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Western Pennsylvania school administrators attend summit at White House

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:01 a.m.
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Avonworth Superintendent Thomas Ralston
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Elizabeth Forward Superintendent Bart Rocco
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South Fayette Superintendent Bille Rondinelli
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Beaver Area Assistant Superintendent Carrie Rowe

Four area school administrators joined President Obama in the first National Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House on Wednesday.

Avonworth Superintendent Thomas Ralston, South Fayette Superintendent Bille Rondinelli, Beaver Area Assistant Superintendent Carrie Rowe and Elizabeth Forward Superintendent Bart Rocco were among the more than 100 “exemplary” local administrators recognized for their leadership in helping their districts make the transition to digital learning.

“We want to make sure every child — whether he or she is in the inner city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation — has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” federal Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

Ralston left Pittsburgh at 5:45 a.m. The long day was worth it, he said.

“We watched a signing in the East Room and shook the president’s hand,” he said from Washington. “It’s been really amazing to have this chance to connect with other colleagues and talk about the challenges and small successes each of us have had.

“We’re hoping to continue some of these collaborations virtually or face to face after we leave.”

In June 2013, Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative, which calls for 99 percent of students to have access to next-generation connectivity within five years.

Model schools and districts will use technology to form personalized learning environments.

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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