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PASA Names Next Executive Director

The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators Board of Governors selected Dr. Sherri Smith as its next executive director. She will succeed Dr. Mark DiRocco on October 1.

“It is with great joy that I am able to announce that yesterday the Board of Governors approved a five-year contract with Dr. Sherri Smith to serve as our next Executive Director,” PASA Board of Governors President Dr. Jay Burkhart said. “As many of you know, ­Dr. Smith has a distinguished career as a leader in public education. I know we are excited for her to guide the organization as Dr. (Mark) DiRocco transitions to a new chapter and we look forward to her vision for the future. 

I would also like to thank the search committee, Dr. Patrick O'Toole, and Dr. Joseph Clapper for their support as we worked to identify our next Executive Director.”

Dr. Smith is a decorated leader in education with more than 36 years of experience in public school education, state-level educational policy, and intermediate unit service.  Before she joined PASA as its Director of Professional Development in 2022, she served as the Commonwealth’s Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education and Superintendent of Lower Dauphin School District.

“I am delighted to know that Dr. Smith will be taking the helm at PASA,” Dr. DiRocco said. “She is an exemplary professional with an extensive and successful background of experience in public education. She is one of the most prominent and best school leaders in the state, and I am confident that she will lead PASA with distinction.”

As Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, she was a critical contributor to the Commonwealth’s Covid response and worked tirelessly to improve schools, student assessment, and the development of the Accelerated Learning Toolkit and other school supports.  She shared her expertise before the General Assembly, providing testimony and feedback on proposed legislation on topics including school safety, special education, school budgets, and the impacts of Covid.

She became the fourth superintendent at Lower Dauphin in 2003, leading the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program, an educational foundation, a new energy-efficient elementary school, and sports complex—among her many accomplishments—before she retired in 2018.

“It is truly an honor to be elected as PASA’s next executive director and to follow the stellar leadership of Dr. Mark DiRocco,” Smith said. “Mark has worked tirelessly in his role, going above and beyond to support school leaders and public education, particularly through the last few years of a pandemic. We owe a debt of gratitude for his tireless leadership and contributions for his service to PASA and its members. As we move forward as an organization, I look forward to building on our PASA programs, services, and supports and to provide strong and positive advocacy for public education and our students across the Commonwealth!”

Click here to view her full resume.

PASA is the membership organization of Pennsylvania's chief school administrators, central office administrations, and other administrative professionals, with over 900 members, including school district superintendents, intermediate unit executive directors, and charter school chief administrative officers. PASA supports and serves successful school leadership through advocacy, professional development, support, sustainment of high-quality school administrators, and a state-wide collegial network.