Centennial School District Appoints New Superintendent, Dr. Dana T. Bedden

The Centennial Board of School Directors is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the Board vot­ed to approve Dr. Dana Bedden as the next Superintendent of Schools for the Centennial School District.

The Centennial Board of School Directors began the search process for a new Superintendent in April 2020, after receiv­ing the res­ig­na­tion of then Superintendent Dr. David Baugh.  The Board began by con­duct­ing a sur­vey of all com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to deter­mine what District stake­hold­ers were look­ing for in their new super­in­ten­dent. The com­mu­ni­ty respond­ed with their opin­ions, goals, and pri­or­i­ties for the role. Over 800 respons­es were received. 25 can­di­dates applied for the posi­tion, and 14 were select­ed by the Board for ini­tial inter­views. Seven can­di­dates advanced to the sec­ond round, and two to the final round. The final round of inter­views includ­ed not only the Board of School Directors but rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Centennial School Community. They were:

Melissa Rueger – Region I
Tony Sadowski- Region II
Jennifer Taylor — Region III
Heather Stek – CEA (Centennial Education Association)
Dr. Catherine Perkins – Administration Representative
The Support staff rep­re­sen­ta­tive was unable to attend the meeting.

With over 27 years of expe­ri­ence in admin­is­tra­tive and edu­ca­tion­al lead­er­ship, Dr. Bedden has devel­oped a results-oriented rep­u­ta­tion for improv­ing aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance, work­ing with diverse groups, increas­ing community/business engage­ment, imple­ment­ing systems-thinking, and pro­vid­ing a pos­i­tive school and work envi­ron­ment. He has demon­strat­ed effec­tive lead­er­ship skills in but not lim­it­ed to stan­dards and performance-based prac­tices, human resource man­age­ment, fis­cal man­age­ment, and community/business part­ner­ships. Throughout his career, he has focused on improv­ing efforts to serve the whole-student by empow­er­ing staff, improv­ing aca­d­e­m­ic pro­gram offer­ings, equi­ty of access, and sup­port­ing stu­dents’ career and tech­ni­cal edu­ca­tion prepa­ra­tion to help them become col­lege, career, and life ready. For 17 years of his career, he has had the priv­i­lege to serve as a Regional (Area) Superintendent or District Superintendent of Schools in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia serv­ing major­i­ty Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic stu­dent pop­u­la­tions rang­ing from 5500 to 200,000 stu­dents, 750 to 5000 employ­ees, over­see­ing 10 to 58 cam­pus­es, with bud­gets between $72 mil­lion to $500 mil­lion. Dr. Bedden has served on sev­er­al advi­so­ry com­mit­tees and as an adjunct fac­ul­ty mem­ber at sev­er­al insti­tu­tions of high­er edu­ca­tion, teach­ing course(s) in edu­ca­tion­al lead­er­ship relat­ed to school law, prin­ci­pal preparation/certification, super­in­ten­dent preparation/certification, teach­ing, and learning.

He holds a doc­tor­ate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), a mas­ter’s degree in Educational Administration from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), and a bach­e­lor’s degree from the University of Florida. He also com­plet­ed Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Leadership Institute for Superintendents and post-doctoral cours­es in School Business Leadership at Wilkes University.

In 2018, he began his tenure as the Superintendent of Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania where he is lead­ing the school dis­tric­t’s efforts to meet the needs of a chang­ing school dis­trict, fis­cal chal­lenges and sys­tem’s think­ing while also main­tain­ing an aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance that meets or exceeds the cur­rent per­for­mance stan­dards out­lined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Over the past two years, Dr. Bedden has been able to nego­ti­ate a new con­tract with the teach­ers union suc­cess­ful­ly, a new con­tract with the dis­trict bus ser­vice provider, set­tle the unre­solved sta­di­um ren­o­va­tions, lead the dis­trict through a facil­i­ty rightsizing/boundary rezon­ing process, and end the fis­cal year with a bud­get excess, the first in the past few years. The work in Boyertown also includes efforts to intro­duce and imple­ment social-emotional learn­ing and trauma-informed schools. He is a steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber and instruc­tion­al facil­i­ta­tor for AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy.

His edu­ca­tion career also includes ser­vice as a High School Principal, Sub school Principal, Director of Athletics, and mid­dle school teacher. He has exten­sive expe­ri­ence serv­ing on local, state, and nation­al com­mit­tees, boards of com­mu­ni­ty and busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions as well as sev­er­al pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tions.  Dr. Bedden has been a keynote pre­sen­ter, pan­elist, pan­el host, guest colum­nist, radio show par­tic­i­pant, edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant, and advi­sor for sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions across the nation on a vari­ety of edu­ca­tion­al and lead­er­ship top­ics. He has pub­lished, con­tributed, or been fea­tured in sev­er­al pro­fes­sion­al and local pub­li­ca­tions or news­pa­pers such as Phi Delta Kappa, Executive Education, District Administrator, SMARTBUSINESS, Reading Eagle, and Comcast Newsmakers, and others.

Dr. Bedden Statement
Upon being offered the posi­tion of Superintendent, Dr. Bedden, cur­rent Superintendent in the Boyertown School District, stat­ed,  “It is an hon­or to be extend­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly with the Centennial School District (CSD) School Board in estab­lish­ing a clear edu­ca­tion vision that is stu­dent and safe­ty cen­tered. I believe my over twenty-seven years of edu­ca­tion expe­ri­ence, serv­ing in a vari­ety of posi­tions could help me to work with the school board in pro­vid­ing the staff and stu­dents with a focused and aligned teach­ing and learn­ing pro­gram where stu­dents can find suc­cess through aca­d­e­mics, ath­let­ics, and the arts while serv­ing the CSD com­mu­ni­ty. It is also tru­ly encour­ag­ing to have read the res­o­lu­tion released by CSD which pub­licly acknowl­edges a respon­si­bil­i­ty to speak against injus­tice, racial inequity, and to fos­ter an equi­table and inclu­sive envi­ron­ment for every stu­dent, staff mem­ber, par­ent, and com­mu­ni­ty member.”

Statement , Andrew Dixon, CSD Board President
Andrew Dixon, Centennial School Board President stat­ed, “As Board President, I am extreme­ly excit­ed to be able to bring in a super­in­ten­dent of Dr. Bedden’s cal­iber and track record.  Everywhere he has been, he has helped dis­tricts to align instruc­tion for improved edu­ca­tion­al focus and results.  More, he has done so while being a cham­pi­on of striv­ing for equi­ty in edu­ca­tion­al out­comes, which is both an area of strength for our dis­trict and a key con­tin­ued goal in Centennial, giv­en the eco­nom­ic and social diver­si­ty of our com­mu­ni­ties and our stu­dents.  He also has a sig­nif­i­cant track record of dri­ving this work while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly being a respon­si­ble fis­cal man­ag­er of the tax­pay­er’s dol­lars, some­thing that the Board takes seri­ous­ly as our col­lec­tive respon­si­bil­i­ty.  Finally, in this time of extreme cri­sis, I felt it impor­tant to bring in some­one with exec­u­tive expe­ri­ence in chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances, which is a key fea­ture of Dr. Bedden’s résumé.  With Dr. Bedden and his years of expe­ri­ence here to lead, I antic­i­pate being able to face and over­come the sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge pre­sent­ed by COVID to our abil­i­ty to con­tin­ue to deliv­er top-quality instruc­tion, and, once the COVID cri­sis has been met and passed, to con­sol­i­date and advance fur­ther the gains we have made in our dis­trict through a tight focus on core edu­ca­tion­al goals for all students.”