Strengthening Leaders to Support Children and Youth

Based in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, the Forum for Western Pennsylvania School Superintendents (The Forum) is focused on advocacy for children and youth, collaboration and collegiality among school leaders, mentoring new executive school leaders, and becoming masters of a complex profession.

History of the Forum

Founded in 1994, the Forum is among the oldest regional superintendent forums in the nation and continues to provide customized professional development experiences for school superintendents within the western Pennsylvania region. Founded by Richard C. Wallace, the group was modeled after the Danforth Foundation’s Forum for the American School Superintendent.  It is housed at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Education, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading.  A History of the Forum (PDF) document was created by Collaborative for Evaluation and Assessment Capacity (CEAC).

How to Join

Membership in the Forum is through nomination and unanimous approval by the Forum Executive Committee.  Nomination must come from two current members of the Forum.  Candidates are required to have successfully completed two years as a school superintendent in order to be eligible for nomination.

Membership Map

View Membership Map (PDF)

Previous Programming Topics

Learner-Centered Leadership; Reimagining Family-School Engagement; Mindful Leadership, Healthy Employees are Better Employees;  Public Policy Advocacy: Turning Action into Ideas; Writing and Talking to Learn; Ethical Leadership in Trying Times; Equal Isn’t Always Fair: A Bridge to a Simulated Society Experience; Imagination, Innovation, Creativity, and Leadership.

Member Spotlights

“The Forum for Western Pennsylvania Superintendents has given me the opportunity to interact with professionals who truly understand what it is like to lead a school system during very challenging times. More importantly, the Forum has provided me some of the best cutting edge professional development of any other professional organization for which I belong. I value my time in connecting with other professionals who give me new ideas and challenge my thinking.”

Dr. Tracy Vitale
Superintendent of Schools, Seneca Valley School District
Forum Member since 2013
Forum Executive Committee Member



“The current climate in public education is unprecedented.  While the time is right to reimagine how students learn and teachers teach, considerable energy must also be given to steadying our school districts amidst turbulence and uncertainty. The Forum provides me with a learning community  to maintain perspective and achieve balance within my professional and personal life. The connections I’ve established are some of the strongest, most impactful of my career. The convening dates are circled on my calendar!”

Dr. Randal Lutz
Superintendent of Schools, Baldwin-Whitehall School District
Forum Member since 2015
Forum Executive Committee Member

Forum Executive Committee

Donna Nugent (President), Tom Ralston (Executive Director), Bille Rondinelli, Wayne Gdovic, John DiSanti, Patrick O’Toole, Dan Bell, Shannon Wagner, Michelle Miller, Tracy Vitale, Randall Lutz, Linda Hippert, and William Stropkaj.

For More Information

For more information regarding The Forum for Western Pennsylvania School Superintendents, please contact the executive director:

Dr. Thomas Ralston
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading
School of Education
5152 Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Phone: 412-874-6747

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