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Allentown School District School Board Approves Key School and District Administrator Appointments

Allentown School District School Board Approves Key School and District Administrator Appointments
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ALLENTOWN, PA —  The Allentown School District Board of Directors has approved the appointment of four new school and District administrators for the 2024-2025 school year.

Arcelius Brickhouse will serve as the District’s next Executive Director of Instructional Leadership. He is a skilled administrator with experience in school leadership and operations management, who most recently served as Chief of Schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools in Louisiana. He has led significant improvements in student achievement, the successful implementation of innovative programs, and collaboration with community members. 

Brickhouse is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree from Virginia Tech University and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Howard University. 

Rhaheem Blanden has been named Director of School Safety & Security. He is an experienced law enforcement professional with extensive experience, most recently serving as a Corporal and Detective in the Chester Police Department. He has also held law enforcement roles in the Yeadon Police Department and Lincoln University’s Police Department. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated strong communication skills, community engagement, and a dedication to improving public safety and quality of life.

Blanden holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cheyney University, along with several law enforcement certifications.

Dr. Emily Kleintop will assume the role of Principal at Ritter Elementary School. She is an accomplished educational leader with extensive experience in special education and instructional leadership. She currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Government Programs at the Diocese of Allentown, where she has focused on curriculum design, professional development, and data-driven decision-making.

Dr. Kleintop holds a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University and a Master’s degree in Education from Wilkes University. 

Connor Hughes has been appointed Principal of Lehigh Parkway Elementary School. He began teaching in the District in 2018, and has previously served as Assistant Principal at Union Terrace Elementary and Dean of Students at Louis E. Dieruff High School. He was selected as one of the Allentown School District’s You are the Light Administrators of the Year for the 2022-2023 school year. Hughes ended the 2023-2024 school year as the Acting Principal at Lehigh Parkway. 

Hughes received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University and a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from King’s College. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these highly skilled and experienced administrators and school leaders to their respective roles in the Allentown School District,” said Dr. Carol D. Birks, Allentown School District’s Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer. “Each brings a wealth of knowledge and a student-centered approach that will ensure we continue to meet the needs of our learners across grade levels. I look forward to seeing the impact each one of these individuals will have on our learning community.”

In other administrative appointments, Juliet Saba will become the new Assistant Principal at Ramos Elementary School, filling the vacancy after the recent retirement of longtime administrator Donna Keeney. Gizell Ayden will join the Hays Elementary School Learning Community as Assistant Principal. 

The Board approved the appointments at a Special Board Meeting, held on Thursday, June 13, 2024.