SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Timothy McNamee, a 1971 Slippery Rock University elementary education graduate now acting superintendent at the West Jefferson Hills School District outside Pittsburgh, said in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news spotlight that he plans to provide the "leadership, stability and trust" to move the district forward in pursuit of his decades-long objective of helping children succeed.
“I just love this field and what I'm doing,” he said.
The story points out that when McNamee was an undergraduate at what was then Slippery Rock State College, he often passed a playground where special needs students from the on-campus school spent recess.
“He saw a girl, about 7 years old, regularly standing alone; he tried for days to engage her in conversation but to no avail. When a teacher observed his efforts, she invited him to class to learn about the student, who has autism. He did so, scheduling time to work with her, and by the end of the school year, the girl was starting to engage in simple social interactions and was making primary speech sounds,” the story reports.
He continued to tutor the girl for three years.
“I was hooked. I knew what I wanted to do was help children succeed,” he said. Originally McNamee had planned to study physical therapy.
In talking about his current job, McNamee told the Post-Gazette, “The district has a long history of tradition and excellence. My No. 1 priority is to build on the past through a philosophy of continuous growth, especially in the advancement of student achievement.”
McNamee worked for the Bucks County Public Schools before returning to Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Pittsburgh and later served at Gateway High School. He spent eight years as superintendent of the Mohawk Area School District.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.