Cissy Bowman, Academy Avenue, is retiring this year after serving as the Mt. Lebanon School District’s director of communications since 2000. She is pictured with her grandson, Hank McElhone, a Hoover Elementary School student.
You have worked for the district during a time when communications have changed dramatically. Which changes have happened for the better?
Technology has completely reshaped school communications for the better. We have so many options now. In the past, press releases were sent via fax, there was no phone alert system, our website was homegrown and very limited and parent notifications either had to be mailed or sent home in backpacks.
The Mt. Lebanon School District is highly rated and often cited as a reason why people move here. It’s a safe district, too. What unique pressures come along with that package?
Our community has very high expectations of our school district, as well they should. Having raised our family in this community and living here for almost 40 years, my expectations were high even before I began working for the district, so I understand the community perspective. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated teachers and administrators. I know my children’s successes are due in large part to the excellent education they received here. We now have our second generation in Mt. Lebanon schools and I couldn’t be happier.
What part of your job has been the most fun?
Without a doubt, the most fun has been being in our schools. Every school has its own personality so it was fun to get to know how they differ over the years. Nothing beats the first day of school in Mt. Lebanon. You can find a parade of excited parents with kids and strollers in every neighborhood in town making their way to school that morning. I also loved working with such wonderful colleagues and Dr. Steinhauer. I am involved with communication directors across the state, so I know how lucky we are to have such a great team.