Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Eric Turman sworn in as the new superintendent of the Harrisburg School District

Eric Turman, second from left, is sworn in as the school district’s new superintendent.

The Harrisburg School District celebrated a milestone on Tuesday as officials recognized the newly appointed superintendent of schools.

Former Reading High School Principal Eric Turman started as the Harrisburg superintendent on July 1, but was officially sworn in today at the district’s administration building on State Street.

“This is a very special day here in the Harrisburg School District,” Receiver Dr. Janet Samuels said. “We know that the role of superintendent is one of the most important roles and responsibilities in any school district.”

Turman was sworn into office by Magisterial District Judge Hanif Johnson.

Turman comes to the district after having served with the Reading School District for over 20 years, both as a teacher and principal.

His term as superintendent runs through June 2026. He will receive an annual salary of $179,500.

He joins Harrisburg as the district prepares for students to re-enter its buildings after over a year-and-a-half of virtual learning. Turman said that he expects to face challenges with students’ learning gaps and mental health after they’ve been at home for so long.

He also enters the district during its third and final year of state-sanctioned receivership. He took the place of Chris Celmer, who served as acting superintendent until a permanent replacement was found. Celmer said that he will remain with the district, under the office of the receiver, to help with Turman’s transition and to assist Samuels with the district’s recovery plan.

“I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Celmer and Dr. Samuels,” Turman said.

Turman said that he plans to work with students, staff and the community, as well, to identify needs and to develop means for improvement. Visibility and developing trust within the district are important to him, he said.

“Anytime there is a question or we want to come up with a decision . . . I’m always going to say is, ‘is this best for the children of Harrisburg?’” Turman said.

He plans to do this by addressing the root issues that cause hurdles to learning among students, he said.

“I’m so excited about where I think Harrisburg can go,” Turman said.

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