Prior to the start of the current school year, Springfield School District Superintendent James P. Capolupo announced his decision not to extend his contract after a decade at the helm. At the time he said he had no specific plans or job offers. Last week, that changed.
Dr. Capolupo has been named the Associate Dean of Partnerships and Professional Development for the College of Education at West Chester University. He will begin his new role in August, staying in Springfield to assist in the transition to a new superintendent yet to be named.
“After this wonderful job that I’ve had at Springfield, trying to figure out the next step was a challenge,” said Capolupo. “But it really felt like a natural move to return to the university I attended. It’s a full-circle kind of career; I look forward to being able to help students at all levels wanting to enter the business of education.”
Capolupo was appointed superintendent in 2005-2006, and has been instrumental in developing the district’s focus on literacy, including the 2010 opening of the Springfield Literacy Center and adoption of the district’s current motto: “We Believe Every Student Can Read.” The district has been successful on the twin goals of having 100 percent of fourth grade students reading at grade level and 100 percent of students achieving post-secondary education.
“We are extremely excited to bring Dr. Capolupo aboard,” said Dr. Kenneth D. Witmer, Jr., Dean of the College of Education at West Chester University. “He brings with him so much experience, and understands the whole mission of teacher preparation from the perspective of a distinguished practitioner. The future of teacher preparation requires a close partnership between the Pre-K–12 schools and higher education institutions, which have a mission to provide effective, innovative educators.”
Witmer noted the fast-paced evolution of education due to technology and social change, and the need for teacher training to adjust follow accordingly. He said Capolupo is very well positioned to provide insights and skills to the task.
An Upper Darby native and current Radnor resident with his family, Capolupo’s professional resume has included teacher, band director, principal and instructor at the college/university level. Prior to being Springfield superintendent, Capolupo served as the district’s first Director of Teaching and Learning for five years.
Recent honors have included 2014 Superintendent of the Year by the National Association of School Superintendents, and the 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. During Capolupo’s tenure at Springfield, honors for the district include the national recognition of E.T. Richardson Middle School as a 2014 Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch; nomination of Springfield HS as a top high school by multiple publications, including the Washington Post, Newsweek and Philadelphia Magazine; and a Best Communities for Music Education designation by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants). Capolupo is a frequent presenter and participant in national school leadership conferences, including a White House forum.
“At the end of the day, another superintendency could never be as fulfilling as my time with the Springfield School District,” explains Capolupo. “This opportunity is another way to give back and to continue to work in education. To me, there is no better profession.”