• Dec. 18, 2020

    Joe DeMar

    Joe DeMar named Champion of Learning award winner

    Joe DeMar Fort Couch Middle School Principal Joe DeMar was named a Champion of Learning Award winner in the leadership category. The annual awards, sponsored by the Consortium for Public Education and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, were announced virtually Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

    Watch the video announcement.

    According to the Consortium for Public Education’s website, “the people in our community who take time to listen to kids, teach them, guide them or support them often are unsung heroes. That’s why the Consortium and United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania set aside a day each year to recognize them with our Champions of Learning Awards.”

    Mr. DeMar, who has served as Fort Couch Middle School principal for the last 17 years, was nominated for the Champion of Learning Award by Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools, with support from Dr. Sharon Suritsky, deputy/assistant superintendent.

    “We are so happy for Joe, as he is certainly deserving of this recognition,” Dr. Rozzo said. “Throughout his career in Upper St. Clair, Joe has been a highly effective school leader and a great ambassador for the district.”

    Before taking the helm at Fort Couch, Mr. DeMar served as assistant principal at Upper St. Clair High School for seven year and at Fort Couch for two years. He holds degrees from Slippery Rock University and Westminster College in science education and administration.

    “Joe's work here will benefit the district for many years to come,” Dr. Rozzo added. “His innate ability to lead is nothing short of remarkable. I am honored to have him as a colleague.”

    In addition to Mr. DeMar, Cathryn Rodgers, second-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary, was one of three Finalists in the K-6 category. Miss Rodgers was nominated for the Champion of Learning Award by the family of a former student.

    “We are all proud of her and are thankful that she is part of the Eisenhower team and always a positive part of continuing our truly student-centered culture,” Mr. Mark Miller, Eisenhower principal said.

    Cathryn Rodgers Miss Rodgers has been a member of the Eisenhower faculty since 2009.

    “I feel very honored and blessed to work at such an amazing district, with incredible colleagues, and the families of USC,” Miss Rodgers said.

    A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Miss Rodgers holds an undergraduate degree in horticulture. She earned a Master’s in Education from Duquesne University.

    Nominations for the Champion of Learning Award are accepted in five categories: Leadership, Educators, School Staff, Volunteers and Providers/Community Partners.

    The Consortium for Public Education is a nonprofit organization that works with schools across southwestern Pennsylvania on initiatives designed to strengthen and broaden school leadership, engage community and empower students. The organization advocates for excellence and equity in public education for all students.