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Barbara Pagan

Principal, Brentwood Borough School District

Statement of Research Interest/Problem of Practice:
Mrs. Pagan's research focuses on creating a framework for research-based teacher-interviews that employ clear criteria, effective questions and lines of inquiry to promote ethics and equity during the hiring process to acquire the most effective teachers for children.

Mrs. Pagan, an educator for 30 years, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University, a Reading Specialist and Master's Degree and Administration and Supervision Certificate along with Supervision and Instruction Certification from Duquesne University.

She began her career at Mercy Hospital Child Development Center where she held positions as toddler teacher, kindergarten teacher, and Supervisor. She served as the Reading Specialist at Clearfield Elementary School in Butler Area School District for 10 years. She served as assistant principal at Oakland Township in Butler for three years and was Vice Principal of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh for 2 years. Currently, Mrs. Pagan is in her fourth year as Principal of Elroy Elementary School in the Brentwood Borough School District in Brentwood, PA.

Mrs. Pagan has been involved with and chaired numerous committees, has served in various coordinator roles including SAP Coordinator, led technology initiatives, facilitated Olweus Bullying education programs, and has played a critical role in many aspects of educational professional development.

She believes that all children can learn but different ways and at different rates. She believes that with hard work and perseverance we can touch each child in a special way. For her, keeping the atmosphere positive is key to learner success especially when coupled with open lines of communication among staff, students, and parents. Likewise, she feels that teamwork is the ultimate way for a school to succeed in helping all children attain their full potential.

Being a visible principal crucial to Mrs. Pagan. She considers visiting the students in all areas of the school as the best part of her job. The visits help her know each student and help each student know her. Mrs. Pagan's motto is "Stay positive, maintain communication, and do the right thing."

Mrs. Pagan is committed to cultivating a model of scholarship, character and service, and supporting Elroy Elementary School to ensure that students are engaged in meaningful, academically challenging work with teachers who know they can make a difference and families who are vital to the process.

Mentored by: Dr. Amy Burch
Superintendent, Brentwood Borough School District

Dr. Amy M. Burch became the Brentwood Borough School District Superintendent at the start of the 2014-2015 school year-only the second woman to serve as superintendent since the district's inception a hundred years ago. Shortly after her promotion, she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to being named Superintendent, Dr. Burch served as principal of Elroy Elementary for six years. During her tenure as principal she secured funding through multiple grants for various technology projects including one that enabled Elroy to be the first wireless building in the district. While under her leadership, Elroy was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a Title I School of Distinction for two years in a row. In addition, Dr. Burch was responsible for writing the District Comprehensive Plan from 2012 to the present.

Prior to arriving in Brentwood, Dr. Burch served two years as principal of Carnegie Elementary in the Carlynton School District. Dr. Burch is remembered for her collaboration with the Carnegie PTA to fundraise and install a new ADA playground for the students and community. During her time at Carnegie, Dr. Burch served as the district liaison for ASSET and secured the Science It's Elementary Grant to provide much needed science supplies and professional development for teachers.

Dr. Burch has been an educator for 20 years splitting her experience evenly between the classroom and administration. Dr. Burch's teaching career began after obtaining her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught fourth grade in the Atlanta Public School system before returning home to Murrysville where she taught in the Franklin Regional School District. In addition to her superintendent responsibilities, Dr. Burch serves as president of the South Hills Area School District Association, an organization dedicated to engaging school board members and administrators in conversations for the betterment of education. She serves on the board of directors for the Brentwood Baldwin-Whitehall Chamber of Commerce and was selected to represent Allegheny county superintendents in the Leadership Pittsburgh program.

Dr. Burch has presented at local, state, and national level at various conferences and workshops. She presented her research on the legal literacy of administrators and the impact on daily decision-making at the New England Educational Research Organization and Eastern Education Research Association. She also presented on STEAM at the annual conference for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has published articles on Response to Intervention and Instruction, school leadership, the Common Core, and community networking.