(WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Principals Association has named Anna L. Gawel, Assistant Principal of Hershey Elementary School, as Pennsylvania’s 2023 Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year.

Kristin Musselman, Chairperson of the PA Principals Association’s Outstanding Assistant Principal Award Selection Committee, said, “It has been an honor to work with Anna Gawel. She is an administrator who leads with heart. She brings a positive attitude and positive mindset to the teachers and staff members that she works with on a daily basis. Among her colleagues, Anna is described as being a person of high integrity and as an assistant principal who leads with passion. Through our interactions and based on her recent accomplishments, it is clear that Mrs. Gawel is invested in her students, teachers and the school community. It is for these reasons that the PA Principals Association is proud to recommend her for this award.”

Anna Gawel started here career as a first-grade teacher from 2003-2013, she then became an instructional coach from 2013-2014, she has been the assistant principal since 2014.

Stacy L. Winslow, Ed.D., Superintendent of Derry Township School District, said, “Mrs. Gawel is an exceptional leader. Her devotion to her students and staff is evident in her personal knowledge of their circumstances, needs and strengths. She has led a phenomenal professional learning experience for teaching staff in the last several years and in doing so has fostered growth in district priority areas that can be seen throughout the elementary staff. She is very deserving of this award.”

While serving as the assistant principal at Hershey Elementary School, Gawel created an online professional development course for differentiated supervision.

Gawel shared, “My hope for when people look back at my time in this role is that they will view my most significant contributions to my school as having been my relationships with the students, families, and staff in Derry Township School District. I want the school to be a community that fosters belonging, strong community ties, values learning/growth and feels safe and welcoming. At the end of the day, if the people around me can say they felt valued, supported, heard and connected to our school community, I have done my job.”

Being a member of the PA Principals Association and NAESP, Gawel also is a member of the National Association for Educational Communication and Technology and the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

“Our selection committee has once again chosen a distinguished, talented educator to represent assistant principals in Pennsylvania at the elementary/middle level. Anna Gawel exemplifies the qualities we seek for this award while serving the 480 students and 60 staff at Hershey Elementary School: dedication, leadership, professionalism, and a passion for learning for students, staff, the school and the community. I am pleased that Anna will represent the Pennsylvania Principals Association as our 2023 Outstanding Assistant Principal,” said Dr. Eric C. Eshbach, Executive Director, PA Principals Association.

Gawel has a bachelor’s degree from Marywood University, a master’s degree, and reading specialist certificate from Millersville University, and a principal’s certification from The Pennsylvania State University – Gawel is also expected to graduate in August of 2024 with a doctoral degree from Penn West University.

“I am so incredibly humbled and honored to be selected for this award. It is an even greater honor to be counted in with the previous outstanding assistant principal award winners and nominees. You are truly remarkable,” said Gawel.