Letter to O'Hara Elementary Parents/Guardians

The letter below is being distributed to O'Hara parents/guardians through PowerSchool email.

Dear O’Hara Parents/Guardians:

By now, everyone is aware that Michael Rowe, Ed.D., has stepped down as the O’Hara Elementary School principal. Dr. Rowe will now be serving as an RTII facilitator at Fairview Elementary. We want to thank him for his many years of service to the children of O’Hara Elementary and we wish him all the best as he begins a new venture at Fairview Elementary.

We know that the beginning of a new school year is already a time of transition for parents/guardians and students. This is particularly true as we will be starting the new school year without a permanent principal at O’Hara. Please rest assured that we have a specific plan already in place to replace Dr. Rowe, as well as former assistant principal Aaron Rea. In the meantime, temporarily, we will have on board Sari McNamara, Ed.D., who will serve as the interim O’Hara Elementary School principal. Many of you may be familiar with Dr. McNamara as she spent 10½ years with the Fox Chapel Area School District before retiring as the principal of Fairview Elementary in 2013. Helping Dr. McNamara as an interim assistant principal will be Gary Winkler. Mr. Winkler served 15 years as a teacher at Hartwood and two years as the assistant principal at O’Hara Elementary. He then went on to serve as an elementary principal in both the North Hills and the Riverview school districts before retiring a few years ago. We are very fortunate to have these two principals with their vast experience be willing to serve temporarily at O’Hara. We also consider it to be very important that both of them are quite familiar with our school district.

Additionally, we want parents/guardians to know that the Board of School Directors is slated to approve a permanent replacement for Dr. Rowe at its meeting this coming Monday, August 15. That candidate is expected to officially start working at O’Hara Elementary in November. The district administration is also currently interviewing for the assistant principal’s position and plans to hire a permanent replacement in the near future.

With experienced interim replacements at the helm, we expect a smooth transition to the beginning of the school year for O’Hara students, parents/guardians, and teachers. We appreciate your patience as we search for the most qualified candidates to serve our school community at O’Hara Elementary.


Gene Freeman, Ed.D.