State and National Education Leaders To Convene in Pittsburgh

(Harrisburg, PA)—More than 250 elementary, middle level and secondary school principals, assistant principals, supervisors and other education leaders will convene in Pittsburgh for the 14th annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) to be held October 29-31, 2006, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

Research indicates that the school principal is the most influential individual in any school. His or her leadership sets the tone for the school, the climate for teaching and the professionalism and morale of the teachers. But most of all, the principal is the leader in providing a safe, vital learning environment for our children [students]. It is the children [students] who we give our time, our energy and most of all our hearts. It is the children [students] that inspire us to be leaders. It is fitting that our conference theme is “Leadership – At the Heart of Education.” Leadership is our gift to the children [students],” explained Marshall J. Wagner, the 2006 conference chairperson and a recently retired principal from the Hollidaysburg Area School.

Jim Buckheit, executive director of the State Board of Education, has been selected to receive the PA Principals Association’s prestigious Educational Excellence Award. The honor is given annually to a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who has made significant contributions to the attainment of education excellence in the state’s elementary and secondary schools. Mr. Buckheit has demonstrated a sincere commitment to the quality of public education in the Commonwealth.The award will be presented to Mr. Buckheit during PA Principals Association’s annual banquet (6:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2006).

In addition to the 77 vendors exhibiting their wares for schools and classrooms, a multitude of professional and informational breakout sessions and keynote addresses will be presented to attendees during the three-day conference. Dr. Ruby K. Payne has been involved with education since 1972 as a teacher, principal, consultant and administrator. She is also the founder and president of aha! Process, Inc. She will present “Helping Students in Poverty Succeed” at the First General Session on Sunday, October 29, 2006.

Dr. Lorraine Monroe is the founder, president and chief executive officer of the Lorraine Monroe Leadership Institute (LMLI) in New York City. She will speak on “Maintaining Our Humanity in Stressful Times” at the Second General Session on Monday, October 30, 2006.

Also, on Monday, Robert L. McTiernan, Esq., a shareholder with the law firm of Tucker/Arensburg, Pittsburgh, and an attorney in the PA Principals Association regional network, will present the Third General Session, “The Constitution Goes to School: How the Bill of Rights Affects Your Job.”

As the final general session speaker on Tuesday, October 31, 2006, Dr. Kevin Elko, counselor, educator and author, will present the seven steps of “Nerves of Steel” at the Fourth General Session. He published the book, “Nerves of Steel,” a powerful life-management program.

Other distinguished speakers and guests include the Mark Roosevelt, superintendent of the Pittsburgh School District; Sen. Jane Clare Orie (R) of the 40th Senatorial District serving portions of northern Allegheny County and central and southern Butler County; the president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Joseph A. Militello, principal of Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, R.I.; and president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Alan E. Michelson, principal of Cordill-Mason Elementary School.

For further information or to schedule an interview or photo, please contact Sheri Thompson, PA Principals Association director of communications at (717) 732-4999 (office), (717) 395-6814 (cell) or e-mail:

PA Principals Association’s Mission: The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals is dedicated to assuring that every Pennsylvania child receives the very best education possible. In carrying out this mission, the association recognizes that the early elementary years are most crucial to successful lifelong learning, that appropriate middle level programs are essential for successful adolescent maturation and development and that strong high school programs are critical for preparing youth for successful entry and transition into adulthood.

PA Principals Association recognizes an obligation to make continuing contributions toward strengthening the principalship and the profession. The association is committed to providing critical professional growth opportunities through training programs, opportunities for constructive professional mentoring and relationships, publications, conferences and professional meetings and activities aimed at helping aspiring principals in reaching their goals and practicing principals to hone their skills.