Dr. Michael Mahon becomes new superintendent

Kishore Annambhotla , Entertainment and Our World Editor

Dr. Michael Mahon is no stranger to schools. He has worked as a teacher, superintendent, and everything in between since 1990. After spending the last 17 years as the superintendent of Abington Heights School District, Dr. Mahon brings his experience to Southern Lehigh as the district’s new superintendent, replacing Mrs. Kathleen Evison who resigned last summer.

Dr. Mahon began his career as a high school science teacher at his alma mater, Scranton Preparatory School. He later served in various districts as an assistant principal and principal before taking on his first role as a superintendent at Wyalusing Area School District. 

However, Dr. Mahon may not have traveled the path of an educator without a chance reunion during his college years.

“When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was a business and HR major [at Scranton University],” Dr. Mahon said. “I remember going back to my high school, and my football coach asked if I wanted to coach the team. I agreed, and found out I really enjoyed coaching students. I decided, ‘maybe I’ll become a teacher.’”

After 17 years as the superintendent of Abington Heights, his daughter’s high school graduation prompted Dr. Mahon to seek a new district to serve. Southern Lehigh’s committed teaching staff drew him to the district.

“Our teaching staff is an incredible asset. They are dedicated, talented, and devoted,” Mahon said. “I say that having seen staff in many different places.”

Having worked in five different districts over 32 years, Dr. Mahon has plenty of ideas on how to improve Southern Lehigh. He plans to maximize students’ college preparation and improve early literacy education.

“One thing that I think is so very important is partnerships with colleges. I would love to see high school students walking out of here with 30, 45 college credits,” Dr. Mahon said. “We [also] want to have the best K-3 literary arts program in Pennsylvania. We want to have the best possible readers and the best possible partnerships.”

However, Dr. Mahon knows that his voice is not the only one in Southern Lehigh. For that reason, he is also actively seeking student input and involvement regarding district-wide improvements.

“To the extent that you can, engage in the life of your school and make your school better, because it will be because of that positive engagement,” Dr. Mahon said. “I am most effective when we are listening to what our students are telling us.”

As a superintendent, one spends much of their time separated from schools and cut off from the classroom setting. Despite the prestige of his role, Dr. Mahon still misses teaching and connecting with students.

“When you’re teaching, you are doing the most inspiring and most important work by far,” Dr. Mahon said. “Right now, even though my work is in education, I am far separated from being a teacher and far less important than a teacher.”

Outside of his work, Dr. Mahon enjoys running and spending time with his family. He also has a nine-month-old bernedoodle named Finn. Although it’s no longer a main interest of his, Dr. Mahon also used to closely follow sports.

“I used to be big into sports. I coached baseball in college, but then I got married, and my wife has no interest in sports,” Dr. Mahon said. “I like the Phillies, Eagles and Steelers, and root for Notre Dame, but don’t really do sports as much as I used to.”