SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
The North Allegheny School District appointed Dr. Brendan Hyland as Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2023.
Dr. Hyland has dedicated his career to education spanning over three decades and is honored to return to North Allegheny School District where he served as the North Allegheny Intermediate High School Principal from 2007-2018. Having previously spent a decade in the District, Dr. Hyland knows the limitless potential that North Allegheny has and is excited to motivate students and staff to unleash their potential!
Dr. Hyland, with his wife Tricia who is also an educator, is a parent of three children Alyssa, Allie and A.J. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991 with a B.A. in Education with an emphasis on Political Science. Immediately after receiving his degree, Dr. Hyland accepted a job as the 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Page Middle School in the Gloucester County School District located in southeastern Virginia. From 1991-1993, Dr. Hyland taught United States History, served as a team leader of an interdisciplinary team, and also coached basketball.
In the fall of 1993, Dr. Hyland accepted a position with the Mt. Lebanon School District where he went on to teach World History, Civics and Political Science, and American Government over the next ten years. He also served as an assistant girl’s varsity basketball coach and a 9th-grade head and assistant football coach. During several successful years as a classroom teacher, Dr. Hyland furthered his educational pursuits and earned a Master’s Degree and Principal’s Certification in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
He was subsequently promoted to the role of Assistant Principal at Mt. Lebanon High School in 2001 and graduated from the Principals’ Academy and the Advanced Leadership Academy also at the University of Pittsburgh. As an administrator in the Mt. Lebanon School District, Dr. Hyland was a leader in several District-wide initiatives. Dr. Hyland was instrumental in leading the development and deployment of a differentiated evaluation system for teachers, coordinated a comprehensive Middle States review, served as an internal examiner for Keystone Association for Performance Excellence, served on a Baldrige Assessment Team, and developed an innovative online platform for PSSA remediation.
In 2007, Dr. Hyland was hired in the North Allegheny School District where he assumed the role of head building principal of North Allegheny Intermediate High School. The building took several positive steps under his leadership. His school ranked number one in the Pittsburgh Business Times from 2015-2017 and consistently ranked amongst the top-performing high schools in the region on the state Keystone Exams and the School Performance Profile. He helped propel his school to become a leader in embedding technology into classroom pedagogical strategies to help prepare learners for the 21st Century. He led in the development of the District’s Focus 2020 initiative which included the development of a blended learning vision and the conceptual understandings of implementation of that vision. During his time at North Allegheny, he was asked to be on the District’s Business Roundtable, lead the Act 93 Team, oversaw millions of dollars of construction projects, and became a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Citizens Academy. Lastly, he completed a Doctoral Program in Administration and Leadership Studies and a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014. His doctoral dissertation focused on High School Principals’ Perceptions of Cyberbullying.
Dr. Hyland took over the Superintendency of the Plum Borough School District in March 2018. At that time, Plum had experienced some significant challenges and Dr. Hyland was chosen to lead the District to better times. At Plum, he inherited the 5th worst fund balance in the state of Pennsylvania (negative $5 million), the aftermath of a scandal related to student safety concerns for students and a reputation that had been damaged by the combination of the aforementioned items. During his tenure, Dr. Hyland’s team worked from day one to chart a new direction for the Plum, and one that would bring back a pride that had been lost. He helped the District to reclaim its reputation as a respected educational organization. Below are some of the improvements that Dr. Hyland and his team brought to Plum Borough School District:
- Recruited brand new well-respected District and building-level leadership teams and created an entirely new Superintendent’s Cabinet that worked cooperatively and in conjunction with the board for the betterment of students.
- Led Plum in developing two strategic planning models that included: strategic goals, core values, and a mission statement that continues to have a transformational and positive impact on the District.
- Created and deployed a continuous improvement and systems thinking operational model using a Balanced Scorecard. Aligned the strategic plan to a metric-based reporting system with all results annually presented and discussed publicly.
- Developed and fostered a positive relationship with the media to maximize positive media reviews for the District to repair Plum’s reputation.
- Rebranded and reintroduced the District to the community and quantitatively elevated internal and external perception of Plum.
- Developed and executed multiple District-wide annual parent and student surveys to monitor stakeholder satisfaction and perceptions of the District’s Balanced Scorecard.
- Launched a new user-friendly mobile app and website that positively promotes the District and students.
- Initiated the development of a new District Events Calendar for families in order to highlight and showcase the District’s activities.
- Created a Student School Board Representative position to ensure students had a voice with the board.
- Developed a Commercial Activities Guide that focused on raising alternative revenue to offset the cost of several projects.
- Increased District transparency with the public through online access to board meeting videos, sharing of all documents used in the board meetings, and creating an App to access documents for board meetings quickly.
- Created and instilled a safety-first ethos enculturated throughout the District.
- Conducted multiple District-wide external safety audits, identifying strengths and improvement opportunities.
- Created, recruited, and deployed a six-person NASRO-certified armed Plum School Police Department, with officers combined with 150 years of law enforcement experience.
- Deployed a K-12 systematic District-wide positive behavior program named Rachel's Challenge in each of the schools, where no programming had existed before my arrival.
- Developed and implemented a missing common language and framework for teaching and learning using Dr. Robert Marzano and Dr. Richard Dufour’s Leaders of Learning.
Implemented Understanding by Design (UbD) by Dr. Grant Wiggins and Dr. Jay McTighe to ensure a systematic approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in the District.
- Increased contractual instructional and professional development in-service days, from 188 to 193, through the collective bargaining process.
- Recommended to the board and received approval for over $3.5 million for K-12 resources via the curriculum review process in the following areas:
- Fine Arts (April 2023)
- ELA Writeable (March 2022)
- Library (March 2022)
- Health & Physical Education (March 2022)
- Science (March 2022)
- Cardio Room and Fitness Center (May 2021)
- Counseling (April 2021)
- English Language Arts (April 2021)
- CS/BCIT/Library (April 2021)
- Math (April 2020)
- Instituted the use of Google Classroom in grades K-12 as a unified District learning management system which, along with faculty proficiency of staff, led to over 85% of the teachers becoming Google Level 1 Certified.
- Overhauled and added rigor to the Middle School and High School Program of Studies.
- Ensured the deployment and use of new Promethean boards in grades K-12.
- Instituted literacy and math screenings using mClass, ALEKS, and CDT in K-12, where they had not previously existed.
- Initiated and approved a girls’ wrestling and golf team for our students.
- Upgraded the athletic facilities by resurfacing the stadium field with new artificial turf and a newly added enhanced safety padding base, resurfaced the track, installed new artificial turf on the baseball and softball fields, added a state-of-the-art lighting system for each field, and new scoreboards at each facility. Also, new gym floors were installed at the middle and high schools. Also, put new speakers and lighting systems in auditoriums.
- Created a Manager of Sports Performance and Wellness position to focus on developing healthy lifestyle choices and maximizing the athletic teams’ performance.
- First Plum Borough Superintendent to present a balanced budget without borrowed money in the past ten years, and closed a $4.8 million deficit by making tough budgetary decisions in my first year as superintendent without program cuts:
- Closed Regency Elementary School.
- Redistricted and restructured the building configurations in the elementary schools, going from three K-6 buildings to two K-4 buildings, establishing one 5-6 building, one 7-8 building, and one 9-12 building.
- Rightsized professional personnel staffing to meet established administrative guidelines by furloughing 26 professional staff.
- Migrated from full-day Kindergarten to half-day kindergarten.
- Refinanced $48.6 million from four callable bonds for a savings of $3.7 million to be used on a $5 million initial three-phase capital improvement plan.
- Asked by PDE Recovery Officer assigned to the Penn Hills School District to serve as the required sitting superintendent on the District’s Recovery Plan Advisory Committee.
- Led negotiations for two separate teacher collective bargaining agreements with the PBEA.
- Negotiated a second six-year (May 2023 - early bird 2023 - 2029) collective bargaining agreement with the teachers' union that maintained managerial rights and allowed the District to compete for the best educators available in a tight job market.
- Negotiated a six-year (2018-2024) collective bargaining agreement with the teachers' union that added three steps to the salary scale, moved to a percentage-based premium on health care, and gained significant managerial rights without a labor stoppage.
- Raised the District’s Moody’s bond rating to Baa1, creating the opportunity to refinance $4.8 million without increasing term or debt service payment. S&P was BBB- (with a negative outlook in 2017) and is now BBB (with a positive outlook currently).
- Instituted zero-based budgeting process in departments.
- Negotiated a long-term deal with a local senior citizens' retirement home to avoid them seeking tax-exempt status, netting an additional $456,000 per year in revenue.
As Dr. Hyland begins his journey as Superintendent of the North Allegheny School District, he is looking forward to engaging with all the stakeholders and constituent groups to strive to make North Allegheny the best it can be. As he stated in his first remarks as the newly appointed superintendent:
“I am filled with boundless energy and excitement as I believe North Allegheny deserves a superintendent with a single-minded and uncompromising focus on excellence. However, it is equally important that we ALL understand the vital role each stakeholder plays in working together as a team - the Board, faculty, staff, students, their families, and those community members without students in our schools.
Together, we should all agree that our primary focus must always be to give our students the best educational experience imaginable. By doing so, we will achieve the ultimate recognition as the premier District in western Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth, and eventually the entire nation while recognizing that our journey for perfection will be unending.
Once again, I want to thank the Board for the trust and confidence they have placed in me, and I look forward to reconnecting and then supporting some of the finest professionals and students in the world. Simply, it is good to be back home.”