Feb. 23, 2018
USCSD administrator selected for Pitt School of Education award
Amy Pfender, director of student support services for the Upper St. Clair School District, has been selected to receive the 2018 University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Distinguished Departmental Alumni Award from the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies. She will be recognized at the School of Education’s Alumni Reception on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the University Club on Pitt’s campus in Oakland.
“We are honored to recognize you and your professional accomplishments with this award, the department’s highest designated award,” Valerie Kinloch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, wrote.
Nominated for the award by Dr. Patrick O’Toole, superintendent of schools, Mrs. Pfender was praised for her leadership.
“Amy has had an incredible career at Upper St. Clair. Throughout her 13 years with the district, she has continued to grow as a teacher, leader and person,” Dr. O’Toole said. “Based on her outstanding training and experiences, she functions at the level of a very seasoned leader.”
Mrs. Pfender joined the Upper St. Clair faculty in August 2005 as a special education teacher at Boyce Middle School. In 2009, she became the district’s elementary special education department chairperson and the following year ascended to special education curriculum leader. In March 2012, she was appointed assistant middle school principal and was promoted to principal of Boyce Middle School a year later. She began her current role, director of student support services, in January 2016.
Dr. O’Toole describes Mrs. Pfender as a fierce supporter of everyone who regularly goes above and beyond to do what is right and best for others.
“She is a selfless leader who is humble and always prefers to focus on others rather than herself,” Dr. O’Toole said. “She walks into every meeting and every classroom with the same thought...How could I support you? How can I support the students? Tell me what you need.”
In May 2015, Mrs. Pfender earned statewide recognition for her early leadership skills when she was honored with the Wanda McDaniel Honorary Membership Award from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. The annual award recognizes an aspiring school administrator who demonstrates evidence of great leadership potential.
Mrs. Pfender earned a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her administrative principal certification, she also holds certifications in K-12 supervisor of curriculum and instruction and K-12 supervisor of special education.
She resides in Robinson Township, Washington County, with her husband, Keith, and their school-aged children, Jonah and Emily.