State and National Education Leaders To Convene in Pittsburgh

(Harrisburg, PA)—More than 250 elementary and secondary school principals will convene in Pittsburgh for the ninth annual joint conference of the Pennsylvania Associations of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) to be held October 28-30, 2001, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

Distinguished attendees include Richard Barbacane of Lancaster, immediate past president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals; Dr. John Thompson, superintendent of Pittsburgh Schools; and Alex Matthews, president of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education.

Dr. Thomas P. Carey, deputy director of elementary and secondary education for the Pennsylvania Department 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. Dr. Carey has served the education field as a classroom teacher, a school board member and a school administrator.

In addition to the more than 80 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. Kevin Elko, a motivational speaker who has been an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and author of the book, “Nerves of Steel,” will present “Nerves of Steel: How to Focus When the Heat is On” on Sunday, October 28. He has also consulted with and presented to a number of companies including Solomon Smith Barney, the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department, the Dallas Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints.

Jim Grant, an internationally renowned educator and popular author, will give the keynote address, “Overcoming the Obstacles to Achieving High Standards,” on Monday, October 29. He is the founder and executive director of the Society for Developmental Education, one of the nation’s leading providers of professional development training for elementary educators. He is also the founder of the National Alliance of Multiage Educators.

Former Neshaminy School District staff member, Bernard Hoffman, will speak Monday, October 29 on “How to Make Your School Safe, Successful and Liability Free.” In his almost 40 years at Neshaminy, he served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, supervisor of curriculum and instruction, deputy superintendent and superintendent, to name a few. He is a consultant to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

For further information or to schedule an interview or photo opportunity, please contact
Sheri L. Thompson, PA Principals Association Director of Communications at (717) 732-4999 or e-mail

PA Principals Association’s mission is to: Assist members in fulfilling their role as instructional leaders and effective managers who promote the best educational program for all students; give members an effective voice in the educational decision-making process at the local, state and national levels; and improve members’ working conditions so that their rights are protected, their job descriptions are reasonable, the importance of their instructional leadership role is recognized and their salaries and fringe benefits are equitable.