Gene is running for PPS School Board Director for District 9 because he believes that all our children deserve the best possible education regardless of their zip code or feeder pattern. As your Director, Gene will demand excellence, build partnerships, and hold leadership accountable to bring District 9 the great schools we deserve.

Photo of Gene Walker. Black man with full beard wearing light purple dress shirt smiling at camera.

Gene Walker is endorsed by:

Black Women for a Better Education logo Liv Bennett logoFormer PPS School Board Director Alex Matthews

The Issues

Budget Accountability and Prioritization

The district’s budget is a window to its priorities. PPS must be transparent in ensuring that the priorities presented to the public are represented in their spending. We must be thoughtful and bold in aligning discretionary spending with our promises of excellence and equity.

Uniting Leadership to Achieve Equitable Outcomes

School closures as a result of COVID-19 have widened the educational disparities many have felt for decades. The school board must unite with other regional leaders so our students all have access to the critical tools and technology needed for success. City and County officials, business leaders, foundations, parents, teachers, and administrators must work together to ensure not just equitable access, but equitable outcomes.

Principal Stability and Teacher Diversity

High principal turnover is far too common in many of our schools, especially those with predominantly Black students. This disruption to the work of building a great school community is hard on staff, students, and families. We need to evaluate and change the policies and practices that are perpetuating this trend. In addition, the district must continue to invest in recruiting, training, and retaining excellent and diverse educators. This requires creativity and energy to provide more pathways to professional opportunities in our schools.

District 9

District 9 neighborhoods include parts of Brighton Heights, Perry Hilltop, Perry North, Marshall-Shadeland, Summer Hill, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Crafton Heights, Chartiers City, Westwood, Fairywood, Elliot, Esplen, East Carnegie, Sheraden, and Windgap.

District 9 School include Pittsburgh Chartiers Early Childhood Center, Pittsburgh Classical 6-8, Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Pittsburgh Langley K-8, Pittsburgh Morrow PreK-8, Pittsburgh Perry High School and Pittsburgh Westwood K-5.

Find your district at voteschoolboardfirst.org

Map of Pittsburgh, PA school board districts. District 9 is shown in a dark purple.

About Gene Walker

Walker FamilyGene Walker is a graduate of Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School and received his bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Gene has worked in finance, education, direct support, marketing, and nonprofit management.

Gene returned to Pittsburgh in 2009 to work alongside the team at the Pittsburgh Promise in various capacities. In his role as Program Manager Gene was responsible for the creation of numerous programs including: what is now the district’s We Promise program focusing on African American male mentoring, The Promise college tours, and The Promise ambassador program. In February 2015, Gene became the first Director of Workforce Development at The Promise.

Gene left The Promise in 2018 to launch a new nonprofit, Mission C. The goal of Mission C was to provide financial education and support for families facing eviction. Through partnerships with local property managers, Gene and Mission C set out to help individuals and families avoid eviction through comprehensive financial education. In 2019, Gene left Mission C to begin his work supporting adults with intellectual and physical disabilities with Gene Cook Supports Inc.

In early 2019, Gene became an Accredited Financial Counselor. In this role he provides affordable personal finance management counseling to individuals and families.

Gene, along with his wife Jenny, have two children, a recent graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools and a current senior in the district.