The new elementary school in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District — the first elementary school to be built in the suburban Pittsburgh district in over 50 years — will be named after Superintendent Randal Lutz (BS ’90, MEd ’96, EdD ’04), a three-time alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.
The recognition honors Lutz’s lifelong commitment to the school district and the community.
For 25 years, Lutz has worked in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, including the past nine years as superintendent. He worked previously as a middle school vice principal, principal, supervisor of curriculum and instruction, and assistant superintendent.
Born and raised in the Borough of Baldwin, he graduated from Baldwin High School in 1986 and married his high school sweetheart, Judy. Together, they raised two daughters, both of whom graduated from their alma mater.
“To have the new elementary school named in my honor is really something special. It’s humbling for sure. This is not only the school district I work at, it’s the community I live and grew up in,” says Lutz.
Expected to be completed by August 2023, R. A. Lutz Elementary School will serve grades 3–5, with an anticipated enrollment of 1,200 students. The school is being built to meet the growing population of children in the district and replaces W.R. Paynter Elementary School. The new school will have 48 classrooms.
“The naming of the District’s new school building was of extreme importance to the Board,” said School Board President Dr. Anthony DiCesaro in a statement. “Our plans evolved over several discussions regarding what or who should be considered for the school’s name. Each time we spoke, it came back to Dr. Lutz and his decades-long commitment to the students of the District. His leadership has always charted new paths for the District, creating a culture in which all who learn and work here feel supported to “dare greatly,” to explore and to try. Dr. Lutz’s response to the challenges of the past year have further revealed his strength of character and the depth of concern for our school communities— it’s made this decision an easy one.”
Lutz credits his education from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education for preparing him to thrive as an educator.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1990, his Master of Education in 1996, and his Doctorate of Education with the Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility in 2004. He is also an active member in the school’s Forum for Western Pennsylvania School Superintendents.
“While not every topic can be taught, the ability to think critically has really helped me throughout my career,” says Lutz. “I also benefited from the connections I formed through the School of Education. Over time, my faculty and classmates really became part of my family.”
Lutz’s love of Baldwin-Whitehall and Pitt are on full display at his house.
Above his detached garage, there is a large room that he renovated and decorated in Pitt colors. The hardwood floors were refinished to resemble the hardwood of a basketball court. The floorboards have special meaning to Lutz: They were in the gymnasium of the old Baldwin High School. The floors were saved prior to that section of the school being demolished.
These were floors that he once walked across as a young student, on the path to Pitt and his successful career as an educator.
“I love Pitt. I can see the top 20 stories of the Cathedral from my house. The victory lights, when they shine, I see them quite clearly,” says Lutz.
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