Former Fifth Ave High School principal honored by govenor


Helen S. Faison is one of six black Pennsylvanians to be honored today by Gov. Ed Rendell and first lady Marjorie O. Rendell, a federal appeals judge, during a luncheon at the Governor’s Residence.

“These are all individuals whose life’s work inspires people to serve a cause greater than their own self-interest,” Rendell said in a statement.

Helen Faison was a trailblazer during her 48 years in education. In 1960, she was named the first black counselor in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and became the first female principal when she took over at Fifth Avenue High School, on Herron Hill, in 1968.

She was named assistant superintendent in 1970 and became the first female deputy superintendent in 1983. She served as interim superintendent for about a year from 1999-2000 and became the founding director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute in 1999.

Read the article in today’s Tribune-Review.