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Erin Peterson

Assistant Principal, Fort Couch Middle School, Upper St. Clair School District 

Statement of Research Interest/Problem of Practice:
Erin Peterson is currently interested in research related to the emotional and mental health needs of students. She is passionate about helping students with mental health needs succeed to the very best of their abilities.

Erin Peterson is currently the assistant principal at Fort Couch Middle School, a 7th and 8th grade middle school in the Upper St. Clair School District. This is her fourth year in administration, and her sixteenth year in education. Peterson obtained her K-12 Administration and Supervision Certification from Duquesne University.

Peterson's first teaching experience was in Zhenghou, China during the summer between her junior and senior years at Grove City College. This ignited her passion for teaching, and led her to a commitment to public education.

Following graduation from Grove City College, Mrs. Peterson taught Middle School English Language Arts for six years outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. After having their first child, Erin and her husband moved back to Pennsylvania where she continued her education at Duquesne University to obtain Masters Degree while teaching Middle School English Language Arts teacher at Fort Couch Middle School.

Erin Peterson left the classroom four years ago to join the administrative staff at Fort Couch and is thrilled to now be the Assistant Principal at Fort Couch. She served as co-chair for the District Strategic Plan, coordinates student support networks, supervises Professional Learning Communities and provides support for the PLC facilitators, among other leadership activities.

She, her husband, and her two children happily live in the district where she works.

Mentored by: Dr. Sharon K. Suritsky
Assistant/ Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Upper St. Clair School District

Dr. Sharon Suritsky is currently the Assistant / Deputy Superintendent of the Upper St. Clair School District. She is a graduate of Penn State University, where she completed both her undergraduate and doctoral work, and earned her master's degree in special education from Bloomsburg University. Her alma mater honored her with two awards including the Leadership and Service Award from the Penn State College of Education Alumni Society as well as the Excellence Award for Outstanding Professional Service and Teacher from the Penn State College of Education.

Dr. Suritsky began her career as a special education teacher at elementary and secondary levels. She joined the Upper St. Clair administrative staff in 1996 as the Supervisor of Special Education. Her tenure as the Special Education Supervisor led to the creation of a dynamic department and moved the district forward in that area.

In 2009, Suritsky became acting Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and in 2012, she became the Assistant / Deputy Superintendent. Dr. Suritsky's passion for students is evident in all that she does.

In addition to providing leadership in the areas of curriculum, instruction and assessment, Dr. Suritsky has been instrumental in the acquisition of grants totaling more than $185,000 to support academic programs and school safety initiatives. 

Dr. Suritsky has taught special education courses at both Duquesne University and Pennsylvania State University.

In 2016, Dr. Suritsky received the Distinguished Female Educator Award from the Tri-State Area School Study Council during the 14th Annual Dr. Jean E. Winsand Institute for Women in School Leadership. The award recognizes effective educational leaders who also value and cultivate emerging leadership in others.