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Hampton's new superintendent hopes to enhance 'high performing district'

| Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 1:42 p.m.

Hampton Township School District's new superintendent, Michael Loughead, hails from a line of teachers.

“I've always wanted to be an educator,” he said. “My mother was an educator. My grandmother was an educator.”

Loughead's daughter Emily, 24, also plies the family trade as a Teach for America teacher on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Loughead, 57, of Oakmont, will start his new $155,000-per-year job on July 1, and succeed John Hoover, 63, current superintendent of Hampton Township School District, who plans to retire on June 30.

“To be following you is a real challenge, but a real honor,” Loughead told Hoover after the school board unanimously voted April 25 to appoint Loughead as the district's new top administrator through June 2021.

Loughead, whose name is pronounced “law-head,” currently is assistant superintendent of South Fayette School District.

About 35 people applied to replace Hoover, said Tom Templeton of Templeton Advantage, the Harrisburg area firm hired by Hampton Township School District to help find Hoover's successor.

“Michael went through a rigorous process and quickly rose to the top,” said Hampton School Board President Bryant Wesley II.

“It has been a long process. It has been a lot of work,” Wesley said about the task of finding a new superintendent.

Loughead received a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education from Bucknell University before he got a doctorate in school leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.

Loughead was assistant superintendent of Burrell School District before he became assistant superintendent of South Fayette School District.

He also is former director of pupil services for Pine-Richland School District and previously worked as a school psychologist for Seneca Valley and Moniteau school districts, both in Butler County, and Mineral County Schools in West Virginia.

Loughead's wife, Mimi, of O'Hara, is the coordinator of early childhood education programs at the DePaul School for Hearing & Speech in Shadyside.

The couple met as undergraduates at Bucknell University. They have three children: Reid, 27, a forester in Lewisburg, Union County; Emily, 24, an elementary teacher for Todd County School District in Mission, S.D.; and Helen, 22, a graduating senior at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The new superintendent is the son of Margaret Loughead of Sarasota, Fla., and the late Jack Loughead.

“She's in her mid-80s and she still tutors students in some impoverished schools in Sarasota,” Michael Loughead said about his long-retired mom. “She still actively works with young kids and has a passion for reading, so she goes into classes and reads to them and helps them with literacy skills.”

As the new superintendent of Hampton Township School District, Loughead said he looks forward to advancing the district's mission to nurture creative, innovative problem solvers.

“I really want to make a smooth transition,” he said. “I want to come in and see what they are doing now, and see what I can add to that.

“It's known to be a premier (school) district and a premier community,” Loughead said of the district, with more than 2,900 students. “Much like South Fayette (School District), it's a high performing district. That's certainly something that attracted me.”

Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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