Meet Pam Harbin
Pam Harbin is the mother of two children in Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and has been active with the district for the past twelve years, working for the schools all our children deserve. She is a qualified, proven leader with experience in school policy at the local, state, and national level. Pam is the Co-Founder of the Education Rights Network, a parent-led organization working for fully resourced, inclusive and quality education for students in Pennsylvania. She is also a member and past Co-Chair of the Pittsburgh Local Task Force on the Right to Education (LTF), a parent-led organization that works with administrators of PPS and community agencies to improve services for students with disabilities.
Pam is the immediate past president and serves on the board of directors for Evolve Coaching (formerly Arts for Autism Foundation of Pittsburgh), supporting individuals with disabilities and their communities through education, employment, and the arts. Pam’s children currently attend Sci-Tech and Allderdice; before that they both attended Liberty and one of them attended Sterrett. As a PPS volunteer since 2007 Pam has served on district-wide advisory committees, including the Community Schools Steering Committee, Envisioning Educational Excellence Advisory Committee, Parental Involvement Policy Committee, Excellence for All Steering Committee, and the Special Education Delivery Model Advisory Committee. Pam has also been an unofficial school board watchdog, streaming and/or attending more than 2000 hours of school board meetings in the last 12 years. Pam is also a past member of the board of trustees at Rodef Shalom Congregation where she chaired the Family Center Committee overseeing preschool and family programming.
Pam holds a BS in Finance and Marketing from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.
As co-founder of the Education Rights Network, Pam led a successful campaign for “Solutions, Not Suspensions,” because kids can’t learn if they aren’t in school. This campaign helped PPS change discipline policies and practices, which disproportionately push Black students and students with disabilities out of school and into the “School-to-Prison Pipeline.” The work led to a new district policy banning the use of out-of-school suspensions in PreK-2nd grade for minor nonviolent misconduct.
As a parent member of the Great Public Schools coalition, Pam helped bring the Community Schools model to Pittsburgh, where the district has implemented it in five schools and will be adding three more this year.
Pam has been working at the local, state, and federal level on education policy for more than twelve years. She is ready to do the job required of school board directors on day one.
With her background in finance and project management and procurement experience for the aerospace industry, Pam is well versed in efficient, effective budgeting. She has particular expertise in school finance and the district budget.
Pam served on the district-wide Parental Involvement Policy Committee, helping to increase access for family engagement, promoting accountability and transparency in school policy.
Pam has worked closely with the Board of Education, Pennsylvania legislators, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and national education leaders.
Pam has years of experience building coalitions locally to work with the community to identify problems, co-construct solutions, and develop winning plans of action for change.
To encourage broad engagement and collaboration across diverse viewpoints on the last Superintendent search, Pam started the #OurSchoolsOurSuperintendent Facebook group that grew to nearly 750 community members.