For more information, contact:
The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Communications
Telephone: 215-400-4040
Fax: 215-400-4041

August 20, 2008

Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman Announces New Chief Academic Officer to Help Lift Student Achievement

School Reform Commission Approves New CAO Maria Pitre, Praising Her Outstanding Experience

PHILADELPHIA . The School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman today announced her choice for Chief Academic Officer, tapping an accomplished Baton Rouge, Louisiana educator to serve as her right hand in lifting students from underachievement.

Approved by the School Reform Commission (SRC) in a 4-to-0 vote, Maria Pitre most recently served as Assistant Superintendent for Middle School Instructional Services for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District. SRC Chairwoman Sandra Dungee Glenn said, .Dr. Pitre will be an outstanding asset to the District. We look forward to seeing her apply her skills to our efforts on behalf of children..

Pitre, a Broad Superintendents Academy Fellow with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, has 19 years experience in the field of education. While Assistant Superintendent for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District, Pitre served as a member of the executive leadership team for the largest school system in Louisiana.

Superintendent Ackerman said, .Maria embodies the credentials, courage and commitment to be a highly effective force on behalf of our students. Her career has been marked by outstanding service and commanding leadership. Her passion for lifting children from inequity and underachievement runs as deep as my own..

In Baton Rouge, Pitre served the system.s 11,000 middle students, 79 percent of whom live in poverty. She is credited with developing systems and processes that decreased the number of failures on the 8th grade Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) state-mandated test in 69 percent of the system.s middle schools.

In addition to her Doctorate in Educational Administration, Pitre earned a Master of Science in Organizational Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Education, both from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Her background in education ranges from teaching positions to high levels of administration.

Before becoming an assistant superintendent in Baton Rouge, Pitre served as Director of Research and Staff Development for the Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas. Previously as the principal of Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station, Texas, Pitre became one of the youngest principals to be named president of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.

Pitre will begin her new post in Philadelphia on September 2nd.