Super(intendent) Style

New Millcreek superintendent brings pizzazz to district through his fashion and leadership styles

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Contributed Photo

Dr. Ian Roberts makes an appearance on JET-24 discussing the start to the Millcreek Township’s school year.

Abby Idzik

When Dr. Ian Roberts became the superintendent, the Millcreek Township School District had no idea about the amount of style and leadership that was going to come with the new hire. 

Style, which is defined as a manner of something, as well as a distinctive appearance, fits Roberts not only in regards to his obvious fashion sense but also to his unique leadership style that he has brought to the job. 

Roberts has been seen throughout Millcreek sporting an extremely distinguished style, always wearing modern three-piece suits of all different shades and colors, from magenta to blue and patterns in between. Bow ties and matching fabric flowers on his lapels always accompany the suits. 

No matter the place — walking the halls of a school, at a meeting, appearing on a local news segment or running around on a playground with students — Roberts’ style stands out in a crowd. 

And although it might be his fashion sense that first caught the student and teacher’s attention, Roberts’ leadership style has also not gone unnoticed during his first semester as superintendent of Millcreek schools. 

 Roberts is an extremely hardworking and determined person, and brings experience to the district, especially in education, from all over the world. 

He was born and raised in Guyana and went on to later represent his home country as a middle-distance runner at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He has mentioned that what he has learned during his time as an athlete will help him succeed in leading the district. 

“The discipline that I’ve learned from being an Olympic athlete…training six days a week, three times a day for two years straight, that discipline that it instills in me is something that I bring to my professional pursuit,” he said.

Once he reached college, he worked on a summer campus where he discovered his passion for education. He then decided to pursue studies in secondary education. Roberts later earned a Doctoral Degree in Education from Morgan State University. 

 He has been a teacher, principal and superintendent, which demonstrates that he has experience working with students and education in general. He previously worked in school districts such as Washington D.C., South Bronx, New York and Baltimore. 

Recently Roberts has shown his leadership within the Erie Community as Millcreek announced a partnership with Allegheny Health Network in promoting the “Stronger Together” campaign. He has done much to bring the Millcreek Community together, accomplishing this by “his continual focus on students, enhancing instructional quality and the Stronger Together campaign for our entire Millcreek community,” according to Darcie Moseley, assistant superintendent for the Millcreek Township School District. 

Despite the dangers of the virus, Roberts has stayed extra engaging throughout the school district. He always stresses the importance of being face-to-face with the students, stating that it is “something I am uncompromising about,” and that it is how he engages with students, faculty and staff. 

Furthermore, Dr. Roberts approaches education during a pandemic from a different point of view. “While a lot of people are nervous about COVID, it also presents us the opportunity to change an educational system that hasn’t changed in 50 years, and that it would make us be creative and think outside the box to change a system that has to change,” he said.

Moseley added that Robert’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic has been extensive. “He continues to utilize a multi-factorial approach to review data and then uses the data points, along with feedback from our students, teachers, administrators, and community members, to drive his recommendations to the School Board,” she said. 

Roberts further expressed his ideas for Millcreek, displaying that he believes that he is exactly what the Millcreek Township School District needs. “Just based on the mission of the district and as well as the five values of the district, as they are tightly aligned with exactly where I want to be, to prepare students to be well-rounded citizens, to provide them with a world-class education,” he said.