Allegheny Graduate Supports Students as Deer Lakes School District Superintendent
As a young child, Janell Logue-Belden ’90 knew she wanted to become an educator. She credits Allegheny College with nurturing her curiosity as a lifelong learner and providing a foundation to comprehend a variety of subjects.
“I liked the fact that you didn’t just study your major,” says Logue-Belden, superintendent of Deer Lakes School District in suburban Pittsburgh. “You’re forced to take classes that are out of your comfort zone, and that is especially helpful to grow as a person.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in French, Logue-Belden completed her master’s in education at Allegheny and began teaching in Erie.
She would later move to Pittsburgh to teach and earn a second master’s degree in school administration along with principal certification from Duquesne University.
“I enjoyed having the ability to place an imprint on students and help them in my classroom, but that’s only a small part of the school,” Logue-Belden says. “The reason I wanted to be a principal and now superintendent was to have a greater effect on the students.”
As she rose to become an assistant principal and principal, Logue-Belden pursued an interdisciplinary doctorate in educational leadership and superintendent certification at Duquesne. She notes that her Allegheny Senior Comp helped to prepare her for advanced studies.
“The comp was just amazing,” Logue-Belden says. If you were going to go onto a graduate degree, your master’s thesis was cake because you would have already done a similar project in your undergraduate program with the comp.”
As superintendent, Logue-Belden has overseen all operations for nearly 2,000 students at Deer Lakes School District for eight years, including instruction, professional development, a board of directors, and a $40 million budget.
Logue-Belden is always on the clock, but she says her work in education is very fulfilling. She particularly enjoys when students return to visit after graduating to share career updates and personal accomplishments with her.
And Logue-Belden, who also met her husband, Keith Belden ’90, at Allegheny, reflects fondly on the role that the College played in shaping her own path.
“We were always told at Allegheny that you can do this,” Logue-Belden says. “You’re going to be someone important in the world and we’re going to help you be that person. I can’t say enough about Allegheny. It changed my life.”