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Welcome Back, Connor: CHS Alumnus Chuck Connor Appointed Interim Principal at Alma Mater

chuck connor (April 20, 2022) - With more than 30 years of leadership experience in public education, Cheltenham alumnus Charles Connor ’66 has been appointed interim principal at his alma mater, effective Monday, May 2, 2022. The CSD Board of School Directors approved Connor’s appointment at Tuesday evening’s legislative board meeting. Connor will serve for the remainder of the school year, following the resignation of Dr. Renato Lajara, who has served as principal since fall 2019.

“I am pleased to be selected for the position of interim principal of Cheltenham High School,” Connor said. “In my public education career, I have served as an interim administrator on many occasions and in a variety of unique situations, but this assignment is an extremely special one for me. I am excited about returning to my roots. I look forward to utilizing the power of relationships to affect growth, and connect students with their peers and their teachers to foster a vibrant and caring community.”

The bulk of Connor’s administrative experience came in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). From 1996 through 2011, Connor was principal of Stephen Decatur, a K - 8 school in Northeast Philadelphia. From 1992 through 1996, Connor served as principal of Chester A. Arthur, a pre-K - 4 school in the Graduate Hospital section of the city. Under his leadership, Arthur earned one of 16 Exemplary Chapter I School Awards in the nation from the United States Department of Education.

“With Mr. Connor, I feel we are getting a resourceful and forward-thinking educational professional who can guide the high school through the remainder of the year,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian W. Scriven. “While Mr. Connor’s time with us will be short, I know his impact will be profound.” 

Connor has held numerous interim positions in the ensuing years, including interim assistant superintendent for SDP (2013-14), interim head of school for Sagemont School in Weston, Florida (2016-17), interim executive director of facilities for SDP (2018-19), and interim regional superintendent for SPD (2020-21).  

Connor, who has his Pennsylvania Superintendent Certification and National Principals Mentoring Certification, earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Penn State Harrisburg in 1970 and a Master of Science in education from Temple University in 1975.