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Department of Education Enrolls 33 Superintendents in Innovative Academy


‚ÄčHarrisburg, PA (November 8, 2018) – Thirty-three superintendents and charter school leaders from across the Commonwealth today began the Department of Education’s (PDE) third Superintendent’s Academy, a two-year professional development program.


The program is geared toward district leaders serving in high poverty areas, urban and rural, and is a central component of Governor Tom Wolf’s vision of equity and Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera’s Poverty and Student Achievement Initiative.


“Poverty creates conditions for learning that all school leaders must be cognizant of,” said Secretary Rivera. “In additional to ensuring students receive quality instruction, they often must respond to ancillary needs like access to food and nutrition programs, mental health resources and other support services.”


“The Superintendent’s Academy offers an intensive professional development opportunity focused on improving achievement of all students regardless of need, demographics and socioeconomic standing, while also establishing a professional learning community for exchanging best practices and ideas.”


Superintendents from around the state signed up to participate in the Academy. The National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) is partnering with PDE to offer the program.  The content is based on twin pillars: the National Center on Education and the Economy’s (NCEE) 9 Building Blocks for a World Class Education System, and NISL’s Dimensions of Leadership.


The Academy’s preliminary residential forum starts today and is designed to introduce the big ideas that will be explored throughout the program. Over the next two years, superintendents and charter school leaders will continue to meet in regional cohort sessions and through online learning communities. The program will have two two-day colloquiums in Harrisburg for all participants. The program will conclude in April 2020.


After completion of the program, participating superintendents will be awarded Act 45 Pennsylvania Inspired Leaders (PIL) Program hours. PIL is the statewide, standards-based continuing professional education program for school and system leaders.


The first cohort, comprised of 73 superintendents and charter school directors, completed the Academy in May. The second cohort will complete the program in October 2019.


While Pennsylvania was the first to introduce the groundbreaking, executive level Superintendent’s Academy, other states have begun to offer similar programs, including Kentucky and Mississippi.


The school leaders enrolled in the third cohort include:


Dr. Arthur W. C. Abrom - Lebanon School District   

Dr. Peter Aiken - Manheim Central School District   

Dr. Alfonso Angelucci - Slippery Rock Area School District 

Ms. Marita Barber - Collegium Charter School         

Dr. Stephen Butz - Southeast Delco School District 

Dr. Maria Edelberg - Delaware County Intermediate Unit    

Mrs. Sandra Figueroa Torres - Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School

Dr. Jeffrey A. Finch - Grove City Area School District          

Mr. Otis Hackney - City of Philadelphia - Mayor's Office     

Dr. Michelle D. Hall - Central Fulton School District 

Dr. Mark Hoffman - Bucks County Intermedia Unit   

Dr. Robert Hollister - Eastern Lancaster County School District      

Mr. Lawrence Jones - Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School    

Dr. Levent Kaya - Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School   

Dr. J. Michael Lausch - Donegal School District       

Dr. Michael Loughead - Hampton Township School District

Mr. Robert Lysek - Executive Education Academy Charter School

Dr. Robert J. O’Donnell - State College Area School District           

Mr. Thomas Parker – Allentown School District

Dr. Jason Perrin - Gettysburg Area School District  

Dr. Robert E. Phillips - Exeter Township School District      

Dr. Gennaro Piraino -Franklin Regional School District       

Dr. Eric Rosendale – Beaver Valley Intermedia Unit

Dr. Wesley Shipley - Mars Area School District        

Mr. Matthew Splain - Otto-Eldred School District     

Dr. Todd Stoltz - West Shore School District

Mr. Thomas Strickler - Columbia Borough School District   

Dr. Matthew Strine - South Middleton School District           

Dr. Kendra Trail - Greencastle-Antrim School District          

Dr. Brian Troop - Ephrata Area School District

Mrs. Tara Will - Southern Fulton School District

Dr. Tamara Willis - Susquehanna Township School District            

Dr. Steven Yanni - Upper Dublin School District


MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis, 717-783-9802 or