with questions you may have, and remember that you may check our website for updates and previous communications.
State College Area School District