Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg School District announces search for new superintendent

Acting Superintendent Chris Celmer (file photo)

The Harrisburg School District is taking a major step to fill a top post in the administration.

The district announced on Wednesday that it will begin a national search for the next superintendent of schools as part of the next phase of its “Amended Recovery Plan.”

“We will seek a student-centered leader who will embrace our school community, lead with integrity, and pursue continual growth and improvement for the District,” stated the district, in a statement.

In 2019, the district passed into state receivership after failing to meet the academic objectives in the 2013 recovery plan and the 2016 amended plan. The superintendent at that time, Sybil Knight-Burney, was fired.

Dr. Janet Samuels was appointed receiver of the district and, later, Chris Celmer was named acting superintendent, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU).

The district will move to reinstate a full superintendent now that it is more than halfway through its three-year, state-sanctioned receivership. According to its statement, the district may fill the position as early as this summer.

According to officials, in the coming weeks, the district will survey staff, faculty, parents, students and community members about the qualities they value in a superintendent. The results will be taken into account for the interviewing process later this spring.

Samuels and the MCIU will conduct interviews, and the community will get to meet the final candidate before they are appointed, according to the district.

Celmer will provide support for the new superintendent and continue to work with the district through June 2022.

For more information, visit the Harrisburg School District’s website.

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