Lonardi to retire as superintendent of Downingtown area school district – Daily Local


DOWNINGTOWN – Principals have approved the retirement of District Superintendent, Dr. Emilie M. Lonardi, effective June 30, 2022. Lonardi served as superintendent for the past 24 years, including the five latest in Downingtown.

Under his leadership, DASD Schools continued their legacy of excellence, with all three high schools being annually recognized as the top performing schools in Pennsylvania. Setting the bar for educational excellence not only in DASD schools but also for herself, Lonardi won both the Association of School Administrators (PASA) Leadership Award for Service to the Profession in 2021 and the 2014 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year award.

Over the past five years, Lonardi has led more than 1,000 staff members across 17 buildings to teach and inspire more than 13,000 students each year – prioritizing student success, engagement, fairness and sound financial management.

Lonardi’s educational vision, created collaboratively and implemented district-wide, continues to focus on academic rigor, student engagement, and student agency. This vision ensures that students are challenged to take risks and think critically, invested and inspired in their education, and empowered, through voice and choice, to take ownership of their learning with guidance, support and responsibility.

With more than 400 luncheons/’how’s going’ meetings with staff, regular visits to read with students or observe teachers, and a place in countless concerts, competitions and performances, Lonardi is a visible and highly involved leader. which exemplifies the “Proud Downtown tradition”. She explains, “It is a true honor to serve DASD, and I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to work with a team of teachers, d talented, dedicated and caring employees, directors and board members.”

Board Chair LeeAnn Wisdom acknowledges the significant impact on DASD.

“Dr. Lonardi’s passionate and practical leadership shows true dedication to his work, and we are very fortunate to have him here at DASD. The past two years have been the most trying for any school leader. Nonetheless, Lonardi led our district through the pandemic with unwavering grace and determination, always considering all stakeholders and methodically weighing options in all of his decision-making His focus on collaboration led to a culture change importantly, and now more than ever, the DASD team is working as a cohesive unit to support student success.Making inclusivity and mental health support a district-wide priority, Lonardi has put the emphasis on a whole-child approach to serving the school community.His leadership has been paramount to the continued success of our district as a whole, and the changes it has contributed will benefit the district for a long time.

While Lonardi looks forward to traveling and spending time with his family in retirement, the choice to retire was not easy. “I will leave behind much of my personal/professional self, as well as people I have come to know well and care deeply about.”

Lonardi will continue to serve as superintendent until June 2022. The Downingtown Area School District Board will begin the hiring process immediately, in partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

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