Get our newsletters

Amidst rancor, Pennridge School District names new superintendent

Angelo G. Berrios will be introduced to the public Sept. 13


Editor's Note: This story has been updated to relfect that the community  forum with Pennridge's new superintendent has been rescheduled for 7 p.m.  on Sept. 13 and the deadline for submitting a question has been shifted to the end of Sept. 6.

Angelo G. Berrios’ first official meeting as Pennridge School District Superintendent lasted more than four contentious hours as board members sparred with each other and audience members while discussing significant curriculum changes. At one point, security appeared to escort two people out of the meeting room as tempers flared.

But if the tension bothered Berrios Monday night, it wasn’t showing. In an email Tuesday morning, Berrios reaffirmed his commitment to the job.

“I remain committed to the Pennridge School District and am excited to begin my superintendency in the near future,” he wrote.

After a unanimous vote to approve a three-year contract with Berrios with a base annual salary of $210,000, board member Joan Cullen said she hopes the former U.S. Marine “will be a calming influence” for a district that has been roiled by hot-button issues for the last few years.

In brief remarks after the vote, Berrios, speaking to the board and the community, promised to “serve you, to work for you, and work with you. You have my word that I will do my best to elevate this outstanding school district.”

Berrios, a Bedminster Township resident, has served as principal of Abington Senior High School in Montgomery County since 2013. He was chosen from among 20 candidates who applied for the job to replace Dr. David Bolton, who took a medical leave of absence in June and then announced he would retire at the end of October.

Pennridge board President David Reiss said Berrios “brings with him a track record of success, a dedication to students and staff, and a bright vision for the future.”

During his time at Abington, Berrios co-led various district-level initiatives focused on new construction, career pathways, and scheduling, according to a news release from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, which facilitated the search. Before becoming principal, he was an assistant principal and social studies teacher in the Abington School District.

“Throughout his tenure in Abington, Mr. Berrios has facilitated collaboration and unity among stakeholders, resulting in a student-centered environment rooted in academic excellence,” according to the IU release.

Before beginning his career in education, Berrios served in the United States Marine Corps from 1991 to 1995 as an Infantryman/Machine Gunner (0331). He completed two deployments with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable (22 MEUSOC), participating in Provide Promise, Deny Flight, and Sharp Guard operations.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Berrios earned a bachelor's degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the Pennsylvania State University at University Park and later achieved a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. He is enrolled in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Delaware Valley University.

In addition to hiring Berrios Monday night, the board also filled several key administrative positions, including:

High School Principal — Tim Keddie has been the 10th-grade principal and athletic director at Wiliam Tennent High School since 2013. He has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, including 15 years in various secondary school roles.

10th Grade House Principal — Hilary Czaplicki accepted a transfer from his position as a teacher in the Pennridge Gifted Program.

Deibler Elementary Principal — Maria Pulli currently serves as the principal at Northwestern Elementary School in the Northwestern Lehigh School District, a position she has held for the last 10 years.

Bedminster Elementary Principal — Howard Vogel currently serves as Mathematics Curriculum Supervisor at Pennridge. He previously served as principal at Grasse Elementary School

Since they are transferring within the district, Czaplicki and Vogel began their new duties on Aug. 28. Keddie and Pulli will begin as soon as they are released by their current school districts.

Berrios will be introduced to the public Sept. 13

New Pennridge Superintendent Angelo G. Berrios III will meet the public at a Community Forum scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13, starting at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The event will be live-streamed, recorded, and made available online. The link to view the event will be available through the district.

In addition to introductory remarks from Berrios, the Community Forum will include a Question-and-Answer period facilitated by Dr. Mark Hoffman, executive director of the Bucks IU. Community members are invited to submit up to two (2) questions for consideration through the following survey: Questions may be submitted until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

No questions will be allowed from the audience during the live event, and not every question submitted will be asked during the forum. Instead, submitted questions will be organized by theme and consolidated so Berrios can address the maximum number of topics.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.