The latest from School Board of Directors….
Dear LMSD Families,
On behalf of the Board of School Directors, I am very pleased to announce our intention to appoint Robert Copeland as the new Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Copeland will join us on July 1 following three years as Superintendent of Schools in the Neshaminy School District and more than ten years as Superintendent of Schools in Piscataway Township (NJ). After a year-long, nationwide search, we believe that Mr. Copeland is the ideal candidate to lead our schools. He is a highly-accomplished, nationally-recognized school leader who brings a wealth of skills and experience that will serve him well in Lower Merion. An official, public announcement of Mr. Copeland’s appointment will come next Monday, May 18 at our Board meeting, but I wanted you to be aware of this important development in advance.
Mr. Copeland has dedicated his career to ensuring educational equity in programming and resources for all students. Under his leadership, Neshaminy introduced full-day kindergarten, expanded middle school reading and communication courses, enhanced Advanced Placement programs and overhauled program evaluation and curricular offerings. In Piscataway, he implemented an ambitious strategic plan designed to improve student performance and close achievement gaps. Additionally, he has a long record of strong fiscal leadership and successful management of school construction projects. He is particularly well-prepared to lead our district during a time of increasing challenges in public education.
During his tenure in Piscataway, Mr. Copeland was named 2007 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year by the Association of School Administrators. He has been a member of the New Jersey School Ethics Commission and served on the Governor’s Transition Policy Group on Public Education. He co-chaired the Governor’s Literacy Task Force and has served on the New Jersey Department of Education’s Achievement Imperative Task Force. He is currently on the Governing Board of the Regional Educational Laboratory, a grant-funded program of the Institute for Educational Sciences.
Prior to serving as a superintendent, Mr. Copeland served in a variety of other administrative capacities, including assistant superintendent in Teaneck (NJ) and Newark (NJ), principal in Lawrence Township (NJ), and as personnel administrator and assistant principal in the Princeton Regional Schools. In Princeton, he taught social studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York and a Master of Arts degree from Rider University. He is ABD at Seton Hall University. He and his wife, Kathleen, currently reside in Trenton with their children Christian and Halle.
Throughout the interview process, Mr. Copeland impressed us with his depth of knowledge, his energy and enthusiasm, his exceptional communication skills and his strong commitment to ensuring the success of all students. He expressed a deep respect and admiration for Lower Merion’s public schools, and cited our talented staff and new strategic plan as key factors that attracted him to the position. We are excited that he accepted our offer and will be bringing his unique skillset to Lower Merion.
As we enter a period of transition, I want to express my deepest appreciation to Dr. Wagner Marseille, who has guided the district over the past school year and will continue as Acting Superintendent until resuming his role as Assistant Superintendent on July 1. Dr. Marseille is a talented and dedicated administrator who continues to serve this community with passion, skill, warmth and grace. We deeply value his ongoing contributions. We are a better school community because of his excellent leadership over the past ten months.
Mr. Copeland will be visiting our schools in the coming weeks to meet directly with staff and students. We will be scheduling several opportunities for parents and community members to meet Mr. Copeland during the summer and will host an official welcome reception in September. We will be sure to send you details in a follow-up email. You are, of course, welcome to attend the Board meeting next Monday in the Board Room at 8 PM, where Mr. Copeland will be officially appointed and introduced to the public.
Thank you for your patience and support and best wishes to you and your family for a successful conclusion to the school year.
Dr. Robin Vann Lynch
President, Lower Merion School District Board of Directors