Principal Earns PA Distinguished Principal Award


Principal (Gibsonia, PA – For Release May 16, 2017) Eden Hall Upper Elementary School Principal Steven Smith is being named Pennsylvania’s 2017 National Distinguished Principal (NDP).


The Pennsylvania Principals Association Board of Directors and the NDP Selection Committee is recognizing Mr. Smith for his commitment to increasing student achievement and creating an environment in which students thrive.


Dr. Beth Halderman, the PA Principals Association president and NDP Selection Committee chair, says Mr. Smith’s dedication is one of many things that set him apart.


“The selection committee was very impressed with the work (Mr. Steven Smith) has done to improve student achievement at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School,” said Dr. Halderman. “It is evident (he) has a vision of what successful schools should be and has instilled the philosophies of what exemplary principals do within their organizations by empowering the staff to create an environment where students can excel.”


The National Association of Elementary School Principals in Washington, DC will officially honor Mr. Smith on October 12-13, 2017.  The PA Principals Association will also acknowledge him at the state conference in Cranberry Township on October 15, 2017.


Mr. Smith has been with Pine-Richland School District since Oct. 14, 2013. Prior, he served as a principal, an assistant principal and a teacher at Haine Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District since 1999. Earlier in his career, he served as a principal and instructional leader in a Pre-K-8 building in the Diocese of Greensburg and as a teacher at Montclair Elementary School in Prince William County Public Schools in Dumfries, VA.


“The role of principal requires a wide range of leadership and management skill,” said Dr. Brian Miller. “Since his arrival at Pine-Richland, Mr. Smith has demonstrated his commitment to students, staff, and parents. He stays focused on the important aspects of the educational program that increase learning. He invests an incredible amount of time, energy, knowledge, and skill into his work. Mr. Smith would be the first to recognize the total team effort required for a high performing school. The positive results at Eden Hall are clear.”


Mr. Smith says he believes the recognition is due to a strong community of students, staff and parents.


“I strongly believe that when you surround yourself with extraordinary people (students, staff, and parents) they will push you to never stop growing, learning, and achieving,” he said. “This award recognizes the level of dedication of the entire school community and commitment to our students.”


Established in 1984, the two-day NDP celebration program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals will also have the opportunity to share best practices.


It has been seven years since a principal from Western Pennsylvania has earned this award.