Strengthening Partnerships


Photo by Merecedes J. Howze

New Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide Academy principal, Jessica Colbert (second from left), outside with some of her new students.



By Merecedes J. Howze

“These are the kids I love!”

Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide Academy, a 2011-2012 STAR school, has a new principal, Jessica Colbert.

The former principal of Pittsburgh Concord hit the ground running with specific tasks to accumulate herself with the school, strengthen and develop school and community-based partnerships, and break down the barriers of how Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide is received by the public.

Colbert intends to establish more relationships with area organizations and the school’s students by “building their capacity to connect with the community through volunteerism.”  She is confident that Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide students are more than capable to commit to genuine community service.

“It’s more than a last resort,” says Colbert about the special education school, which houses about 130 students in grades 3-12. Colbert continued “At Pittsburgh Oliver we work to provide special education students the support they need to get on track behaviorally and academically to transition them back to their comprehensive neighborhood school.”

Colbert got a head start at Oliver Citywide by participating in the Extended School Year (ESY) program in July.  Not only did she get a chance to meet some of her students, Colbert also worked closely with the school’s teachers.

“Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide has a strong staff that cares about students and ensuring positive outcomes,” said Colbert.

The majority of Northside schools will have new administrative leaders.  Pittsburgh Manchester K-8’s new principal, Michilene Pegher, a former middle school Communications teacher, was approved in a special legislative meeting on July 16th.

The other new principals are Dennis Chakey (Perry), Yarra Howze (Allegheny 6-8), Erin McClay (Spring Hill), and Leah McCord (King).

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