Schweitzer elementary gets new principal

Connor Menzel, News Editor

“As a principal you really do get to be a change agent and impact student learning” said Amy Orlando, Ph.D., the newly appointed principal of Albert Schweitzer Elementary School. The decision to give her the job took place on July 19 at a school board meeting, called after the news that Clarke Stoneback, the previous principal, would be abdicating his position to go back to teaching music in the classroom.
Orlando is among the most qualified people to run Schweitzer Elementary. Her education began with a Bachelor of Arts, English major, degree from Penn State University in 1993. She then continued to earn her Masters of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education from Trenton State College and received a Doctorate of Philosophy: Educational Leadership and Learning Technologies from Drexel University’s PhD Educational Leadership Program in 2005.
In addition to her extensive education, she has about 15 years of hands on experience in the classroom, teaching grades three, four and five. She was also an assistant principal in a Hatboro-Horsham School District elementary school and a technology specialist and K-12 supervisor in another school district.
“I grew up around the Neshaminy School District and have always been familiar with many of the things happening in Neshaminy,” said Orlando, still a Bucks County Resident. “I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with the Schweitzer staff and families. I’m excited to be working for such a great school district!”
Orlando is very adamant about her priorities as the new principal, focusing mainly on beneficial interactions between the teachers, staff, and families of the school. “The goal is to build relationships with the staff, families, and community at Schweitzer to make the school a safe, fun, and engaging place to learn,” she said proudly.
She is also planning to focus on the use of educational technologies in the classroom throughout her time as principal to ensure that the learning environment of the school is the best it could possibly be. “My goals include helping to support teachers in best practices in classroom instruction, utilizing technology in the classroom, and building a positive and caring school culture.”
Orlando stated that her favorite thing about being the principal of an elementary school is working together with the community towards a common goal. “I enjoy working with staff at all levels to help the community work together with the same end goal.” She is also very clear about her desire to keep the best interests of the students in mind while fulfilling her duties as principal, stating, “The focus is always what’s best for the students.”
In addition to her full-time position at Schweitzer, Orlando also serves as an Adjunct Professor for the School of Education at Drexel University, teaching classes from multiple educational disciplines, and is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and Phi Delta Kappa International Professional Association in Education, further demonstrating her aptitude for this new position.
She also maintains close personal ties with the school districts, because she still lives with her spouse and two daughters in Bucks County.