MaryEllen Gorodetzer, Ed.D.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. MaryEllen Gorodetzer, Colonial School District, its staff and its students have received many accolades – including high rankings in Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post, as well as two National Blue Ribbon School awards from the United States Department of Education – and serve as models for excellence regionally and nationally.
Dr. Gorodetzer was the recipient of the 2016 Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) Award for Instructional Leadership. The award is presented annually to a school system leader who demonstrates a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning by developing, nurturing and supporting exemplary programs that support the academic achievement of particular student populations, enrich student learning in a particular content area, or implement strategies to enhance student learning across the curriculum.
Her philosophy for success includes a dedication to continuous improvement and the establishment of a supportive environment based on the theme of Collaboration, Innovation and Inspiration.
Dr. Gorodetzer’s vision has led to several innovative initiatives in Colonial, including:
- A District-wide STEAM culture that encourages Project-Based Learning and real-world connections in all subject areas – as well as builds a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – for all students K-12.
- Unique block scheduling at Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School that offers in-depth lessons and more time for thoughtful discourse, STEAM activities and a greater degree of differentiation – in addition to more flexibility and student choice in course selection.
- A strong and relevant curriculum, based on state and national standards and supported by the latest technology, that also includes The Four Cs (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication) and prepares students for the challenges of college and the workplace.
- A nationally recognized data-driven approach to instruction that allows teachers to measure student performance, customize curriculum to meet the needs of individual students, narrow the achievement gap and collaborate more effectively during job-embedded Professional Learning Time.
- Award-winning professional development programs and teacher leadership opportunities that take advantage of the talent in the District to help identify and facilitate continuous school improvements.
With Colonial expecting to see a steady increase in student enrollment throughout the next decade, Dr. Gorodetzer is proactively overseeing the expansion and renovation of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Plymouth Elementary School and Ridge Park Elementary School while ensuring that the changes also reflect innovative ways for students to work together and act on creative ideas. Even with significant construction costs, Dr. Gorodetzer’s prudent financial leadership has meant that Colonial remains among the most fiscally strong public school districts in the Philadelphia region.
Dr. Gorodetzer brings more than 30 years of service to public education to her role as Superintendent. Her career in the Colonial School District began in 1998 as principal of Ridge Park Elementary School, followed by more than ten years as Assistant Superintendent. Highlights of her accomplishments from that time include the design and implementation of a consistent K-12 curriculum, district-wide full-day kindergarten and remediation programs to help close the achievement gap, such as the nationally-recognized AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program at Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Dr. Gorodetzer received her doctorate from Widener University.
Dr. Gorodetzer's vision for Colonial School District's continued success:
- Establish an environment of collaboration, innovation and inspiration
- Create a rigorous, relevant and meaningful curriculum with a structured system of supports for struggling students, as well as supports for children looking for more of a challenge
- Develop a consistent curriculum so that teachers have the same learning goals for students, benefit from the same resources and can look at students work together through the same lens
- Have focused professional development that emphasizes collaborative learning and differentiated instruction to address a variety of learning styles
- Make real-world connections in the curriculum and develop classroom environments that foster STEAM ideals like Project-Based Learning and The Four Cs: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Communication.