Peter L. Bailey wrote an announcement to share with the community at wide after a board meeting Friday, June 24, 2022:

On Monday, April 4, 2022, the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) shared the news with the Community that I would be stepping down from my position at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. At that time, they announced the formation of a search committee led by Dr. Elizabeth Moore, a member of the Board of Trustees and a PSD alumna and committed to sharing our progress in the search process. 

After last Friday’s announcement from the Board Chair, I am now excited to share that the Board of Trustees have appointed Melissa Draganac-Hawk, PSD’s current Director of Student Affairs and a lifelong educator, to assume the role of Interim Head of School for a two-year term on July 1, 2023. 

This decision follows two months of extensive planning undertaken by PSD’s Head of School search committee, including meetings with three national search firms. Key factors that surfaced included several searches currently underway for Head of School positions at Deaf educational institutions across the country. 

Melissa Draganac-Hawk is a Deaf Latina/x woman with over 20 years of experience in the education field. She has previously held numerous roles at PSD, including serving as Principal of Early Childhood Education, and has also served as an adjunct professor of American Sign Language at the University of Pennsylvania.

I am thrilled about the Board’s decision to appoint Melissa Draganac-Hawk to the Interim Head of School role. Melissa and I have worked together closely since I started here in 2016, and I am confident in her ability to lead the school. We will continue to work together to carry on the school’s mission, and to ensure a smooth transition. As part of a smooth transition, I have appointed her to be the Associate Head of School for this upcoming school year, 2022-2023. In her new role, she will oversee the department of academic affairs, student affairs, diversity, equity & inclusion, and operations. I will continue working with the department of finance, human resources and institutional advancement. 

Melissa is excited to take on these new responsibilities, and to continue upholding PSD’s long tradition of excellence in Deaf education and to build upon the great strides we have made over the past six years, too. 

Please join me and the Board of Trustees in congratulating and welcoming Melissa Draganac-Hawk to her new role.