Dr. O’Donnell's desire to become an educator began during his graduate school experience as an applied mathematics student at Drexel University. He then went on to earn his Pennsylvania teaching certification prior to becoming a high school mathematics and computer science teacher in Lititz, PA. He held building- and district-level administrative positions in Lancaster, PA (Manheim Township and Hempfield School Districts). During his tenure as assistant superintendent, Dr. O’Donnell distinguished himself by leading a collaborative seven-year professional development initiative relating to differentiating instruction.Robert J. O’Donnell began his tenure as superintendent of the State College Area School District (SCASD) on July 28, 2011. Since arriving at State College, Dr. O’Donnell has worked closely with the SCASD Board of Directors, administration, faculty, staff, and our community to develop a strategic focus for the district to support the development of all students with the skills and knowledge they will need in college and the work place. The foundation for this work includes the district’s new Strategic Planning Framework. For students to learn at high levels, instruction must meet their needs.

Dr. O’Donnell is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University and earned his Master’s and doctorate degrees in educational leadership from Lehigh University’s Graduate School of Education. He enjoys reading books and articles, and he frequently shares these via his Twitter account: @ODonnell_Bob. He and his wife, Lori, live in State College with their three children.