At a special meeting on Dec. 29, the Bethel Park Board of School Directors unanimously voted Dr. James Walsh as the next superintendent of schools.
Walsh comes to Bethel Park School District from the Burgettstown Area School District, where he has served as superintendent since 2015. At Burgettstown, Walsh spearheaded a district-wide STEAM program, Tier III reading interventions at all grade levels, and added Maker Spaces throughout the district.
He also previously served as the principal at Jefferson Middle School and as a district-wide curriculum supervisor in the Mt. Lebanon School District; the director of curriculum and student achievement in the Aliquippa School District; and principal in the Hopewell School District. Before entering administration, Walsh taught English, Theater, and Television Production at Westlake High School in Maryland and later in Peters Township School District.
Walsh holds degrees from Duquesne University, the University of Maryland, and Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Point Park University’s School of Education.
Walsh succeeds Dr. Joseph Dimperio, who has served as the acting superintendent since last spring. Dimperio led the search for his successor and is very proud of the school board’s selection process.
“The school district conducted a superintendent search that was thorough, deliberate, and thoughtful,” said Dimperio. “We carefully considered the feedback we received from our stakeholders including our students, our staff, and our community at large and we are thrilled to have concluded this process with a candidate whose experience and strengths match up so well with the district’s priorities.”
According to Bethel Park School District board president, Mrs. Pam Dobos, the selection committee was particularly impressed with Walsh’s familiarity with curriculum design and his plans to drive Bethel Park forward. “Dr. Walsh spoke about his familiarity with curriculum and instruction and his vision for Bethel Park,” she said. “His focused, creative solutions that emphasized collaboration and communication left us all feeling very confident that he is indeed right the leader to take the district to new academic heights.”
Walsh, a married father of four, who lives in neighboring Upper St. Clair, compared the process to a successful courtship.
“During our discussions, it became increasingly clear how important the school district is to the entire Bethel Park community and how many growth opportunities remain,” he said. “I look forward to locking arms with the many wonderful people already in place and working together every day to help make Bethel Park an even better school district.”
Walsh will begin his five-year contract with the school district on a date yet to be determined and will receive an annual salary of $175,000.