Franklin district’s Dye receives state recognition

By MARISSA DECHANT – Staff writer

Franklin Superintendent Pamela Dye was one of 73 administrators statewide to be recognized this week for completing the inaugural Pennsylvania Superintendent’s Academy.

The two-year program gathered superintendents and charter school directors, aiming to help them transform their districts based on insights gained through research and collaboration, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Education Secretary Pedro Rivera started the program in May 2016, as part of his Poverty and Student Achievement Initiative.

“The two-year cohort was extended to superintendents and school districts who have high levels of poverty. It attracted me because I wanted to learn how to better serve students and staff,” Dye said.

Dye traveled to Harrisburg twice a year for the program, and she also met with administrators who are located in the northwest region at the Riverview Intermediate Unit No. 6 in Clarion.

The academy required administrators to complete and discuss reading assignments, and this week, members of the cohort presented their “action learning projects,” in which they used lessons from the coursework and applied them to real-life challenges faced in their home districts, the release said.

Dye’s project involved collaboration with teachers in order to develop a districtwide curriculum for elementary students. Moving forward, the approach will create fewer education disparities among students, said Dye.

Junior/senior high school principal Christina Cohlhepp is also at work on aligning curriculum for students, Dye said.

To complement the learning process, Dye traveled to school districts in Crawford County and Seneca Valley to collaborate with educators there.

“One of the huge benefits was just meeting other superintendents across the state because you learn so much from them and them from me,” Dye said.

The academy’s 73 administrators will be given the chance to reconvene next year to view each other’s progress with their action learning projects.

Future districtwide projects for Franklin include the maintenance and development of professional learning communities, which allow teachers to collaborate after school hours, said Dye.