Catalyst Academy Charter School is a proposed college-preparatory K-8 public charter school in Pittsburgh, intending to serve families in the Hill District, Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Homewood, and East Hills communities as well as families from across Pittsburgh that are looking for a great school. 

We are planning to open as a K-1 school, likely in the fall of 2019, and growing a grade each year to eventually serve kindergarten through 8th grade. As a proposed public charter school, Catalyst Academy will be a free, open-enrollment school for any student in the city of Pittsburgh. Catalyst Academy Charter School will operate with an extended school day and have an extended school year calendar. 

Brian Smith is the Founder & CEO of Catalyst Academy Charter School.  As CEO, his responsibilities will include leading the charter approval process, financial and operational management, school marketing and enrollment, community partnerships, and development. Brian was formerly the Executive Director of Strategic Priorities at the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), where he led the district’s strategic planning process, and the development of key priorities within the plan. Prior to his work at PPS, Brian’s career included a variety of roles in technology, corporate strategy, and online media. A native of Pittsburgh, Brian has a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Catalyst Academy will be conducting a national search for Catalyst Academy Charter School’s Founding Principal in early 2018. The Founding Principal will oversee all aspects of the school's academic programming.



Create a world-class K-8 school where all children are prepared for college, career, and life.


Belong. Grow. Achieve.

Belong- All members of the Catalyst Academy Charter School community- scholars, families, teachers, and staff- will be embraced, respected, and supported. 

Grow- Every Catalyst Academy scholar, teacher, and staff member is committed to growing every day in alignment with our mission.

Achieve – A great education should be a catalyst for each scholar to define and achieve their dreams. 



Our educational philosophy is that a child’s education should seek mastery along three dimensions. 


All scholars will be prepared to attend and graduate from a four-year college or university.  Catalyst scholars will be prepared by achieving mastery of a broad, rigorous college-preparatory curriculum that both prepares and inspires.


All scholars need to be equipped with the skills to thrive in the 21st century economy, including communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.


A great education cultivates confident, compassionate scholars ready to achieve their dreams.


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