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Honor Society

Amanda Tini of Archbald was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Tini was initiated at Kutztown University.

STEM Teacher Honored

Marisa Barilka, STEM coordinator of Valley View School District, has been accepted as one of 36 ambassadors in the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassadors Program, which aims to shape the future of STEM education in the commonwealth by targeting vital policy conversations to legislative leadership in the areas of STEM Learning ecosystems, computer science, state and federal policy for formal and informal education, and workforce needs.

Ambassadors met for its inaugural training session today at the Center for Schools and Communities, a statewide training and consulting organization that offers a continuum of efforts around education topics.

Valley View will begin implementing a K-12 STEM program during the 2018-2019 school year. Barilka designed the STEM program based on her background of being a STEM teacher for 15 years and having an engineering degree. She has led the initiative in NEPA to increase the number of females in engineering by bringing Girls Who Code to the region and creating the NEPA Girls STEM competition. Valley View is working to create STEM opportunities and programs.

Representing leaders and emerging leaders in corporate, PreK-12 and higher education and afterschool programs from 18 counties, PA STEM Ambassadors have agreed to invest the next nine months in training and education to share expertise and content knowledge with influential stakeholders to help develop a stronger voice in shaping STEM education policy issues.

“In order for Pennsylvania to be competitive and lead in STEM policy, we need to develop leaders who find bipartisan support in advancing STEM Education policies and have the respect and influence to affect change,” said Laura Saccente, director of Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool and Youth Development Network (PSAYDN). “The PA STEM Ambassadors will be a vital part in shaping these policies.”

PSAYDN collaborated with the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC), the national STEM Education Coalition, the Afterschool Alliance and staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, through the PA STEM Education Coalition, to provide training support to the ambassadors.