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Article published September 25, 2013
Mars' Pettigrew honored with award
ADAMS TWP — William Pettigrew, Mars School District superintendent, will cap off his long career with a prestigious award. He will receive the Award for Leadership in Public Education from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. The award is presented to educators who demonstrate a commitment to school administration as a profession, to public education and to colleagues, including participation and leadership with the association. Pettigrew, who has been superintendent at Mars since 1987, will retire in December. He will be presented with the award at the 2013 P.A.S.A./Pennsylvania School Boards Association School Leadership Conference on Oct. 17 in Hershey. In addition, Pettigrew will be asked to select a Mars High School student to receive a one-time, $1,000 scholarship in connection with the award. “Dr. Pettigrew is a well-respected and outstanding leader in education in Pennsylvania,” said Frank Galicki, the Dallas School District superintendent who nominated Pettigrew for the award. “He respects other opinions and always speaks directly to the issue at hand.” Pettigrew also was named the 2013 Pennsylvania Rural Educator of the Year by the state Association of Rural and Small Schools. He is a member in several state, regional and national education groups. He also has coached golf and tennis at Mars High School. Mars School Board President Dayle Ferguson is thrilled that Pettigrew will receive the award, which she said reflects his achievements. “His many accomplishments in the Mars Area School District are obvious,” Ferguson said. “Largely because of Dr. Pettigrew, the school district is strong and growing, but very few realize his efforts on the state level and his advocacy for all children in public education.” She pointed to Pettigrew’s early advocacy of school security measures such as metal detectors, his work to mentor young school administrators across the state and his courage in standing up to the state Department of Education regarding standardized testing. “He has always been an advocate of local control of schools and has opposed high-stakes testing,” Ferguson said. Pettigrew previously was superintendent and assistant superintendent at the Penncrest School District, an elementary principal at the Shippensburg and Tussey Mountain school districts and an elementary teacher in the Hempfield School District. Pettigrew and his wife, Debbie, are residents of Adams Township.