The Pennsylvania Department of Education has appointed Dr. Janet Samuels as the district’s new chief recovery officer, spokesperson Eric Levis confirmed on Friday. She will oversee the implementation of a new, long-term recovery plan aimed at raising the district’s academic performance and financial health.
PDE put the school district under a financial recovery designation in 2012. State law requires every district in recovery to have a state-appointed recovery officer.
Samuels replaces Audrey Utley, who retired in June after serving as Harrisburg’s CRO for three years.
Her salary is capped at $144,000 annually and will be paid by PDE.
This June, Samuels retired as the superintendent of Norristown Area School District, where she oversaw a $150 million annual budget and nine schools enrolling 7,400 students. She previously served as a regional superintendent for the Philadelphia Area School District. Her career in public education spans 35 years, according to Levis, and includes experience as a principal and classroom teacher.
Samuels has been a member of the National Staff Development Council, where she served as National Conference Co-Chair, Levis said. She holds degrees from Millersville University, the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.