Photo Courtesy of the Reading School District. Photo is from the 2018-19 school year.

Dr. Khalid Mumin, Superintendent of the Reading School District, has been selected as the 2021 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA).

According to PASA, the goal of the prestigious awards program, which is part of the National Superintendent of the Year program, is to further inspire exemplary educational leadership and promote a sense of confidence and pride in the nation’s public schools.

Superintendent of the Year nominees are evaluated on how each candidate demonstrates leadership for learning, communication skills, professionalism and community involvement.

In 2014, when Dr. Mumin began his tenure as superintendent, he was confronted with 19 buildings of failing infrastructures, eight bargaining units without contracts for five years, and a district having little to no transparency with either staff or constituents.

“Dr. Mumin demonstrated visionary leadership right from the start to get the district back on a positive track and focused on academic growth and support. He put together a team of professionals that focused on consistency by creating and implementing a plan for the 13 elementary schools in the district to have the same lesson plans across the board.” reads a statement from PASA.

For high school students, he led the creation and implementation of the Reading Virtual Academy (RVA) and Reading Red Knight Accelerated Academies (RKAA), blended learning programs designed to reengage dropouts and non-traditional students in the public education system, thus leading to graduation.

In addition, Dr. Mumin led the creation of the Reading School District Welcome Center to engage and empower the families of an increasing population of English Language Learners through orientations for new families, parent engagement activities, adult education programs, and a wide variety of social services provided by the district’s community partners.

With the COVID pandemic, Dr. Mumin and his team focused on addressing the technology and internet connectivity gaps within the districts, making Reading a “one student one technology” device district for all students in grades K-12.

In addition, he led the effort to ensure that most of the district’s schools have extended open wireless connections for students to access the internet while maintaining social distancing, and developed a district partnership with Comcast to provide internet service in the homes of up to 10,000 students for the 2020-21 school year at no cost to parents.

Mumin also strengthened the district’s social media to further inform students, parents and the community. That work has led to numerous awards for the district from the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association.

In addition, Dr. Mumin and his team strengthened the district’s website and utilizes videos to further provide information to the entire community. The 2020 open day video, “Kid Superintendent Video,” became a national sensation.

The Reading School Board describes Dr. Mumin as someone who is “cool under pressure, adapts to changes, is trustworthy, respectful, weighs his words carefully, is a great listener, and is a role model for educators, parents, students and the community at large.”

According to the board, “he is a visionary, committed and dedicated to making the Reading School District the best it can be.”

Dr. Mumin will be formally recognized next month during a virtual meeting of the PASA Board of Governors and will be feted at an event in his honor in 2021. As the Pennsylvania honoree, he and 49 other state honorees will be recognized in February during the virtual AASA National Conference on Education.

This article is also available in: Español (Spanish)