• Oct. 26, 2023

    Board member honored for outstanding contributions to public education

    Barbara BolasBarbara Bolas, a valued member of the Upper St. Clair School Board for many years, was recently honored with the 2023 William Howard Day Award from the Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation (PaPEF). The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to public education, was presented to Mrs. Bolas during the 2023 School Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

    In honor of Mrs. Bolas and her contribution to public education, Upper St. Clair School District will receive a $5,000 award from the Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation by way of a directed donation to the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair.

    The William Howard Day Award was established in 2015 to honor the first African American school board director in the United States. Mr. Day served the Harrisburg City School Board for six terms, starting in 1878, and was a member of the Pennsylvania State Directors’ Association, the predecessor of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

    William Howard Day Award“The PaPEF board of directors considered several candidates for this year’s prestigious award,” Dr. Richard Frerichs, Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation president, said. “Mrs. Bolas’s commitment to the children of Pennsylvania is made clear through her long history of service to public education.”

    Mrs. Bolas was first elected to the Upper St. Clair School Board in 1985. She served four terms as president and five as vice president. Throughout her nearly four decades of public service, she has served on numerous committees and task forces for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and acted as Upper St. Clair’s representative to the association for more than 10 years. In 2001, she was elected the state association’s president. She served as a National School Boards Association board member from 2001-2010 and was the association’s president in 2008-2009.

    A longtime leader in public education at the local, state and national-levels, Mrs. Bolas has been recognized for her service and advocacy. In 2022, she was honored with the Voice of Advocacy Award from the Western Pennsylvania Forum of School Superintendents. She is also a recipient of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Chief Executive Officer’s Distinguished Service Pin, which recognizes its members, staff and education advocates for their extraordinary service and work on behalf of the association.

    Mrs. Bolas holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York. She and her husband, Jim, are the parents of two Upper St. Clair High School graduates.


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