Press Releases

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:03 AM

Does your school need a boost to increase participation in breakfast? Do you need funding to support adding more minutes of physical activity for your students? 

Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to partner with CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company and the Walmart Foundation to offer grants for the 2013-2014 school year to support such initiatives. Awards will be given to over 400 schools ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. 

Applications are due April 19, 2013! 

Tips for Applying:

  • Attend our upcoming webinar to learn more (archived sessions will be posted) -- Wed, April 10, 2013 - 4:00-5:00pm ET / 1:00-2:00pm PT - REGISTER NOW!
  • Once the paper application is complete, proceed to our online portal to submit your proposal.
  • DEADLINE: April 19, 2013!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5:42 PM

Schedule a Meeting with Your Legislator!

If you cannot take time out of your day during the month of April or your legislator cannot meet with you during this time frame, we encourage you to find a date that would best fit your schedule and to inform us of that appointment.

Click here for more information. (Please note: You must be logged in as a member in order to access this information.)

Monday, March 25, 2013 4:58 PM

The House Education Committee approved HB 930, which makes extensive changes to the Professional Educator Discipline Act. Among the changes, HB 930: expands the jurisdiction of the Professional Standards and Practices Commission to include educators holding Private Academic School certification and educators working for independent contractors in public schools; expands the bases for discipline to include founded and indicated reports of child abuse as well as “grooming” behaviors such as sending a student sexually explicit text messages; shortens the time period for mandatory reporting to Pennsylvania Department of Education; requires an educator arrested or indicted for or convicted of certain enumerated crimes to report the indictment, arrest or conviction to the employing school entity within 72 hours; prohibits school entities from entering into confidential settlement agreements that interfere with a school entity’s mandatory reporting; and eliminates the current statute of limitations for the filing of misconduct complaints.

The Senate Education Committee approved SB 442, which exempts school leaders from continuing education requirements if their school or district makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) or shows growth under the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS) for three consecutive years. The bill was amended to clarify that the exemption from continuing education applies to school and system leaders for the schools that they oversee. If one of those schools fails to make AYP or show growth under PVAAS, the school and system leaders would lose the exemption. At that time, they would be responsible for completing the continuing education requirements within the remaining duration of the uncompleted compliance period. The amendment also addresses school and system leaders that change school assignments. If school or system leaders are exempt in the new assignment, the new school and system leader will also be exempt. If they are assigned to a school where the school and system leaders are not exempt, their exemption would be lost and they must complete the continuing education. Nothing in the bill limits the ability for a school district to require continuing education even if the school or system leader would otherwise be exempt.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, March 21, 2013.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:06 AM

The PA Principals Association Election is open from 6 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, April 2, 2013 through 12 p.m. (Noon EST) on Friday, April 12, 2013.

Many e-mail providers impose restrictions on e-mail delivery, which may impact our ability to communicate with you and/or your ability to view images in HTML. To ensure you properly receive your PA Principals Association Election E-mail (with a link to your Ballot), please add to your address book OR you should ask your IT staff person to add to your district’s spam filter list so that the e-mail can get through. You should do this by 6 a.m. on April 2, 2013.

Please Note: The From Address on the e-mail will be

Thank you in advance for your time and participation in PA Principals Association’!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:46 PM

A free seminar sponsored by PA Principals Association and McGraw-Hill - Intervention, The Administrator’s Key Role in Responding to Struggling Students, will be presented by Wayne Callender in two locations:

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Berks County IU 14
1111 Commons Boulevard, Reading, PA


Friday, April 26, 2013
Midwestern IU 4
453 Maple Street, Grove City, PA

For more information, click here.

For a registration form, click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 1:11 PM

The Senate Education Committee will consider several bills today including HB 2 which implements a new special education funding formula and establishes how any increases in the current special education appropriation are distributed using weighting factors based on category of disability. The bill also creates a Special Education Funding Commission to develop the components of the special education funding formula, including the weighting factors and the parameters of each category of disability.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 1:10 PM

Last week, the State Board of Education approved extensive changes to its draft revisions of the Chapter 4 regulations for academic standards and assessment that received the board’s initial approval last May. This latest version of Chapter 4 changes will now be move the second stage of the formal approval process and be transmitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the Senate and House Education Committees for consideration.

Among the highlights, the revised regulations will:

  • Require proficiency in Algebra I, Biology and Literature Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2017.
  • Subject to state funding, add two additional Keystone Exam graduation requirements: a Composition exam as a requirement for the class of 2019, and a civics and government exam for the class of 2020.
  • Change the use of the Keystone Exams to a stand-alone requirement for graduation; the scores will not be one-third of a final course grade.
  • Require school boards to adopt the new graduation requirements within six months of the effective date of the new Chapter 4 and provide a copy to parents and students, and make them available in each school building or on its web site.
  • Remove the state-prescribed strategic planning requirement; however there is a 28-day public inspection and comment period prior to school board adoption for the remaining six required plans (teacher induction, student services, gifted education, professional development, special education and pre-kindergarten if the school offers it).   
  • Change the provision for parental opt-out for religious reasons to require parents to explain their objection and also to require those students who are not taking Keystone Exams to take the project-based assessment.
  • Allow a student who did not score proficient on a Keystone Exam to retake the test without limit. A student who scores proficient or advanced is not permitted to retake the test. A student who does not score proficient must receive instructional remediation.
  • Allow students who have two failed attempts to demonstrate proficiency on a Keystone Exam to participate in a project-based assessment. A change removes the two-year requirement to receive remediation before a student is allowed to participate in a project. Another change allows seniors to participate in a project after just one unsuccessful attempt to pass a Keystone Exam.
  • Require the current highest performance level by Keystone subject area to be listed on a student’s transcript, and designate whether the level was achieved by the Keystone Exam or by the project-based assessment.
  • Allow two alternate pathways for students enrolled in a career and technical education program. First, such students may demonstrate proficiency on the Keystone Exams or a Pennsylvania Skills Assessment to meet the requirement for testing in composition, and civics and government. Second, such students who did not demonstrate proficiency on the Biology Keystone Exam may participate in a project-based assessment without having to take the Keystone twice. These pathways relate to graduation requirements; students would still be required to take Keystone Exams for state accountability purposes.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, March 15, 2013.

Friday, March 15, 2013 3:25 PM

For Immediate Release

January 2, 2013

CONTACT: Sheri L. Thompson
Director of Communications
Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals
122 Valley Road, P.O. Box 39, Summerdale, PA 17093
(717) 732-4999 (Phone)
(717) 395-6814 (Cell)
(717) 732-4890 (Fax)


Joseph P. Acri To Retire from PA Principals Association

(Harrisburg, PA) -- The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) Board of Directors has announced the upcoming retirement of Joseph P. Acri as the assistant executive director, effective June 30, 2013. Mr. Acri has advocated for principals and public education in Harrisburg more than three decades -- first as the senior consultant for management services for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association for 17 years, followed by his current position as assistant executive director of PA Principals Association.

Mr. Acri is a Viet Nam veteran who achieved the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He then went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University in business administration, followed by his master’s degree in industrial/labor relations and personnel administration from St. Francis University.

In 1997, Mr. Acri was hired by PA Principals Association. During his tenure, he has worked diligently for association members, while forming effective liaisons with legislators in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) leadership, the State Board of Education and other education associations.

He has been recognized for his professional achievements over the years with the most recent being the Pennsylvania Middle School Association Advocate for Public Education Award in 2011.

Following retirement, Mr. Acri plans to spend more time pursuing his hobby of restoring cars and traveling. He resides in Enola, Pa., with his wife, Rita, a teacher at East Pennsboro School District. They have two grown daughters, Joanna and Jeannine, who are both teachers.

Friday, March 15, 2013 3:22 PM

For Immediate Release

November 9, 2012

CONTACT: Sheri L. Thompson
Director of Communications
Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals
122 Valley Road, P.O. Box 39, Summerdale, PA 17093
(717) 732-4999 (Phone)
(717) 395-6814 (Cell)
(717) 732-4890 (Fax)


Kurt J. Nyquist Assumes Presidency of State Principals’ Association

(Harrisburg, Pa.) — Kurt J. Nyquist, principal of Penns Valley Area Elementary and Intermediate School in the Penns Valley Area School District, recently assumed the presidency of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association), headquartered in Summerdale, Pa.

PA Principals Association’s membership of approximately 3,800 is comprised of elementary, middle level and secondary school principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders and is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Mr. Nyquist assumed the association reins following the annual business meeting held Oct. 23, 2012 during PA Principals Association’s State Conference held in Pittsburgh.

"It is a privilege and honor to serve as the president of PA Principals Association. The success of Pennsylvania’s schools would not be possible without strong principals. I look forward to serving and supporting Pennsylvania’s principals as we strive to constantly improve student learning,” said Mr. Nyquist.

Mr. Nyquist began his education career in 1993 as an elementary school teacher in the Bellefonte Area School District. After nine years of teaching, he became the assistant principal at Avis and Nippennose Elementary Schools in the Jersey Shore Area School District. He then served as the principal of the Avis Elementary School for two years.

Mr. Nyquist has been a member of PA Principals Association/NAESP for 10 years. He previously served the association as the Central I Elementary Regional Representative since 2010, and was a member of the 2011 PA Principals Association Conference Committee.

In addition, Mr. Nyquist is a certified Olweus Bully Prevention trainer, and has served as manuscript reviewer for the Pennsylvania Educational Leadership magazine since 2003.

In 1991, Mr. Nyquist received a bachelor of science degree in elementary and kindergarten education also from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). In 1998 he also received a master’s in education in curriculum and instruction from Penn State. He obtained his Elementary Principal Certification from St. Francis University in 2000, and he is currently working toward his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Penn State.

He resides in Bellefonte with his wife, Heather, and two sons Tyler and Evan.

Friday, March 15, 2013 3:18 PM

For Immediate Release

November 9, 2012


CONTACT: Sheri L. Thompson
Director of Communications
Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals
122 Valley Road, P.O. Box 39, Summerdale, PA 17093
(717) 732-4999 (Phone)
(717) 395-6814 (Cell)
(717) 732-4890 (Fax)


Dr. William T. Ziegler Named President-Elect of State Principals’ Association

(Harrisburg, Pa.) — William T. Ziegler, Ed.D., principal of Pottsgrove Middle School in the Pottsgrove School District, was recently named President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association), headquartered in Summerdale, Pa.

PA Principals Association’s membership of approximately 3,800 is comprised of elementary, middle level and secondary school principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders and is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Dr. Ziegler assumed his new position on PA Principals Association’s Board of Directors following the association’s annual business meeting held October 23, 2012
during its 20th annual state conference held in Pittsburgh.

“PA Principals Association has equipped me to become a stronger educational leader within my school. I am honored and grateful to serve as the President-Elect for an association which strengthens school leaders to provide success for every child. In our ever changing global economy, the need for quality education has never been more important; as a result, PA Principals Association stands ready to serve principals and school leaders across this great Commonwealth to prepare students to compete and thrive in the global marketplace,” said Dr. Ziegler.

Dr. Ziegler began his education career in 1994 as a social studies teacher at Pottstown High School in the Pottstown School District. From 1998-2002, he served as the assistant principal of Pottstown High School in the Pottstown School District, and from 2002-2007, he served as the assistant principal of Pottsgrove High School in the Pottsgrove School District. In 2007, he assumed his current position as the principal of Pottsgrove Middle School.

Dr. Ziegler has been a member of PA Principals Association/NASSP for 11 years. Most recently, he served as treasurer on the PA Principals Association Board of Directors (2010-2012). He currently acts as the chairperson of the PA Principals Association Mini-Grant Selection Committee and he also served on the board as the East III Secondary Regional Representative. In addition, he served on the NASSP Publications Advisory Council from 2007-2009 and presented at the NASSP National Conference in 2003 and 2005.

Dr. Ziegler is active in his community as well. He was president of the Montgomery County Principals Association from 2008-2010, and currently serves on the board of Trinity Church and is the media director for Christian Educators Association International. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor in graduate education at Temple University since 2007.

Dr. Ziegler received a bachelor of science degree from Kutztown University, a master’s in educational administration from Gratz College and his Ed.D. from Temple University.

He resides in Boyertown with his wife, Kim, and their two children (ages 14 and 12).

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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890