Sharene Shealey, of North Point Breeze, mother of three, is the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ newest director. She joins Mark Brentley Sr., Thomas Sumpter and Dara Ware Allen as the board’s African-American directors. Shealey succeeds long-time District 1 director Randall Taylor representing Homewood, East Hills, North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze, Lincoln-Lemington, Friendship, parts of East Liberty, and Shadyside.
Shealey is an air quality specialist with Reliant Energy. She holds BA and MS degrees in chemical engineering from Howard University and Carnegie Mellon University, respectively. She is an active participant in the Parent Student Community Council at Pittsburgh Colfax K-8, where her two youngest children attend school.
She won a convincing victory in the May primary election over challengers Sherry Brooks and Christine Stone taking 62 percent of the vote. Taylor, who had served since 1997, chose not to seek another term.
As she said during her campaign, she will focus on closing the achievement gap between Black and White students and increasing parent engagement in the district.
Re-elected Board Directors Theresa Colaizzi, District 5, Jean Fink, District 7, Floyd McCrea, District 9, and Thomas Sumpter, District 3, joined Shealey in taking the oath of office before Judge Michael McCarthy, prior to the Dec. 8 Board Organization Meeting.
Shealey is the board’s second new member this year. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl appointed Ware to fill the unexpired term of Heather Arnet, who resigned in August.
Following the ceremony, the Board elected officers for the 2010 fiscal year. Current President Theresa Colaizzi was re-elected president Sumpter was re-elected First-Vice President and William Isler was re-elected Second-Vice President. Superintendent of Schools Mark Roosevelt was also elected board secretary. Committee chairs will be appointed at a later meeting.