• PRSD Earns an Excellence Award in the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence Program

    MAAPE COLLAGE(Gibsonia, PA) The Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) program is announcing that Pine-Richland School District has been named a 2021 Excellence Award recipient.  The Excellence Award is the alliance’s highest award level. “Notably, Pine-Richland School District will be only the seventh organization to earn the Excellence Award in the past 15 years and the first education sector excellence award winner,” said Mr. Bob Bitner, MAAPE president and CEO. By earning the Excellence Award, the district will receive an invitation to apply to the national Baldrige program in the future.

    Mr. Bitner presented the award to a group representing staff, students, parents, senior leadership team, administrators, board members, community, and members from the townships, senate, and house of represent tatives on January 6, 2022.

    MAAPE, a 501(c)3 organization serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, is focused on helping organizations achieve improved levels of performance by identifying and recognizing role-model organizations and sharing their best practices and strategies. MAAPE is one of 31 state and regional Baldrige-based award programs across the country. MAAPE applicants are evaluated in seven areas defined by the Baldrige criteria: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. All applicants receive written feedback reports summarizing organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement.

    The MAAPE Excellence Award is an incredible honor and ultimate recognition of a team effort over many years that reflects all staff and the entire organization. The mission, vision, values, and strategic plan at Pine-Richland serve as the compass and map for continuous improvement for our students and families,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Miller. “The Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework is a tool that helps organizations improve. We appreciate the feedback about district strengths and our opportunities for improvement.”

    As a final step in the evaluation process, more than 60 members of the Pine-Richland staff and board including teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, principals, district administrators, and directors, participated in a comprehensive three-day virtual site visit. Various members of the staff shared their reflections about this recognition and the growth at PRSD over the years:

    • This award is significant and results from our administration's sustained intentional effort to work collaboratively and cooperatively with all stakeholders to solve short-term and long-term challenges,” said PREA President Mr. Vins. “As a third-grade teacher and the president of the Teachers' Association (PREA), I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of our district and this unique process.”

    • “Over the past several years, I have witnessed a shift from a focus on individual improvements to an overall emphasis on core processes in our school system,” said Principal Steve Smith. “This shift has kept us away from creating a "flavor of the month"  process improvement program to truly developing a culture that embraces continuous improvement.”

    • “Our district commitment to mental health and wellness programming provided both inside and outside our schools have been strengthened by our continuous improvement mindset,” said Lead Psychologist Dr. Maura Paczan. “One example is the partnership with a third-party for delivery of a full continuum of mental health services.”

    • “In over ten years working for the Pine-Richland, the district has provided staff members at all levels and all positions with professional development opportunities,” said PR Educational Support Professionals Association President Susan Torchia. “We are proactive in keeping support staff current and up-to-date with continuing education as we work together to support students.”

    • "As an academic leader serving in a variety of roles for many years, I have been able to witness, through various lenses, our district's commitment to excellence,” said Librarian Beth Shenefiel. “We are consistent in our efforts to continuously improve, through thoroughly researched processes and stakeholder input, and with a focus on excellence in teaching and learning."
    • “I am proud that Pine-Richland is invested in strengthening and growing the role of music in the district through the In-Depth Program Review,” said Music Department Chair Lee Rickard. “Every step of the way, the music professionals were valued stakeholders in the development and implementation of departmental goals.”

    Through its strategic planning process for 2019 - 2023, the district identified the “Pursuit of Excellence '' as a category with long-term and short-term goals to work through the MAAPE and BPE programs to drive continuous improvement in process and results. This commitment is visually reflected by the green continuous improvement loops and results histogram. "Excellence needs to be discussed on two levels, functional and human. People and organizations can achieve performance excellence while disregarding the means to the end. There is something to be said for accomplishing excellence on both levels,” said PRSD Board member and treasurer Marc D. Casciani. “We are humbled to receive this award, which affirms our ability to perform at a very high level in an honest, reliable, and honorable way. We are good stewards of the resources and talents to which we have been entrusted."

    The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes exemplary U.S. organizations and businesses that demonstrate an "unceasing drive for innovative solutions to complex challenges, visionary leadership, and operational excellence." The Baldrige Award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. 

    In the Pittsburgh region, Massaro Construction Group and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) earned MAAPE Excellence Awards.  CORE went on to earn the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.  Additional Baldrige awardees include: AARP;  Alamo Colleges District; Federal Express Corporation; Henry Ford Health System; Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies; Lockhead; Mary Greeley Medical Center; MEDRAD, LLC, Motorola Inc. (Government & Industrial Solutions Sector); Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation; PricewaterCoopers Public Sector Practice; Wellstar Paulding Hospital; Westinghouse Electric Corporation Commercial Nuclear Fuel Division; Xerox Corporation Business Products & Systems; and Federal Express Corporation.

    School board member and legislative representative Dr. Carla Meyer reflected on continuous improvement in sharing, “When the Pine-Richland School Board received the 2019 PASA-PSBA Innovation Award, the best practices for leadership and governance reflected in that recognition emerged from the deliberate effort of the Team of 10 + 1 toward process improvement and the DECIDE model for decision-making.” These efforts align directly with the pursuit of excellence.

    A PRSD ceremony will be planned for early January 2022 for the award acceptance. In addition, PRSD will be recognized at MAAPE's 16th Annual Conference on January 27, 2022. Due to covid-19 concerns, the conference will be a virtual event. In addition to recognizing Pine-Richland School District, the conference will feature keynote speakers who are Baldrige award recipients. The district has been invited to present.

    In 2020 in the MAAPE Regional program, Pine-Richland earned the Mastery Award. UPMC Western Maryland earned an Excellence Award. Highmark Health IT and Penn Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology earned Proficiency Awards, and Eden Autism earned a commitment Award.

    For more information, visit https://midatlanticape.org/.