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Wolf Administration Joins Pennsylvania’s First Intermediate Unit to Recognize 50 Years of Dedicated Service in Education

08/17/2021

An innovative and dedicated organization of educators committed to improving the lives of students and families

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega and Deputy Secretary Dr. Sherri Smith recently recognized Pennsylvania’s first-ever Intermediate Unit (IU) for its 50-year anniversary. IU 1 was established in 1971 and is now one of 29 IUs across the commonwealth.

“Education is the cornerstone of our commonwealth and intermediate units are vital providers to over 50,000 Pennsylvania students. Those who accept the challenge of bettering our future through guiding and assisting our younger generations possess a rare caliber of care and commitment,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I hope you reflect with great pride on the work you’ve done, the lives you’ve touched, and all that you’ve achieved. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of the commonwealth.”

Each IU performs several roles that are essential to educational and professional development. The communities they serve determine the services offered. Intermediate Unit employees perform duties that include serving as advisors, advocates, facilitators, financial managers, grant writers, researchers, trainers, and more. They also serve as a liaison between the PA Department of Education and schools within the region of their IU.

“For fifty years, IU 1 has innovated, offering transformative services and programs that prioritize their communities. They have overcome challenges, cultivated connections that created pathways, and broken down barriers. They have changed lives,” said Secretary Dr. Noe Ortega. “I’d like to recognize everyone - past and present - that was a part of making this golden anniversary possible. Thank you for your leadership, thank you for your dedication, and thank you for your service to school communities for 50 years.

An example of IU 1’s innovation that has impacted students across the commonwealth is their Fab Lab project and the inclusion of digital fabrication labs as technical platforms for STEM education, workforce development, and business idea prototyping that has the potential to connect and shape the global community. This platform encourages students to interact with technology, mentor one another, and view the engineering design process.

“Intermediate Unit 1 is honored to have Governor Wolf recognize our fine organization on its Golden Anniversary. Since the inception of the Intermediate Unit System in 1971, Intermediate Units have proven to be an invaluable resource serving as a key liaison between school districts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education,” said Dr. Donald W. Martin, Executive Director of Intermediate Unit 1. “While we celebrate our accomplishments of the past 50 years, we look

forward to continuing this successful partnership, assisting school districts throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for years to come.”

Pennsylvania’s IUs accepted an incredible challenge earlier this year when the Wolf Administration, in partnership with the COVID-19 Task Force, created a special initiative that vaccinated more than 112,500 teachers and staff in the span of three weeks. IU 1 and Pennsylvania’s other intermediate units were instrumental in mobilizing efforts to ensure educators, school staff, and contractors had access to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“As a past IU employee, I understand and appreciate the role that IUs play in leading and supporting education across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s IUs have persevered and continue to present as a valued service agency for education, providing social and emotional wellness services, and connecting to businesses. They are a true community partner and leader,” said Deputy Secretary Dr. Sherri Smith. “IU 1 has taken a leadership role in the Career Readiness project as a statewide co-lead, an English as a Second Language (ESL) certification program, providing after-school 21st Century learning programs, providing mental health outpatient clinics for children and families, and so much more. We thank them and all of our IUs for their service, support, and leadership.”

The Wolf Administration applauds the efforts of IU1 and all Intermediate Units across the commonwealth as they continue to provide essential resources to their communities and welcome students back to classrooms for the upcoming school year.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander - kenalexand@pa.gov

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