Dr. Jim Scanlon has proudly served as superintendent of the West Chester Area School District since 2009. He is passionate about the importance of public education in our society and honored to lead this school system. Under his leadership, the district has seen increases in test scores, as well as more students applying to and being accepted to colleges. The district continues to focus more intently on a “whole child” approach, with the recognition that each student is an individual who may learn in a unique way. Scanlon has focused on strong communication and community involvement and credits the district’s success to its dedicated and caring staff, as well as its supportive community.
West Chester is one of the highest performing school districts in the state, yet thanks to strong fiscal management, its tax rates are among the lowest in Chester County. With schools consistently ranked in the top 10% in the state and country, Scanlon has worked diligently to market West Chester as an educational best buy. The District is truly a great place to live and attend school.
Over the last few years, the District has added programs such as full-day kindergarten with a play-based curriculum, blended learning classes at the high school, a 1:1 technology program for middle school and high school students, and a partnership with West Chester University to offer college credit for students as part of a dual enrollment program.
Dr. Scanlon has worked to find ways that the district can have a positive impact on its families. In 2010, the West Chester Area Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was launched and now raises more than $100,000 in donations from businesses to help fund innovative projects that connect classroom curriculum to real-world experiences. The district’s Preschool Parents Group was also formed in 2010 to help the District connect with its future students. In 2019, more than 2,000 parents were signed up with this group that provides free educational programming in an innovative approach to expanding the reach of the District.
Dr. Scanlon has also focused efforts on developing the district’s equity teams to help close the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Training has been a priority in this area to help each staff member better understand cultural differences. The school district has become a leader in the region with this work.
Dr. Scanlon earned a Masters Degree and Educational Doctorate with Distinction from Temple University in Philadelphia. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He came to West Chester from the Brandywine School District in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was the Superintendent for three years. Prior to that, Dr. Scanlon served as Superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District, in Quakertown, PA, for seven years. He has also served as an elementary principal, district curriculum director, and assistant superintendent for secondary schools. He taught for eight years in elementary and middle school in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
He lives with his wife, Beth, and their two sons who attend school in the District. He believes his experience as a parent gives him a valuable perspective in his role as superintendent.
To contact Jim Scanlon, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 484-266-1018.