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Central Bucks’ new superintendent tells community he’s a “unifier”


During an introductory forum Monday, Dr. Steven Yanni told the Central Bucks school community that he has dedicated his career to helping all students succeed and feel they belong.

The district’s new superintendent, who said he’d wanted to be a teacher since he was 5 years old, described himself as a “uniter and a unifier.”

Central Bucks School District has been in the national spotlight on and off since COVID policies divided many and the division continued through more than two years of often-extreme controversies.

Yanni mentioned none of that, but his emphasis on unity, transparency and belonging was relevant.

“We all can agree we want kids to succeed,” he said. “We check our biases, our politics, at the door. Every kid needs to not only understand they belong, but feel they belong.

“There’s a shared humanity in everyone,” Yanni noted.

As he takes on his new role, the 45-year-old administrator responded to a wide range of written questions from the audience.

Asked what his “north star” is as an educator, Yanni said, “at my core, I believe kids should define what success looks like to them.”

While he has had several superintendent and assistant superintendent positions, including his most recent at Lower Merion School District, where he stayed less than a year, Yanni said, “I’m making a longer term commitment to Central Bucks,” where, he said, he’s lived for the past eight years.

During his brief tenure at Lower Merion, Yanni said, he helped begin a full-day kindergarten program without impacting the budget and implemented “healthy start times.” Any change to school start times, he added, “would need really robust conversations.”

Addressing the topic of transparency and communication, Yanni said, “I believe over-communicating, is communicating just enough.” In a previous district, he had a podcast and video programming to share various matters of concern to the school community.

“It’s not just trimming around the edges, I’m really, really transparent,” said Yanni. “I prefer to spend time in the schools. I’ll be immersed in the culture of the district.”

He also noted that he is “not a top-down leader.”

In a statement from the district, officials said, Yanni “has exhibited a deep commitment to cultivating inclusive learning environments where every student can thrive,” as well as promoting partnerships among parents and community members. The new superintendent was recognized, too, with implementing personalized learning, structured literacy and STEM initiatives in other districts where he worked.

Yanni’s most recent salary was $290,000. At Central Bucks, his starting salary will be $275,000.

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