North Allegheny assistant gets top spot at Pine-Richland

Deborah Deasy
| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Majoring in exercise science proved to be a nimble career move for Penn State University graduate Brian Miller.

“I always knew I wanted to become a teacher,” said the former gym instructor recently named superintendent of Pine-Richland School District.

“I'm excited,” said Miller, 40, a father of two and the husband of North Allegheny Senior High School volleyball coach Heidi Miller. The couple and their daughters — Paige, 9, and Abby, 11 — drew hearty applause after the Pine-Richland School Board voted April 8 to hire Miller — for $153,500 per year — as the school district's new top administrator.

“My approach is to lead by example. I work hard to be a role model,” said 6-foot-1 Miller, who played volleyball for Penn State University and still rises before dawn to work out in his home gym.

Miller has a master's degree in educational leadership from Carlow University and a doctorate in education from Duquesne University, both in Pittsburgh.

Miller distinguished himself among other applicants for the superintendent's job “for his frank communication style, his ability to articulate his methods and goals, and his record of commitment to quality in education,” said Peter Lyons, president of the Pine-Richland School Board.

“We sought out candidates, locally and nationally,” Lyons said.

Miller is replacing Mary Bucci, 64, of Cranberry, former superintendent of the Pine-Richland School District.

Bucci resigned in January after school directors voted 5-3, with one abstention, to seek her possible replacement. Bucci's contract was set to expire June 30.

Miller is slated to take over Bucci's former job July 1.

Miller currently is assistant superintendent of K-12 education for the North Allegheny School District. His current salary is $127,628.

Miller is the son of Robert and Margaret Miller of McCandless and the brother of Julie Miller of Centre County, a State College School District employee and former director of volleyball operations for Penn State University.

Brian Miller also is a 1991 graduate of North Allegheny, where he played basketball and captained the school's volleyball team.

Miller's father — Robert Miller — also is a former North Allegheny health and physical education teacher. Robert Miller coached the school district's volleyball teams for 35 years and now enjoys a slot in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“Education and coaching was the way our home operated and I enjoyed that very much,” said Brian Miller, a one-time Pittsburgh Press paper carrier who also cut grass to earn money as a youth.

“We are proud of his work and abilities,” said Maureen Grosheider, president of North Allegheny School Board. “We offer him our warmest congratulations!”

Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri of the North Allegheny School District also praised Miller.

“He is widely respected as a caring and capable leader with a broad range of experience,” Gualtieri said. “He will be greatly missed at North Allegheny. However, we wish him the very best as he takes this next step in his professional career.”

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or

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