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Education Department Recognizes 51 Administrators for Completing the Superintendent’s Academy

Harrisburg, PA - This week, the Department of Education (PDE) recognized 51 school district and charter school administrators on their completion of Pennsylvania’s Superintendents Academy.

The group marks the second cohort to complete the intensive two-year, first-of-its-kind program, and was comprised of 37 district, 10 charter school, and four intermediate unit administrators, who lead local education agencies (LEAs) across the state. The academy includes rigorous research into the effective policies and practices of the world’s best education systems and aims to help participants transform their own districts based on the insights they gained through research and collaboration.

“Having a highly engaging and interactive professional learning environment for our education leaders, that is continuously informed by them and immediately driving best practice in their district and community is an incredibly powerful lever for improving student achievement across the commonwealth,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “These educators have demonstrated a powerful commitment to growing as innovative educational leaders and to improving their local districts.”

The Superintendent’s Academy, which was launched in May 2016, is part of Rivera’s Poverty and Student Achievement Initiative.

The Department of Education and the National Institute of School Leadership (NISL) partnered to create the innovative learning opportunity, that provided district leaders a chance to engage in collaborative, research-based, executive-level professional development.  

During the Academy’s culminating event this week, the members of the cohort presented their “action learning projects,” in which the administrators used lessons from the Academy coursework and applied them to the real-world challenges faced in their home districts.

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. There are currently a third and fourth cohort enrolled in the Superintendent’s Academy. 

A list of the administrators and their districts or schools follow:

  • Robert Ackell, North Schuylkill School District
  • John Amenda, Young Scholars Charter School
  • Chadwick Antonio, Chester County Family Academy
  • Jessica Aquilina, Forest City Regional School District
  • Dion Betts, Chambersburg Area School District
  • Leticia Biddle, Philadelphia Montessori Charter School
  • Shawn Bird, School District of Philadelphia
  • Kevin Booth, Pittston Area School District
  • Pete Carbone, Aliquippa School District
  • Debora Carrera, School District of Philadelphia
  • John Chandler, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School
  • William Clark, Northeast Bradford School District
  • Rahshene Davis- Bowie, School District of Philadelphia
  • Michelle Dutrow, West Branch Area High School
  • J. Hugh Dwyer, Central Intermediate Unit #10
  • Robin Felty, Manheim Township School District
  • George Fiore, Chester County Intermediate Unit #22
  • Christina Grant, School District of Philadelphia
  • Ronald Grevera, Greater Nanticoke Area School District
  • Leonard Hart, Lincoln Charter School
  • William Hite, Jr., School District of Philadelphia
  • Mark Holtzman, McKeesport Area School District
  • Naomi Johnson Booker, Global Leadership Academy Charter School
  • Joseph Jones III, Neshaminy School District
  • James Konrad, Washington School District
  • Greg Koons, Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29
  • Michael Leichliter, Penn Manor School District
  • Thomas Lesniewski, Punxsutawney Area School District
  • Ian Magness, Freeport Area School District
  • Ron Matchock, Curwensville Area School District
  • Dean Maynard, Northwest Tri-County IU #5
  • Heather McPherson, Tunkhannock Are School District
  • Ella Musser, Cocalico School District
  • Penny Nixon, Universal Education Companies
  • Evelyn Nunez, School District of Philadelphia
  • Gregg Paladina, Philipsburg- Osceola Area School District
  • Edward Poznek, Christopher Columbus Charter School
  • Charles Prijatelj, Altoona Area School District
  • Malika Savoy-Brooks, School District of Philadelphia
  • Michelle Saylor, Bellefonte Area School District
  • Stacey Sidle, Northeastern York School District
  • Ellen Somekawa, Folk Arts- Cultural Treasures Charter School
  • Noah Tennant, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School
  • David Thomas, York County School of Technology
  • Michael Vuckovich, Indiana Area School District
  • Shannon Wagner, Burrell School District
  • James Walsh, Burgettstown Area School District
  • Jill Wenrich, Jersey Shore Area School District
  • Donald Wheeler, Bloomsburg Area School District
  • Timothy Williams, York Suburban School District
  • Tammy Wolicki, Hempfield Area School District

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website. Follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, or Pinterest.

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

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