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Ephrata Area’s Dr. Brian Troop named 2023 PA Superintendent of the Year

The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators is proud to announce the selection of Ephrata Area School District’s Dr. Brian Troop as the 2023 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year.
Troop emerged from a tremendously strong field of nominees including fellow finalists Stephen Rodriguez of Pottstown and Dr. Randal Lutz of Baldwin-Whitehall to earn 55.5 percent of the vote among the Board of Governors. Finalists were selected by the PASA Elections Committee and voted on by the Board of Governors. 
“This honor means so much to me, as it is a recognition of the work happening in our district on behalf of our students and community,” Dr. Troop said. “Every leader knows you are only as good as your team, and I am impressed daily by the dedication and innovation I see from ‘Team Ephrata!’ Additionally, this honor is even more meaningful to me because it comes from fellow superintendents, who have overcome unimaginable obstacles and braved the most treacherous seas over these last few years.”

His innovative thinking, collaborative leadership and drive to succeed have improved communication in the district, elevates student performance and led to the launch of several community-connected initiatives including the Life Ready Graduate and Cornerstone Projects.

“Dr. Troop is the epitome of a great leader,” PASA Elections Chair and Past-President Dr. Jay Burkhart said. “He consistently pushes the status quo to make sure his district is providing the most current and beneficial programs to their students.  He is tireless in his advocacy for public education and all of those who work to support the students in our schools.  Dr. Troop is very deserving of this honor and is certainly a model leader that others should aspire to replicate.”

Dr. Troop led Ephrata Area’s implementation of the district’s Life Ready Graduate (LRG) initiative in 2017 which created a collection of learning traits that are valuable in the real world. 
The Cornerstone Projects are year-long projects for each grade level that connect students with a community partner to help build engagement and strengthen relationships between the school and community. The project helps to prioritize the Life Ready Graduate skills through problem-solving on real-world tasks with relevant community partners. 
“Dr. Troop is an exemplary, forward-thinking leader and certainly has earned this great honor of PA’s Superintendent of the Year,” PASA Executive Director Dr. Sherri Smith said. “He is active in both state- and national-level advocacy and leadership in addition to achieving monumental accomplishments within his district and school community. Well done, Brian! I know you will represent your PA colleagues well in the coming year of events!”
Ephrata Area earned recognition as an AASA Learning 2025 Lighthouse School System under Dr. Troop’s guidance—one of just 13 districts nationwide to earn this distinction and serve as a model for positive change in public education. 

“Our ‘Lighthouse’ systems are serving as thought-leader practitioners that are implementing bold, actionable steps on behalf of the broader education community to learn from and learn with as they have taken on the challenge of Learning 2025,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA about the Lighthouse initiative when it was launched in May. “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical to invoke future-focused best practices for the well-being, self-sufficiency and success of our young learners.”
Dr. Troop prioritizes student involvement as evidenced by adding a pair of student engagement facilitators to the Ephrata staff to help elevate the voice of students by identifying ways the district can ensure that all students feel like they belong. 
And he’s identified outside-the-box ways to engage students, creating opportunities for student input on the redesign of the school’s library and engaging high school learners to repurpose and old school bus into a space for elementary students to create--—a task that required high school students to apply practical knowledge to gut the bus and redesign its interior and elementary students to participate in a hands-on learning experience. 
Dr. Troop utilizes his legislative prowess to successfully advocate on behalf of his school community and public schools across the Commonwealth. He’s fostered relationships with local legislative leaders including Sen. Ryan Aument and Sen. Scott Martin to lobby for education-related legislative priorities and the reform of cyber charter funding. He’s also an active member of a number of boards and committees including the PASA Board of Governors as an I.U. 13 Representative, a member of the Innovative Teaching and Learning Committee, the Ephrata Area Education Foundation, and the Lancaster STEM Alliance. 
As the Pennsylvania honoree, Dr. Troop and 49 other state honorees will be recognized on February 16, 2023 during the AASA National Conference on Education.