Meet Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools Dr. Anthony Hamlet, whose top priorities include eliminating disparities in schools, creating a culture of positive behavior management, and helping students succeed. Sworn in July 1st, Dr. Hamlet is currently overseeing PPS’ 5-Year Strategic Plan, assembling a leadership team, and meeting regularly with students, teachers, principals, administrators and school board members.

Monday, November 7

This is the day for Cabinet meetings. We’ve added assistant superintendents to these meetings because they understand the unique challenges at each of their schools. This is also the day for my Superintendent Agenda Review, which is when I get to discuss with staff what’s coming before the board. We’ve got a $570 million budget, 3,900 employees and a total enrollment of 25,000 in our 54 schools!

Tuesday, November 8                                                                                   

It’s Election Day, so no school. But this is an in-service day for us. I’m voting absentee, having moved here from Florida in June. I’m proud of our PPS students who, although not old enough to vote, participated in #BeOurVotePgh, a partnership with the Black Political Empowerment Project and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council. Students took part in a video encouraging friends and family to be their voice on Election Day, and several students learned how to register people to vote. Our high school students held a mock election and teachers are using the results in classrooms.

This sort of engagement shows students their voice counts. I’m establishing a forum in the district that gives students the opportunity to speak out. When young people see that their opinions matter, they take ownership in their learning.

I have a meeting today with Dr. Quintin Bullock, president of Community College of Allegheny County, to continue our discussions related to partnership opportunities. I know he and I have at least one thing in common—our favorite restaurant is Carmi Family Restaurant on the North Side.

Tonight, I’ve got tickets for the Penguins/Oilers game at PPG Paints Arena.

Wednesday, November 9

Dr. Anthony Hamlet talks with PPS students.

A busy day ahead: I’ve got my bi-weekly meeting with Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis, a meeting with Black Urban Gardeners, and a meeting with Dr. Rich Milner of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Education.

Then, we’ve got the School Board’s Policy Committee meeting and, at 7 p.m., a community forum that is part of the second round of “listening sessions” to gain input for the district’s strategic plan.

Thursday, November 10

Today I’m meeting with folks from the Northside Partnership project, who organized a free “Back to School Bash” that helped more than 150 families get ready for school. Every child received a backpack filled with school supplies, clothes, and dental supplies.

Later I’ll join the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Leadership Pittsburgh in our new Emergency Response Technology Career and Technical Education classroom at Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy. Business leaders will be on hand to learn more about our partnership with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and City of Pittsburgh to create a pipeline of diverse job candidates for the city’s Public Safety department.

Dr. Anthony Hamlet talks with PPS students.

This evening will be fun: A dinner gala, “Night of a Million Possibilities,” with Wynton Marsalis, hosted by PNC and The Pittsburgh Promise. We expect this event to raise $1 million for The Promise Scholarship Fund, which is working toward raising $68 million to sustain scholarships at least through the Class of 2028.

Friday, November 11

No school again, in honor of Veterans Day. I plan to get up early anyway to work out with weights and spinning at Gold’s Gym in Downtown Pittsburgh, where I live.

I’ve been wanting to see the exhibit, In Uganda, A School to Call Home, by photographer Martha Rial at 937 Gallery on Liberty Avenue. It runs through Sunday, so I’m going to take advantage of the open day to visit this free exhibit.

Tonight, it’s Duquesne men’s basketball—the Dukes open their season on The Bluff against Loyola, Maryland.

Saturday, November 12

Dr. Anthony Hamlet riding the school bus with PPS students.

Hoping to get to the North Park boathouse before 9 a.m. to register for Every Child Inc.’s “Family Ever After 5K Run & 1 Mile Fun Walk.” This event takes place during National Adoption Month and raises money and awareness for the more than 1,000 children in Allegheny County’s foster care system.

Tonight, I’m going to the New Hazlett Theater to see Prime Stage’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sunday, November 13      

Like many people, I attend church to worship with others—both for the fellowship and for spiritual growth. I’ve attended a number of churches in Pittsburgh, and this summer had an opportunity to speak at Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church in East Liberty.

Hoping to relax today before my Sunday supper. I’ve got my eye on a new dish I saw on the menu at Ten Penny.

See who else is NEXT Up here.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...