Amy Pfender

Amy Pfender

An Upper St. Clair School District administrator has been named a finalist for a national leadership award.

Amy Pfender, assistant to the superintendent, is one of two finalists in the Women in School Leadership Award in the Central Office/Principal category, a program of The School Superintendents Association (AASA).

The awards, sponsored by Horace Mann and AASA, pay tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools.

Candidates are judged on leadership in meeting the learning needs of students, personal and organizational communication strength, constant professional improvement of knowledge and skills, and active community involvement.

Pfender was nominated for the award by Upper St. Clair School District Superintendet John Rozzo, with support from Sharon Suritsky, deputy/assistant superintendent.

“As a female leader, Mrs. Pfender is second to none,” Rozzo said. “She continues to be the driving force in program development for young women and girls, provides mentoring to numerous female staff members, and leads a positive, collaborative, and student-centered culture within our district.”

Hired as a special education teacher at Boyce Middle School in August 2005, Pfender became the district’s elementary special education department chairperson in 2009 and the following year ascended to special education curriculum leader. In March 2012, she was appointed assistant middle school principal and was promoted to principal of Boyce Middle School a year later.

In January 2016, Pfender was named director of student support services, and she remained in that leadership role until her promotion to assistant to the superintendent in 2019.

This year, Pfender was named the Emerging Woman in Education Award recipient by the Tri-State Area School Study Council. She was previously honored with the 2018 University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Distinguished Departmental Alumni Award from the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies.

In 2015, she earned statewide recognition for her early leadership skills when she received the Wanda McDaniel Honorary Membership Award from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. The annual award recognizes an aspiring school administrator who demonstrates evidence of great leadership potential.

Pfender earned a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She holds certifications for administrative principal, K-12 supervisor of curriculum and instruction, and K-12 supervisor of special education. She also recently earned her superintendent’s letter of eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania.

A resident of Robinson Township, Washington County, she and her husband, Keith, have two school-aged children, Jonah and Emily.

The final award recipients in each category will be announced during the virtual AASA National Conference on Education, Feb. 18-19.

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