DASD Superintendent wins statewide recognition

Superintendent Emilie Lonardi, Ph.D. receives the PASA Award for Service to the Profession (Pictured from left to right: Dr. Jay Burkhart, PASA President; Steven Delisle, Sponsor: Horace Mann; Emilie M. Lonardi, Ph.D., Superintendent of Downingtown Area School District; Josh Winter, Sponsor: Horace Mann)

DOWNINGTOWN — Not only does Downingtown Area School District have award-winning schools and award-winning students, but it has award-winning leadership, as well. Last month, DASD Superintendent Emilie Lonardi, Ph.D. was recognized for her outstanding leadership through the PA Association of School Administrators (PASA) Award for Service to the Profession.

The PASA Award for Service to the Profession is an annual award that recognizes one administrator from across the entire state of Pennsylvania. The winner must have demonstrated commitment to excellence as evidenced through notable service to the profession. During the awards banquet held in Harrisburg, area superintendents, educational leaders and sponsors gathered to learn about the year’s winner. Dr. Brad D. Sterner, Director of Educational Services for Lincoln Intermediate Unit, shared, “Em was the first to empower those she worked with, not afraid to give constructive criticism but also being a motivational cheerleader – and knowing when each role was most appropriate. She is a dedicated school leader who supports positive change and commitment to high standards of achievement by building collaborative and cooperative learning environments.”

Dr. Lonardi has been a superintendent for the past 24 years, with the last five in Downingtown. She earned the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year award in 2014 and has held numerous elected leadership positions within PASA. A true educator at heart, Dr. Lonardi continues to provide professional development sessions to her peers and has served as an adjunct professor at Penn State University and York College for more than 19 years. In his introductory remarks, PASA Executive Director, Mark DiRocco, stated “Her dedication and enthusiasm for education leadership is one the is not only refreshing, but also inspiring for her peers and those whom she has mentored.” He added “She sets high standards for herself and all those who works with her, keeping what is best for students at the center of all of her decisions.”

The district is proud to have such a distinguished academic leader at its helm. Board President Lee Ann Wisdom noted, “Dr. Lonardi’s guidance moves our district in a direction that supports students not only academically but socially and emotionally through initiation and support of meaningful programs. Our youth are gaining greater agency and access to what they need to lead successful, balanced lives. Her innovation and hands-on leadership show a true devotion to her work, and we are very lucky to have her here at DASD.”

Further information about PASA and its awards can be found at https://www.pasa-net.org/.

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