Home > PUM Women's History Salutes: Tina Chekan -Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools

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PUM Women's History Salutes: Tina Chekan -Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools

“Women’s careers have evolved over the last several decades and increasingly more women have leadership roles. My role as a superintendent involves making tough decisions on a daily basis. My advice to other women is to have confidence in every decision made. It is important to draw deep within a core value system and let those guiding elements lead the way.  A good decision is not always the popular choice, but if the decision is based on what is best for others or the organization, then it is most likely the right one.” Tina Chekan

Dr. Tina Chekan serves as the Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ball State University, a Master of Education in Deaf Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a K-12 Principal Certification from Gannon University.  She recently earned her doctorate in Administration and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh.  She began her career with Propel Schools in 2003 as a kindergarten teacher at the Propel Homestead site.  Since then, she has served as a Literacy Coach, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent. Under her leadership as Principal of Propel McKeesport, she received three Effective Practice Incentive Community Awards from the national organization, New Leaders for New Schools. Prior to her career at Propel, she was a teacher in the Wilkinsburg School District and Behavioral Therapist at Pressley Ridge.

PUM: Celebrating Women's History Month, what does that mean for you in terms of what you have been able to accomplish in your career?

Chekan:  Women’s careers have evolved over the last several decades and increasingly more women have leadership roles. My role as a superintendent involves making tough decisions on a daily basis. My advice to other women is to have confidence in every decision made. It is important to draw deep within a core value system and let those guiding elements lead the way.  A good decision is not always the popular choice, but if the decision is based on what is best for others or the organization, then it is most likely the right one.

PUM One one One with Tina Chekan -Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools

PUM: As the Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools you are committed to promoting and supporting a philosophy of high expectations, accountability, and a quest for excellence for all students, staff and families, how are you able to accomplish this goal? 

Chekan: High expectations and accountability are central elements of supporting quality teaching and learning. I am committed to creating a culture where there is a belief that all students can learn.  I accomplish this through modeling high expectations, defining goals, and empowering all stakeholders to play a major role in giving students the confidence they need to succeed. When the relationship between school, community, and home is infinitely connected, it changes the quality and outcome of the results.

PUM: What is your advice and recommendations to women as they break through the glass ceilings in their careers? How were you able to persevere?

Chekan: My advice to others is to set both long and short term goals and most importantly celebrate small successes along the way. Having confidence in your own abilities and surrounding yourself with others who can add value to reaching those goals is vital. It is important to recognize your strengths and know when you need help. It is impossible to know everything, but surrounding oneself with a strong team of people with varying talents and abilities and having the confidence to succeed cultivates an atmosphere of success.

PUM: Balancing career and home life, what has worked for you on your path to success?

Chekan:  Having a strong support system is essential to achieving a balance between work and personal life. I am very fortunate that my family supports my career as a leader and encourages me to do my best every day. They always tell me that they are proud of me which tremendously helps me stay focused, work hard, and remain passionate about my career. Second, I love what I do which makes the path to success much easier.  I work with incredibly talented people, have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, and get to create new experiences each day.

PUM:  What are you most proud of as a woman who inspires other women every day?

Chekan:  To have a career, family, and feel like I am fulfilling both is one of my greatest achievements. If through all of my actions, I create an opportunity model that inspires other women to undertake a leadership role or do something they are passionate about, then I view that as an extraordinary accomplishment.

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